The most frequent question I am asked about my Flight Simulator project is by far "Can you do a good model of [insert favourite plane here]?"
F-4, F-16 and EF-2000 are the most recurrent requests, by the way.
Well, I think I had already clarified that my next project (after the S-3B Viking, I mean) will be the Aermacchi MB.326.
If you follow this blog or read my facebook page, you will surely know why: some months ago I had the chance to fly in the beautifully restored Aermacchi MB.326E owned by Renzo Catellani and I completely fell in love with this great machine.
Another reason why it seems to me a great choice is that so far I have mostly made U.S.Navy models, and I have neglected the aeronautical heritage of my own country.
And a third reason is that it has been a huge commercial success, and the aicraft has a huge base of worldwide fans.
For those who did not know (from Wikipedia), the MB-326 is a light military aircraft designed in Italy. Originally conceived as a two-seat trainer , there have also been single and two-seat light attack versions produced. It is one of the most commercially successful aircraft of its type, being bought by more than 10 countries and produced under licence in Australia, Brazil and South Africa.It set many category records, including an altitude record of 56,807 ft (17,315 m) on 18 March 1966. More than 600 were built.
The model will be developed according to Flight Simulator X: Acceleration SDK, and will be compatible with Prepar3d.
The base model will be, or course, the Aermacchi MB.326E, which is a two-seater armed version (6 underwing hard points). Starting from this base model, it should be relatively easy to:
- convert it to an ealier unarmed version (i.e. the original MB.326 design)
- create a single seater attack version (such as the MB.326K)
...and, well, it is also true that many parts are common or similar to the MB.339, so may be this will come sometime in the future.
As for the weapons, my plan is to support the Tacpack and include all the relevant weapons that will be available (not many at the moment... MK.82, additional guns and rocket pods).
In terms of time frame, I will first release the S-3B Viking (full release may take a couple of months)...so do not expect anything before the next winter.
Here is how it looks in Prepar3D at the moment (boy the cloud shadows are really something!)...