Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Project Announcement: Aermacchi MB.326 (and derivatives)!

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!)...
..and here is yours truly in control of the real deal :-) ! 


mendione said...

My dear and highly estimated Dino Cattaneo: I am from Venezuela, South America, and from here I would like to express to you my upmost gratitude and my upmost feeling towards you and your work for the flightsim community world wide. Doing your aircraft's with such amazing accuracy, realism. On top of it, freeware. Investing your valuave time doing this for all of us. Thank you so much. May I ask you, humbly, and with no animosity whatsoever about, more or less, do you feel that the S-3 will be release? I know that this question is surely unfriendly but, eventhough I dare to ask you that. Well Dino, once again, thank you so much for everything. Hoping that this lines catch you so well in everything and wishing you the best, Greets from Venezuela (at your orders btw). Mendione. My email is mendione@gmail.com

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Thanks for the appreciation and for your kind words.

I am in the process of verifying the basic systems functionality for the S-3B Viking Alpha Release.
Alpha release will be sometime in the next few weeks, and will be followed by a Beta and then by the final release. Hopefully this will be in June/July.

Anonymous said...

I totally jealous of your "joy ride" in the MB.326; look forward to doing that in the Sim instead.

Also, Thank you Dino for your continued hard work on this project...

...I have a few things to report (v2.29) not major but annoying none the less for someone as detail oriented as me...
1. on MFD's (both) the CSEL decrease value Function (soft key) does NOT decrease the CSEL values; must be missing in the code as it happens on both MFD's.
2. There are NO Taxi/Landing lights visible from within the VC or from the external model on the ground to illuminate the surrounding at night.
3. When the Launch bar is triggered and the Tomcat squats (great job animating this BTW), after launch the nose wheel remains in the squatted position even if retracted and extended again. Yikes!!!
4. Finally, how does one assign the sweep lever to an axis; which axis is it programmed to? If not, can you make this possible at some point?

Downloading v2.30 now and will let you know; till then, Thanks again and do keep up the good work.

James Chams

Anonymous said...

PS: Above post is in regards to the F-14D.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Dear James,
thanks for your comments and your interest in my project.
I totally understand that detail-oriented users can be extremely annoyed by small details, and although I do not want to make further updates to the F-14, I will surely look into that and see if I can provide solutions.

1. I will check that. Please note that some keys are not working due to flaws in the FSX engine (does not recognize them as clickable even if they are from the original POV...you need to change the POV to use them)

2. Known issue. Problem in this case is that, for some unknown reason, the applying Landing light create all sort of problems...could not solve this and decided to leave them out.

3. That should not be the case... I will check that, but FSX sometimes fails to retract the launch bar automatically...manual retraction should work.

4. The wing sweep is connected to the flap controls...which I believe it cannot be assigned to an axis.



Anonymous said...

Hi Dino,
Thank you for your continued efforts to work/fix and update your products...

(F-14D v2.30 and earlier)
In this case I though I might be able to lend a hand...

RE: 1. I will check that. Please note that some keys are not working due to flaws in the FSX engine (does not recognize them as clickable even if they are from the original POV...you need to change the POV to use them)

To answer your above statement, this was NOT the issue rather I looked into the XML code in each of the files (eg. F14DMFD_1_Control.xml, F14DMFD_2_Control.xml, & F14DMFD_3_Control.xml) and found a syntax error that was keeping the item from working.

(L:MFD1_ADI_CRS, number) 1 == // 10 changed to 1
0 (>L:MFD1_Key, number)

After this is altered each of the MFD's CSEL decrease soft key click events work as should.

Hope this helps. ;)

Next, regarding 4. - the Flaps and the wing sweep axis, I have currently assigned them to joystick buttons on my HOTAS and might look into your code to see if I can add a solution for that; but no promises.

James F. Chams

Anonymous said...

PS: Tried sending you the updated files via your email but got an undeliverable error message; if you want you can send me your email address and I'll send them to you.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Dear James,

Thanks for you help.
As I said, I currently have no time to support another Tomcat release... but in the end, even if the issues are small, I prefer to get rid of them.

Please note that you you used the email in the blog profile, this is outdated and will not work. You can send emails to indiafoxtecho@gmail.com as specified in the documentation of my projects.

IMHO the wings sweep system is fine as it is...I do not see the need to map it to an axis button. Besides, the dynamics are tuned for the flap to act as wing sweep.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dino,
Email sent; and no worries about the rest... what ever you decide to do is fine with me. Good luck with all your projects, Thank you (Ciao) for sharing them freely with us, and God Bless. ;D

James Chams

Radium said...

Dear Dino,

Your beautiful country has a great aviation legacy, even in Japan it is known ; when I went to watch at Isesaki theatre, Gunma prefecture, Japan, "Kaze Tachinu" (wind is rising) from Myazaki, we really appreciated with my wife the nice image they gave to Italian birds such as the one created by Caproni. It was depicted there the dream relation between Horikoshi Jiro, who created the Mitsubishi Zero-sen and Caproni, who acted as a dream mentor to Jiro, as they never met, but who in real life inspired the young japanese engineer to make Zero-sen. I am highly patriotic myself and, I will forever prefer to use a bird you have passion for than something else. No use to suggest, your wishes will make us happy, even dare I dream of one day, a Caproni Campini N1 made by you, one of the most fabulous Italian bird, I guess.

Thank you for you work Dino,

Radium from Japan or France, it depends on days!

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

I have not seen the latest work from Myazaki yet... but if it is half as good as Porco Rosso I am sure it is a masterpiece :-)

Radium said...

I can tell you Kaze tachinu is totally life on the moon compared to Porco Rosso... Kaze tachinu is a gorgeous mix between japanese and Italian poesy ; bringing mankind by the persom of Horikoshi Jiro to become the medium to shift from a bird to a plane. I bighly recommand it ; 10'-20' Italian aviation hold a great place in it. It's a masterpiece! Btw, I am FSX developper myself, may I help you in any field? Kindly yours,


Anonymous said...

I absolutely don't want to come off rude but I wondered if this model is available as a .3dm file? I would like to scratch build an RC plane from it using Deleon foam. Regards