Monday, November 23, 2009

F-35A Development and testing plans

F-35 AA-1 for FSX flying over NAS Fort Worth

If you have been following this blog in the past few weeks, you are surely aware that the development of the F-35 is lagging behind the schedule. Originally I planned a Beta test in October and an official release in November. Fact is that I've missed those deadlines by far, and that is not much a result of bad planning as much as it is the consequence of the fact that my "real" job has been absorbing much more time and energy than usual in the past few weeks...

Anyway, seeing the real F-35 project making some major steps is bringing back some inspiration to complete its virtual counterpart - albeit I still have to figure out a way to find the time needed :-)

The major oustanding item on my checklist is the cockpit. Some parts are complete, some others are nothing more than a rough sketch... Honestly I don't know when I will find the time to complete it. But, in order to save some time from the development cycle, I am thinking to release an Alpha build (without the VC) soon in order to sort the main issues of the external and flight models asap. I have not decided yet - as I have to fix some minor details first.

In the meantime, I want to clarify some points and answer some FAQ's.

Freeware or Payware - This is the first project I started from scratch as payware (and I thought I've always been clear on this). Final price and distribution methods are yet to be defined, but I think a fair price would be in the $10-15 range. Free copies of the final product will be given to testers and selected supporters. In case I realize that the project will not achieve a resonable quality level for payware and never will, I will release it for free.

Paypal donation - I have received some emails saying "As the F-35 is payware, why should I make a paypal donation?" - Well, the truth is that the paypal donate button has been added on request of several F-14 and T-45 users. I have plans to update both as soon as the F-35 is released, and the "donate" button was kept in this perspective. Still, I understand this may be misleading - so I am thinking to remove the button. As compensation for any misunderstanding, whoever has done a donation so far (i.e.prior to this post) will receive, upon request, the test versions of the F-35 when available.

Beta testing - As explained above, I have no idea when the F-35 will be ready for beta testing and I am considering an alpha-test release. Once I have decided, I will make a post on this blog on how to partecipate to the testing. The number of testers will be limited - and some slots will be reserved to supporters, friends and contibutors. NOTE: I will only consider Beta testing applications received as per the instructions that will be posted.

FSX SP2 or Acceleration - Not decided yet. Current build is based on Acceleration.

Depicted birds - At present, only AA-1 bird is done. This is the first F-35 prototype, conventional take-off and landing. Most likely, AF-1 (first production representative, weight-optimized CTOL plane) will be done too, as well as an "finished" operative F-35A with and without external loads - of course, this one will be based on latest official drawings but will include some guess-work.

VTOL & CV variants - They have not been completely ruled out yet...but it is unlikely I will do them. Yes, they are similar to the F-35A - but some of the differences are pretty big. For example, the F-35B fuselage is unique while the F-35C wing is much larger and has spoilers and folding mechanism...

Flight model - The preliminary flight model is based on all of the official data I could find...and a big amout of guessing. I'll do my best to provide a realistic flight model - but cannot guarantee its fidelity for obvious reasons.

Your comments will be appreciated as always.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for thinking of us, because we're thinking to your work!
I'm following this project and it seems going good, same level as your previous masterpieces.
The flight model will be the hardest part, but i'm sure you have enough experience to make it real!


Unknown said...

Your work is amazing as always.

David said...

I've been a fan of your work ever since I saw an awesome screenshot of the Goshawk on some screenshot competition somewhere :P.

However, being the poor student I am, I don't have any money to spare for donations. However, I would be glad to do anything else I can to help! =D

blackbird said...

Take your time, enjoy life, no need to be hasty. Better slow and careful.

Unknown said...

Donation window in Italian :S
Keep on going!

Josef said...

Thanks for the F-35A. Really like the exterior shots so far. No pressure intended, but would love this in time for Christmas please.

Since the F-35A cockpit is heavily a glass one, feel free to make a good guesstimate and what you think will work.

Of course, I tend to think whether it's you or IRIS that makes the C model - you've got a lot of potential purchasers as the C model will be the US Navy model.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Well...completing it for Chirstmas would be nice...but I'd be happy to have the

As for the cockpit, it is more than a regular glass the main display is a touchscreen and many fuctions (including fuel and weapons management) are controlled in that way.
Also, the pilot can configure most of the display at will. There is a very cool video on the web in which a LM employee shows the basics of the display/cockpit interface - it is really impressive. The VTOL transition, in particular, is really amazing.

My target is less ambitious:
The display will have a main fixed configuration (HSI/FCS/ENG/FUEL) with, possibly, one or two "context sensitive" alternate config (HSI/FCS/GPS-MAP). HMD will be superimposed onto the cockpit view.

I will probably be able to show some images of my cockpit next week.

As for the F-35C... As I said previously, it is very doable - the fact is that I lack the time to do it...First thing is complete the F-35A Beta...then I'll see.

MaxWaldorf said...

Good luck with the project !


Anonymous said...

Just downloaded the F-14 and I think it's amazing. Thank You. I think it is better than payware. I will gladly pay for the F-35 when you are finished. As a real pilot I criticize FSX and the only way I can criticize your F-14 is with a smile. Thank You Again.

Blake, USA

schmooze13 said...

Wow ur like the only good creator that creates planes in good quality and what everyones been lookin for!!! So can't wait for the f35. Lookin good so far.

Bjørnar Bolsøy said...

Looks great! AF-1 paint job, in case you missed it:

B. Bolsøy

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Thanks, Bjørnar - I already saw that pic at
At present I am focusing on the cockpit - will do the AF-1 when the cockpit is done.

However, there is a chance I will do it "unpainted" - as the actual protoype is. Does not look mean or sleek - but gives a good work-in-progress hi-tech impression...

Anonymous said...

Amazing work, as always, but if you have time, I'd love to see an update with the current cockpit, even if it is only a load of polygons.

Don't rush the project, Christmas ain't too important- as mentioned, enjoy your social life, keep this as a hobby.

Anonymous said...

Ciao Fratello Mio,

Your work is amazing Dino and I am VERY happy with the F14. I can't wait to buy the F35. In the meantime, would you like me to participate in testing?

Check out my YouTube videos featuring your F14.


A Presto

Anonymous said...

Hai intenzione di fare pure la versione B dell'F-35 ?