Monday, September 24, 2012

F-14D Progress - and volunteers recruiting

Work on the new F-14D is slowly proceeding - actually far more slowly that I envisioned, as I am struggling to find the time to work on it, as usual.
The external model should have been finished weeks ago... but I am still adding minor details here and there, so it is not 100% ready yet. Here is the latest version (v2.028).

Now, this project is getting bigger and more detailed every day... so I'd need help. Specifically, for the moment, I'd need:

A SOUND SPECIALIST - The current Tomcat is using a quite good package from Aaron Swindle. I believe it is good, but it is a quite generic sound package for a military jet.
I'd need someone to develop a custom, authentic sound set for the Tomcat. I have no knowledge at all in this field, so I cannot provide any help or support.

A GAUGE/XML SPECIALIST (TBC) - I have plans to add a RIO cockpit (either from the initial release or as an update) but I will not have time to develop its "special" avionics (i.e. the radar functions). I'd need someone to develop custom XML gauges for the radar display in the RIO station.

The project is freeware - so there is no money involved - but if you consider yourself an expert in these fields and are willing to help with this tribute to one of the most amazing aircraft ever, please contact me. I may also need the help of other specialists...but I'll announce that later on.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Albenga Air Show (and a word about Mediafire)

A very poor picture from my cell phone of the "Big Wing" flyover, the last maneuver in the Frecce Tricolori show
Yesterday I attended the "traditional" Albenga Air Show, in which I had the chance to see once again the Frecce Tricolori and their amazing show. I've seen it several times and it never fails to amaze.
If you are an aviation enthusiast, you must see it.
As a whole, the Albenga Air Show 2012 itself was slightly smaller than the previous edition, but there were some spectacular performance from various acrobatic planes, including a Katana T30, a Mudry CAP 10 and Zlin 50. But to me, the most impressive demo was the one of the Piaggio 180 (whose factory is at walking distance from my office), which included barrell rolls (!) and showed an amazing agility for an aircraft of that type. Cool show, and well worth the trip.

In other news, I had several problems with Mediafire - and I will abandon it. First, the virus spreading in through it - which caused many inconveniencies to some users. Second, I had received (obviously fake) copyright infringment claims - which blocked my files.

Now, I am uploading the new T-45C (version 2.25) on Google Drive to see if it is a viable option (apart from Flightsim and Avsim of course).

Ah, yes - whenever I see the Frecce Tricolori I always come back home willing to do a Aermacchi MB339...but then, well, back to reality, for the moment I really do not have the time.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Projects updates....

I have not updated the blog in a while, mainly because my vacations are over and I am back to my "real life" job... which leaves me very little time for my FSX hobby. Also, my apologies if I have not yet replied to all of the emails - sorry for that.
Anyway, here is a brief update on all the projects I am working on.
F-14D Super Tomcat

EXTERNAL MODEL: I still haven't finished the external model....which is like 99% done. Basically I still need to complete some animations and very minor details. It will be ready soon - it is really a question of few hours of work. Here is how it looks now.

VIRTUAL COCKPIT: The main reason why the external model is not yet complete is that I've mostly been working on the virtual cockpit, which in my plans would come after the completion of the external model. The reasons is that I've received a lot of high-resolution cockpit pictures sent by Ken Simmons from the Castle Air Museum which are a fantastic source to bring the cockpit model to a completely new level. I am really happy of the visual quality of the new cockpit, and although it is way too early to show it - I believe it is much better than the previous version.

FLIGHT MODEL: Well, not much to do here... I believe the actual flight model is good enough, but I will go through the NATOPS page by page, looking for major mistakes.
OTHER: I am considering to "hire" some volunteers for this project: I'd need one or two repainters, a sound expert and someone who is willing to create gauges for the RIO avionics - by the way this will be an F-14D(R). I have not taken a final decision on how to do it, but if you consider youself an expert in those area and have some spare time in the next few months, please continue following this blog.

T-45C Goshawk

Yes, I am still working on the T-45C... The thing is that making the F-14D I felt the NACES model was inadequate for the new Tomcat VC and I've improved it. But the T-45C is using the NACES seat too, so I have upgraded the VC with the new seat 3D model - and made some other minor improvements here and there. It should be available soon. Here is how the VC is looking at the moment:
F-35 Lightning II
I am considering a further update which will include new animations (crew boarding ladder and maintenace panels), new loadouts (JSOW most probably) and some minor texturing-bug fixes... Should not take long to complete it... but I have not decided the final features list and as you can see there is a lot of things I am working on...