Sunday, February 3, 2013

F-14D Tomcat Public Beta 1

This post is intended to be the repository of the F-14D Tomcat Beta 1 feedback. The Beta 1 release is the first public release of the new version of my Tomcat project. This project is, for my standards, very complex and many systems of the real Tomcat are simulated only partially or not at all. Please consider that this is not a professional product, and definitely not a "full realism" rendition of this great aicraft.

Everybody is welcome to download the Beta, *BUT* please follow these rules:
- DO NOT UPLOAD THE FILE ANYWHERE ELSE. This is just a test version.
- If you have a bug to report, please first check it is not already in the list below, and if it is not please report it by adding a comment to this post.
- Take your time. I do not need immediate feedback. And if you spot a strange bug, please try to replicate it and report in which conditions it shows, if applicable.
- Suggestions are welcome. I am not planning to add features, but I'll do that if I can and it makes sense.
- If you are a repainter, I encourage you to repaint this model but if you do, please do not upload it anywhere for the moment, and send it to me, if possible - I may want to include it in the base package (and of course proper credit will be given).
- Please bear in mind this is for FSX:Acceleration or Gold versions ONLY. May crash FSX if used on other versions.

DOWNLOAD LINK (By downloading the file you certify you have read the rules above and promise to do your best to follow them)

Repainters, you may want to download the file below. I have been noticed that there are minor mistakes is faces painting, they will be fixed later on and will not affect the repaint.


I wish I had the time to create a manual as detailed as the one of the T-45C but I had no time to do so, so here is some basic information you need to know.
- Wing sweep is automatic when flaps are raised. Oversweep is controlled by Wingfold command. Direct Lift is not completely simulated, but is activated automatically at certain AoAs when full flaps is commanded.
- Doors/exit animations are as follows: Exit-0 is the canopy. Exit-1 is the refuel probe, Exit-2 (shift+E then 3) is the crew access ladder, Exit-3 (shift+E then 4) opens some maintenance panels.
- The layout of the RIO cockpit is not the one of a typical F-14D, but it reflects the one preserved in the Castle Air Museum (with thanks to Ken Simmons for having sent me a lot of very detailed cockpit pictures - I could not reach this level of detail in the cockpit without those images!).
- The Tactical Information Display is off by default, as it may give an hit to can turn it on with the knob on the upper-right corner.

Well... this probably  is not all you need to know, but I'll let you discover the rest.

Last updated: Monday 10th February 2013

External model

1) Missing high-G wing vapor effects. Status: CLOSED. Added to model build 30, 4/2/13

2) Missing weapons/loadouts variants. Status: OPEN. I am not sure if I am willing to add them for several reasons, including model size and frame-per-second burden...

3) Evaluate replacement of LAU-7 with more historically accurate LAU-138. Status: OPEN. Action - this was known while modeling...thing is I had the LAU-7 already modeled.... 

4) Launch bar does not engage the shuttle visually. Status: OPEN. Root cause: this is due to the fact that the kneel function is not implemented. Action: TBD

5) Tire textures are not perfectly aligned, and the tires seem to wobbe. Status: CLOSED. Texture redone and improve nose strut texture. 4/2/13

6) Fuel tanks undersized. Status: CLOSED. Changed 3D model. 5/2/13

7) Texture misplacement in tail areas preventing some repaints. Status: CLOSED. Fixed 3D model mapping 5/2/13 NOTE: This does not cover intentional shift in rudder texture which will stay.

8) Texture misplacement in canopy area create warps on crew name area. Status: CLOSED. Fixed 3D model.

9) Move antenna flare on nose gear door to fit the actual position. Status: CLOSED. Slightly adjusted 3d model - it is not possible at this point to completely get rid of the issue without a major rework of the model.

10) Wingtip contrails not aligned with geometry. Status: CLOSED. Got rid of contrails effects.

Pilot Virtual cockpit

1) Fuel quantity indicator bars do not work as intended. Status: CLOSED. Fixed .XML code 12/2/2013

2) Caution/advisory light system incomplete. Status: OPEN. Needs some more work.

3) HUD AoA indications do not match the AoA Indexer. STATUS:CLOSED. Root cause: Indexer is using default F/A-18 conditions, which do not match the F-14. Action: change XML code. Critical for realistic carrier ops. Fixed thanks to JR. 5/2/13

4) SHIFT+E keys do not wok anymore if ILS/VOR is tracked in the HUD. Status: CLOSED. Root cause: this is a known bug in some of JR's HUDs... fixed on T-45 and F-35. Action:  Updated HUD from JR. Problem persists for other reasons (TBD) 5/2/13

5) AoA indicator graphic issues during extreme conditions (inidicator slips away from its case). Status: CLOSED. Could not replicate the issue, however added animation constraints to AoA needle, so that it should never overshoot the case. 4/2/13

6) Radio knobs not working as intended. Status: OPEN. Root cause: not identified... I have double checked .XML code and it seems correct...

7) Update HUD and HUD functionality. Status: CLOSED. Implemented thanks to Jivko. 5/2/13

8) HUD frame is slightly shifted sideways. Status: CLOSED. Modified 3D model. 10/2/13 

9) Slight increase in windshield and HUD transparency for better visibility. Status: CLOSED. Modified 3D model. 10/2/13

10) Missing altimeter setting knob. Status: CLOSED. Modified 3D model. 10/2/13

Rio Virtual cokpit

1) Caution/advisory light system incomplete. Status: OPEN. Needs some more work.

2) Some buttons in the MFD are not working. Status: CLOSED. Root cause: FSX bug, does not recognize mouse areas from certain angles, now all button work with new default RIO view. 4/2/13

3) RIO point of view need to be moved forward a little. STATUS: CLOSED. Fixed configuration file. 4/2/13

4) Colors of some TID features are incorrect. STATUS: OPEN. Action: check TID gauge.

5) Evaluate addition of MAP mode to TID. STATUS: OPEN. Action: check TID gauge.

10) Missing altimeter setting knob. Status: CLOSED. Modified 3D model. 10/2/13

Flight model

1) Roll rate may be too low in some conditions. STATUS: OPEN. Action: check against NATOPS values.

2) A/C is more stable with less tendency to departures at high AoA than the real deal. STATUS: OPEN. Action: evaluate changes against risk of messing up the slow speed behavior, which seems OK at the moment...

3) Transonic drag may be a little low, and drag at high Mach No. is probably a little low, too, for the default configuration. Action: evaluate changes in the .air file. CLOSED. Increased transonic drag, slightly better performance above Mach 1.6, closer to NATOPS values. 4/2/13.

4) Improve stall dynamics as per NATOPS (see 2). Action: evaluate any change carefully - risk is to compromise low speed behavior which seems OK at the moment.

5) Evaluate a possible increase of the damaging threshold of the nose gear (value seem realistic at the moment but is preceived as fragile by some users). Action: check against NATOPS.

6) Miscellaneous issues with speedbrake control. Bug spotted in Rob's control gauge and 

7) Evaluate implementation of possible engine flameout when engine sump depletes (prolonged inverted flight or A/B engagement at negative g's). STATUS: CLOSED. Newest control gauge from Rob implements it.


1) Nose strut kneeling not implemented - I have studied that, and though a way to do it on the external visual model...but takes a lot of work to do and may screw other animation, so I am not sure it is worth doing...

2) Sound pack by Serge Luzin, with mods from Aaron Swindle is actually designed for an F/A-18 Hornet (BLASPHEMY!)... I have tried to explore other routes, but this is the best I can use (and sounds great!).

3) Pan Rate in some views is too slow. STATUS: CLOSED. Fixed configuration file. 4/2/2013.

Color key:
Green - issue solved, or mitigated to the point is acceptable or not perceived by most users, or issue open but really a minor annoyance to the vast majority of the users.
Yellow -issue open, and could be perceived as product defect by a significant number of users. Awaiting action or investigation. Or issue open, mitigated to the best of my knowledge but will still be perceived as defect by users. Or issue open but appears easy to fix.
Red - root cause not identified as of today. Or the problem is beyond my knowledge or impossible or difficult to solve. Or, issue open and it is critical to solve it before release. 


David Telford said...

Thanks for the update Dino. Patiently but eagerly awaiting the beta release. Thanks so much for your hard and excellent work.

Dino Cattaneo said...

Download should work now. It is a Google docs link, so there may be bandwidth issue if too many try to download it...

Anonymous said...

Dino: Nice beta version. General handling qualities during take-off and landing okay. I could not dial in NAV data. I could not switch between COM1-COM2 and NAV1-NAV2.
So non-ILS landing at my home airport in a snow storm was an adventure:) Greetings, Joerg

Varun Krishnaswami said...

Thanks a trillion man, btw does this have those wing vapour effects??

Varun said...

Hey Dino, also I would like to tell you about your F-35 that it tends to slide when it stationary, could you make a fix for this maybe pls??

Rob M said...

Awesome, I love it! One thing I did notice is that when flying with the wings extended and pulling some G, the flaps would extend a little automatically. This is not a problem as I know many other aircraft do this as well. What the problem is, is that the flaps do not fully retract back into the wing after the G is released, thus preventing any wing sweep.

Z-Bell said...

1) Some buttons on the pilot's right MFD (two lower buttons on the right column) cannot be activated from a default/central viewpoint. They can be activated if you lean a bit to the right though.

2) The landing gear seems a bit too fragile, even when bingo fuel (light weight). Not sure if supposed to be like this.

Rick Brown said...

Just dl and off to try
Thanks a lot Dino!

Maik said...

Thanks for your great work Dino. It looks and fly amazing. Some of the mistakes I can confirm.
- Landing gear collapse if you land with more then apx-700fpm
- AoA indexer (I tried some carrier lands bit confusing)
- RIO cockpit default zoom is very wide (its not a real problem)
- Fuel Page in the MFD only shows overall fuel, not the fuel in the tanks

The Thing with the "nose strut kneeling" this would be very nice look for carrier operations;-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent work! Love the model,and the flight dynamics are great too!

One thing I noticed seems it wont stall. How to test: at altitude pitch up to 45 degrees and hold the pitch angle. Airspeed will drop down to like 40 kts, and the airplane is still holding altitude! Finally it lazily flops over on its back and recovers quickly. Strange. It *should* be doing some really ugly things aerodynamically once it gets over 22 deg AOA at slow speeds.

Austin said...

Excellent! I have experienced an additional bug. When I deploy the speed brake with my axis set up on my X52 pro, they will not retract unless I either press the key command or drag them in the VC.

Dave Torkington said...

Superb job Dino! Excellent exterior model, great FPS and the VC / RIO textures are spot on.

Found a few small issues:

1/ Main gear tires textures are not concentric to the wheel, so they appear to wobble when taxiing.

2/ Nose-wheel gear tire appears to have an untextured [black] segment.

3/ Afterburner is permanently visible on other players aircraft in multiplayer.

4/ When lowered, the catapult launch bar does not appear to link with the carrier shuttle. Appreciate this may be due to not implementing Nose Strut Kneeling...

5/ AOA gauge 'slider' quickly rises up and out of the gauge to the top of the screen when experiencing a hard landing or some other 'jolt' to the aircraft, then returns to it's appropriate position.

6/ VC HUD is slightly off center [biased to the right].

Best regards,


Thomas L. said...

Not bad flown yesterday 10 IFR approaches in Edwards Rwy 22L.

1 After airborne WOW (wheel of weight)some time the spoiler going to full up

2 AOA bracket don't match with the Indexer, don't know witch one is the right information. A step in my next test flight.

3 HUD CDI needle bar don't match with the MFD, a 3 degrees deviation.

4 Size of the HUD litle to large left and right, but i can live with them.

5 One of my touch and go, was a near crasch couse asymetric spoiler deployment.

Strong crosswind exist with scheaerwind.

Touch down was smooth small rudder adjustmend, trim reset to 1.0 NU short wind gust half left ruder deflections and few second left wing spoiler deploy full. recicly the spoiler.

6 1 Overweight landing and some normal landing on the 60 000lbs are the trimm at 8.0 NU not sure if it in real live same ore not ?

7 In flight caracteristic, i feel i fly the F-35.

8 Flaps 3 with 3,4,5,6 spoiler deploy, helps for landing on carrier.

9 Spoiler Anomalie, don't like axes(slider)on my Saitek X52 Pro.

10 Engine, act and re-act like a heavy bird, not bad but i test it in the next step manoeuvrability.

Some flight in formation with the F-18E yesterday pix are her

Thomas L. said...

I forgot to say all buttons on MFDs works in VC. Must move my head forweard and litle down and all MFDs button works fine.

a good test pilot is always in training

Thomas L. said...

Navlight Anomalie, NAV light linked with formation light.


neutrino said...

@Dave Torkington: Dave, I am the guy who did the HUD. I checked it, and it is properly aligned with the aircraft waterline and pilot view point (remember, the HUD must be conformal with the outside world). It is the virtual cockpit that is slightly off, but I don't think that's a problem - in the real cockpit, your eye point will rarely be exactly on the cockpit centerline.

Anonymous said...

@Thomas L. The size of the HUD is correct relative to the outside world, everything is proportional as on the real HUD. If a real world pilot was sitting this distance from the HUD glass, as you are sitting in FSX, he would see the same thing as you see. If he wanted to see the whole HUD, he would have to move closer to the combiner glass. So it is in fact quite large. When MFD and HUD disagree, trust the HUD.

neutrino said...

@Thomas L. The size of the HUD is correct relative to the outside world, everything is proportional as on the real HUD. If a real world pilot was sitting this distance from the HUD glass, as you are sitting in FSX, he would see the same thing as you see. If he wanted to see the whole HUD, he would have to move closer to the combiner glass. So it is in fact quite large. When MFD and HUD disagree, trust the HUD.

Anonymous said...

Dino, you may contact the guys from Razbam and ask them if it's possible to use their loadout module so you can chance the weapons loadout of the aircraft in free flight. Dropping them is also possible.

Anonymous said...

Awesome jet!

I'm sorry if I'm repeating this bug, but I haven't seen it listed anywhere: The wing tip vapours do not seem to conform to the wing tips when the wings are swept to any degree.

Thanks, your work is much appreciated!

Gildas Perrot said...

Hey Dino, I noticed that the F-14 elevators' replaced the ailerons! Please chage this because it looks frightful at evry turn :(
Exept this little detail, you have done an AMAIZING work! I hope you will add feature in the RIO seat.
And for your next project, I would choose the S-3 Vicking.

Dave Torkington said...

@ Neutrino: I hadn't appreciated the HUD position relative to outside - sorry! Thanks for the explanation and for the great work.



Dino Cattaneo said...


Thanks for the feedback. I will keep on updating the CR's list for a week or so...

As for the HUD, we need also to consider that, AFAIK in the real world it the canopy does not obstruct it... so you would get a slightly wider "drawing area".

Good to know that it appears that there are no catastrophic issues.

For those who are curious, the F-14D NATOPS can be found by Googling it (I am not posting a direct link as I do not know if has been declassified).

Anonymous said...

So yeah.
Finally, improved visibility when landing on the aircraft carrier.
Cockpit pilot and RIO nice and functional. We are very pleased that the radar.

Defects. This option is not functioning properly SEQ but at least it no longer crashes the simulator.
Well, at the moment I can not sit on the aircraft carrier, or mobile or stationary, it looks as if the hook does not catch the rope. Missing some weapons but it's probably going to change in the final version. At the moment, it is very decent.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Dino
I found one or two errors.
How to send you of copies of ecran?


Unknown said...

Liking it immensely so far, though there are a few problems with it. The wing sweep is a little finicky and there is an issue with the mapping between the vertical stabilizers and the rudder

Jiri said...

Dino, I've sent you an email, please have a look at it.

@Unknown above:

Yes, there is little misalignment between rudder and tail. I was able to overcome it by using my 3D application and working with exported model. Try to split the logo and move it in you graphics application.

May sound selfish (hope not), but I can't say I want Dino to fix this, because that would result in me redoing tails I've already done or started working on. And I've already put some hours into it. But Dino has last word in this of course.

Just FYI, AJ100, AJ101 and AJ102 is in the works. J.

Dino Cattaneo said...

Well, the misalignment between the rudders and the tail was there on purpose (I know it sounds strange) to allow a better placement for "White-retro" rudders (although very few F-14D had that scheme)...and I never done that. Aside, I have noticed there is a small piece of art missing on the tail... I am uploading the cleanest texture set I have. Will be available soon.

I wish I had more time to make some repaints...but I do not, so I'll let you guys do them ;-)!

Dino Cattaneo said...


Here is a link to the cleanest texture set I have:

I have been notified that there are very few wrongly "painted" faces in the 3d model - they will be fixed.

Rick said...

Dino one thing I've noticed, when I bring power all the way to idle on my throttle, the speed brake and wing spoilers are triggered. When I try to retract them it does not work. If I move the throttle into any position other than idle they retract on their own and are controllable by me. I am living it though other than this!

Javier said...

Dino....on a carrier takeoff..the inboard spoilers deploy...this shouldnt happen on takeoff...they stow after gaining speed....also the stabilizers move in a cartoonish way....the previous model had the correct movement of flight controls. Love the RIO cockpit and plane flies rid of the F18 sound and installed the IRIS F14 soundpack...AMAZING...

Dino Cattaneo said...

Rick, all:

as in the real thing, there is some Speedbrake automation in place, which should work as follows:
- Throttle set to MIL or above will cause the speedbrake retraction.
- if ANTI SKID is in the SPOILER BK or BOTH position, all spoilers are extended if weight on wheels and throttle at idle.
- Interlock prevents dumping of fuel if speedbrake are extended (but not the other way around!)

This should not happen if you have "half" flaps selected. Inner spoilers are deployed automatically when "full flaps" is selected and the AoA is above a given value to simulate DLC...

BTW proper F-14 sounds may be on the way...

Anonymous said...

Hey Dino. A few bugs for ya :) The wings seem to droop down too much (looks odd) and the flaps don't seem to extend all the way down. Also, someone mentioned the drop tanks are undersized.

Loving it! Diego

Guenaizia José said...

second dispatch
You have etre not seen my first can

Good morning Dino
I found one or two errors.
How to send you of copies of ecran?


Anonymous said...


to external

Its maybe just on my plane and my slow graphics card,but the airbrake opens kind of scaled-high speed just a little you get slower more.But as far as i recall you can open it full at almost any time.Also upon gear retract the spoiler on wing tops get activated.

All that in FSX ACC SP2

Roland aka thunder100
Proud F-35 paywware user

Dino Cattaneo said...


I believe the wing angle is correct, as I have checked it several times against drawings... but I will check it once more, although it seems correct to me.

Will check the fuel tanks too - although they have been designed against 2D this case, however, my impression is that you may be right.

Flaps movement animation is limited by the fact I have not modeled the flap "crank" which would be visible at full flaps.

Dino Cattaneo said...


you may upload the pics to a web-based repository and post links.


actually, as in the real Tomcat, speedbrakes opening is limited by airspeed. At approximately 400kts and above the airflow "blows back" the speedbrake, which may or may not return in the commanded position when speed lowers (needs to be reset by cycling it).

Guenaizia José said...

Good morning Dino
Here are the captures of screen of three defects which I raised, I hope that this will be useful you

Anonymous said...


I have your latest T45, F35 and F14, I have operated both previous versions of the T45 and the F14 on my version of FSX with SP2.

I have loaded and flown the latest version of the T45, but I currently get a CTD when I try and load the latest version of the F35 and the F14.

I can select both aircraft in the aircraft selection window and can see both aircraft as they rotate.

Is this to do with acceleration, bearing in mind my previous comments about having flown previous versions and can fly the T45 without problems.

I really hope this problem for me can be resolved, your effects are shear joy and you are what keeps FSX fresh, many thanks.

By the way I think I have remained anonymous, purely because I am on a learning curve with posting etc.

Dino Cattaneo said...

Latest version of the T-45C, F-35 and F-14D are FSX:Acceleration only - sorry.
Specifically, F-35 and F-14 are using FSX:A specific supersonic flight dynamics that will crash FSX SP2.

Anonymous said...


Many thanks for the prompt reply on T45, F35 an F14. I am hoping to purchase an up to date computer when funds allow, so holding off on acceleration.

I can still fly the T45C and previous version of the f14D, which are still great planes to fly, many thanks.

Andrew Carey

Rob Barendregt said...

Hi Dino,

As to the additional "exit" problem beside the HUD: the spoiler handling in my control gauge is flawed; meaning that if it occurs while spoilers are extended in the air: it's in my gauge somewhere. Just have to figure out what :)
See my EMail.


Anonymous said...

Awesome F-14D,Sir!
I've been working on a VF-114 repaint for it and found one small area that I can't fix:

Hopefully you can point me in the right direction.

Thanks for another fine addition to my sim...Don

pitijm said...
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pitijm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

*As above, the spoiler problem seems to be that auto- spoilers are armed, and they should not be.
*In addition, the engine numbers and VMax are for an F-18C, which makes the F-14D flight model draggy and too fuel efficient.
*The aircraft has problems maintaining contact with the shuttle. I believe that can be fixed in the contact point numbers.
*The arrestor cable is unrealistically heavy.
With your permission, I believe I can fix all these and shoot you a new aircraft.cfg file. -Rusty Rabbit