Thursday, December 31, 2015

T-45C Goshawk Version 2.80 - and a note on rolling ships in P3Dv3.1

Here is an unplanned update to the Goshawk - as the Goshawk has always been my test vehicle for experiments, I had a number of small improvements that I never released... and I decided to polish them a little and release a new version (although the project is officially "closed")... so here we go with version 2.80...

Also, a quick note on P3Dv3.1:
One cool feature of P3Dv3.1 is that, if water is set on ULTRA settings, boats and ship will pitch and roll according to the waves (which in turn are influenced by the wind). Needless to say, it makes carrier (or helicopter) operations much more challenging. However, unfortunately some visual effects (notably night lighting and fresnel lights) do not follow the boat properly so this LM has DISABLED for standard carriers by default, as it was very confusing at night. You can enable or disable this effect on a per-vehicle basis by using a new parater in the contact points section (if 1 the boat will not roll, otherwise it will):
always_use_avg_surface=1 //always use the average surface elevation
Anyway, back to the T-45C, here are the release notes. Download from Google Drive from the side bar, as usual.

- New NACES seat 3D model courtesy of Vertical Reality Simulations (same as their Superbug)
- New Control stick model for Virtual Cockpit
- Minor improvements to Virtual Cockpit details
- Added “Remove Before Flight” ribbons (will show/hide with SHIFT+E then 3 control)
- Added HUD, engine intakes and exhaust covers (will show/hide with SHIFT+E then 4)
- Standardized pilot figures to have the same look as the Military Avatars Package
- Added skinned meshes animations to pilot figures (head movement, throttle, stick left/right,
pedals left/right)
- Fixed bug that caused HUD to flicker in P3Dv2 and v3
- Added clickable areas to external model for P3Dv3 (to use in external views or Avatar mode)*:
– canopy opening lever
– crew access steps
– engine/HUD covers (click nearby the engine intake)
– remove before flight ribbons (click on certain parts of the landing gear and tailhook)
- Fixed miscellaneous incompatibility issues and typos in configuration files
- Rationalization of files and duplicates for “WORKING MIRROR” all the models
are in the main MODEL folder, while you need to install the relevant aicraft.cfg and model.cfg
to activate or deactivate the feature
- Fixed minor animation bugs
- Pilot figures now have automatic or user controllable visibility conditions**
- Improved configurator, now has also crew figure control buttons, as well as ribbons and covers
visibility control and refuel options**


* covers and ribbons are not “individually” controllable... clicking on a cover or a ribbon
will remove all of them. This was basically a test to check how practical it was to have a
virtual walkaround

** By default pilot visibility is set in AUTO mode. In this mode pilot will always show unless:
– The relevant weight station il loaded with 89 pounds or less
– The RPMs are below 5% and the speed of the aicraft is below 5 kts and the aicraft is on the ground and the parking brake is set.
The configurator allows the user to MANUALLY select to HIDE the crew, or show both the student
and the instructor or only the student. MANUAL selection will always force the selected
condition unless CREW AUTO button is pressed (and automatic visibility is restored)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Projects updates... and season greetings!

First, thanks a lot your your continued support to my projects - as you may know this has been a very special year for my flight simulation efforts, as I finally established my own registered "company". This is still just a hobby for me, but having proper fiscal organization allows me to invest more money and embark in more ambitious projects - the new F-35 is the first result of the new organization, and, for example, the new visual model is a direct outcome of my decisions. Making it a freeware project was simply not an option - development costs being way too high for freeware.

So, what is next? Here is the list of the projects currently on my drawing board:

NEW PROJECT - Eurofighter Typhoon:If you follow my Facebook page, you know that I have been doing some work on an Eurofighter model. The vast majority of the documentation on this aicraft is still classfied, but I believe I have enough information to create a decent simulation. I did some work on the external model (which is shown in the picture above) and the VC - and it looks good so far. I'll continue working on this to check if there are unforeseen showstoppers... but so far so good.
This is meant to be a payware project - and hopefully should land on the same quality level and price range of the F-35 (and possibly a little more accurate in terms of avionics). The main development platform will be P3Dv2.5 (for the moment...may be I'll move to V3) but it should be backward compatible to FSX (possibly with the exception of PIRATE/TFLIR imaging).

NEW PROJECT - Aermacchi MB.339 (ON HOLD)
An obvious extension of the MB.326 project, the MB.339 is one aicraft I still intend to do. I did some work on a preliminary external model - which needs texturing and a decent VC. One of the targets of this project is to achieve a very high visual efficiency in terms of frames-per-second. At present I have no time to work on this...and the project is on hold. In my intentions this would be a freeware project.

NEW PROJECT - Grumman E-2/C-2 (Feasibility stage - ON HOLD)
I also made a feasibility study on the E-2 and C-2 aicrafts - they are probably the only carrier aicrafts for which we do not have decent models... A payware project would be doable, although I do not have time for this right now.

PROJECT UPDATE - F-35 Lightning IINeedless to say, I am continuing to keep track of the bug reports and suggestions... as of today, we have not yet reached the critical mass to release another update...but if I'll find some time in the next few weeks I will update the project anway.


T-45C Goshawk - Although this project is officially closed, I have been using it as testbed for various my private build is actually a little bit better than what you guys have... In particular there are a number of small visual improvements that some of you may like.

F-14D Tomcat - Still not happy with it. And as much as I appreciate Aerosoft's F-14X, I believe that a new, and better, Tomcat is possible.

S-3B Viking - Yes...I know. I promised an update for it a long time ago. It is still unfinished, and IMHO is the worst of the bunch in terms of quality. But still...may be one day or another I will find the will to complete it. Or at least release the AI tanker model...

MB.326 - Very few bugs reported... I am not completely happy with it, but I am not sure I will have much time for it.

So, looks like the 2016 will be quite busy... we'll see.
In the meantime thanks once again for your support, feedback and help...and BEST WISHES for a Merry Chirstmas and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 5, 2015


Although the F-35 went though a relatively long and very detailed Beta testing, some bugs slipped into the final release.
We will do our best to fix them, but releasing a product upate takes some time.
So, in the meantime, HOTFIX files will provide updates to solve the most urgent bugs.

You can download the hotfix from Google drive by clicking HERE.

Version 3.01 - HOTFIX
Release 12/05/2015
- Fixed bug that prevented GPS coordinates to be loaded into guided weapons seekers.
  This bug prevented GPS guided weapons to hit assigned targets.
- Completely rewrote target assignment, GPS and laser coordinates update code...hopefully more reliable
- Fixed bug that showed GROUND TARGET designation triangle in subportals 1 and 5 when DAS mode and proper weapons were selected
- WPNA and WPNS page, instead of being INOP, will report target and Tacpack weapons variables...
  this is mostly for debugging purposes, but given that those pages were INOP, it is for the better.
- Changed "X-Ray" vision activation: if invoked through CTRL+SHIFT+X it will stay on even if the pilot is looking forward. X-ray vision will still leave room to boresight VHUD symbology if invoked by pressing the "brake" key
- Fixed bug that prevented DAS imagery to be shown when TFLIR imaging was masked (NOTE: DAS has full 720° is never masked)
- Fixed bug that prevented "X-Ray" vision to work when TFLIR imaging was masked
- Increased fuel transfer rate during in-flight refuel

Drag and drop the "panel" folder included in this zip into the F-35A folder.
The F-35A folder is located in:


Typical P3Dv2 location:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2\SimObjects\Airplanes\F-35A

Typical P3Dv3 location:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2\SimObjects\Airplanes\F-35A

Although FSX "limited compatibility" mode is not officially supported, actually a non-negligible number of users is apparently using FSX.
So we will try to provide some sort of very basic support for them, if time allows.
USE THE FSX PATCH INSTEAD: This will only fix the target assigment bugs and increase the refuel rate. No improvements to MFDs.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

F-35 Lightning II version 3 for Prepar3D - Payware Product Page

Following the greatly successful release of the F-35 package for Flight Simulator X, here is a new version designed specifically for Prepar3D v2.5 (and above) with support of Vertical Reality Simulations Tacpack.
As the F-35 program progresses, a lot of infomation has been made available on the real aicraft - so it was possible to design a better, more realistic simulation of the F-35...and this package is an attempt to significantly improve the existing freeware version, bringing it to the next level of accuracy. Unfortunately, the development costs have been really high - therefore this package cannot be released for free. It will shortly be available for purchase on all major Flight Simulation portals (SimMarket, FSPilotShop and FlightsimStore).

- Improved pilot inteface and avionics, and based on the most recent videos of actual simulators used for pilot training
- New, high detail visual models based on professionally made meshes
- High detail texture sets, based on real aicrafts, for U.S.A.F., U.S.Marine Corps, U.S.Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force, Italian Air Force and Norwegian Air Force
- Improved modeling and texturing of the Virtual Cockpit
- Improved MFD functionality, including Air To Surface radar (ASR), Distributed Aperture System (DAS) imagery, Targeting and Forward Looking Infra-Red (TFLIR Imaging)
- Improved HMD graphics and functionalities
- Improved flight model based on latest pireps and pilot interviews

- Custom F-35 pilot figures for Avatar Mode are included as bonus feature for Prepar3Dv3

Minimum hardware requirements: 
This is not a "lightweight" project - the complexity of the avionics and high detail of the visual models require a relatively powerful machine. We advise to use the package on a machine that meets of exceeds the following requirements:

- CPU: 4 cores, 3.0GHz or better
- GPU: Nvidia 660 or better, with 2Gb dedicated video memory
- RAM: 6Gb minimum
- Hard Disk space: 1Gb required
- Simulation platform: Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v2.5 or above. VRS Tacpack required for specific functions (see FAQs section)

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q - Is this package compatible with FSX?
A - This package has been designed from the beginning for Lockheed Martin Prepar3D V2.5 + Tackpack, and leverages some peculiar features of  this platform, specifically for the avionics. It is therefore not compatible with FSX - installing it in FSX will result in a non-functional MFD, and potential error messages. However, a patch is provided that installs an alternate, simplified MFD which is compatible with FSX:Acceleration, Gold and Steam Editions.
With this patch the following functions will not work: TFLIR, DAS, ASR. Also, you cannot maximize portals to half-screen and the TSD display is the "old" one (less realistic and based on the FS9GPS). Note that due to the high detail of the 3D model, the fps performance will not be very high. 

Q- Wait...but isn't your F-35 a freeware project? 
A- Well... it was. Meaning, the FSX F-35 package is freeware (up to version 2.41). The version depicted in this page is version 3 - which is payware. The reason for this is that the development costs have been quite high - mostly to pay for the enhanced meshes for the new visual model. I am sorry but this project cannot be distributed for free.

Q- is this different from the freeware version?
In the past two years, a lot of new information and data about the F-35 has been made available to the public, and this package leverages this as much as we could. For one, the 3D models are much better, with more realistic and detailed textures. Also, the flight model has been improved. And the MFD and pilot interface have been vastly reworked: a lot of work has been put in making the look and feel of the MFD more realistic and implementing features like DAS and TFLIR.

Q- Is Tackpack required?
A- The package has been designed from the beginning to leverage some specific Tacpack features to provide a more realistic depiction of the F-35 avionics. If Tacpack is not installed, following functions will not work: weapons configurator, ordnance release, TWD, chaffs, flares, DAS imagery, TFLIR imagery, HMDS off-boresight symbology. Basically you can fly...and nothing more.

Q- What about P3D version 3? How is this different from the stock F-35 that comes with P3Dv3?
A- The "stock" P3Dv3 version is a simplified version I provided to Lockheed Martin (for free) as I was not happy with the previous rendition, but it is actually a much simplified version of this package.
The package will work fine in P3Dv3, but at the moment I am writing this Tacpack is not (yet) Tacpack dependent function will not work. Once Tacpack becomes available, those functions will activate when Tacpack is installed (no need to reinstall the F-35).

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Military Avatars Package for Prepar3D v3.0

Starting from version 3.0, Lockheed Martin Prepar3D has introduced the "avatar mode": that is the user can detach himself/herself from the vehicle and explore the virtual world in first or third person perspective.
By default Prepar3D v3.0 only features a generic, civilian male figure - this package expands the selection of avatar figures to include a variety of military figures. Figures included in the package are:
- Military pilot in full flight gear with HGU-33 helmet
- Military pilot in full flight gear with HGU-55 helmet.
- Military pilot in full flight gear without helmet (pictured above)
- Generic serviceman figure in working uniform, in a variety of camouflages
- Crew chief figure (same as serviceman figure but with specific head gear)
- Carrier flight deck figure
The figures feature hand-made animation for:
- walking
- crouch down / stand up
- running
- swimming
The animations are pretty basic, and definitely not on par with the most advanced videogames, therefore you may want to check them in the video below before purchasing.
The package will be available at all major flight simulation digital marketplaces - price may vary a litttle depeding on distribution fees and national VAT taxation.
Q: Does these avatars work in FSX or Prepar3D v2.0? 
A: NO. This package will work exlusively with Prepar3D v3.0.
Q: Can I use these avatars with any vehicle? Or they are bound to IndiaFoxtEcho aicrafts?
A: The avatars are SimObjects, and can be used with any vehicle.
Q: Is a paintkit available?
A: Yes. A paintkit is provided for the serviceman figures, along with an optional figure with a beret instead of a cap to allow repainters to depict specific units. 
Q: Well... models look cool... but what is the purpose other than taking cool pictures? 
A: This is a good question. The intent, for one, is to allow multiple vehicle simulation scenarios for training purposes...but, for one, you can explore the virtual world in a new perspective... some sceneries like Orbx airports or some freeware and payware carriers are really worth exploring. Also, you can use the avatars as observers in multiplayer sessions.
Q: Hand gestures would be awesome in multiplayer... have you tought about that?
A: Of course... but we have not found a way to drive completely custom actions yet... this is one of the very first avatars add-ons... and avatar features and possibilities are not well documented in the SDK, so it may well be that in future this becomes a possibility.
Q: Boy...those animatons are awful!
A: I know. The original plan was to have motion capture animations, but we had to change them to hand-made basic animations for technical difficulties... maybe in future we can solve the issue and provide an update, but for the moment you'll have to leave with the current animations (but do not say we have not warned you!)
Q: This is payware?!? Aren't you Dino, the cool freeware guy?
A: Yes...payware. The whole package relies on commercial 3D data, and investing money was the only way to create it... so I have to charge for this. Sorry.
Q: I am not paying for this sh*t!
A: Ok! You can still enjoy our freeware offerings, and hopefully we'll have you on board as customer of the upcoming F-35 Lightning II version 3.00 package.



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

IndiaFoxtEcho Visual Simulations - Future Plans

If you follow my Facebook page, you may be aware of that IndiaFoxtEcho Visual Simulation is now a registered company at the Chamber of Commerce in Genoa, Italy.
This is a big (and relatively expensive) step for me, but it is the only way forward to continue producing high-quality add-ons.
This also does not mean that I will abandon or discontinue freeware project. But the thing is that flight simulation development is getting more and more detailed, time consuming and expensive... and I do not want costs to stop me from doing the planes I like to the quality level I like.
Therefore, if a specific project requires non-negligible costs... it will be payware.

I am currently developing the following two payware projects:
F-35 LIGHTNING II VERSION 3.0 for Prepar3D v2.5+
This is quite a big updgrade to the existing F-35 project, and it will Prepar3D v2.5/v3.0 specific - with many advanced functions provided through Vertical Reality Simulations TACPACK.
I have recently decided to include the F-35C too in the package. Its main features are:
- All versions featured: F-35A (CTOL) - F-35B (STOVL) and F-35C (CATOBAR)
- High detail external models, derived for professional 3D data.
- Upgraded cockpit models with remastered HD textures.
- Upgrades to MFD functionality and interface following the latest publicly available information.
- Upgrades to the flight model
- Custom Avatar model for Prepar3D
- Integration with P3Dv2 radar service
Tacpack specific functionalities are:
- A/A and A/S weapons functionalities
- RWR, ECM and ECCM functionalities
- TFLIR / DAS functionalities
- HMDS functionality including off-boresight target designation and "X-ray" vision
I *HOPE* it will be ready before the end of November.
Price has not been set but it should be in the 20-25€ range - it will be sold through the usual flight simulation online shops.
This is a small package containing a variety of military themed Avatars, with basic animations.
Main features are:
- Military pilot Avatars with HGU-33 and HGU-55 helmets, in fast-jet flight gear, and olive drab, kakhi and navy blue jumpsuits.
- Military troop Avatars (unarmed) with a variety of camouflages (mostly NATO camouflages)
- Support for walking/running/crouch/swim and fall animations (currently "jump while run" not supported
This will hopefully be ready in a week or so.
Price has not been set but it should be in the 5-7€ range - it will be sold through the usual flight simulation online shops.
Other projects I am working on (actual projects sitting unfinished on my HD):
T-45C upgrade for Prepar3D v3.0
Just a couple of small fixes to add some minor features for P3Dv2.5+ / P3Dv3 support
Aermacchi MB.339
This would be a natural evolution of the MB.326... currently the 3D mesh is 75% done... but needs a VC and texturing. I have no idea on when and if I'll find the time to complete it.
Eurofighter Typhoon
In my intentions this would been my main projects for 2016... I did some modeling work, but it is unfinished.
S-3B Viking upgrade
Still unfinished, would include a number of small fixes as well as an AI model...
Other projects being evaluated (only in my mind):
F-14D Tomcat upgrade
...I am still not happy with it. Bringing it to the next level may be expensive...we'll see.
C-2 Greyhound
...just because it would be easily doable with moderate expenditures.

So... for the moment it is only F-35 and Avatar package. Then we'll see. The key point is still, and will always be, to have fun and create cool stuff.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

F-35 Version 3 - Beta Test Log

This post has the purpose to collect the feedback from Beta testing, and allow both myself and the testers to share the status of the open issues.
Beta testers are kindly invited to:
- Log a minimum of 3hrs in the F-35A/B before posting
- Before reporting an issue, make sure it is not already included in the list below. In case it is, please do not
- Provide feedback either by commenting this post (preferred) or by email
- While reporting an issue, please be as specific as possible. Try to replicate it and identify the conditions that generate the issue.
A couple of notes which may be unclear or obscure in the operation of the F-35:
- HMD "X-ray" vision: the "brake" key activates this function while in the air. There is currently a bug, as the zoom level stays linked to the EXP value. Note that in some case Tacpack seems to "hang" and the function is not working as intended. If so, reloading the aircraft should fix the situation. This is done assuming that most people will have a stick button mapped to wheel brakes
- To save memory, some pages which have no use if maximized cannot be maximized to half-screen view.
- You can designate a ground target in the TSD mode, by selecting the ATK mode (just click anywhere in the TSD window) "phantom" triangle means that the target is designated, but no proper weapon is selected
- STOVL functions work much like the previous version: HOVER and VTOL are inhibited if weight is above 4600 lbs
- Files are NOT validated for multiplayer in Tacpack
- From leaked Pirep, F-35 tends to loose a lot of energy a high Alpha maneuvering / dogfighting. Note that initial release has quite a low pitch control authority. 
- Test points for engine performance ("tactical" configuartion should be 2 x JDAM + 2 x AIM120, no SW). Note: F-35 cannot supercruise, leaked transonic acceleration are available too.
Current package version: Version 3.00 Beta 3
Last Update: November 23nd 2015
External model

F35_MDL_1 - Missing autoflaps and other FCS animations. Status: CLOSED. Added XML animation control on Beta 2, 27/09/2015
F35_MDL_2 - Missing texture for Norway. Status: CLOSED. Added on Beta 2, 27/09/2015
F35_MDL_3 - Check minor details in main Landing gear texturing. Status: CLOSED. 4/10/2015
F35_MDL_4 - Change navigation lights default effect, as generates visual anomaly in P3dV3. Status: CLOSED. Changed effects on Beta 2 build. 27/09/2015
F35_MDL_5 - Introduce delayed animation for engine exhaust flaps - DROPPED due to lack of time and resources
F35_MDL_6 - Introduce clickable "remove before flight" areas in external model for P3Dv3 - DROPPED due to lack of time and resources
F35_MDL_7 - Introduce external model configurator mouse area for P3Dv3 - DROPPED due to lack of time and resources
F35_MDL_8 - Formation lights - check dependency of formation lights from battery status. Status: CLOSED 10/08 Beta 2    
F35_MDL_9 - Potential XML malformed inside F-35B external model file. Status: CLOSED 10/08 Fixed Modeldef.xml in Beta 2
F35_MDL_10 - Added black mask to external model MFD when power is off. Status: CLOSED 10/08 Beta 2
F35_MDL_11 - Fixed Mouse Areas in external model. Status: CLOSED
F35_MDL_12 - Add F-35C external and internal models. Status: CLOSED - F-35 CATOBAR models and VF-101 livery completed.
Virtual cockpit and Avionics
F35_VC_1 - Fix HMD graphics not matching to real symbology (A/S target and Others). Status: CLOSED; Changed some of HMD graphics for more accurate resemblance to real HMD. Beta 2, 28/09/2015
F35_VC_2 - Missing BINGO, FUEL LO, MASKED, PULL UP cues from HMD. Status: CLOSED. Added missing cues to HMD code. Beta 2, 28/09/2015
F35_VC_3 - Missing refuel probe and Lift Fan geometry from F-35B cockpit. Status: CLOSED
F35_VC_4 - MFD FUE page, bug in MFSOV closure. Status: CLOSED. Also, fixed bug in FUEL full screen mode.
F35_VC_5 - MFD ASR page, add possibility to designate targets in SAR mode. Status: CLOSED. It is now possible to ASGN targets from the radar page.
F35_VC_6 - MFD TFLIR page, basic functionality and graphics incomplete. Status: CLOSED. TFLIR AUTO, MAN, AA, AS, VV modes implemented, as well as AUTO and MANUAL Zoom.
F35_VC_7 - MFD HUD page, add possibility to slave TFLIR. Status: CLOSED. HUD now can slave TFLIR rather than DAS. Beta 2, 30/09/2015
F35_VC_8 - MFD SRCH page, change default presentation to Range versus Az. Status: CLOSED - Decided to keep AZ/EL presentation and fixed display and aspect issues. Beta 2, 27/09/2015
F35_VC_9 - MFD TFLIR, DAS pages, add A/S target cueing. Status: CLOSED - Added A/S cueing to both DAS and TFLIR pages. Beta 2, 27/09/2015
F35_VC_10 - Add "bullseye" information to TFLIR, DAS, TSD pages. Status: OPEN
F35_VC_11 - MFD TSD Missing target information / shoot list. Status: CLOSED 10/07
F35_VC_12 - MFD DAS/TFLIR pages, North Arrow inaccurate. Status: CLOSED 10/07
F35_VC_13 - MFD Master Switch also toggles VC. Status: CLOSED. Separated avionics master functions from MFD functions. 10/10; Beta 2
F35_VC_14 - DAS zoom level does not get reset to default value if "X-Ray" vision is enabled. STATUS: CLOSED, fixed XML code of DAS.XML in Beta 2 build 24/09 NOTE: This also affects Xray vision.
F35_VC_15 - ASR mode curson does not show at "NORM" zoom level. Status: CLOSED 10/07
F35_VC_16 - HMD Heading indicator not normalized. Status CLOSED, fixed XML code of HMD overlay in Beta 2 build.25/09
F35_VC_17 - ASR mode, image warped. Status: CLOSED, Beta 2 build 29/09/2015 - Note: warp was caused as I tried to improve the radar image resolution... better leave the default values!!!
F35_VC_18 - Fuel Dump: consider inhibition when on ground. Status: CLOSED. Fuel dump now inhibited while on ground, also inhibited if less than 1000lbs. Valve will now closed if one of these conditions are met. Beta 2 build, 27/09
F35_VC_19 - TFLIR camera: consider inhibition of VV slaving when on ground. Status: CLOSED. Added "sim on ground" bypass code, if on ground TFLIR looks forward. Fixed in Beta 2 build. 26/09
F35_VC_20 - MFD SMS: current station not highlighted. Status: CLOSED. Fixed in Beta 2 build 26/09 by changing XML... source of problem unknown as previous code seemed legit.
F35_VC_21 - MFD DAS: in some cases manual zoom control does not work. Status: CLOSED. Rewrote code, now working. Beta 2 build 26/09.
F35_VC_22 - SRCH page shows as PHM-INOP when in subportal. Status: CLOSED. Graphic error - fixed in Beta 2 build 27/09
F35_VC_23 - TFLIR image does not show in subportal. Status: CLOSED. Wrong transparency setting - fixed in Beta 2 build 27/09
F35_VC_24 - Request to add selectable laser codes to TFLIR page for multiplayer purposes. Status: CLOSED - Laser code is now displayed in the TFLIR page and can be changed by the user by clicking on the lower section of the TFLIR page.
F35_VC_25 - TFLIR A/S Targeting inaccurate for F-35B (probably due to panel aliasing issue). Status:CLOSED - Apparently fixed with help from VRS...
F-35_VC_26 - Add A-A SPD and ALT indications to HMD
F-35_VC_27 - Add A-S DIST and ALT indication to HMD
F-35_VC_28 - Missing Weapon release cues to TSD. Status: OPEN
F-35_VC_29 - ATK mode bug if in full screen TSD Mode (continuos designation). Status: CLOSED 10/07
F-35_VC_30 - Bug: if TSD3 selected, menu drives MFD3 instead of 2.... STATUS: CLOSED 10/07
F-35_VC_31 - Missing MASKED indication on TFLIR page- Status: CLOSED - Also added to HUD.
F-35_VC_32 - Missing SLAVED indication on TFLIR page. Status: OPEN
F-35_VC_33 - Missing weapon release cues to TFLIR page. Status: OPEN
F-35_VC_34 - In some instances the canopy is open when the canopy switch is in the closed position and vice-versa. Status: CLOSED. 10/07.
F-35_VC_35 - Cannot command TFLIR slave to HUD when in HUD is in full screen mode. Status: OPEN
F-35_VC_36 - MASKED / NO IMAGE indications missing from TFLIR page when in full screen mode. Status: OPEN
F-35_VC_37 - Minor bugs in ICAWS mode for F-35C specific systems. Status: CLOSED. Fixed on 8-11-2015
F-35_VC_38 - TFLIR/DAS mode won't  automatically revert to AUTO when in STOVL mode. Status: CLOSED
F-35_VC_39 - Bug prevents proper usage of PP/TOO option for weapon delivery. Status: CLOSED
F-35_VC_40 - Modify DATA page to show and possibly select current waypoint. Status: OPEN
F-35_VC_41 - Minor visibility conditions bug to TFLIR and DAS mode. Status: CLOSED
F-35_VC_42 - Added frequency indications to CNI subportal mode. Status: CLOSED
F-35_VC_43 - Solved miscellaneous bugs for the A/S Radar mode. CLOSED
Flight Model

F35_FM_1 - Revise elevator authority (seems slightly too weak in the latest iteration). Status CLOSED. Slightly increased elevator authority. NOTE: check behavior in P3Dv3. Beta 2 build, 27/09
F35_FM_2 - Revise aileron authority (real aircraft seems more responsive. Evaluate  roll rate increase. Status CLOSED. Slight increase in roll rate in Beta 2 build, 27/09
F35_FM_3 - Revise autopilot logic: current values generate undamped oscillations on ALT HOLD control. Status CLOSED - brought back default autopilot code... may need further work.
F35_FM_4 - Consider adding functionaliy to FCS RESET button. Status: DROPPED - non necessary change, dropped due to lack of time.
F35_FM_5 - Engine performance at high altitude: over 30-35k feet, thrust is insufficient and needs to be revised. Status: OPEN
F35_FM_6 - Aircraft is unbalanced and tends to have a nose-up attitude, requiring trimming. This is unrealistic for a modern FBW. Status: CLOSED. Rebalanced weights and misc improvements to FCS code. 10/07
F35_FM_7 - Request to revise/reduce rudder autorithy when on the ground. Status: CLOSED. Slightly reduced rudder control authority when on the ground.10/07
F35_FM_8 - Fix engine readings and warning signs. Status: CLOSED - Warning signs limits moved to 105 (visual altert) and 106 % (ICAWS)
F35_FM_9 - Real aicraft sits on the ground with more static NLG compression. Status: CLOSED. Fixed animation sequence for F-35A and B, C has a different landing gear.
F35_FM_10 - Fuel quantity of F-35B inaccurate. Status: Closed. Fuel for F-35B is now correct.
F35_FM_11 - Malformed XML code in FCS-Autorudder module. Status: CLOSED. Malformed code removed. 09/10/2015 Beta 2
F35_FM_12 - Check F-35C specific issues: transonic performance and carrier landing behavior. Status: OPEN
F-35_TP_1 - Check weapon station locations, IFR, chaff/flares agains new visual model. Status: CLOSED - position almost identical to previous stations.
F-35_TP_2 - Revalidate multiplayer security Keys. Status: CLOSED - Revalidated all files
F-35_TP_3 - Flir functionality incomplete. Status: CLOSED - Most of TFLIR functionalities are now complete
F-35_TP_4 - Ammo counter fails to report total ammo upon A/C reloading. Status: CLOSED - Fixed bug which prevented proper ammo calculation.
F-35_TP_5 - RWR anomalies detected by users. Consider adding location discretization for more realism. Status: OPEN
F-35_TP_6 - Ownship VRSTP Surrogate sometimes reported as radar track in TSD. Status: CLOSED -> increased rejection radius for surrogate objects. 06/10
Miscellaneous and Others
F35_Misc_1 - Improve configurator graphics and functionality. Status: CLOSED. New configurator is in place.
F35_Misc_2 - Create documentation and/or video tutorials. Status: OPEN
F35_Misc_3 - Include Custom Avatar with HMDS helmet. Status: CLOSED. Avatar ready.
F35_Misc_4 - General XML cleanup. Status: CLOSED. Executed XML cleanup.
F35_Misc_5 - Update thumbnails. Status: OPEN
F35_Misc_6 - Update release date code in MFD. Status: OPEN
Color Key
RED - Major product flaw, fixing this before initial release is a high priority .  
YELLOW - Medium severity issue.
GREEN - Very minor issue, or mitigated to the point it is acceptable by the vast majority of the users.
BLUE - Not an issue per se, but rather a suggestion or opportunity for improvement.
LIGHT GRAY - Issue solved in latest internal build (left for testers' reference)
DROPPED - Decision was to postpone this item to a product update. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

F-35 version 3.0 - Beta Testers wanted

F-35 over Luke AFB (great photorela freeware scenery by Blue Sky)
The Beta testing stage of the new F-35 project will commence in a couple of weeks - and if you are willing to partecipate to the testing, here is how to apply.

Minimum Hardware Requirements:
This F-35 is a high detail model, both graphically and computationally - it will not run properly, or with decent frame rates, on a low end computer. Minimum hardware requirements are as follows:

CPU: Quad Core, 3 GHz minimum
GPU: Nvdia 660 or above, minimum 2Gb dedicated video memory
RAM: 6Gb minimum
Hard disk: Installation should be around 500Mb (but will depend on the number of liveries I will include)

Required Software Platform: This project is strictly dependant on Prepar3D v2.5 (or above) and Tacpack functionalites. They are required for the F-35 to work properly. I may be interested to have one or two testers without Tacpack to check the non-tactical functionalities.

Main software platform: Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v2.5 (updated to latest version - hotfix 4)
Tacpack: updated to latest version (currently


I am looking for testers with various degrees of aeronautical knowledge and realism expectations. Still, all testers are expected to be able to install add-ons autonomously, and have some understanding of P3Dv2 configuration and settings.
Please bear in mind that package is designed to depict the F-35 in a reasonably realistic fashion - so it will be a good thing that you have some knowledge of the F-35 program and features, as well as a decent knowledge of how a jet fighter performs in reality.


- Take your time to test the F-35. If you do not have time, there is no point in joining the Beta.
- Please log a minimum of 3 hours, 10 take-offs and 10 landings on the F-35 before reporting anything.
- Please make sure the issue you are reporting isn't already in the "known issues" list.
- If you find a problem or a malfunction, please make sure you can replicate it and be as detailed as possible
- Issues, problems or malfunctions shall be reported exclusively in the ways I will dictate
- You may be kicked out of the Beta at any time, without notice (sorry for that...but some people really deserve it)
- You do not get any compensation but the fun of testing it
- Please do not post screenshots, reviews or comments on the Beta... just because it is a Beta.
- Maximum number of testers is 10: sorry but I cannot handle more than that

I am sorry to dictate rules... but otherwise the Beta will become an uncontrolled mess. I am sure you will understand.

How to apply

If you have read this post carefully...please read it again. Then if you think you can comply to the requirements and the rules please send an email to as follows:
The email title must be: F-35V3 Beta Testing Application
In the email you must specify your hardware and software configuration, as well as your general knowledge/skill level of aeronautics and simulation - and wether or not you have some knowledge of the real world F-35 project.

Thanks for your help and... good luck for the selection.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

F-35 project update

AL-1 in flight over Cameri... just a few hours after the first flight in real life
F-35B BK-01 - First British aicraft - Britain will buy only the STOVL version (although the F-35C was considered at a certain point)...

WIP picture of the "see through" feature of the HMD. As in real life, pilot can choose to project DAS imagery on the helmet, and have it aligned to the real world... as result, the pilot can look through the cockpit as if aicraft it was transparent. In real life the current HMD are monochromatic green.

Livery for the R.A.A.F. - I have already made at least a livery for each nation who has an aircraft actually flying in real life.

In the past few months I have been posting much more on Facebook than on this blog - it is a faster way to share information and collect feedback very quickly. Still, this blog is still the main reference for my activities - and here is a quick update for the F-35 Lightning II version 3.0.

First and foremost, I am working with an accountant to check the viability of a payware distribution. Sorry for that, but the development costs have been really high (few thousands euros...)... and will be higher if I'll decide to add the F-35C (at the moment, only the F-35A and F-35B are featured).
I still need to figure out the potential revenue, expenses and taxes... if it turns out that the project is at loss...well, I'll release it for free. It will probably be in the 20€ area price range.

The project at the moment is being developed uniquely for Prepar3d V2.5 (and above) and utilizes some of its unique features intensively (e.g. radar visualization service and render-to-texture features). Weapon functionality is provided by Tacpack. I do not rule out a FSX version in future - but, if it will ever be done, I will need to get rid of some of the new features.

The visual model is hopefully a good improvement over the previous version - better, more realistic textures and additional 3D detail. I like the new model much better.
I have made some substantial changes to the flight model, too, and it seems to match the (few) data currently available (there are some clear numbers circulating in official PowerPoint slides about subsonic and transonic acceleration).
The cockpit model is (slightly) more detailed, it has been upgraded to the latest cockpit configuration and features higher resolution textures.
The biggest change is probably in the avionics - the MFD has been vastly rewritten and it should be much closer to the real deal. Still a far cry from the real deal, but probably it is by far the closest thing to the real F-35 a consumer can buy.   
The HMD has been slightly updgraded too, with corrections to the symbology....and the "X-ray vision" feature unique to the F-35 (i.e. the ability for the pilot to look though the aircraft).

All in all I am quite happy with it - although I think I need another month to complete it.
A Beta version may be ready in 3 weeks or so... I will make a post on how to apply for it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Projects update (a.k.a. lack of time complaint)....

My real life if job is consuming most of my time and life-force... and this is the reason for my recent lack of updates. Here is a quick recap.

F-35 Version 3.00 (Potentially Prepar3D v2.00 only)
The updated visual model for the F-35B is ready, and looks way better than the previous version. Experiments with TFLIR, DAS and ASR modes under P3Dv2+Tacpack were largely positive, albeit simultaneous usage of TFLIR + DAS on separate images uses too much video memory.
The plan now includes the F-35A... so the next milestone is to complete the new -A model.
With the current pace, it will be ready after the summer.

MB.339 and Eurofighter TyphoonThey both look very promising, but I do not have time right now to develop them. So they are ON HOLD. Priority is given to the new F-35. Which of the two I'll prioritize after the F-35 it is still TBD.

S-3B Viking UpdateAnother thing I have been promising for too long. Could not find the time for it either.

MB.326, F-14D Tomcat and T-45C Goshawk Prepar3Dv2-specific versionsI have been experimenting with all of them. No time for them either at the moment.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

F-35 Project version 3.00

Here are some preview pictures of the new version of the F-35 for Prepar3D v2.5.
This new version will be an improvement of the previous freeware package.
Some of the main features will be:
- Focus on F-35B model
- Higher detail external model with better textures...
- Updated virtual cockpit, with higher definition textures and improved modeling
- Support for TFLIR, DAS, ASR modes (tbc)
- Improved fidelity of pilot interface
- Improved flight model (according to the latest publicly available information)

...project resources and technical constraints are limiting the scope of the project to the F-35B (STOVL) only. There is some chance I will include the F-35A (CTOL), too... while at the moment the -C (CATOBAR) version is ruled out (more details to follow).
My scope is to keep the project FREE, but the development costs have been relatively high so far... so I may need to ask for a small admission fee for this one.

The development platform will be PREPAR3D 2.5 - this does not mean that it will be surely totally uncompatible with FSX (except P3Dv2-specific features, of course), but rather than FSX compatibility is not a priority. If I will have the chance to easily support FSX I will, but do not count on it.

Also, this means that the work on MB.339 and Eurofighter Typhoon is "on hold". I still wish to do both, but I do not have the time to do everything and this looks by far the most promising (and less time consuming) project.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Prepar3D v2 special features....

Ok... I am starting to really love P3Dv2 improvements over FSX: here is a picture of a draft DAS system on the first portal, the ground radar on the second and Tacpack-controlled TFLIR on the fourth one.... P3D allows you to implement render-to-texture images in XML panels in a very easy way... and there is A LOT one can do with this, especially for MFDs like the one on the F-35. Now... hold your horses... there are some bad news:
 - To fully exploit this system, you probably need to be a full-time programmer...and I am not. So I'll stick to some basic functionality.
 - You cannot actually drive the view orientation of render-to-texture cameras straight from your XML code ( could have had EOTS to track aerial targets around your plane...)
 - There is an impact on the frame rate (albeit not as great as I feared)
 - There are rendering issues in the 2D panel (you see in the pictures that some graphic overlays are missing)... 3D works fine.
 - Apparently there are some bugs (ground radar sometimes failes to initialize)
 - Memory consumption is higher...and P3Dv2 may be more prone to CTD.

I am considering Pros and Cons of this technology...but in the end it is a definite improvement over FSX.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rethinking my plans for the future

I am seriously rethinking my plans for the future, and I would like to start sharing my thoughts.
It is unfortunately evident that I do not have the time to develop a completely new product in 2015. Let me say that most of you have no idea of the amount of work needed to create a new aicraft, especially if you are looking to achieve a good quality level.

On the other hand, while FSX:SE brought new life to FSX, it is also clear to me that Prepar3D v2.5 development kit offers a much advanced platform for me to develop in, especially if in conjuction with Tacpack for P3Dv2.

Also, I am not completely satisfied with the quality of my previous projects - I would like to do higher quality stuff.

The scope of IndiaFoxtEcho project is, and has always been from the beginning, to create interesting military-oriented and possibly freeware add-ons for Flight Simulator X to fill some of the gaps in the scene...I had a lot of fun and learned A LOT about each and every aicraft I have designed - and I am really grateful to all the people that contributed to my designs.

So, what's next? Well, first thing I will release some minor updates to the existing projects (another small one for the T-45, the S-3B AI tanker, etc.).
Then... well... I am seriously considering to close the IndiaFoxtEcho project, at least in its current form, and support only Prepar3Dv2 + Tacpack on smaller, more focused projects.
The MB.339 and Eurofighter Typhoon projects are hereby "ON HOLD".
The new project being evaluated is a Prepar3Dv2 only, high-detail, F-35B project.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Aermacchi MB.326 version 1.10 release

Time for the first update to the Aermacchi MB.326. No big changes but several small fixes to some minor defects that were part of the original 1.00 build.

Changes as follows:

9th March 2015
- Added pilot visor animation (secondary exit SHIFT+E then 2)
- Fixed multiple issues with G version weight and balance configuration
- Fixed multiple issues with G version Tacpack configuration
- Fixed bug showing interanl gun effects on G version
- Fixed bug preventing LIGHT TEST switch to work in FSX
- Fixed bug that made landing gear lever Mouse Area non working in FSX
- Fixed bug preventing FUEL PUMP switch to work in FSX
- Added support for MATRA M-155 rocket pod in Tacpack
- Fixed checklist and reference speed html files

As usual, download is on the side bar.
For the moment this and the F-14D update will only be hosted on this blog because, for some reason, uploading to Avsim and Flightsim is painfully slow from my home in these days...

Aside, in the near future I will probably start releasing P3Dv2-only updates for some projects... more news soon.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gumman F-14D release 2.40

Here is a further update to the F-14D Super Tomcat... several minor improvements mostly in the cockpit. I am still not terribly happy on the whole package... but this should be an improvement over the previous releases in any case. Aside please note that this has been primarily developed in Prepar3D v2.4 and v2.5... it is fully compatible with FSX, but, for example, the glass scratch effect does render differently (and does not look that good in FSX IMHO)...but you can remove it at will.
By the way, please have a look at the readme file and in the "optional_features" folder - there you will find instructions on how to enable/disable some features - including the scratch effect and the working mirrors (which only work in P3Dv2).
March 8th, 2015
- Added animated compressor to external model
- Pilot and RIO figures disappear from visual model if their weight is set to zero in the load manager
- Crew helmet visors are down by default (animated with the main canopy)
- New ASI/Machmeter model
- New Altimeter model
- New RMI indicator
- Improved gauges background graphics
- Improved gauges digits display
- Improved accuracy of some gauges
- Improved minor details in the cockpit
- Redone backlighting in the VC
- Fixed ADF frequency display
- Fixed clock animation
- Improved throttle lever animation (now with notches for A/B and STOP postion...Control+Shift+F1 to move to STOP)
- Added canopy glass scrathes (may be a little overdone in FSX... see below if you wish to remove them)
- OPTIONAL FEATURE: Possibility to add working mirrors in P3Dv2
- OPTIONAL FEATURE: Possibility to remove glass scratches
- OPTIONAL FEATURE: Possibility to remove ALL the reflections in the cockpit

For the moment the file will only be available on this blog - just to make sure everything works as intended. Download link is on the side bar as usual.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Plans for the future and answers to some FAQs


The release of the Aermacchi MB.326 has been a great success so far. We have exceeded 2000 downloads in just few days, and I believe it is a great result (especially if you consider that this plane is surely not as popular as a Tomcat!). The perceived quality level seems very good, too.
So, people are starting to ask me what are my plans for the future... and here is what it is on my mind at the moment.

F-14D Update - First thing being worked on in an update to the F-14D. Several minor fixes / improvements, nothing too big. This could be out in a couple of weeks.

S-3B Update - Same thing for the S-3... I have plans to fix some minor defects in the current release. And hopefully I will find the time to release the AI Tanker model.

F-35ABC Update - Now, this would be, in my intentions, a bigger update which would bring the simulated version closer to the real deal thanks to the information released to the public in the meantime. This may well be a two-step update.

New projects being worked on:

Aermacchi MB.339: This would be a logical extension of the MB.326... but I've been working so much on the 326 that I'd need a break.

Eurofighter Typhoon: On hold... I do not have time to work on this at the moment. I'll keep you posted.

And now some FAQs:

Q - Are you interested in making an Hawkeye? And a F-16 Fighting Falcon? Or why not a Sepecat Jaguar/AMX/enter your favourite aircraft here)?

A - I have carefully evaluated several proposals, and my current projects will keep me busy for at least a full year. Sorry. Then... my two cents: the Viper is the elephant in the flight simulation room. We badly need a good one for FSX/P3D, but I do not have time for this.

Q - Why aren't you working on models for DCS / XPlane / FlightGear or other simulators?

A - Because I do not have the time.

Q - ...So could I export your models and use into another simulator?

A - NO. While the models are my creations, they are sometimes based on professional meshes (under paid-for licence...this is one of the ways in which I spend the money you donate) or contributions from other authors. Exporting/reverse engineering the models by a third party would be a licence and copyright infringement.

Q - Then... why do not you do this for a living?

A - Because it is just a hobby... and I am a relatively well paid professional engineer. If I had to quit my job for flight simulations that would mean a significant cut for my incomes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Aermacchi MB.326 version 1.00

After more than one year of work, here is the Aermacchi MB.326 version 1.00 release. This is a very special model for me, as I had the unique chance to fly on the only MB.326 in flight conditions in Europe - that was my first (and hopefully not last) ride in a military jet... and needless to say it was awesome, and I completely fell in love with this aicraft.
First thing I'd like to thank Alessandro Barbarini who created the fantastic external textures I am sure you will enjoy. They look awesome, and raised the quality bar significantly.
Also, I'd like to thank Roy Holmes, for a very realistic flight model, and Mario Motta for his modules, which bring payload configuration capabilities and VACMI support, and flight testing (Mario has hundreds of flying hours in the real Macchino). Also, a big thank you to Serge Luzin who provided a great sound package, based on real world recordings (in cockpit sounds come straight from the recordings of my own flight).

The model supports BOTH Sim Skunk Works vACMI and Vertical Reality Simulation Tacpack weapon packages. By default, it is set to support vACMI - please see the documentation on how to enable Tacpack of you use the latter.

I had no time to squash all the bugs, and I am sure more will pop-up after a the release... still it should be OK as is for the vast majority of the users.
It is a "control+e" model, meaning it is not meant to provide a 100% exact simulation of the real aicraft... but you should be able to start it "cold and dark" and use it as a basic military trainer. Actually our target was to create a realistic and complete freeware rendition of this fantastic light jet... we are happy with the result, and we hope you will be too.

Have fun!
...and yes, the download link is in the side bar, as usual!