Does the idea of a flyable La-5FN or Bf109G-6 excite you? How about the Po-2 and the Li-2? For some the idea of these ancillary aircraft is a waste of time and unimportant but for others these aircraft fill out the ranks and offer alternative gameplay opportunities. If all goes to plan, the IL-2 series will see all of these types!
Night witches, more aircraft
The Po-2 or U-2 is one of the most produced aircraft in history with estimates of 30,000 of these simple biplanes constructed between 1928 and 1956 (according to Wikipedia). During the war, these aircraft served in a variety of roles from training to night harassment attacks (the Night Witches famously caused havoc on German troops during night raids). Po-2s were also used by artillery spotters.
These last two combat roles would work extremely well in the IL-2 series in all three battles that the series represents and virtually any other Eastern Front campaign that it may seek to replicate at some point. The Po-2 was ubiquitous on the battlefields of eastern Europe.
With that all in mind, Jason Williams has revealed that a third party contractor has been hired to potentially produce the aircraft. If the contractor is able to make the quality requirements set out by 1CGS, then it will eventually be offered as a Collector Plane as the Yak-1B Series 127 and Ju52/3m have previously been.
The same team has been asked to potentially build an Li-2 as well offering a transport capability (and stopgap light bomber) for the Allied/Red team and make multiplayer matches with supporting transport capabilities a reality. The Li-2 is a license built version of the C-47 and DC-3 which is familiar to many western audiences – again thanks to it being ubiquitous.
There are big challenges ahead for the team as they work to finish Kuban and then to realize the vision for a jump to the Pacific and the Battle of Midway. Meanwhile, filling out the ranks of the Eastern Front aircraft lineup is still something of a priority.
Jason also explains the difficulties and some of his vision:
Let me be clear guys. I want a wide range of planes, both uber types and crap types. But this is a business first and foremost, and I must focus on what we can make that will boost sales or ones that are easy to make and we can keep costs low. Making an IL-4 or any multi-crew bomber eats up massive team resources and is not easy to do. The Po-2 offers a chance to create Arty Spotting like we had in ROF and throw sneaky night raids into the mix (I really want a Soviet woman pilot model too) and the plane is not difficult to research (there is one in a nearby museum) and build for the team building it. It’s a great way to get them to learn how to do it and bring some new gameplay options. But if they fail, it’s not an uber plane that will crush sales. I have also tasked the same team to build the Li-2 so the Soviets can have a cargo plane too and a stopgap bomber. Fingers crossed all goes to plan. I don’t even like talking about it until I have more concrete results.
And then he tells us something that was talked about but I don’t think had been confirmed previously:
And don’t forget you have the LA-5FN and 109 G-6 coming between projects built by us.
This means that the La-5FN and Bf109G-6 are essentially confirmed at this point. Seing as they are being developed by the 1CGS team, we can be fairly certain of the quality and certainty of their release.
The Po-2 and Li-2 are less certain with a third party contractor attempting to make these aircraft happen.
If all goes to plan we’ll see the filling out of the ranks of Eastern Front aircraft types with an artillery spotter and night attacker biplane, La-5FN and Bf109G-6 duos (sure to be popular), and a Russian side transport aircraft.
Any aircraft added to the series that fits the World War II theme is of interest to me. I know it will be for many others. I can’t wait to see these and I hope things work out!