A weekly update has dropped from 1CGS featuring the Yak-7B and also some serious discussion on the next stages of the IL-2: Battle of Kuban release. It’s time to look forward at the next three months of development and just what we have in store.
Next big update will be in December
Jason Williams, IL-2’s Producer, had some more of his characteristic straight talk for us this week with a few details on whats going on behind the scenes.
Time for a little straight talk. We are likely not to have another major update until December guys. It’s crunch time for us. Big big push to finish the remaining items and content. Some items are behind schedule and we need to put the nose to the grindstone now that vacations are out of the way.
Between now and December the team needs to finish and finalize work on the new Career system, the new Co-op system and hopefully we’ll see more from the new Air Marshal system too. All of these are major redevelopments of systems that probably should have been in the series from the start but are now being added in. Each of them adds considerable amounts of content and there are new ways to interact with the series. They also take a lot of development time for the team.
A look at the Yak-7B Series 36
Lets face it: The Yak-7B is a bit of an “ugly duckling”. This fighter has the same basic layout and shape of the Yak-1 but with an oddly shaped rear fuselage and a large chin radiator. It looks a little more mean and utilitarian and a little less of the sleek lines typical of the Yak-1. I love it all the same.
As Han explained to us about a week ago, the Yak-7B Series 36 is a late production model of Yak-7B that saw action in the spring of 1943 during the Kuban battle. These aircraft were produced in February-March 1943 so in many ways this aircraft is just as modern as the Yak-1B Series 127 and less representative of the type that fought in the early days at Moscow.
Originally the Yak-7 was meant to be a conversion trainer for pilots training to fly the Yak-1. Both aircraft share the same I-26 prototype as a base for their design but that’s where things begin to change.
The Yak-7UTI trainer had airframe strengthening, a tougher landing gear and a rear section available for a second pilot. Everything was designed to make it better able to handle new pilots but what it really did was create a more rugged Yak fighter. With the war going badly, production lines for the Yak-7 created combat capable Yak-7A and Yak-7B versions in 1941. Production and continual modification kept the fighter competitive right through to 1943 when production began to switch to the excellent Yak-9. Some Yak-7 models even had the bubble canopy found on the Yak-1B and Yak-9 and fought into 1944.
The biggest difference between this Yak and other versions? Firepower. The Yak-7B has twin 12.7mm Berezin UBS machine guns in the nose deck firing through the propeller and the same ShVAK 20mm cannon from the other Yak versions. Together, this tight concentration of weaponry is plenty effective and an arrangement that was replicated in the late war Yak-3 and Yak-9U fighters as well. A pair of small 50kg and 100kg bombs also allows for battlefield support.
So when do we get to fly the Yak-7B? Read on.
The aircraft pipeline
With the next big update now planned for December, does this news mean that the Yak-7B won’t be coming in October as originally planned? Yep. That’s the unfortunately the case according to Jason:
The Yak-7, A-20 and P-39 all entered the FM shop (that wasn’t the plan) at the same time so they are to release about the same time.
When managing a project like this, you have pinch points. This is one of them.
The flight model work is one of those things that has to be funneled through one or two people who are essential to getting the aircraft finished. It’s no doubt time consuming and tedious work and also something that us as fans probably talk about the most.
1CGS has a built a great reputation of building some really good flight models and making aircraft feel real. That takes time and obviously work on the Yak-7B, P-39L-1 and A-20B are going to take from now until December to get right.
We can wait.
A mystery feature?
Jason also had this interesting thing to say:
There is one new thing I am excited about that I hope goes to plan that once I have it will make some videos.
We really have no idea what that is. Career, Co-op, and Air Marshal features are all on the near and far horizon but what else does he have planned? The 1CGS team has managed plenty of small surprises this year with new graphical features and aircraft released at an impressive rate. They may be slightly behind schedule in some ways but the content that has been released is impressive and we already have about 2/3rds of the aircraft and map content that we’ve expected up until now.
So, what could it be? A few feature? A new vehicle or ship? Something for the future of the series?