Eagle Dynamics has been more active in recent days and weeks with new on the F/A-18C Hornet module they are currently building with third party developer Belsimtek. A new walkthrough video is coming but for now we’re seeing a few of the new features including a long requested one with vapour forming along the leading edge extensions on the Hornet.
More vapour on more than the Hornet
If you’ve been to an airshow you’ve probably seen some high performance jets form vapour trails above the wing surface during hard turns. Players have long requested this effect be added to DCS and its finally coming.
A physics based particle effect for DCS: F/A-18C Hornet reacts dynamically according to the simulated atmospheric conditions and the types of maneuvers the aircraft is performing.
Better still, this feature is coming to other DCS aircraft according to ED’s Facebook post:
In addition to the Hornet, we plan to apply this effect to other aircraft, and this tech has been passed to our 3rd parties to use for their aircraft.
True to that, HeatBlur simulations showed off this screenshot showing their work in progress F-14 module using the same technique.
This will be a really nice graphical effect to see in the series. It has tactical value too because you get a sense of just how hard your opponent may be pulling into a turn by the vapour pouring off their wings.
Eagle Dynamics claims that the particle based effect won’t be any more strenuous on your GPU than a textured based effect. Of course once they have had a chance to fully implement and release the effect into DCS World we’ll have a better idea of just how that will affect performance.
New stores for the Hornet
While the Hornet will be reusing a lot of munitions and stores already available in DCS World, we will still be seeing some new options. The art team has taken a pass at new fuel tanks for example in this latest screenshot.
If you look closely you can also see that this Hornet is flying over Dubai and the Burj Khalifa tower that is part of the new Strait of Hormuz map.
New video imminent
A new video showing the startup sequence is coming but it has to wait for the Caution and Advisory systems to be implemented into the sim. Apparently that is coming along nicely and is waiting on some audio queues to be added before its deemed ready to show off.
Another screenshot of the cockpit was released with this news showing some of the systems working. Progress continues to be steady from what we can see.
Should I speculate on a release date? ED is notorious slow and thorough with their modules so when the F/A-18C does release it will be a monumental occasion. They are after-all releasing a high end 4th generation multi-role carrier borne fighter so this will be big when it does arrive. Sometime in 2018 is a safe guess and my best guess would be maybe we’ll see it by the end of the spring.
Image sources: Eagle Dynamics Facebook page