It’s always fun to look ahead and think about what sort of aircraft we might be flying in the future. With the switch to the Western Front, I thought it’d be interesting to speculate on a couple more Collector Planes that we might see.
Room for two more?
The development of IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte has not yet officially begun. The team is currently on holidays as Russia celebrates Orthodox Christmas today and once they are back will surely be working on finishing all of their plans for IL-2: Battle of Kuban. Bodenplatte’s development will stretch through 2018 and probably into the early or mid part of 2019 before they are done.
With Battle of Kuban the team was able to find time to create two additional collector planes (sold at $19.99 USD each): the La-5FN and Bf109G-6. Before that the team previously worked on making the Ju52 flyable and adding the Yak-1B to the series. So what if the team has a bit of time at the end of development to make two more aircraft to help fill out the ranks of aircraft for Battle of Bodenplatte? Let’s speculate!
Bodenplatte Related Collector Planes
IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte is centered around the January 1st, 1945 battle where the bulk of the western front Luftwaffe units participated in a mass raid aimed at destroying Allied air superiority.
The title naturally implies that the battle on the Allied side would be fought by the RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force and the USAAF’s 9th Air Force. Both air forces fought close to the battlefields of the Western Front and both were the subject of the Luftwaffe’s attack on New Year’s Day 1945.
In the base version of the game we see some key aircraft for the Allies including the Spitfire IX, Tempest V, P-47D, P-51D, and the P-38L (Collector Plane) rounds out the pack. The Luftwaffe have the Bf109G-14, Bf109K-4, FW190A-8, and Me262. The FW190D-9 is the Collector Plane for the Premium release.
What other aircraft could help fill this set out. Let’s look at some options.
Supermarine swapped the Rolls Royce Merlin engine for the enlarged and more poweful Griffon engine when creating the Spitfire XII and follow up Spitfire XIV. The Griffon was able to produce 2,000 horsepower and propelled the modified Spitfire up to 446 mph.
Equipping several squadrons during the Bodenplatte attack, the Spitfire XIV was a powerful RAF fighter from the late fall of 1944 right through to the end of the war. Fast and retaining a good portion of the agility that was typical of the Spitfire series, the XIV had one of the best climb rates of any fighter of WWII. It was less well behaved than earlier examples as the powerful Griffon engine could sometimes cause ground loops.
Popular, powerful, and a fan favourite, I’d give the Spitfire XIV a good chance of being a potential follow up Collector Plane.
Typhoon Mark IB
The Typhoon, a predecessor to the Tempest Mark V, was one of the most effective close air support attack aircraft employed by the Western Allies. Four 20mm cannon, rockets and bombs were its chief weapons along with the powerful Sabre II engine (also powering the Tempest V) and very good low level speed.
It was slightly slower and less agile than the Tempest but it operated alongside its successor right up to the end of the war.
Though I give it less of a chance of appearing as a Collector Plane, the Typhoon was the bread and butter of the RAF tactical air force through 1943 until the end of the war. At the time of Bodenplatte the Typhoon was heavily engaged in the fighting. It would certainly fill in that gap.
Used in only limited numbers and mostly as a reconnaissance aircraft. Yet, when it was used as a bomber it was difficult to intercept. A 1500kg payload and a 742km/h (461mph) top speed make this an incredible aircraft. It was used during the late fall of 1944 and into the winter and spring of 1945 and though rare was sometimes spotted and chased by 2nd TAF And 9th AF fighters.
Using the same Jumo 004 engines from the Me262, this aircraft has a shot of making it into the series as a relatively “easy” way to model another bomber for the Axis side. The Blitz had a single pilot and a single station – it would take only as much time to model as a complicated fighter.
Kurt Tank’s successful FockeWulf 190 series of fighters reached its apogee in the Ta152 series. The ultimate high performance piston engined fighters of 1945 were mostly constructed in the guise of the Ta152H1 – a high altitude fighter meant to counter the increasing numbers of Allied heavy bombers attacking Germany.
At high altitudes this fighter was able to reach 759km/h (that’s 472mph) at 12,500 meters with GM-1 boost. It was still fast at lower altitudes although it was less well suited to combat versus other high performing fighters down low.
This isn’t the best option for a Collector Plane in terms of historical usefulness – a limited number of these aircraft flew and most of them were used as top cover for Me262 jets. It does, however, work well from a research and model rebuilding standpoint as a modified FW190 airframe and cockpit would be far less effort than building something new. Collector Planes do tend to at least sometimes follow those restraints.
Other Collector Planes
I have this concept for some additional collector planes that might fit in somewhere at some point either by being developed by the 1CGS team directly or receiving the third party treatment.
A while back I reported that a third party group was developing the Odessa map. Though its been a long time since we’ve heard of any development on the map, we haven’t heard that its a dead project either. Assuming Odessa comes as a possible third party addition, I think it would deserve to have some earlier aircraft types modeled. What would they be? Well I had an idea for two:
In the 1930s, Polikaprov was the premier fighter design studio in the world and both the I-16 and I-15 series of aircraft were incredible successes. At the start of the war and during the Odessa and Moscow battles, the I-153 bi-plane fought valiantly.
Despite its antique bi-plane construction, the I-153 had quite an active wartime record in the first year of the war. It was fast enough to be dangerous and unbelievably agile. This would be a fun aircraft to add to the stable of IL-2’s aircraft list.
Joining the WWII bi-plane stable as a quasi-counterpart of the I-153, Henschel’s Hs123 bi-plane was used as a close air support weapon more in the vein of the Ju87 Stuka or Hs129 or even the mighty IL-2.
Robust and well built, the Hs123 was used briefly during the start of the conflict before being withdrawn and then reintroduced during the Moscow battle. It was still employed in the fighting in 1942 during the Stalingrad battle so this aircraft has a lot of longevity in terms of where it fits in the aircraft set.
Did I miss a type that we dearly need or you find interesting? Send me your thoughts in the comments. There are a ton of aircraft that I could easily suggest but I held back because of realistic limitations – a Ju188 would be interesting to see for example but we know that multi-crew bombers are difficult to model and complex beasts.
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Having jets in the lineup is interesting, but I think it bodes ill for single-player and PvP; the only reason the WWII jets did not dominate the WWII air-wars was because of poor quality crews, engine fragility and very small numbers produced and deployed. None of those factors have much play in a simulation not bound by realistic constraints, like PvP.
However, if 1C/777 model their flight models like their WWII counterparts, then players attempting to use the Me-262 will have a hand-full eking excellent performance from them. Perhaps the Gloster Meteor and P-80 could come in.
Maybe this points to 1C/777 moving into the early, post-WWII Korean theater; that would be an interesting and well-known combat arena not really modeled in the early days by any flight simulation. It would also continue the era of guns-in-planes, aerial combat not yet having transitioned to the awkward days of the AAM and all the modern electrotrickery that plagues DCSW.
I like the potential for this natural progression.
Thanks for your comments Pixel. When talking about the jets are you talking about the Ar234? We’re getting the Me262 for sure with Bodenplatte so that’s a done deal. As for the Ar234, we had those successfully flying in a fairly balanced and fun set of multiplayer scenarios on the Battlefields servers for years. Their extra performance didn’t make them an unstoppable force given the high speeds of the opposing fighters – it did make for some memorable chases and it gives the bomber guys at least a chance to stand up against some very well armed aircraft.
Other jets do make for more problems for sure unless we’re talking Korea as you say which would be a ton of fun the way that 1CGS does their flight sims. The team did say that they would love to do Korea sometime but that WWII is their focus for now.
The late WWII jets just sort of transition, naturally from a technology pov, into the Korean War theater as it initially erupted. The P-80 and Meteor were deployed in late WWII, so they are possible entrants into your contest for more collector types, without stretching history too much.
I see such collector aircraft as a way to fund the developers and keep the adventure alive and growing. I think 1CGS/777 have their plate full for now, a wonderful cornucopia.
I hope they make a sustained effort to move into RoF with their whole range of aircraft presently modeled in the original 2D RoF; I’d love to VR around some of those huge WWI bombers for instance.
I see lots of really good adventures coming, because we are getting much more than just aircraft, we are getting substantive content in which to use them. BoX is more than a simulation of individual aircraft, it is a real simulation of the historical context in which their appeared and fought. That is what the binds the individual planes into a cohesive, logical whole.
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How about the Me-410, or the Mosquito? If they widened the scope a bit they could include late war Italian aircraft like the MC-205 or the Fiat G.55. Another thing we haven’t heard much of lately, but, which I believed was suggested some time back was bringing some reconnaissance aircraft into the series. How about the FW-189.
Jets do present a problem, because, unlike their real-world counterparts the 1st generation get aircraft that we get from 1C are unlikely to feature the same teething problems. However, the Meteor would make a good counterpart to the Me-262, and, according to wikipedia, the first squadron of Meteors to actually serve in continental Europe arrived at Melsbroek air base in Belgium (one of the airfields attacked in operation Boedenplatte) on January 20th 1945. Thus it was presumably operated in the battlespace that we are being provided within the time frame that IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte is supposed to cover.
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For the narrower lens with which I was looking (Bodenplatte mostly) the 5 series Italian fighters would be out of scope. I DO hope for an Italian campaign at some point because I’d LOVE to fly a G.55.
There are some other aircraft I didn’t put in my scope but you’re right that more recon and other types of aircraft would be interesting. We’re already getting the Po-2 from a third party (hopefully) so that will at least start that process.
The Meteor is an interesting idea! Some Meteor Mark III models did serve on the front but their operations were kept limited. The Allies didn’t want their jet technology falling in the hands of the Germans. Ironically, from a performance standpoint this early Meteor was not fully a match for the Me262 and apparently they never actually met in combat.
It’d be a tough sell for me. I can see the Spitfire XIV cleaning up on getting another Allied aircraft Collector Plane.
I would certainly fly all the planes listed! My own personal wishes for future extra collector planes would most likely be the Hawker Hurricane and Bristol Beaufighter. Lend-Lease Hurricane would add to the Eastern front, Beaufighters to my knowledge did not play a part in Bodenplatte, but could be fun to simulate the RAF “leaning into France” before the Normandy landings?
I can fly both in Cliffs of Dover, but to be honest, I don’t really enjoy flying in CLoD; despite all the hard and commendable work by Team Fusion, the game is in my personal opinion too dated, clunky and too much trapped by its limitations, especially with the very anemic singleplayer. Little hope of RoF or PWCG-style Career-mode or the wonderful feeling of flight found in RoF and Il-2: Great Battles. That said, I will certainly keep an eye on the upcoming North Africa-front. But I digress.
One cool option would be to add a map of Karelia and have the Finnish Air Force fighting I-15s, I-16s or Hurricanes etc. with Brewster 239s and P-36s, in addition to later war planes we already have or will have for both sides. Add in a Blenheim MkI or (my preferred version though rarer in Finnish service) MkIV to keep bomber fliers happy. I think the front would have a lot of potential, but then again I’m biased on this, being Finnish and all 🙂
Whatever will be, I’m sure we will have a lot of great new planes to fly. The announcement of Bodenplatte and Flying Circus was like two dreams coming true for me at the same time.
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Thanks for your comments!
A Finnish Gulf based scenario would be interesting at some point and it would bring us some Hurricanes as well as a half dozen other types. That would be very interesting indeed! That is considerably more far flung right now as I don’t know if we’ll see any sort of effort in this area for a while.
I have heard a bit about a possible Karelia map by a third party which would put it more in the runnings like the Odessa map but I haven’t seen any progress there. Who knows, maybe they are holding it back for a big reveal!
Well I would love to see any version of the Mosquito in the game. It would also serve them well in the long run (if they do an earlier Western Front, but also in the pacific).
I have to say however, that the direction of the game after Kuban seems very confusing. Bodenplatte, Flying Circus and Tank Crew all appear to be large projects. The exception may be Flying Circus, since it is essentially a conversion of existing assets. I can’t believe that 777 studios has the manpower to carry this out, all at the same time. I suspect other things are happening behind the scene. Hopefully it is that 1C has realized they have a hit and want to expand on it by adding to the budget.
Sorry for getting off the topic.
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The assets for Tank Crew are being done by a third party team. 1CGS is building the technologies in their game engine and then working with the team creating the assets to implement them into a title. I am curious about extra people requirements but I’m going to guess that the third party will handle a lot of the burden and that 1CGS will be improving things that improve the rest of the product anyways.
Tanks are already surprisingly good and things like suspension and armor systems are at least partially complete for tanks and already present for aircraft.
It will be interesting to see how this progresses. Obviously Jason has convinced folks at 1C to fund this.
I always liked in other sims was the Me-163 Komet, the limited fuel supply and rather dangerous landings made it a challenge. The fact that you took off and flew straight to altitude and then glided to your target both made for a some strategic gameplay as well. Sadly I think most of its use was against bombers, and unless they change their minds modeling strategic bombers, the point of the Me-163 would be lost.
The Mosquito would be superb FB.VI with rockets, bombs and two Merlins, what’s not to like? The airframe barely changes from one model to the next, so it could be reused a number of times for different models for different theatres.
B-25 & 26 would be excellent. I don’t think the maps suit the use of 4-engine heavies, but one day they could be good to include – with the right maps. The C-47 would also be a good addition, could be used by the RAF, USAF and the VVS (was it the Li-3?) If we were going to go for Heavy Bombers I would contemplate a Handley Page Halifax – with the condition that it could be used to tow gliders! That would add an amazing dimension to the game!
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The Mosquito would be wonderful to have some day.
I do wonder if space is being left for a possible Battle of Normandy scenario sometime later on. There would easily be room for a Typhoon and a Mosquito there.
Not sure if you know but we have a B-25 AI model coming for Bodenplatte. There’s always the possibility of that being offered separately or part of a pack. The C model that they are doing could be easily used in a half dozen different scenarios.
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I am aware of the AI B-25, it would just be great if it was a flyable 🙂
I’d like a really well modelled Mosquito, it would be my go-to aircraft (along with a Typhoon!) . I do like that BoX has brought in transport aircraft and that servers have found ways to make use of them, so I think a C-47 will be a must.
I really would like to see the Ju188 or a Me410…in general more multi-crew late war planes would be really nice.
@shamrock: Love your Blog, following for a while now and reading every post. Great work!
Indeed! I don’t think a Ju188 has ever been a flyable aircraft in a flight sim. Has a Ju188 ever appeared in a flight sim at all?
not that i know of…which is really sad since it was kinda the last real bomber build by the germans, in a decent amount i mean. I think around 1200 were made. I would also really be up for a heavy Destroyer/Nightfighter, even if it´s “only” a Ju88 C
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A me163 would be cool, really limited but cool. 🙂