The DCS: Yak-52 is really a technology testbed for future projects

This week, Eagle Dynamics and the DCS World Weekend News update brought us a few new details on this project. The more I read about the Yak-52 the more I think that its a technology testbed for more complex projects that are coming later. Let’s get into it!

Radial engine, flight dynamics

The Yak-52 as I’ve reported on before is very much a private project that Eagle Dynamics is also releasing to the public. It’s a high fidelity simulation of this trainer aircraft being primarily paid for by a private customer. Of course, Eagle Dynamics have also worked out a deal to release it to the public.

Some interesting news came out. First, that they are creating a radial piston simulation for an accurate simulation of a radial engine and the cooling systems that it uses. Here’s what they said:

We are creating a new radial piston simulation engine from the ground up with a highly-realistic engine cooling model. This will have great benefits for future DCS aircraft like the P-47D Thunderbolt.

The key thing here is that getting the radial engine modeling done and the appropriate hooks put into the DCS World engine. It means that aircraft currently being worked on will benefit long term. Those include types like the P-47 which Eagle Dynamics is doing or the F4U Corsair currently still being worked on by Magnitude 3/Leatherneck.

Also interesting to note is that one of the Eagle Dynamics team members is a Yak-52 aerobatic pilot. Having that kind of expertise embedded within the team ensures an absolutely authentic and accurate recreation of this aircraft.

A very important aspect of the Yak-52 are the flight dynamics and post-stall behavior. Our team has been making substantial progress to making our Yak-52 fly just like the real one, including edge-of and out-of-envelope maneuvers. She really will be a blast to fly!

Of course the team is also working to ensure that the aircraft’s student and instructor cockpits are all setup appropriately and have all of the features that you’d expect from a tandem trainer aircraft.

A radial powered future


For people who want a radial powered trainer or a fully aerobatic aircraft with the ability to perform stunts should be appreciating the addition of the Yak-52 to the series. For the folks who aren’t at all interested in those things, there may still be a purpose here as the Yak-52 paves the way for future radial engined aircraft including some absolutely key WWII warbirds like the F4U Corsair and the P-47 Thunderbolt.

For more, read the DCS World Weekend News!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. PIxel Dust says:

    This reminds me of the Steel Beasts Pro spinoff of a military customer’s version: the present-day Pro version is just the civilian-ized version that was piggybacked on the paying military customer’s version. The military customer pays for the development costs and eSims rides the gravy train to sell a watered-down version to its player base.

    Steel Beasts started out as a DOS version as a single-player (mostly) game that eventually sold a militarized version to a couple of governmental agencies for training. After they got their first big government contract, eSim was able to re-sell a lesser version of that training software as a “simulation” to us. It is for that reason that I think eSim won’t produce more than just very basic 3D graphics for Steel Beasts: the government agency likely doesn’t want to pay for more.

    So, too, it seems is a similar case here: someone (maybe a Eastern European military client) paid for the original version, probably as a realistic software flight simulator of the Yak trainer, and ED is doing a spinoff of that paid-for product to sell to civilian customers (namely, us).

    These are pretty sweet deals for the developers: the government agency foots the bill and ED/eSims sells a “light” version to its casual customers like us. I’d guess that the developer pays a token royalty to the government that bought the original, military version in the first place. That’s because these software titles are likely considered to be “works for hire” and the original customer (the government agencies) owns the copyrights to them.

    Whatever ‘tech’ falls-out from the original program is likely owned by that customer too, but it can also be licensed back to the developer for sale to us.

    Yup, pretty sweet deal if you can parlay someone else’s for-pay work product into profit for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It is probably a pretty good deal for a developer like Eagle Dynamics. They ride the civil/military link quite a bit so being able to tap into those resources from time to time through contracts surely benefits them as a company – an infusion of cash is no doubt helpful.

      One think I don’t think this is, is watered down. That has probably been true for some products in the past but usually the watered down part is for capabilities (i.e. they are classified) or for gameplay. DCS doesn’t water things down for gameplay for one. Of course the Yak-52 isn’t a high performance jet fighter with classified systems either.

      My expectation, and I think this is reasonable to assume, is that we’ll probably be getting the same module that the primary client will get. Maybe without some sort of extra support contract. Though we do have our own “support contract” that is driven by updates and new modules.

      This is a fascinating industry 🙂


  2. gflinch says:

    It could have also been worked into the deal ahead of time, that a certain discount would be given to the private party with the intent of selling a version to the public.

    Either way its great for us.

    Personally I don’t mind anyone developing a variety of non military aircraft for the sim. Even large airliners! These could always be contained in their own servers (I would not want the chance of civilian passengers interacting with military aircraft anyhow). Here int he US some airliners are also sold to the military. The KC-10, AWACs and others are based civilian airliners. This could trickle over the the military side, if there was a market for flying these military versions.

    I know this is a little off topic, but just want to expand on this, if its ok. See the more content is brought in i.e. civilian planes, more models dynamics are able to be modeled and I assume that can be shared with other AC being military or otherwise. Also this pertains to locations too, I don’t know if this brings in some questionable elements, but other European/US locations could be made, that could also be avaliable for military campaigns. I guess it would probably be a good idea to limit some locations to civilian (like NYC, London, etc) but not sure if this would create problems, I am just thinking out-loud here, but if anything it could add to the pool of generic models/buidlings available to use elsewhere.

    Again, sorry for taking this a little off topic, but there has been some community debate about having civilian AC in DCS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Some interesting thoughts! Thanks for expanding on them.

      I’m not sure if DCS will venture too far into the civil side of things. They could and they certainly have the growing technology base that would allow them to do that.

      Something like that Christen Eagle II is a bit of an aberration having no military connection at all. The Yak-52 has one being a trainer for many years in eastern block countries.

      We do know on the DCS roadmap that a fourth map is planned. What that map is and where it will be is anyone’s guess outside of the developer team. It could have a civil focus but I’m going to guess that it won’t and will feature a modern hotspot or a historical battle.


  3. Francesco Kasta says:

    As much as I love the Yak-52 I think it is going to get pretty boring in the DCS world pretty quickly.

    As an aviation enthusiast I love both small nimble piston planes and big airliners but without targets to engage or challenging locations in which to land (airports like Lukla’s, Gustaf III, Kai-Tak, etc.) there won’t be anything really interesting left to do in a civilian airplane.

    I am still getting the plane of course, I just doubt I will enjoy it as much as the other modules.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It doesn’t have the spark of excitement that something like the Hornet, Mirage, Harrier, or Viggen has does it?

      I can’t see this being for everyone. Just the interested flyers and some of the virtual aerobatics teams.


  4. 79vRAF says:

    Wasn’t there also some talk of a ‘training package’ or something along those lines with this? This is something I would like to see in DCS with multicrew and the ability for someone to own the module but the person being trained not having to own it. Something like that applying to the Yak and the L-39 would be great. I really want to see a sim that has a way of training people who have never flown before, but have an interest.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I’ve heard that exact concept floated before but I don’t think it was ever done by the developers. To date, I haven’t heard any official plans.

      Liked by 1 person

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