Plenty of developer activity on the official IL-2 forums today and with it we’ve learned some interesting new information about early access and the project itself. Let’s dive in!
Spitfire AND Bf109G-14 coming in June
The first bit of information that I wanted to get into is early access and the news on the Spitfire IX and Bf109G-14. We knew both of these aircraft were in progress but we didn’t know at what stage. Now we have some more details thanks to this post by Jason Williams (IL-2’s Lead Producer):
The first two Bodenplatte planes are ready for testing Spit 9 and 109 G-14. They go into Beta this weekend. We’re a couple weeks behind schedule, which is not too bad.
Typical beta testing for an aircraft for 1CGS has tended to be just over a week so we can project out that a new IL-2 patch featuring both of these aircraft may be on its way by the first or second week of June.
This also confirms that both Spitfire IX and Bf109G-14 will be coming together offering up a dueling pair to kick off Bodenplatte’s development.
Extra planes and landmarks?
Next, there was speculation that the team would be doing a C-47 because of the mention of Operation: Market Garden. While this would be a nice to have, its not been mentioned before as a type that the team was working on. Again, from Jason we have this follow up comment:
We don’t have Dakotas and gliders. You will fly missions in support of the larger operation in and around the general area. As we say in the DD, we have to make compromises.
Aircraft are complex so it may be some time before we see a C-47. That said, I would hold out hope in the much longer term that we’ll see a couple of transport types. A third party team is slated to tackle the Li-2 transport (and light bomber) which is a license build of the DC-3/C-47, and that may open the door to the actual C-47 later on. The type saw use across the world and is still actively used today so references and materials continue to be available.
Still others have been asking about landmarks. The 1CGS map team has done a good job of picking out key landmarks to include and I think we’ll see at least some of the ones that people have asked about such as the Arnhem bridge, the Aachener cathedral of the fortress of Eben-Emael. These are all possible but Jason has aimed to temper expectations:
We make a flight-sim not a city sim. Like I said we’ll do our best to make a convincing map. But please, don’t think you will be able to locate your own house. We don’t like making “civilized” maps for this reason. Too much to desire for detail. But the plane-set is too good to pass up so we’ll give it a go. Like we said, compromises will be necessary, just like we have already done with our other maps and they are pretty great.
Indeed, not every landmark is present on the Kuban map but we all know how stunning that map looks and how some key locations were done. The same goes for Moscow (the locks system near Moscow for example) and Stalingrad.
Me262 and FW190 variations
Lots of questions are running through the community right now about the Me262 in particular but also about the FW190A-8. BlackSix gives us at least some insight into what might be available for the Me262.
We need Me 262 A-2a for I./KG 51 and II./KG 51 and Me 262 A-1a for Kommando Nowotny, so maybe we’ll do both modifications.
Given that the A-1a and A-2a variations are extremely similar, its possible that we’ll see both (one as a modification) as BlackSix has described. The A-1a was the fighter and fighter-bomber version with four MK108 30mm cannons in the nose and the ability to carry a pair of 250kg bombs. The A-2a removed two of the MK108s but added the ability to carry up to two 500kg bombs.
In the dev diary thread for this week, when asked about the Ju87D-3 making an appearance in the new Career, BlackSix responded with some more interesting information.
I plan to add in the career:
NSGr. 1 and NSGr. 2 – they had Ju 87 D-3/D-5 (special thanks =27=Davesteu for the info);
I., II., III./SG 4 and III./KG 51 (NSGr. 20) – they had Fw 190 F-8 (mod of A-8);
Although this doesn’t confirm it, I’ve been suspecting since the announcement that the FW190A-8 would have a F-8 modification. The two aircraft were similar with the F-8 having a slightly modified engine (for low altitude performance) and a variety of bomb rack configurations. The F-8 provided the bulk of the fighter-bomber force for the Luftwaffe in 1944 and 1945 so I’d be surprised if we didn’t see this modification.
Picture becoming clearer
For a while we’ve not been quite sure what Bodenplatte would look like as a title. January 1st as a central point in the conflict was clear but we didn’t know how far out the title would extend on either side. The picture is becoming clearer as Battle of Bodenplatte becomes a full featured Western front WWII tactical aircraft simulation stretching from the pivotal moments in September through to nearly the end of the war.
The title will lack a few aircraft off the bat but that could be expanded later via Collector Planes. Chances of seeing strategic level bombers is low but the rest of the set is superbly chosen with plenty of fan favourites and battle essentials.
With Early Access just weeks away, we’ll be slowly building up a great collection of Western Front aircraft over the next year. It’s going to be great!