Its the end of the summer and that means that updates both from me and most developers for the flight sims that I typically follow have been pretty slow or non-existent at times. But RAZBAM seems to be bucking the trend with their usual flurry of work in progress on their Facebook page. The latest images are showing off their F-15E, the Falklands map, and a whole new DCS World module: the Pucara! Let’s have a look.
Pucara comes to DCS World
You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know what the FMA IA-58A Pucara was as its more on the obscure end of the military aviation spectrum. Here’s the quick study to bring you up to speed.
Manufactured by Argentina’s Fábrica Militar de Aviones, 110 of these counter insurgency ground-attack aircraft were built between 1974 and 1993. They served in the Falklands War as well as the Sri Lankan civil war. Pucara’s were operated from both Argentina and from Port Stanley during the conflict using mostly unguided munitions such as 2.75in rockets, machine guns, cannons, and bombs.
It’s twin turboprop engines propel it up to a speed of 500km/h (or 270 knots) which is not fast in the age of jet fighters but it has some unique capabilities including an excellent short field takeoff ability that makes it especially good at operating from forward bases.
From what can be gathered, RAZBAM intends to develop this aircraft into a fully fleged DCS World module and an early shot of the cockpit panel has been released.
This is another surprise aircraft type being developed by RAZBAM and it adds to their list the currently released (and still considered early access) M-2000C, AV-8B as well as the incoming MiG-19P, A-29 Super Tucano, Mirage IIICJ, F-15E, and this type (have I forgotten one?). According to RAZBAM, these modules have all been planned out by their development team so I will try not to worry that they are biting off more than they can chew – importantly we don’t know what the release windows for most of these modules are (although the MiG-19P was making excellent progress) so we may be seeing what amounts to 2-3 years of development work slowly coming into place.
There’s also a fun note that developing both this type and the A-29 would make them the DCS World king of the COIN (counter insurgency) attack aircraft. Speaking of the Tucano…
Early DCS World engine tests for the Tucano
We’ve seen new shots both of the pre-rendered kind as well as in-engine tests. The pre-rendered (with a white background) shows the aircraft’s landing gear in a lowered configuration and additional screens on RAZBAM’s Facebook show the other stages in the animation process.
The first shots of the model in DCS World are apparently to help verify the model integrity so it’s only a very early indication of progress towards a finished module. There’s clearly more to do on the A-29 but I think this type of aircraft would prove to be interesting fitting in somewhere between the Yak-52 general aviation/aerobatics type and the higher end attack aircraft like the A-10 and AV-8B . The A-29 which is very much a military combat type but with some strong training and aerobatic credits to it as well.
Details on this module have been sparse but clearly progress continues.
Falklands on the map
RAZBAM’s new map team is also busy building the DCS: South Atlantic map featuring the Falklands islands and in this particular work in progress shot, Port Stanley. This is an extremely early shot of the terrain mapping and it’s cool to see but doesn’t give a lot more detail for now.
RAZBAM is also posting a few of the building objects that will appear on this map sometimes with a couple of variations depending on the date so that’s kind of a cool thing too.
F-15E seat and cockpit work
Progress continues as well on RAZBAM’s DCS World F-15E Strike Eagle module with the latest screenshots focused on the ejector seat and some work on the center panel for the cockpit.
This is a project that is still early days and I think it will be quite a while before we see anything resembling a finished type but I’m still very excited for it. The F-15E Strike Eagle is a capable aircraft and one that adds considerably to the types of strike packages that multiplayer and player flyable single player scenarios can incorporate. With Eagle Dynamics working on a F-16C Block 50 and RAZBAM adding the F-15E, we should see an eventual USAF aircraft set that incorporates a good portion of their inventory with DCS World level modeling (now we just need someone to do something about the opposing team).
More out there
These are some of the highlights but there are more images and news available via the RAZBAM Facebook page so I encourage you to check that out.