It’s been a long time but Eagle Dynamics has finally taken the wrapper off of the DCS: MiG-29 professional flight model update and brought the MiG-29A, G and S up to par with the Su-27, Su-33 and F-15 from the Flaming Cliffs 3 pack. It’s a great day for MiG-29 fans, that’s for sure!
Professional Flight Model
The PFM system that Eagle Dynamics has been busy upgrading their older aircraft to is the best of what Eagle Dynamics can offer right now when it comes to flight model fidelity.
PFM puts a level of detail into the flight dynamics that make aircraft feel more real than anything else that Eagle Dynamics has been able to offer before and it works. The F-15C, Su-27, and Su-33 have all received the PFM treatment. So too has the A-10C and the F/A-18C DCS world modules which also use that same method.
The MiG-29 was the most glaring of the remaining aircraft with a flight model dating far back into DCS World’s past.
I’ve had less than 20 minutes with the new PFM model of the MiG-29 but I’m pleased to report that it works, there are some differences, and landings are a bit more interesting than before.
In all of its main attributes, the MiG-29 feels about the same as it did pre-atch. Powerful and capable in a turn and climb with effective elevators and incredible acceleration. The MiG-29 is an impressive fighter and remains so under the PFM.
The biggest differences I’ve noticed in flight are that the aircraft behaves with a little more weight and inertia. Hitting the rudder rapidly left and right induces oscillations in the direction of the aircraft that were not well represented before either. Rolling into a turn or pulling tightly can be achieved but it feels like you’ve got the weight of the aircraft behind you.
At the edge of the aircraft’s envelope where extreme angles of attack are experienced, the MiG-29 now behaves far closer to the real one where before the flight model tended to start doing “weird” things and flying in ways that didn’t seem very realistic. That’s all gone now.
And then there’s landing. I was warned that landing a MiG-29 would cause an unwanted bounce so I aimed for what should have been a pretty good landing. It wasn’t.
Granted, I’ve been spoiled by the F/A-18Cs fairly aggressive ability to absorb impacts without issue but this was a pretty decent landing plus an incredible bounce from the gear that translated into a minor crash causing a skid along the runway. It wasn’t an auspicious start and it remains to be seen if this is a problem with technique that many are experiencing or if this is a bug of some kind.
The damage model when interacting with the ground is now substantially better than before. Previous impacts like the one I sustained would have resulted in an instant fireball. This was far more nuanced.
One more change that I and others have noticed. With the center line fuel tank fitted, the MiG-29s air brakes are non functional. A realistic consideration.
Vapour effects too
Another related update is that the MiG-29 now has vapour effects increasing the number of aircraft with that effect being displayed.
This effect helps bring the MiG-29 up to the same level as the other Flaming Cliffs 3 aircraft and paves the way for the release of Modern Air Combat still officially scheduled for launch sometime this fall.
With the MiG-29 now available with a PFM, it’s widely expected to be sold as an individual model and that may come as soon as the next stable patch comes out. Look for more news on that closer to the end of the week.
Will Eagle Dynamics now upgrade the flight models of the remaining types under earlier systems. That remains to be seen although the MiG-29 was by far the most deserving with the oldest flight model in DCS World.
It’s a new day for the DCS: MiG-29!
Video of the MiG-29 PFM in action
The DCS community has been quick to jump to creating videos showing off the new flight model in action.