Earlier today, Eagle Dynamics unleashed the DCS: I-16 which appeared on the DCS e-store with very little fanfare at first. Suddenly a wave of DCS: I-16 surprise and reactions spread across the community, patch notes were released mentioning the aircraft’s inclusion, trailers and videos were released and here we are with a very stealthy release of a new WWII aircraft to the DCS line-up. I’ve collected some reactions from around the community, I’ll showcase some videos, and then get a little bit into what comes next.
Trailers and videos
Another great trailer by Alex “X-Stounds” Fyodorov shows off the I-16 for DCS in all of its graphical fidelity. The trailer shows off a beautifully detailed aircraft with what appears to be a really solid flight model (if the transition from flight to spin was any indication). Check it out!
Of course we also have some contributions from around the community. Robin Takolander put the I-16 through its paces in two videos which show off the aircraft nicely. The sounds are also really good and the distinctive sound of the I-16’s (almost tractor like) engine is captured nicely.
YouTuber Mosler also took the I-16 out against some difficult to beat Bf109K-4s.
Finally, Tofolo McGregor from YouTube shows the I-16 in action in multiplayer doing some familiarization flights.
There aren’t many videos out there but if you want to see what the I-16 is like before you buy, these are often the best ways to really see how things are going.
UPDATE: This new video from PhilStyle is another great way to have a first look at the I-16 in action.
The initial reactions from the community appear to be overwhelmingly positive with one caveat – which I will write about after. I’ve picked just a few reactions from across the community in different areas to give you a sense of what people are saying.
I love it! Very excited to see a new warbird come to the hanger.
This is the first project by OctopusG, and the team is really small IIRC. They have done an outstanding job on this module, and it really fulfills DCS standards. I hope they keep their focus on warbirds, because they did a really good job on this one!
I-16? Not really my thing but happy to support another new developer in DCS, just ordered.
So I’m assuming we’ll have some early 109s soon?
Where does this fit in?
The I-16 looks impressive as a high quality module and the reactions appear to match that quality. Those who have flown it seem to think that Octopus G did a great job and launched a solid early access aircraft into DCS World. That’s no small feat and people are already talking about what their follow-up might be.
But before we even consider that, there’s context here to this aircraft that should also be talked about and that is just where this aircraft fits in. The simple fact is that at the moment it doesn’t.
The I-16 was designed in the 1930s by famous Soviet aircraft designer Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov and for a time was considered the most advanced fighter in the world. The low wing monoplane arrived on the scene with a higher top speed than the bi-plane fighters still being flown by most other nations at the time. This Type 24 variant that has come to DCS World represents a late model aircraft that was used during World War II during some the famous early battles.
It’s closest competitor was the Bf109 ‘Emil’ series which it squared off against (along with the more advanced Bf109F) in the skies near Moscow, Leningrad, and countless other battlefields on the eastern front. If Eagle Dynamics intends to build that time period out eventually they have an excellent starting point but one that is currently existing on its own.
A module doesn’t necessarily need to fit into a bigger plane either (although I prefer it when they do). That point was driven home by Eagle Dynamics’ community manager NineLine who wrote:
…it’s a new development team, cutting their teeth on developing for ED, the chose the I-16 for their first based on what interested them and they had info on. Wasn’t meant to match anything.NineLine on the DCS World Facebook page
That leads me to the other comment left by NineLine that suggest that, despite the I-16’s somewhat lonely status as an early war eastern front fighter in a title dominated by aircraft from the late 1944 and 1945 Western front, you do have to start somewhere.
We have to start somewhere with inter-war, early war years.NineLine on the DCS World Facebook page
The I-16 is a starting point and hopefully not an ending point for fans of DCS’ World War II content. From what I hear Octopus G did a phenomenal job making this happen and that everyone is excited to see what they can do next.