1CGS latest developer diary is out and we’ve learned all kinds of new details about the development for the series. The Me262 goes to beta testers next week and should arrive in two or three weeks alongside the Albatross D.Va and S.E.5a scouts for Flying Circus Vol 1. It’s the 262 that attracts a lot of attention and there’s some interesting information here to go through.
The upsides and downsides of the early jet
The Me262 was at the tip of a revolution in aerial propulsion eschewing the traditional propeller for the turbojet engine. As with most revolutionary technologies, it came with some early downsides and the 262’s throttle was notoriously twitchy and difficult to work with.
Here’s the relevant quote:
For our project, we have chosen the updated variant of this engine which had a modified valve that made the throttle controls more trouble-proof. However, sharp throttle changes still can cause an engine fire, so it requires a degree of caution.IL-2: Great Battles Series Developer Diary
Even with the modified valve, I suspect the Me262 will be very difficult to modulate effectively and once an engine is on fire it becomes unlikely that you’ll be able to do much with the jet after that. At the very least its an RTB and at worst its a bail-out. This makes the 262 something of a risk-reward proposition. Especially in multiplayer scenarios.
The reason why the Me262 has taken so long to get to this point too has a lot to do with its complex flight modeling. The 262, as it approaches the sound barrier (though its not capable of breaching that – that “rumor” refuses to die) experiences mach tuck and begins to loose stability. The team has also worked closely on how its center of gravity is affected by things like armor, ammo supply, and fuel.
I’m excited about the Me262, flying it, and also experiencing its foibles and finding out the things that this early jet fighter was just not very good at. It’s going to be interesting!
The iconic jet fighter had a number of variations and 1CGS is characteristically doing their best to add as much flavour as possible to this aircraft. We’re actually getting two versions of the Me262 with the fighter/fighter-bomber and bomber variant available:
- EZ 42 gyro gunsight with automatic deflection calculation,
- R4M unguided air-to-air rockets, 12 per mounting,
- Armored pilot headrest,
- Pilot back armor,
- Removal of the gun mounting armor for making the aircraft less nose-heavy,
- Removal of two Mk 108 guns,
- Bomber variant capable of carrying two SC 250 or one SC 500 bombs.
It’s those last two that turn the Me262 into the A-2a “Sturmvogel” variant with the removal of two MK108 cannons and the ability to sling an SC 500 bomb under the nose.
In the context of IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte, its the fighter-bomber and bomber equipment that bring the Me262 clearly into the foreground as it was used during the fall and through the winter primarily in this role. Indeed, many of the early Me262 squadrons were converting from bombers and some of them retained their bomber squadron name and numbering. This was all before being used in larger numbers to also attack bombers in March of 1945.
New summer pilot
Not content to do just one pilot type, 1CGS is doing summer and winter variants of the pilot model for all three nations involved in IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte. Here’s the new summer version of a U.S. pilot:
Two more scouts to the list
The Albatross D.Va was one of the best and most well liked German scouts of World War I and we’re due to get it in Flying Circus Vol 1 in just a couple of weeks. It comes alongside the S.E.5a which was considered the ‘ace maker’ plane for the Entente powers and flown by several famous aces including Albert Ball, Billy Bishop, Edward Mannock, and James McCudden.
And this is what’s next
According to the this developer diary, we’re due to see screenshots of the Arras map for the first time soon. Of course the P-51D, P-38J, Tempest V, and B-25D (AI only) are all in various states of development along with the Bodenplatte map, the Arras map, the Bristol Fighter and Halberstadt CL.II, and more tanks too.
The P-51D-15 is expected to be next in line and we’re hoping to see that June/July timeframe. My fingers are crossed!