The next Collector Planes for IL-2 are now in pre-production according to Jason Williams. The team isn’t quite ready to say what they are yet so that means that speculation has been running around the community as to what they might be. I’ve talked about this a few times before but for the sake of argument and to update my thoughts… let’s talk about future Collector Planes and let’s consider how they may factor into the future!
Eliminating some aircraft from the list
There’s been a lot of speculation since the developer diary update on Friday. While I think that everyone discussing their favourite aircraft and posting their wish-list for aircraft is awesome I also don’t think that some guesses are necessarily realistic.
To narrow down the list of aircraft we have to look at the practical realities of 1CGS’ development model as well as what they plan to do in the future. To that end, I suspect that the team will be building aircraft that apply directly to Battle of Bodenplatte and the time period between September of 1944 and April of 1945.
If Bodenplatte ends up being the only title to tackle the mid to late Western Front scenario, these aircraft will be useful in broadening the aircraft set. If, on the other hand, the team decides to do something like 1944 Normandy or Italy later then these would hopefully have at least some crossover appeal.
The aircraft can also not be likely candidates for future titles. The team needs to leave room for the future and that means that these Collector Planes are more likely to be late war types that fit in that 1945 time period than earlier – razorback P-51 and P-47 variants seem unlikely as a result (though I think we’ll hopefully see them sooner than later).
The sales will matter here too as Collector Planes are sold individually and therefore need to command some popularity. There are some more niche choices that might interest a few but will be ignored by many others.
We should look to the past as a indicator as well. Between Battle of Moscow and Kuban, the team delivered on the Ju52/3m and Yak-1B Series 127. Then, the team brought in the La-5FN and Bf109G-6 between the end of Battle of Kuban and the start of Battle of Bodenplatte development.
Finally, we have to consider complexity. A lot of people have said that the B-25D Mitchell is a great choice for a Collector Plane and while getting that type as a flyable would be a dream for me – it’s also not likely right now. A cockpit and multiple gunner stations would need to be built and that will probably take longer than the team intends to take on these aircraft. I could be grossly wrong on this and would be happily surprised if it were one of the types.
So … what can we expect?
It’s a really tough thing to make the guess on what 1CGS is planning to do. Jason said a couple of new Collector Planes which means at least two is likely as with the case of the La-5FN and Bf109G-6 that came at the tail end of Battle of Kuban’s development.
When we factor in everything I put a few aircraft types in as possibilities and if you’ve been reading Stormbirds for a long time you probably won’t be surprised by my list. That said, I’m throwing a few extra on the list because I think they have at least a remote chance.
Here’s my best guesses:
- Spitfire XIV
- Mosquito VI
- Meteor III
- Typhoon IB
Any one of these has, from my perspective, a possibility of being included in the list but at least a few of them may be determined by what 1CGS has planned next. If, for example, the series goes to Normandy than the Typhoon IB is unlikely but if they aren’t planning to go there the Typhoon would fill a massive blank in the Allied aircraft inventory.
I hadn’t considered the P-47M the last time I did one of these but I’ve added it to my list. The M model is based on a later D-30 version of the P-47 with some key changes to the cockpit and a massive boost to the engine. The exterior would also have minor changes but this would be a variant of an aircraft that already exists so I’m uncertain if people would be ok with this as a Collector Plane or not. It wouldn’t exactly fit the 9th AF mission in the campaign which may disqualify it but I know fans love hot rodded P-47s.
The team could also easily do the Spitfire XIV, Jason has mentioned the Meteor and Mosquito before, and the Ar234 was part of the original Bodenplatte aircraft pitch apparently so I think it has a chance.
Other types in the future
These couple of aircraft that we’re talking about also don’t count efforts that 1CGS may do in the future. A Yak-9T would be cool and Ugra Media is likely still to produce a Li-2 or C-47 at some point too.
I’d love for the series to go back and give us a few more East Front types that we could use all over the three titles released for that. The I-153, Hs 123, SB-2, IL-4, early Yak-1 and LaGG-3 and others all qualify. Despite being very cool I don’t think those are what the team is working on right now – expanding the Western aircraft set should probably be the priority.
Love a good speculation!
That’s my commentary on the news that we’re getting new Collector Planes. As always, I love a good speculation so let’s hear your thoughts in the comments. Let’s put our guesses in, keep our minds open, and we’ll see what the team announces when the time is right.
I’m very excited!