Leatherneck update details F8 Crusader, F4U Corsair, and USS Essex progress

Leatherneck Simulation’s Christmas update is here and it brings with it some news on their various module progress including the latest efforts on the F4U Corsair, the F8 Crusader and their USS Essex model. Let’s have a look!

Corsair time

A few weeks ago at VFAT 2019, Leatherneck Studios did a demo of their work in progress Corsair module showing off the aircraft doing loops, passes, rolls, and even some weapons tests. What they didn’t show was the cockpit – which was interesting because we saw some work on the F4U cockpit that looked relatively complete.

It seems, however, that Leatherneck are making another pass at the cockpit and are showing off the latest work. Everything is of course un-textured but work always starts with the 3D models and then progresses to textures later.

Leatherneck has made special mention of how much effort they have put into making sure that the aircraft, including the canopy, has a realistic shape as possible. They also have some interesting comments about their September 1944 Corsair:

In September of 44, a modification order was issued to the manufactures to have the stall warning and water/methanol injection lights removed.  Corsairs already in the line of duty had field orders to remove them.  We realize users may feel the need to use them since there is no sense of momentum sitting at a desk, so in our version we will add a special menu item so that users have a choice to enable them.

Leatherneck Studios

Seems like a reasonable compromise!

Crusader cockpit development

Leatherneck didn’t have too much to say about the F-8J Crusader that they are building except that their efforts on the cockpit are progressing well. They have decided on modeling the J version and have even picked a specific airframe to model their module on: AFC571.

The F-8J includes a APQ-124 radar and AIM-9G sidewinder which also includes the ability to use SEAM (Sidewinder Extended Acquisition Mode) which expands the missile’s targeting envelope and will be a familiar feature for DCS: F-14 pilots.

USS Essex under development

Leatherneck studios are also busy building a USS Essex class carrier for DCS World to support the use of the F4U-1D Corsair that they are building. Leatherneck says that they intend to incorporate moving elevators and the ship’s catapult system.

An early version of the carrier was in the VFAT demo but Leatherneck reports that it was a preliminary model and a more full featured one, shown above, will be coming later.

For more information and images, visit the Leatherneck Christmas 2019 update.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Zoomy says:

    You know, prior to seeing this I wasn’t terribly excited for the Corsair. Although I have several of the DCS WW2 modules, my interest in this era as represented by DCS has cooled. IL2 has it’s issues, but, overall I feel IL2 does a better job of simulating WW2 aerial combat then does DCS. However, that carrier calls to me for some reason. I have fond memories of building a plastic model of an Essex class carrier when I was a teenager. I look forward to seeing what Leatherneck produces.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It should be interesting to see what they are able to put together for us. I do have concerns over what that Corsair will be able to do – Leatherneck appear to be building an A6M5 for the Corsair to shoot at but dogfights between the two won’t hold too much interest for very long unless there’s a more compelling list of things to do and something historical to fly over.

      That F-8J Crusader looks interesting to me as well. Another carrier module from a different era!


      1. Zoomy says:

        Yeah, I’m trying to contain my enthusiasm for the Crusader. It was probably my favorite ride back in Jane’s Navy Fighters. It will be a bit easier to find it a home in DCS along with the other 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd gen jets. It’s a bit harder to imagine it operating on the 90’s era battlefields with modern-ish sam systems and radar guided AAMs. I don’t know if the model they are doing will have an RWR and associated countermeasures, but, I believe the French were using the Crusader into the 90’s so it’s possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Though not explicitly focused, there is a growing number of 1950’s and 1960’s jets in DCS World. Enough that the cold war type servers are seeing a little more variety than they used to and I can see the Crusader fitting into that and perhaps even making them more interesting.

        F-8’s and F-5’s versus MiG-19’s and MiG-21’s in the near future plus whatever other surprises might be out there.


  2. CanadaOne says:

    Can’t wait for that Corsair.

    All the best to you, and Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      And a Merry Christmas to you as well!


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