This week’s DCS World Weekend news was largely focused on being a recap of the major features that the team is working on in 2020 listing much of the content that they are intending to deliver. Then… they dropped a teaser about a ‘milestone’ aircraft for DCS World and that sent the community into a wild frenzy of guesses. Let’s have a look at the options and try and make some guesses!
It’d be a shame to gloss over some truly important content that Eagle Dynamics is looking to deliver over the next 11 months. DCS World is likely to have yet another impressive year with a wide variety of additions to the series. That includes:
- New modules: P-47 Thunderbolt, Mosquito, Mi-24P Hind
- New features: Air-to-ground radar, FLIR sensors, enhanced missile dynamics and features
- Continued development on F/A-18C Hornet, F-16C Viper
- Arrival of DCS Supercarrier
- New DCS: Marianas Islands map (free) and DCS: Channel map (paid)
- Updates to A-10C and Ka-50 (including free cockpit update)
- Core updates to performance, lighting, weather, detailed damage modeling, air traffic control, more life-like AI, new AI units, and dynamic campaign system
That’s all really impressive and it’s just what Eagle Dynamics is working on. Other confirmed projects include the DCS: F-15E Strike Eagle, DCS: MiG-23 Flogger, DCS: OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and DCS: Syria and DCS: South Atlantic maps.
This week’s update also includes new screenshots of the free Ka-50 cockpit update. This is a totally redone cockpit from scratch which should really improve the look and usability of the cockpit with modern texture methods. This update will be free for current Ka-50 owners.
What constitutes a ‘milestone’ aircraft?
This last line in the main update has really set the community spiraling towards trying to figure out just what Eagle Dynamics is planning for their next update.
Later this year, we are looking forward to announcing an eagerly awaited aircraft for DCS World. This will be a highly detailed and complex aircraft representing a huge milestone.
More, comments from the DCS World 2020 and Beyond video on YouTube included a reply from Community Manager NineLine who said this:
Yes, the announcement referenced here isn’t the F4, it’s on hold as noted, but what is planned will be a big thrill to most people I think.NineLine/Norm
So, bearing all of this in mind, what could it possibly be? We know it’s not something that is currently being talked about which means that aircraft like the F-15E Strike Eagle from RAZBAM or any of the in-house models like the Mi-24, Mosquito, or P-47 are this new aircraft module.
Before I read the comment from NineLine, my best guess was going to be the F-4 Phantom. The F-4, is long awaited by many in the community and Belsimtek had even started on it before their team was rolled up back into Eagle Dynamics and set to work on the F/A-18 and F-16 teams. But that’s not it and that opens the door to so many different possibilities.
One of the ones that springs to mind would be a Su-27 Flanker of some kind. Eagle Dynamics got their start with the Flanker series in the 1990s and a full fidelity Su-27 would be very popular with many in the community. It would certainly be a ‘milestone’ for the series returning to it’s roots.
We have been told that Russian aircraft are largely off limits these days due to political changes since the time of the Ka-50 module’s release so it’s possible that the Flanker is still out of bounds – but it would be fairly mind blowing if it were to be announced as a future module.
Another option that the community has frequently asked for is a full fidelity Tornado module. The Tornado’s all weather strike capability and wide variety of weapons and sensors as well as its European rather than American heritage would be a significant milestone for the series as well. It’s two seat configuration would also be a significant, though no longer groundbreaking (Heatblur’s excellent F-14 did that), development for Eagle Dynamics.
Another popular suggestion has been the AH-64 Apache. Almost any version of the attack helicopter is strongly desired for DCS World. One user wrote that the Hornet and Viper represent the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force so why not something to represent the U.S. Army. Fair enough! The AH-64, even in earlier variations, has a ton of attack helicopter capability and would draw on the capabilities that are being developed for the Mi-24 with the dual seat arrangement.
And then I’ve heard others suggest the F-111, the B-17, a full fidelity F-15, C-130 (or AC-130), the A-6 Intruder (unlikely as Heatblur may end up making that a flyable in the future – depending on their plans), and innumerable other types.
Fourth generation aircraft such as the Hornet and Viper have been popular choices so another fourth gen could easily be part of their plan. But something tells me that it won’t “just be” another fourth gen type but rather something that really shows off everything that DCS World can be using the technology and development that has gone on over the last few years.
We’ll find out sooner or later! Let me know what you think it is in the comments!