Night Witches, new pilot models, successes and other IL-2 news you may have missed

Sometimes we learn about IL-2’s development through informal communications on the forums as well as by official developer diaries and announcements. Recently we’ve learned some new information on what the team is planning with regards to a variety of subjects from the U-2VS and some new content, the ability to change the nationality of the pilots in aircraft, and some talk about the success of the series. News that you may have missed!

GUI updates for IL-2

One of the updates that Jason Williams has posted in his Briefing Room and Officers Club topic area on the forum is about the GUI (graphical user interface). Although he was talking more about the Air Marshal mode, long talked about, and still under development, Jason also alluded to some other GUI related features.

Here’s what he said,

Unfortunately, there are a couple other GUI related features that I had hoped to be completed by now, but I have been forced to set them aside for now. This is a big disappointment for me, but they will come eventually I am certain.

Jason Williams

The GUI development work was meant to also be done by the developer who was assigned to do Air Marshal. Air Marshal is now much closer to completion according to Jason’s posts, however, the person working on it is leaving the company. A new person is apparently being hired and will hopefully continue on.

We don’t know what the GUI updates will be, however, it could be anything from changes to the multiplayer lobby to an overhaul of the visuals of the GUI system to a few features that Jason has mused about before – namely an in-game aircraft viewer. It could also be all of those things. Either way, it’s good to know that the team is working on all aspects of the sim including the interface.

More U-2VS related content

The U-2VS, made by Ugra Media, for the 1CGS team is an iconic Soviet era bi-plane trainer that was pressed successfully into a combat role during WWII and fought in many of the famous battles of the war. Robust and easy to fly, the U-2VS was a very slow aircraft that saw success flying night-time raids over German lines.

The famous Night Witches, a group of dedicated female U-2VS pilots flew the aircraft to some notoriety during the war dropping bombs and harassing enemy troops.

When reading between the lines, it seems that the aircraft has maybe not sold as well as hoped. Still, Jason is putting some resources into making the aircraft a little more interesting to those who want to enjoy flying it.

Also, I would like to say that the U-2 is a really versatile little plane even if it is slow and I urge everyone who hasn’t purchased it yet to GRAB IT! The more you show love to Ugra built content, the more they can build for IL-2. I plan to add some missions to accompany the U-2 in the not too far future and I am planning to contract with someone to make a female Soviet pilot and gunner model so we can make the fabled Night Witches a reality.

Jason Williams

Both of those things sound great! My experiences with the U-2VS have been great. From flying it in slow speed sightseeing tours to taking it into combat on multiplayer servers in massed raids, the aircraft is pure fun. It’s not going to be a competitive combat aircraft but it is different and it offers another way to experience the simulation world of IL-2: Great Battles.

Very low level at the locks near Moscow.

USAAF and RAF bomber pilot models coming, swappable too

There are no bomber specific pilot models currently available for the USAAF or RAF. With no flyable bomber at present, having them is purely an extra detail. However, we have learned that 1CGS is intending to build those models in the current developer cycle.

We will eventually have proper bomber pilots for USAAF and British bombers. They are in the schedule. They take time. Although the A-20 was meant for Kuban. It would take extra work to have them animated for the A-20. In the future we will also have the ability to swap out pilots for planes where different nationalities flew the same model or different genders like the U-2.

Jason Williams

Sounds like an interesting plan which partially takes us back to the original IL-2 which allowed you to swap the texture on their pilot model. IL-2: Great Battles pilot models are more individual and detailed and thus can’t be as easily swapped… But eventually you will be able to select the appropriate pilot. This is idea for aircraft like the Hurricane Mark II that is coming soon – flown by the RAF in western Europe and the VVS in the East. Or the P-40 which saw service with nearly all Allied air forces.

The bomber pilots should be interesting too. Although likely intended for the AI B-25 and B-26, doing them does seem like an extra expense if they aren’t eventually intending to make one or more bombers flyable at some point.

I’ve said many times before and probably will again that both 1CGS on the whole and Jason Williams in particular knows that parts of the community really are hoping to see these aircraft become part of the collection and variety that we enjoy. One day!

Great Battles successes are growing

Back in 2012, it was not clear if the brand new IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad was going to be a success. It could very well have been a single title that failed to catch on beyond its initial inception. Fortunately, it seems that the series appears to be growing well.

The Great Battles series has never been more popular and sales have steadily increased since Kuban.

Jason Williams

We’ve also heard that Normandy pre-sales are higher than Bodenplattes. That’s always good news when it comes to talking the future of the series! I, as I usually do, remain optimistic!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. bigalrico says:

    A nice article!

    Even now, changing the nationality in the MP works in Combat Box with the British and American pilots. Accordingly, I am looking forward to the extra models for the bombers. What I wonder is whether we can expect such pilot models for the German and Russian bomber crews. At least now would be a good time.

    The Po-2 is really a beautiful aircraft, although just like the Ju-52 it will probably remain an outsider from the start. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m almost a little surprised about the expectations on this biplane.

    The only thing that surprises me a little are the sales of BoN. That they are doing so well is nice, but I am wondering. Up to now I have the feeling that there are mixed feelings in contrast to Bodenplatte. And if I am honest, I am also not completely free from certain reservations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Interesting. I’ve heard different opinions regarding Normandy and a few, like yourself, have mused that it wasn’t doing as well. We don’t have a ton of details but Jason has said that sales have been stronger than ever and judging by the interest and growing numbers in the forums, on reddit, on Facebook, etc. – I’m inclined to agree.

      My opinion is that a vocal minority wanted something else, have voiced that, and seemingly have moved on but that has left an incorrect sense on how the title is doing. The majority of folks seem quite happy to see another western front title, any western front title, and I’m sure a good number of folks have recognized how strong Normandy + Bodenplatte will be as a package in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bigalrico says:

        You may be right, and as I said, I’m glad when it sells. In general, another west front scenario is a great thing and also Normandy, as you said before, will fit perfectly to Bodenplatte. Both will benefit a lot from this. And not only the two. With a 44/45 scenario on the eastern front the Germans will be able to use pretty much everything from BoN + BobP there as well.
        To the other thing I can only say that I’m the only one in my squadron who got it so far and the euphoria and interest didn’t seem to be that high from my buddies. And in the forum it doesn’t seem to me that so many preordered BoN(judging by the badges). In addition i also saw both in the german and english forum a mixed bag of comments and thoughts about the project. Of course this is not really representative and I am really happy if I am wrong with that (probably to pessimistic) view .


    2. harryvoyager says:

      I think the mixed feelings were more regret that the Pacific wasn’t coming next rather than a dislike for Battle of Normandy.

      The Battle of Normandy campaign itself is going to be an excellent addition to the Western Front. Bodenplatte gave us the definitive forms of all of the big name fighters, but Normandy is going to give us the tactical air war in Europe. If they are ever able to get the parts together to do the Battle of Schwinfurt the three will for a trilogy of the USAAF air campaign similar to what wet see in the Battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kuban games.

      Finally got around to preording my copy today too.


  2. Ziggystar says:

    I’m very excited at the prospect of flying the mosquito so I will definitely be pre-ordering BoN, but not until the mosquito joins the lineup, or, alternatively the new map arrives (which previously has been almost last to arrive). So this may still be a year plus away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. CanadaOne says:

    Good article. Thanks.

    For my part, I really like the U-2. it’s good fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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