A end of quarter update from Heatblur details their latest efforts on the DCS: F-14 project including talk about the F-14A, the Forrestal-class carrier, and a little talk on their future plans with this module. Here’s a summary and some highlights of what we know.
F-14A is still definitely coming
A few I think have started to worry and doubt but slow progress is not no progress and the DCS: F-14 module looks to be getting some updates both for the already released F-14B version as well as for the F-14A which is well underway.
One of the biggest parts of that update are the different engine, the P&W TF30 turbofan engine which interestingly enough has 5 stages of afterburner. According to the update, the TF30 can take as much as 8-10 seconds to go from idle to zone 5 afterburner and so that makes flying this version of the Tomcat a little more interesting.
Heatblur has released two videos showing their progress on the new engine.
The texture work is also coming along and looks to be Heatblur’s usual level of stunningly detailed. The P&W TF30’s engine nozzles are a distinguishing factor between A and B versions of the Tomcat and it’s an easy way to see which engine the F-14 your looking at has.
According to Heatblur, initial release of the F-14A will be coming fairly soon.
We don’t want to give a hard date on the F-14A but we hope (barring any major setbacks) to have an EA version out within the next couple DCS open beta cycles. A more basic compressor stall model will ship with the EA release and it will be enhanced in subsequent updates.Cobra847 on the DCS World forums
So, hopefully not too much longer and we’ll be able to experience the differences between these two aircraft. There are some changes in the cockpit as well and I’m not sure if we’ll see those with the initial release or if we’ll have to wait a bit longer.
The carrier too
The Forrestal-class carrier is still coming and if all had gone to plan it’d be in our hands now. However, it’s not happened just yet and it seems that part of Heatblur’s team has been working on making the F-14B work correctly with the current Nimitz-carrier and the upcoming DCS: Supercarrier module. Forrestal is still coming however,
Unfortunately, we’ve had to take a few steps backwards with regards to all of our plans. Not only has our schedule slipped somewhat on completing the Forrestal itself; but the recent carrier launch issues and the work needing to be done to support the new Super Carrier module has kept things in flux. This is a frustrating scheduling miss for us as we were hoping to already have this content out late last year; but we’d rather keep things in the oven a little longer and provide a more enjoyable small-carrier experience. It is coming- you paid for it- we’ll deliver.Cobra847 on the DCS World forums
Looking forward to checking out a smaller and earlier era aircraft carrier.
TWS-A also being worked on
This feature apparently requires considerable work and that is the Track While Scan – Auto mode where the radar can automatically track multiple targets together attempting to keep them all locked up at the same time. This is ideal for tracking, targeting and engaging multiple aircraft with the AIM-54 Phoenix missiles.
Speaking of the AIM-54, that’s still in progress too and Heatblur seems to be aiming to improve some functionality there. DCS World’s missile API will hopefully become more useful as that’s developed.
More on the DCS World forums
It’s a good update from Cobra and the Heatblur team. Things are a little delayed but it looks like good high quality work is still underway. Check out the latest update here.