If Flying Circus Vol 2 happens, what aircraft might we see?

It’s been a while since I engaged in any real speculation, however, a recent interview with Jason Williams and Daniel Tuseev from the 1CGS IL-2: Great Battles Team has renewed speculation that there could be a follow-up Flying Circus title. If Flying Circus Vol 2 does happen, what aircraft might we see and what scenario would it be based around? I have some ideas and some speculation on what could happen.

Back over the channel

In the heyday of Rise of Flight, one of the most notable additions to the series was the Channel map. Featuring the English Channel and parts of England, Belgium and France, the map had a little bit of everything from coastal towns to no man’s land running all the way up to the sea. I think, for its time, that it was the equivalent of the Kuban map for IL-2: Great Battles being a map with an interesting scenario and beautiful scenery at the same time.

It is this scenario that I think we could see a return to and provide the background for Flying Circus Vol 2. How would the aircraft set work out for this map? Well I have some ideas for that too.

Bloody April and channel battles

A Nieuport 17 in RAF markings chases an Albatross D.II

Stepping backward to 1917 brings in some more notable types of the air war of World War I and the channel war backdrop brings us some unique types too. Having done some research but lacking depth in the subject the way I do with World War II, these are my best guesses and attempts at weaving both a diverse and interesting aircraft set that can represent historical battles of 1917 and beyond. I draw inspiration from the way that the Battle of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kuban work together as well as how neatly integrated Battle of Bodenplatte is with the in development Battle of Normandy and the goal then is to feature aircraft that fought over both Arras and over the channel thereby connecting Flying Circus Vol 1 and 2 together.

In the spirit of that, it is the scenes of ‘Bloody April’ in 1917 that I then base the initial part of the aircraft set on. During this time, Entente forces faced massive losses against well trained and well equipped German squadrons fighting primarily in the Aras sector – something we already have for Flying Circus.

SE5a attacks a Gotha G.V bomber

The aircraft then can go a bit like this. Let’s start then with the Albatross D.II and D.III which were key fighters for the German squadrons in 1917 followed up with the DFW C.V which would add a notable recon and bomber type for the Germans. Meanwhile, for the Allies things are complicated as there are a lot of likable fighters here including the Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Triplane, the Nieuport 17 and/or the SPAD VII. All of these interesting although I suspect not all of them could be included. A counterpart to the DFW could be found in the Airco D.H.4 or Sopwith 1/2 Stutter.

Then things get really interesting and ambitious as I would love to see both the Gotha G.V and the Handley Page 0-400. Both types saw service over the channel with bombing raids launched cross channel and against ships operating in the channel. Finally, such a scenario cries out for the seaplane types operating over the channel and that brings us the Felixstowe F.2a seaplane and the Bandenburg W12 seaplane.

  1. Albatross D.II / D.II Late
  2. Albatross D.III
  3. Gotha G.V
  4. DFW C.V
  5. Brandenburg W12
  6. Sopwith Pup or Sopwith Triplane
  7. Nieuport 17 or SPAD VII
  8. Sopwith 1½ Strutter or Airco D.H.4
  9. Handley Page 0-400
  10. Felixstowe F.2a

In the end, this list of aircraft provides variety and versatility. Some fun and capable scouts, reconnaissance, bombers and sea planes mix in to add a 1917 flavoured experience as well as one that can extend well beyond that with types like the Handley Page 0-400 and Gotha G.V being useful in a wide variety of scenarios.

Ambitious?

I feel like this would be a more ambitious project than Flying Circus Vol 1. With a wider variety of aircraft and a more complex scenario to map out with the channel war. This idea for Vol 2 would be asking a bit more than before, however, it could also draw upon all of the technology and expertise that has already been developed by the team with both Rise of Flight and everything built into the newer Digital Warfare engine. U-boats and ship technology along with impressive 3D waves are back into the new engine and have been for a while now and a channel war map would draw on that work.

There’s also the subject of the map itself. The Channel Map was no small undertaking and so this would be an interesting subject to return to. That said, the old Channel Map and the new Battle of Normandy map have plenty of cross over and plenty of landmarks would not change between WWI and WWII versions of the map. Could 1CGS pursue parallel development building unique WWI structures when needed (such as no-mans land) while also building for WWII? It may be a unique opportunity for the team to pursue given parallel development opportunities that exist right now with Battle of Normandy underway.

Compare the new Normandy map…

…with the Rise of Flight Channel Map.

There’s plenty of overlap that could be useful to development.

EDIT July 7 at 6:51 pm EDT: I was using the proposed version of the Normandy map and a newer version of the map has been decided on. It has less overlap than the earlier version, however, I think the possibility still exists for collaboration between the two projects – hypothetically speaking of course!

The single player question

The final question here is then what happens with single player. Flying Circus’ multiplayer experience is very good and the single player experience has gotten better thanks to an official Scripted Campaign experience. More Scripted Campaigns are useful but then so would the IL-2 Career experience where auto generated missions, detailed unit histories, and a persistent pilot and squadron members come together in a unique combination.

Apparently the construction of these campaigns takes time so doing this for Flying Circus would be a task. Fortunately, I suspect a lot of this content could be drawn on from Rise of Flight which featured similar technology. That’s not to downplay the extensive work that would be required but it would be a launching point and would mean that they wouldn’t be starting from zero.

Would the system then be back-ported to Flying Circus Vol 1? 1CGS has done that in the past to make sure that their older titles are up to the latest standard which only serves to better the whole. It’s likely it would happen but it would increase the scope of doing this in the first place.

I’m not sure how this part would pan out but it would help to bolster the experience and would probably sell some more copies.

That’s just what I think

These are my thoughts and impressions on what a Flying Circus Vol 2 could be. There’s nothing in here that comes from any official sources (if there were, I’d quote them) and all of it assumes that Vol 1 has sold enough to generate the business case for a Vol 2. Still, recent comments have increased the chances of this happening and even when Jason and I did our Q&A a few months ago there sounded like there were some positive moves in this direction.

I could be completely off base on all of this too. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

26 Comments Add yours

  1. Doctor Drago says:

    I would definitely be in for a second installment, especially if my beloved W12 were included! Hunting Felixstowes over Zeebrugge was one of the first times I can remember thinking, “This looks really pretty. I should take a screenshot of this” while flying in a sim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I never got a chance to experience that specific fight but from the videos it looks great!

      Like

  2. Dan the man says:

    Coming from ROF originally and missing my old WW1 birds I’d buy the FC2 pre-order the minute it’s released.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      For sure! There’s a good number of us who would too. FC1 was a good proving ground and I really hope that FC2 is a thing!

      Like

  3. Blue 5 says:

    My view: to make it in anyway historical, they need some of the huge number (by ratio) of the under-performing 2-seaters. They are high-risk from a sales perspective, but if they go back to 1917 it needs the Be2 and something like the Albatross C. Unfortunately, as these are not much ‘fun’ I would be astonished if they appeared but they really are bread-and-butter for a WW1 sim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Does the DFW and DH4 or Sopwith 11/2th Strutter bridge the gap for you on those types?

      Like

      1. Blue 5 says:

        I’d get them all!

        The DFW and Strutter are a necessary addition at minimum, I would say. You are correct in that these are a better choice than the 1915 machines.

        I know it undermines some point of the Channel part of the map, but personally I would pass on the water-birds in favour of more used types.

        Maybe a Roland C-type and the FB2C instead?

        Like

  4. bigalrico says:

    Beautiful ideas. I would generally be very happy about an FC Vol 2. But then I would like to have a career mode for it, which also (at least partly) includes the planes of Vol 1.

    As for the set of planes themselves, there are many great possibilities, with Gotha, Handley Page and (at least a variant of) Nieuport being heart candidates. Also a duel in a Triplane against a Dr1 would be fun and exciting 😀

    In the last interview with Rod there were some hints that there will be some special announcements this year. I hope that the plans of 1CGS are not only limited to the flak trucks but will surprise us with TC 2 or FC 2 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It does sound like there are some surprises coming. I think a WWI follow-on is very likely. I’m less certain about Tank Crew but they are still going to do some development for it so we’ll see what happens there.

      Maybe something else surprising will happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bigalrico says:

        Pacific for sure 😉

        Like

  5. Chris says:

    There is a small chance that DCS might also go in the direction of planes from this area.
    There was a discussion about it on the ED forums.

    I my opinion Flying Circus is the best product in the IL2 series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That would be interesting. Now that a more detailed damage model is being worked on, aircraft like bi-planes and tri-planes with their light machine guns would be more interesting to be sure.

      DCS I do think still needs to find some focus. If they go for WWI they will need to double down on a specific time period and build out some interesting aircraft to do it justice. That’ll be something that would be interesting to see!

      Like

    2. Dan the man says:

      DCS really needs to finish what they started first, their engine will be obsolete before they ever flesh out their current speciality with content. Would prefer to see Korean map, Vietnam map, early Jets, more helicopters, Iraq. DCS advantage is in modelling complex systems.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Drum says:

    I really liked Rise of Flight, and bought up everything they produced for it with the exception of the Handley Page and Gotha; just couldn’t part with my money for those two planes. I own FC#1 and would gladly buy anything else they make for it with the exception of, you got it. 😉 VR has me by the throat and I just can’t see myself ever using RoF anymore, it was great in it’s day, but IMO it’s old news now…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Gretsch_Man says:

    I would appreciate Flying Circus Vol 2, no matter in what setting. But I really like your idea of a cannel map and a 1917 set up also sounds quite interesting. A cannel map would also be very handy for WW2 battles, be it an early war or late war setting.

    I just hope that when we finally see FC Vol 2, it will include a single player career mode.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ivan Romanychev says:

    The artstation already has Vol 2 covers. https://www.artstation.com/artwork/qA4l3z

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Although labeled Vol 2, that appears to have been the art that was used for the Kaiserschalcht campaign.

      Like

  9. ZiggyZiggyStar says:

    Yes, I too am ready to pay for any FC Vol 2 on day 1. Flying these birds in VR is amazing, and to echo others here, it is just not an option to go back and fly in ROF on flat screen now. Personally I would like to see the earlier 1915-1916 aircraft, the Eindekker, DH2, FE2b, Nieuport Bebe and the like. Realistically, I know that will have to wait until FC Vol 3 as the 1917 plane set makes more sense, but I can be patient! And yes, as for the map I did like the coastal area with the flooded area inland from Nieuport.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Geoff says:

    Ah yes, the infamous Channel Map that has hardly any Channel on it! I do hope that it is named differently next time.
    [img]https://i.imgur.com/1myZj6E.jpg[/img]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      It is quite a small map but then for the World War I perspective it does sort of make sense. I was wondering how much was officially “the channel” and how much was the North Sea.

      Like

  11. Geoff says:

    Sorry for the multiple posts. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  12. george tsakanikas says:

    In any theatre I really enjoy the early birds.. before they became furious killing machines they were more like bits thrown together, mounted gun, and said go!
    But also, the Big bombers. Gotha and the Handley. The Felixstowe would be another bonus..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Absolutely. I think all of these would add an exciting elements to Flying Circus.

      Like

  13. Raptorattacker says:

    I’m up for it! I LOVE the WW1 faction of the game , even if it DOES play havoc with your muscle-memory when jumping back into a WW2 machine!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Blue 5 says:

    I’d still like a Be2 or even an Avro 504, just to float above the summer fields…

    Anyway, FC2 is insta-buy

    Liked by 1 person

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