I’ve seen tons of new usernames popping up all over the IL-2 community in the last several days and I thought it’d be a great idea to have a look at was was coming up next with the sim series. Undoubtedly many are checking the sim out, thanks to one of the best sales we’ve ever seen for the series, and maybe because of the hype that Microsoft Flight Simulator has caused across the entire industry as well. Let’s have a look at some of the exciting things coming in the near term.
Collector Plane: Hurricane Mark II
The Hurricane Mark II is due sometime in the next couple of months, this Collector Plane is being sold separately in the IL-2 store from any of the Great Battle titles. 1CGS is building this aircraft both because of its status as a fan favourite among flight sim fans as well as its flexibility in being a part of a few different scenarios including the Battle of Moscow and Battle of Stalingrad on the Eastern Front and the potential to fit into future custom Battle of Normandy scenarios where Hurricanes were used as fighter-bombers over the channel in 1942 and possibly into 1943 as well.
1CGS has confirmed that five versions of the Hurricane are planned including the twelve gun .303 armed Mark IIB, the 40mm Vickers-S anti-tank gun armed Mark IID, and the Russian field modified with 12.7mm and 20mm cannons plus Soviet bomb and rocket holders. This iconic British aircraft will be ready for any historical situation and I’m very excited to see it finished.
Spitfire Mark XIV for Battle of Normandy
The ultimate wartime serving Spitfire, the Mark XIV replaced the Merlin engine for the more powerful Rolls Royce Griffon engine. With over 2,000 horsepower, the new engine took the Spitfire to impressive speed and climb rate levels above and beyond that of the earlier Mark VIII and Mark IX models. The engine necessitated some changes including an enlarged rudder.
1CGS reports that both C-wing with four .303 machine guns and two 20mm Hispano cannons and the E-wing with two .50cal machine guns and two 20mm Hispano cannons will be available. So too will the 150 octane engine boost option which will further punch up the Spitfire XIV’s performance for late war battles and V-1 chases.
We’re expecting to see this one become available to IL-2: Battle of Normandy early access owners around the end of the year or more likely sometime in early 2021.
The P-51B was the first version of the P-51 Mustang to feature the Packard-Merlin engine and it transformed the fighter into the long range escort fighter that it became known for. This earlier version had a Razorback design which didn’t offer the visibility of the late war bubble canopy variants but did offer better stability and handling.
We’ve learned from the developers that this version of the P-51 coming to Battle of Normandy will have three gunsights, two engines, and a 150 octane boost option.
We don’t know when the P-51 will be come available but the best guess is that it will be come available around the end of the year or early in 2021.
Typhoon Mark IB
Replacing the Hawker Hurricane, the Typhoon had a troubled development cycle before it was ultimately transformed into the Tempest. Nonetheless, from 1941 to the end of the war, Typhoons were operated first as low altitude interceptors against the “Tip and Run” raids launched against the British coastline before being repurposed as an attack aircraft and close air support weapon.
Once again, the developers at 1CGS are offering options including bombs, rockets, a three blade and four blade propeller option (late war variants were a bit faster thanks to the four bladed prop) and potentially the Sabre IIa engine with +11lbs of boost (up from the standard +9lbs).
Listed by the developers in their notes as being one of the first German fighters for IL-2: Battle of Normandy to be completed, this aircraft bridges the gap between two Fw190’s already available in the sim – the A-5 and A-8. With a lighter and stronger wing, the A-6 introduced the standard MG151/20 cannon armament in the outer wing cannon position for the first time.
We haven’t seen anything of this version yet but expect 1CGS will be able to complete it relatively quickly as they already have extensive experience with the Fw190A-3, A-5, A-8 and D-9.
C-47 AI (for now?)
1CGS puts a lot of care into all of their aircraft and that includes AI aircraft that are necessary to help fill out the experience. The DC-3 based C-47 was heavily used by multiple nations during WWII and long after (many still serve to this day) and were notably used during the D-Day airborne operations that kicked off the invasion.
Although planned as an AI aircraft only, it is hoped by many in the community that this may be sold as a Collector Plane separately some day as a counterpart to the Ju52/3m currently available for the Axis side.
This AI aircraft is expected to come to the sim before the end of the year
Some of these aircraft above are likely to arrive before the end of the year while I suspect others may take more time and come sometime early into 2021. There’s more to come for Battle of Normandy with the Bf109G-6 (Late), Ju88C-6a, B-26 (AI), Mosquito FB.VI, Me410, Ar234, and V-1 (AI) all expected before the end of the project with most of them likely to be finished in 2021.
There’s also the Normandy map which will feature a wide battle space letting us experience both the pre-invasion cross channel operations all across the front as well as post invasion flying on the continent from both Allied and Axis sides of the conflict.
Vehicles, ships, and all of the scenery that makes up this map are all coming as well as the previously mentioned V-1 which I wouldn’t be surprised if it came with launch sites and everything needed to make for a good V-1 chase or hunting experience.
There’s a lot to look forward to both coming sooner than later and further on. Stay tuned!