Being one of the first few military jets in Microsoft Flight Simulator, the F-15 Eagle by DC Designs has stirred up plenty of interest and a fair bit of critique as well. Here’s a round up of what some of the community are reporting on the module.
A round up of reviews and impressions
Having a go-fast fighter jet as legendary as the F-15 in any flight sim is going to attract attention and as one of the first jets in Microsoft Flight Simulator that is Mach 2+ capable (at least in real life), a lot of people were interested to experience the performance of the jet in the sim. Would the terrain engine be capable of loading in new information quickly enough (seems to not be a problem), would the sim be able to handle those speeds (not yet, although some trickery with the flight model makes it sort of possible), and would it be any good? Well… listen in on these reviews.
Summary and my thoughts
The summary of what’s being said around the community is that the F-15 by DC Designs is not likely to live up expectations if you’re looking for a high fidelity experience. The cockpit appears as a rough approximation of the real jet’s appearance and there are issues with the HUD, sim performance with the battery and avionics on, and there are other visual maladies such as overwing vapours and afterburner effects that don’t look particularly convincing. Some of the reviewers were unconvinced by the sound while others thought it to be alright. There’s also the issue of transonic flight modeling which Microsoft Flight Simulator just doesn’t have yet although they are working on it.
There’s also issue of price with the aircraft being priced at $40 USD in the Just Flight store which seems a little steep for this aircraft – granted there are four variants available.
DC Designs for their part have made a recent post on their Facebook page suggesting ongoing improvements including updated texture work and revised methods that should improve FPS particularly when the HUD is in view.
At this point I’m not interested in writing a review on the module. I already struggle a bit with military aircraft in a civil aviation focused flight sim – although Aeroplane Heaven’s Spitfire Mark I and IndiaFoxTecho T-45 Goshawk I might make an exception for. In this case, if the modeling were at a high fidelity level I might be interested to see how it compares to a military oriented flight sim such as DCS World but at this point I don’t see that being the case at the moment. That said, for some of you, you might find the speed and performance of something like this suitably interesting to you. If the DC Designs F-15 is for you, I’ll let you make that decision. F-15 Eagle by DC Designs is available for $40 USD in the Just Flight webstore.
My other take on this goes a little like this: If flying an F-15 sounds fun but you also want to sling some AMRAAM’s in a full up conflict I’d suggest giving the F-15C for DCS World a shot. It’s not a full fidelity module (so no clickable cockpit) but the flight model is at the peak of what DCS offers, it’s fully combat capable, and price is $14.99 USD with sale prices frequently taking it into the single digits. Here are my thoughts on making it your first jet fighter. In the future, we may also be treated to the F-15E Strike Eagle by RAZBAM for DCS World although it may be a while yet before that becomes a reality.
Those are my thoughts. What do you think? Is this aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator for you?