IL-2’s Lead Producer, Jason Williams, popped up on the forums this morning to let us know that there wouldn’t be a developer diary this week but that the team was working on some cool stuff. The IL-2 team doesn’t always share a diary each week but when they do it usually has some great materials packed away into it. With no diary this week, I thought it’d be great to have a look at what’s coming next for Battle of Normandy and Flying Circus Vol 2 including some long awaited aircraft. Let’s have a look!
The road ahead
At the end of 2020, we got a year in review and a look ahead from the 1CGS team. That look ahead included a projected release order for a wide variety of aircraft coming to the sim. I wanted to look at the first part of the roadmap specifically as it is the one that has the most clarity and is the least likely to change.
Fokker D.VIII and SPAD 7 150hp
First up, Flying Circus Vol 2 is expected to kick new aircraft off with the number one and two spots for release taken by the Fokker D.VIII and Spad 7 150hp. We don’t have any screenshots of these yet but presumably their release order is relatively assured. It’s also likely that third party developer Ugra Media has been at work creating these new aircraft for a while. We don’t know what modifications will come but I expect that they will have everything that the Rise of Flight versions do including the usual mix of collimator and refractor gunsights, cockpit lights, anemometer, and the potential for LePrieur rockets on the SPAD.
Next in the list is the Spitfire XIV. Listed as number three in the release order, we first saw screenshots of it last July. Not much has been revealed since then, however, in that update we learned that the aircraft will receive the 150 octane boost and both C and E-type armaments (with .303 or .50cal machine guns complimenting the Hispano Mark II). Entering service early in 1944, the Spitfire XIV traded a bit of the earlier mark’s ligh handling for an impressive boost to speed and climb. It should be a very interesting aircraft to fly and a solid match for the likes of the Fw190D-9 and Bf109K-4.
In position number four lies the Fw190A-6. This intermediary type between the Fw190A-5 and A-8 was the first to introduce a redesigned wing and the change over from MG-FF/M 20mm cannons in the outer wing position over to the higher performance MG151/20 cannons. In addition to the standard fighter version, the anti-bomber A6/R2 Sturmjager and fighter-bomber (jabo) G-3 and G-3/R5 variants with underwing bomb racks are also included.
In my earlier post about it, I mused about MK108 30mm cannons in the wings but this was apparently a rare test on the R2 variant and not standard. With the team having done so many Fw190 variants already, I expect this should be an easy add to the series and may even come alongside another aircraft.
Nieuport 28.C1 and SPAD 7 180hp
In position 5 and 6, the Nieuport 28.C1 and Spad 7 180hp. These French scouts are planned to come sometime after the previous Flying Circus release. While the SPAD 7’s 180hp engine variant adds a little variety to the SPAD line, it’s the introduction of the primarily American flown Nieuport 28.C1 that should provide plenty of interest. More of an energy fighter in its fighting style, I can see some specialists welcoming this type back to the series.
No screenshots or added information is available on either of these.
GAZ-MM 72-K and Sd. Kfz. 10 + Flak38
It’s not an aircraft but position number 7 and 8 are occupied by the GAZ-MM 72-K and Sd. Kfz. 10 + Flak38. Both are being created by Digital Forms, the team behind the 3D model assets for Tank Crew, as player controllable Collector Vehicles. Their mobile AAA guns will add an extra dimension to the vehicle combat that Tank Crew already features and will likely have an interesting effect on multiplayer servers already using the vehicles. The next AAA gun shooting at you may have a player behind it and attacks on target areas and against tank groups will require even more vigilance than usual.
Typhoon Mark IB
A personal favourite of mine, Typhoon is in the number nine spot and is expected to arrive before the summer. Hawker’s follow-up fighter design to the Hurricane met with initially limited success as bugs with its design and with it’s 2,000hp Sabre II engine were worked out. We already have the successor, the Tempest, but the two operated alongside each other for a long period of time as Typhoon squadrons were employed as a fighter-bomber.
1CGS has indicated that we’ll be getting the late war bubble canopy version with the late war stabilizer, the Sabre IIa engine with possibly available +11lb boost option, and both three and four blade propeller options.
Coming in for number ten and also expected sometime in the middle part of the year, the P-51B/C Mustang was the first version with the Packard Merlin and the aircraft that helped prove the Mustang’s worthiness as a long range escort fighter.
1CGS is packing a ton of options into this aircraft. The standard and Malcolm hood options (a bubble canopy modification) will be available, three gunsights will be available representing the USAAF, RAF and K-14 gunsight options, and two different engine options will also be available along with the 150 octane boost option. In short, this will represent nearly every iteration of P-51B Mustang that you can think off.
Further on down the road
Of course there’s more to come but the first ten items in the list have already come into focus. There’s more to come including the Pfalz D.XII, Sopwith Triplane, Handley Page 0-400 and Gotha G.V for Flying Circus Vol 2 and the Mosquito FB.VI, Ju88C-6, Me410 and Ar234 for Battle of Normandy. We may also see both the revised Arras sector map with larger borders and more seasons as well as the Normandy map come by the end of the year.
The wait has seemed long in these locked down pandemic times but what does seem clear is that the IL-2 series is pressing forward and has some highly anticipated aircraft planned for release by the end of this year with several of them coming between now and the end of spring. I can hardly wait to get my hands on some of these new types! More to come.