DCS World third party developer Heatblur posted an update today talking about some updates that have come out with today’s open beta patch for the DCS: F-14. The headline? Bounce, Burble and Orbits! Let’s learn what that is all about.
Bounce? Burble? Orbit?
So what is Heatblur talking about and what have they added to the DCS: F-14? Let’s start with bounce and here Heatblur is talking about the physics engine that runs behind the scenes on the F-14’s hook. Previously the system used a predefined range of motion which simplifies the way that the hook behaves but Heatblur likes to push the envelope and so they have added a more detailed physics simulation.
The hook will now bounce more realistically on the deck during a hard landing or even how the hook may drag along the ground when deployed on the ground. Cool!
Burble refers to an aerodynamic effect found at the back of an aircraft carrier that’s underway. It has an effect on the aircraft trying to land and it can pose a problem if the approach is off or if the pilot doesn’t anticipate it. Heatblur describes the effect as a kind of moving mountain range and I think Cobra847 covers this next part exceptionally well.
Typically, the airspeed change from the burble is just a tiny fraction of the wind over deck speed, and the absolute value doesn’t seem to be impressive. However, given how little the margin is and that the burble tries to crash you into the stern, it will add spice to your future traps.Cobra847
Finally, Heatblur is working on Iceman, the AI system that compliments Jester. Iceman flies the F-14 when you’re in the RIO seat pushing buttons there and Heatblur appears to be aiming at a more robust system for Iceman AI than previously.
You can now tell ICEMAN to fly to a waypoint entered into the navigation system; or any point defined on the F10 map. You can also ask ICEMAN to orbit a waypoint, and can select between a variety of diameter and speed combinations. You can also select right handed or left handed orbits, in order to allow you to effectively use the LANTIRN targeting pod from the rear seat. ICEMAN can fluidly switch from one orbit to another orbit (i.e. moving into a closer orbit) or change direction at any given time if asked.Cobra847
That’s awesome. For many F-14 pilots that don’t fly with a human RIO, additional capabilities just further increases the enjoyment of the aircraft and these are solid steps forward.
Jester also gets a mention in the update as Heatblur wants to improve their AI technology there too. Jester is receiving updates that will calm him down from reporting every missile launch and instead prioritize the ones that you need to know about (and not the missile launch from one tank aimed at another for example).
LANTIRN support and checklist reading are still in development as well.
Good news all around
All in all, this is a very good update for one of DCS World’s best and most feature complete modules and its one that continues to see a lot of development and support. It’s wonderful to see and I’m glad we’re hearing a lot about what Heatblur is doing these days.