IL-2’s fuel system and drop tanks are still coming

I’ve seen questions recently around the IL-2 community about the revised fuel system and drop tanks and if they are still coming. The answer is yes and there are both some clues in the latest patch as well as comments from the team that help to answer what the status is.

Two step dance

1CGS are busy building some new functionality into their aircraft with the Bf109 as the testbed for later inclusion on other aircraft. This process involves adding a more detailed and robust simulation of fuel systems on these aircraft.

In a post by Sketch on the IL-2 forums, he notes that there are new keybindings revealed in the controls section after the latest patch that give us a sense of what they are planning to do. Fuel selector and pump switches as well as fuel dumping and tank jettison buttons have all appeared in the controls.

In a separate thread, the devs were asked about the fuel tanks update. Jason Williams, the Executive Producer for the series, reported back that the systems update has some issues and is still being worked on. Here’s what he said:

They are connected to our Fuel System update which has had issues getting finished after testers found various issues. So still in development.

Jason Williams

The wait has been long for both drop tanks and a more sophisticated fuel modelling system, but it still sounds like we’re close to seeing it release. Stay tuned folks!


13 Comments Add yours

  1. Robert Haynes says:

    Hmmm, interesting. I’m surprised that IL2 is actually adding systems complexity, although I support it. Their strategy has always seemed to be capturing the overall feel of a specific point in time rather than creating a perfect recreation of a specific plane.

    People always point out how much more accurate DCS aircraft are, but I think it’s balanced by how much more complete the theatre of operations is in IL2.

    Now IL2 is kicking the can just a bit closer to the DCS.

    Also, maybe I am reading more into this than there actually is, but more complex fuel and drop tanks seem like an important thing to have modelled for long range carrier based missions. Maybe set in an ocean far away…


    1. harryvoyager says:

      I think adding drop tanks, and some of the unique problems of the actual aircraft are driving this.

      The P-51 is particular, has some very significant impacts from fuel handling, to the point that the fuselage tank must be drained even before the drop tanks. In the original Il-2, the CoG shift of the P-51 was simply not modelled at all, but it is quite definitely a factor here.

      I expect we will also be seeing a new difficulty setting for automatically managing the fuel system as well, and that’s also going to require test and eval to make sure it works and does not do stupid things either.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Agreed. This is surely a big part of why they are working their way through things and its taking time to do.


      2. Novice-Flyer says:

        Also, the IL-2 GBs game engine was built from a WW1 game engine where many things like Drop Tanks and advanced aircraft fuel systems weren’t there or were very primitive in WW1 and the basic necessities of a WW2 aircraft were put on a higher priority list during development of BoS. The devs have probably had to do major remodellings of aircraft already in the game for this to happen.

        It’s been a long frustrating wait and the devs know this fine well, but looks like we’re in the final stages where IL-2 GBs is no longer the only high fidelity WW2 sim without Drop Tanks.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Firdimigdi says:

      Well the battle of Normandy campaign map is also coming so there’s that for long range.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        Agreed. No doubt it will be useful to have some drop tanks for some of the aircraft there too.


    3. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I’m not sure. IL-2 is far more complex and models more than I think most people give it credit for. Yes, it has some simplifications, but even basic stuff like the clouds moving in the wind the sim has had in since its release in 2013 and we still have people claiming they don’t and IL-2 is such a simple sim. (Ironically DCS doesn’t yet have this feature!)

      I do like where you’re going with the long carrier missions. Drop tanks will be a necessity 🙂


    4. bf10-naughty says:

      I like how there is this notion that the DCS planes are so much more detailed. Yeah, it has a clickable cockpit, but IL2 flight models are more accurate more the planes shared in both. DCS has war thunder flight model with clickable cockpit. There are no advanced computer systems in WW2 planes…so…the clickable cockpit added level of detail is kind of overkill on WW2 planes.


      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        You may not get a ton of support on the position that IL-2’s flight model is more accurate than DCS’. I see them as roughly comparable with pros and cons for each in the flight area but there are going to be some strong feelings on that one.

        But I will agree with you that IL-2’s aircraft are plenty complex. More than they are sometimes given credit for.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Blue 5 says:

    While I applaud the effort to add items of interest I do wonder a little if this is really worth it. Drop tanks I get both from an aesthetic and practicability perspective, but how may people honestly care about the fuel system? For most aircraft it has limited – if any – impact on aircraft handling and thus becomes another vague thing in the background. I am not against it, just not sure that it is worth it. Mixture and radiator position matter. Keeping an eye on your fuel gauge matters. Manually selecting which tank….does in most cases not really matter.

    I am a GA pilot, BTW, so I ‘get’ that fuel level is important. But in a sim as a separate element it seems more towards the DCS ‘include but irrelevant’ approach to aircraft modelling.

    Just my view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I’m not sure. It might be worthwhile from a variety of points of view but you’re right that it may not be worth the added complexity for some or even a majority of users. On the other side of the coin, it will potentially solve some issues that earlier iterations of the series have had with more complex management of fuel systems and what that does to weight and center of gravity concerns.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. harryvoyager says:

      The P-51 and P-47 have some pretty big impacts from fuel handling, and there were some incidents of pilots crashing because they forgot to switch tanks.

      For most aircraft there shouldn’t be a real impact. I think the Spitfire and 109 had all their tanks drain into the center main fuel tank.

      I also suspect that complex fuel management will be a difficulty option.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Blue 5 says:

        I think those are the only 2 for which it would really matter.

        Liked by 1 person

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