A relatively straightforward question asked on the IL-2 forums has lead to a much more interesting answer from IL-2 series Executive Producer Jason Williams. As a result, we now know that a mystery aircraft is in development now and will be announced soon. Here’s what we know!
Of pre-orders and mystery planes
Let’s talk about the background of what we’ve just learned so that this all makes sense. A member of the IL-2 forum asked when the Sopwith Snipe and Siemens-Schuckert D.IV will go up for pre-order sales. These two Collector Planes for Flying Circus Vol 2 represent the first entirely new aircraft for the Flying Circus series (the rest have been remastered from their appearances in Rise of Flight) and Ugra Media are working at bringing them to life together with the 1CGS team. We saw an update with screenshots of the in-development models just a couple of weeks ago.
Jason replied letting us know that they would be up for pre-order sales soon, however, that’s not all he said.
Pre-orders for the Snipe and SS.DIV are coming very soon along with a new mystery plane. We have yet to announce. Li-2 will go up as soon as the C-47 is ready and they Ugra begins work on it.Jason Williams
Now that is interesting! There’s more too.
I will announce soon. It’s not an entirely new plane, but different in significant enough of a way to allow us to sell it as a new bird to help round out our stable. When opportunity presents itself we try to take advantage.Jason Williams
Not counting Battle of Normandy, we can now confirm that the IL-2 series has several separate aircraft in development. The IAR-80/81, Sopwith Snipe, Siemens-Schuckert D.IV, C-47A, the Li-2 (after the C-47) and the mystery airplane. Interesting news indeed!
What could it be?
That’s the news and so from here we switch over to purely speculative options and how they might pan out. As Jason has reported, this is not a new airplane but rather based on one that they already have. That eliminates a number of types from consideration including the much desired B-25 – for now anyways. I also think that 1CGS will stick to a plan of offering content that can slot into an existing battle or career.
The choices then narrow down somewhat and the first one that rises to the top of my list is a Mosquito bomber variant. A B.IV or B.IX, with a glass nose and the ability to carry some more significant bomb loads (some up to 4,000lbs with the “Cookie” bomb), would be interesting to have. It would give the Allies a capable bomber without the complexities of adding and modeling gun turrets and it would be an aircraft that the 1CGS artists and programmers already have in the pipeline. More than minor modification, however, the B.IV or B.IX would be a different airplane with changes to the cockpit, 3D model inside and out, a bombsight, and different armament.
Another that rises to the top of my list is the A-20G. This may be a more ambitious undertaking, however, the A-20 is a fan favourite of the series and we already have the very impressive B model. The G would involve cockpit changes, a new gun turret, and 3D model changes including the solid nose and six .50cal machine guns in the nose (plus two more in the new powered turret at the back).
A simpler variant change would be the Spitfire F.IX. Popular and well used in the 1943 time period leading up to Normandy as well as in dwindling numbers during the Normandy invasion, this variant has been proposed many times before. Fans have remarked that a Spitfire IX with the C-type wing, rounded tail, and earlier Merlin variant (Merlin 61 or 63) with slightly lower performance potential versus the Merlin 66 powered version we have right now would appeal.
Fans of the Ju87 Stuka dive-bomber have often remarked that they would like to see the extended wing D-5 model. This variant was armed with a pair of MG151/20 cannons instead of the light machine guns in the wings giving the type more punch during ground attack operations. The D-5 also formed the basis of the tank-busting G-2 variant.
While some will rebel against the idea, Bf109 fans love their Bf109 variants and many have asked for a Bf109G-6 A/S (featuring a different and more streamlined nose more akin to the K-4 version) or Bf109G-10. Although these fit the criteria, I suspect that a G-10 might be held for some future version of the sim and I feel like the G-6 A/S is too niche to do well in sales. Although virtual pilots do love the 109 quite a bit, so I might be wrong!
There are other gaps in the aircraft set as well that 1CGS may decide to try and plug. The Yak-1 Series 69, from Battle of Stalingrad, could form the basis of a much earlier version of the Yak-1 with a less powerful engine and less refined airframe that saw use during the Battle of Moscow.
The same could be said for the LaGG-3 which could incorporate an early series aircraft. Uniquely, the LaGG-3 in its earliest iterations carried a battery of guns including a 20mm ShVAK, two UBS 12.7mm and two 7.62mm light machine guns. Or a LaGG-3 Series 66 could easily slot into Kuban (and Kursk) scenarios offering La-5 like performance on the last of the LaGG fighters. I’m not sure if these are likely but it is possible.
What do you think it is? Let me know in the comments!
IL-2 forum user EAF19_Marsh made a guess at some of the possible aircraft that we might see that fit the criteria. Here’s the list:
Spit IX (quite likely)
Spit VIII (I wish!)
Typhoon early model (unlikely)
P-39 variant (possible)
Something Russian (quite possible)EAF19_Marsh
And then we have a reply from Jason indicating no to the items on the list.
Nope to all that.Jason Williams
So, that narrows the options down a bit from some of my earlier guesses and no doubt some of yours too. There’s still plenty of aircraft out there that it might be so we can still make some guesses.