Heatblur have dropped a new update across all of their social media channels today with news and images about a significant upgrade to the DCS: AJS-37 Viggen for DCS World. The strike fighter is a fan favourite and has gotten a real boost in recent years with the renewed interest and emphasis on Cold War era flying in DCS. Heatblur also drop a few hints around the possibility of a F-14D for DCS and it doesn’t hurt to recap what we know about the F-4.
Viggen is the star of the show
If you look on Heatblur’s public roadmap, the DCS: AJS-37 has a long list of upgrades planned for it. That list includes exterior PBR texture overhaul, dynamic tactical and training numbers, a rebuilt collision model, improved pilot animations, custom exterior soundset, cockpit art overhaul, new afterburner system, a simplified PSD paintkit, more default liveries, visual damage model additions, and exterior model corrections. That’s quite a bit! Heatblur, in today’s update, have also noted that wing vapours, overhauled Maverick guidance and flight model improvements are also planned.
It’s unclear if all of these items on the public roadmap are coming in this new update but it sounds like a good number of them will.
A full changelog and more is forthcoming according to Heatblur.
From before the launch of the DCS: F-14A and B, Heatblur has been asked about the possibility of an F-14D. With an enhanced radar, new digital systems, upgraded cockpit, and various other changes, it became the ultimate F-14 in the US Navy before the type was retired.
Today, they were asked again and answered with slightly certainty than we’re used to hearing from them on the subject. When asked how difficult a D model would be, here was the answer:
Very tough! But we’re moving in that direction as fast as we can, by gathering data and documentation, to hopefully enable this sort of project in the future.Heatblur on Facebook
This is, of course, not confirmation of an F-14D arriving imminently to DCS. It does, however, suggest that Heatblur are making efforts to collect the data and details needed to recreate one in the future. That in itself is exciting, particularly for Tomcat fans, who have hoped to get a D model F-14 to compliment the already excellent line-up of F-14A and B models.
Speaking of the already released F-14 models, we did learn that some quality of life updates are on the way this month.
December patch will see a number of QoL improvements but no major new features. E.g.; wheel chocks (no more deck sliding!) and eliminating bugs with mass & balance causing reduced aircraft performance on subsequent flights.Heatblur on Facebook
These aren’t big updates but they are welcome updates. Especially the deck sliding issue which has bugged me for years!
We don’t have any news regarding the F-14A-135GR or 95GR (IRIAF version) variants that Heatblur are intending to eventually add to the sim.
Revisiting the F-4 and Eurofighter Typhoon
Two other aircraft that Heatblur are developing also came up frequently today. On that we don’t have any new information but doing a quick search of the DCS World forums reveals this post from Heatblur CEO, Nicholas Dackard, dated November 15, reporting that both projects are underway. Here’s what he had to say:
Eurofighter is well underway; and the F-4 is nearing completion. Temporary silence does not imply anything regarding development.Cobra847 on the DCS World forums
In late October, we did get an update from Nicholas regarding the F-4, timelines, the unexpected challenges, and their progress on the module. I reported about that here. With just a few weeks remaining before the end of the year it seems unlikely that the F-4 Phantom will meet its originally stated end of 2022 goal. I’m sure it will be brilliant when it does arrive and the same will be true of the Eurofighter too.
Stay tuned for more on both of those!