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IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover Latest instalment in the acclaimed IL-2 Sturmovik series from award-winning developer 1C: Maddox Games.

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Old 06-09-2012, 07:51 PM
Blackdog_kt Blackdog_kt is offline
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Default Bombers, twin-engined and multi-crewed aircraft: Issues and suggestions.

After posting about this topic in the recent update thread and getting positive feedback from various members, i decided to continue the relevant discussion here.

This thread aims to serves a few specific purposes:

1) To discuss all these issues in a single thread, without derailing other threads.

2) To collect and consolidate information from multiple sources and players who are willing to test things out. For example, i know quite a bit about the Blenheim because i researched it a lot, and thanks to a group of other players we got 1c's ear and they improved it quite a bit in the recent test patch. However, i don't know much about the Br.20 and most people i know don't either. Maybe someone else does and this thread will encourage them to come in and contribute their knowledge.

3) To ensure a bit more exposure for issues relating to bombers and multi-engine/multi-crew aicraft without having to "compete" for forum space with other more popular fixes, like FMs of fighters and graphical improvements.

There are two reasons for bringing this up at this point in time. The sim's performance optimization is nearing completion and the fighter FMs are getting looked at. This means that what mostly bothers a lot of players is nearing a complete status, so we can move on to other areas that need attention.
Also, now that there is a bit of scripting background and the community's mission builders have some experience under their belts, having the ability to properly operate bombers will help create much more immersive and challenging scenarios, both offline and online.
For example, think of a script that tracks fuel levels in your airfield's fuel dump. If the main fuel dump is standing, you can spawn in 100 octane versions of Spits and Hurricanes, but if the enemy bombs them you are restricted by the script to use the 87 octane versions.

As you can see, having properly modeled bombers will add a lot in terms of tactical and even strategic planning, while also bringing all the other features together in a way that creates real incentives for the players to fly in an objective-based manner.



The way this thread will work is simple. I will start with a list of known issues in the next post. From that point on, anyone can come in and post their findings. Once every few days and depending on the amount of free time i've got, i'll be coming in and appending all the information supplied into the list of issues.
For this to happen though i need your cooperation. This will take quite a bit of time to keep updated, so i need the following posts to be easy to understand and to the point.

What i mean is, please keep off-topic talk to a minimum, flaming/trolling to zero (i can't stress this enough, this is a collaborative testing effort and disruptions will result in offending posts disappearing) and use a specific posting format. In other words, let's play engineer and fix our bombers


Reports should have the following format:

Type: Suggestion, bug report (when something is implemented but doesn't work correctly or at all) or modeling error (can apply to 3d modeling, aircraft systems modeling, reversed control animations, wrong labels, etc). In some cases the boundaries between bug report and modeling error can be hard to judge, so it's ok to include both in this field.


Aircraft: State the aircraft type that the report applies to. Can contain more than one aircraft types, eg "all luftwaffe twin engined bombers" or better yet "Ju88 and He111" which explicitly states the types involved.


Description: Clearly describe the bug/issue, modeling error or suggestion.

In case of bugs and modeling errors, provide some reference (eg, aircraft manual, website, etc) if at all possible. If you don't have any sources to quote it's ok, just say why you think there's a problem. Eg, "i heard it from another user on the forums", "i saw it on a manual but can't find the link now" or "it seems reasonable to me that..." are acceptable.
It's not possible for many of us to have all the technical manuals and i don't want to limit the amount of reports by forcing users to reference sources. Better report something and have someone chip in with more information so that we can all decide if it's a bug/error or not, than not reporting it at all.

In the case of a suggestion, start by stating your reasons for thinking that it would make a useful addition to the sim.


Tested: Possible answers are Yes, No, N/A. If yes, describe the steps you took to replicate the problem. In case of a suggestion, this field should be N/A.


Workarounds: If there is a way to circumvent a bug, or get the kind of functionality that your suggestion aims to achieve, state so here and clearly describe the steps you take to achieve it. Otherwise, state "not tested" or "none found".
This lets other players know if you tested for workarounds or not, before deciding that nothing can be done on their end and waiting for a patch. It also lets users get to flying in case there is a workaround.


Additional Information: If you have anything to include that doesn't apply to the above fields, you need to add some clarification or you want to ask other users for their input, do so here. For example, after reporting a bug you could fill this field in with more verbose information, eg "i haven't tested this in the latest beta patch, but someone told me that this and this changed, is this correct?".



Finally, if you want to add a bit of information to a preceding report or answer another user's question you don't have to post using the above format, as long as you quote his original report in your post so that we all know what you are referring to.

So, let's get testing and thank you all for your participation


P.S.
Report template, so that you can copy-paste it into your posts and fill it in.


Type:


Aircraft:


Description:


Tested:


Workarounds:


Additional Information:
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Last edited by Blackdog_kt; 06-09-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:51 PM
Blackdog_kt Blackdog_kt is offline
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  • Type: Bug report


    Aircraft: He-111, Ju-88


    Description: Flight ceiling is wrong. In reality the Ju-88 could fly higher than the He-111, while in the sim it's the other way around.


    Tested: Yes. He-111 can easily climb to 6km and above while loaded (full bomb load, 50% fuel). Ju-88 struggles to get to 5km with 50% fuel and full bomb load, especially during the part of the climb before the transition to the high supercharger gear occurs. It can keep climbing after the gear change occurs, but at a highly diminished rate.


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: I haven't done specific testing on this issue, just flown quite a few sorties on ATAG and observed my findings. Other pilots on ATAG did better tests and comparisons, some without bomb loads, so please chip in with more data if you have it.




  • Type: Bug report/modeling error


    Aircraft: He-111


    Description: Inability to achieve specified power settings, achievable RPM is too low for the given manifold pressure.


    Tested: Yes. Easiest way to observe it is to spawn on the ground and start a take-off roll. The RPM nevers get to the values stated in the manuals, even when using full fine pitch and full throttle. The power settings compared against the in-game He-111 are those stated in Flea's checklists.


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: None.




  • Type: Bug report/modeling error


    Aircraft: He-111P


    Description: Compass and gyrocompass are reversed and show current heading + 180 degrees. Hovering the mouse cursor over them displays a tooltip with the correct heading readout, but the graphic representation of the instruments in the 3D cockpit is reversed.


    Tested: Yes, in a previous version. If anyone has tested in the latest alpha patch + hotfix, please provide more informatin


    Workarounds: Use the mouse cursor to get the proper readings through the pop-up tooltips.


    Additional Information: This bug makes it confusing to use the course autopilot, since you constantly have to keep track of the conversion between current and displayed heading.




  • Type: Bug report/modeling error


    Aircraft: Ju-88


    Description: Prop pitch system is ambiguous in its use. The real Ju-88 had variable pitch propellers like the 109s and 110s, but it also featured an automatic mode that modulated pitch to maintain a specific RPM.


    Tested: Yes. It seems as if the in-game 88 has constant speed propellers, instead of automated variable pitch propellers.


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: I'm not exactly familiar with the nature of the real system. For example i don't know if the automation only kept the RPM at cruise setting, or it was also capable of maintaing any kind of RPM. If the second is true, it would be very similar to a constant speed propeller system in operation, so maybe the sim is correct in how it's modeling it. I remember one of the ATAG guys had a Ju-88 manual, so i'm expecting further information on this.



  • Type: Bug report


    Aircraft: Ju-88


    Description: The gyrocompass is inoperative. It is possible to set the current heading, but the gyrocompass doesn't move when the aircraft turns. Essentially, it remains stuck at whatever setting it has when the plane spawns, or whatever setting he pilot sets it to. This makes it impossible to use the course autopilot in the Ju-88 and in consequence, one cannot level bomb unless the plane is multi-crewed by human players online.


    Tested: Yes.


    Workarounds: It could be possible to align the desired heading with the stationary gyrocompass and manipulate them in unison to achieve some form of autopilot control, but the delay that is (realistically) built into the autopilot actions makes it very cumbersome to use, to the point of impossibility.


    Additional Information: None



  • Type: Bug report


    Aircraft: He-111, Ju-88


    Description: The Lofte bombsights are bugged in terms of calculating the proper release point and tracking the target. Up until the recent alpha patch + hotfix, the bombsight treated speed as km/h when calculating tracking (how fast the sight moves when automation is engaged), but when calculating the release point it treated the user inputs as mph. Nakedquirrel yesterday told me that now the sight calculations have changed, but are wrong again.


    Tested: Yes, but not with the latest alpha patch + hotfix.


    Workarounds: Up until before the alpha patch + hotfix, the player could either track correctly and release at the wrong time, or convert his speed to mph and use that value. When converting to mph however, the sight would track incorrectly but calculate a correct release point for whatever is under the crosshairs. In other words, when converting km/h to mph the bombs fell where the crosshairs was pointing, but the crosshairds didn't remaing steady on the target. So, the player had to disable automation, recenter it and re-enable automation all through the bomb run. If the player could re-center the sights on targets using this method, then it was possible to hit the target. Another method involved using km/h, but instead of converting to mph (dividing speed in km/h by 1.6) the player could eliminate the error by multiplying his altitude by 1.6. The problem in this case is that at some point, the player reaches the end of the altitude scale on the bombsight.

    I don't know what exactly happens in the current alpha + hotfix version.


    Additional Information: I need more clarification on what currently happens with the Lofte bombsights. If you have conducted tests of your own, please quote this part of the list and reply below in the main body of the thread.




  • Type: Bug report/modeling error


    Aircraft: He-111, Ju-88, Blenheim Mk.IV, possibly Br.20


    Description: In many cases, players report better accuracy when they input IAS in their bombsights rather than TAS. This could either be an error in modeling the
    bombsights, an error in bomb balistics, or an undocumented feature: automatic calculation of the ground speed by the bomb sight. The speed needed is in fact GS (ground
    speed) and not TAS, but in the previous IL2 series we used TAS because we didn't have a lot of weather effects. Then, if we engaged automation and the target drifted we
    could fine-tune the speed we input into the sight to keep the sight steady on the target and we had the correct GS. In CoD it might be harder to do once the dynamic weather
    gets implemented and as far as i know, we don't have functional wind drift meters modeled in the in-game bombers. So, maybe the simulator takes care of the IAS to GS
    conversion automatically? Otherwise it's probably a bug/modeling error.


    Tested: Not myself, but others have done so. Please quote this part and reply if you have testing evidence, so that i can include your username and evidence here.


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: None.




  • Type: Suggestion


    Aircraft: All aircraft with a turret


    Description: Implementing a new command to switch control of turrets between AI and player, similar to how it was in the previous IL2 series. This would give the players the choice of manning individual guns if they wish, but also be able to give gun control back to the AI when they want to focus on flying. Currently, once a

    turret is occupied by the player, the AI revokes control and doesn't regain it when the player moves back to the pilot's seat. It also seems that being a gunner qualifies

    as being in charge of all the defensive guns, which would mean that once you take control of a turret the AI would stop controlling all of the turrets on the aircraft. This is suggested by the way some of the scripting commands work and the fact that you see up to two different roles next to your name if you enable the netstats window: it is

    either "pilot, bomabrdier" or "pilot, gunner", but never all three of them or "gunner1, gunner2".


    Tested: Yes, but it is sometimes difficult to judge the exact results. If you've got extra data, by all means provide some.


    Workarounds: In aircraft with bombardiers, it might be possible to give back turret control to AI. This seems to be tied in with the above limitation in the game engine of having up to two roles per human player. So, if you switch back to bombardier and then pilot, your gunner role is "revoked" because you keep the roles corresponding to the last two positions you occupied (your current one and the one before that). What remains unclear is whether the AI takes back control of "unoccupied" cockpit positions or not. Even if it works like that, it's still not viable for aircraft with only two crew positions, like the Bf-110 and the Stuka.


    Additional Information: None.




  • Type: Modeling error


    Aircraft: Bf-110


    Description: Missing ammunition loadout. The 110Cs were equipped with MG-FF/M cannons, capable of firing the HE M-shells. These already exist in the sim because the Bf-109E-4 carries them, so it would be trivial to also add them for the Bf-110Cs.


    Tested: Not personally. Quote this part and reply if you have additional data i can add here.


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: References and/or testing results needed. If anyone has extracted in-game files that specify loadouts, it will be possible to confirm beyond all doubt if the in-game 110s can fire M-shells or not.




  • Type: Modeling error


    Aircraft: Bf-110


    Description: Missing variants equipped with DB601N engines. According to data presented by other forum users, half or more of the Bf110 fleet during the battle of Britain was equipped with DB601N engines and higher octane fuel, making them some of the fastest aircraft in the theater. Currently the variants are missing. If they were indeed so numerous, it would be a proper addition to have the N-powered variants in the sim.


    Tested: Not myself, other report that the in-game 110s don't conform to N standard.


    Workarounds: N/A.


    Additional Information: Anyone with relevant documentation on the issue is welcome to provide information, WITHOUT however turning this into an 80-page FM debate like the RAF 100 octane threads.




  • Type: Bug report


    Aircraft: Br.20


    Description: In a previous version the mouse controls for the top turret were reversed.


    Tested: Yes, but in a previous version


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: If anyone can test it with the latest alpha patch + hotfix and get back to me, it woud be great. Please quote this part and reply with your
    findings.




  • Type: Bug report


    Aircraft: Br.20


    Description: Switching positions while starting the engines online sometimes results in the AI copilot taking control of the aircraft.


    Tested: Yes (Stealth_Eagle)


    Workarounds: Not tried personally. Perhaps using the default ctrl+c keybinding to take back control will work.


    Additional Information: None.




  • Type: Bug report


    Aircraft: Br.20


    Description: Looking into the bombsight will occasionally cause the sim to freeze up


    Tested: Yes (Stealth_Eagle).


    Workarounds:


    Additional Information:




  • Type: Modeling error


    Aircraft: He-111, possibly Br.20


    Description: The bomsight altitude adjustment is labelled wrong. User inputs increase/decrease the bombsight altitude in 10 meter increments, but the blue labels in

    the information window to the right of the screen show only 100 meter increments (so the labels only change every 10 "ticks").


    Tested: Yes, in the He-111. For the Br.20, a similar issue was reported by Stealth_Eagle


    Workarounds: It is possible to manually count the 10m intervals in each hundred of meters: Once the label changes you are in a new hudredth of the scale, then every
    extra "tick" of the switch adds/subtracts 10 meters to/from that value.


    Additional Information: Need more information from Stealth_Eagle to confirm that this is the nature of what he reported to me.




  • Type: Suggestion


    Aircraft: Br.20


    Description: More fuzing options for Italian bombs, specifically low level and/or delayed fuzes. This would enable skip bombing ships with the Br.20


    Tested: N/A


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: Information is needed on whether such fuzes actually existed for the bombs used by the Br.20




  • Type: Suggestion


    Aircraft: Blenheim Mk.IV and Br.20 primarily, can be useful for all bombers however.


    Description: Addition of a new AI control mode, called "bombardier guidance" that simulates the pilot being guided through the bomb run by the bombardier. This would enable bombers without an autopilot to maintain a degree of accuracy without havng to multi-crew them (making them more useful both online and offline), plus it would also make things simpler even for bombers equipped with autopilots (only the He-111s and the Ju-88 come equipped with one in the sim) by skipping the need to configure the autopilot.

    The drawback for not using the autopilot would be reduced accuracy due to the nature of the "bombardier guidance" mode. The purpose of this mode is to bridge the gap between the unrealistic and artificial level stabilizer we had in the previous IL2 series and the lack of control options for the bombers without autopilots we have in CoD, without compromising too much realism for functionality and vice versa.

    The way to model this would be to use the existing keybindings used for commanding turns via the autopilots ("set course left/right"), but they would have a different function when "bombardier guidance" mode would be enabled (we also would need a new keybinding to toggle this mode on/off). Once bombardier guidance is enabled and regardless of whether the aircraft we are flying has an autopilot, control of the aircraft is passed to the AI (or better, to an "invisible" wings level autopilot so that it won't mess with our engine settings). From that point on, using the "set course left/right" keys results in the player commanding the pilot to turn the aircraft.

    One to three taps of the key in the same direction would result in gentle turns that are made wings level with rudder only. Four or more taps of the key would result in more aggressive, banking turns. The difference with using the autopilot is that with bombardier guidance enabled, the aircraft would NOT level off on its own: we are not commanding a course change, but an attitude change/deflection of control surfaces. To level off, the player would have to tap the key corresponding to a course change in the opposite direction from the currently executed turn.

    For example. I'm flying a blenheim, roughly line up the target from the pilot's seat, hop to the bombardier's seat and toggle bombardier guidance to on. The aircraft levels off but i still have control off my engines. I look through the bombsight and see that the target is off to the left about 15 degrees. I press my "set course left" key 4-5 times to command the pilot to start a banking turn to the left. A little bit before lining up (in order to account for the delay in leveling off), i tap my "set course right" key ONCE to command the pilot to level off. I look at the target again and see i overshot it, now it's about 3 degress to the right. I only need a gentle turn with no bank, so i tap my "set course right" key no more than 3 times, to command the pilot to turn with the wings level using only the rudder. As the target is about to come onto the center line of my view, i tap my "set course left" key ONCE to "reset" and command the pilot to level off. Now i'm lined up with the target and i can concentrate on bombing, while the pilot keeps the aircraft level.

    This would not only help everyone bomb with more accuracy, but also simulate the running commentary give to pilots by their bombardiers ("left, left, steady, right" etc) while on the bomb run and still keep things somewhat realistic.

    Tested: N/A


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: None.




  • Type: Suggestion


    Aircraft: All bombers


    Description: Addition of full 6-DOF view controls for the bombardier cockpits (working both with head tracking or mouse/joystick hat controls, just like it works for pilot cockpits). Currently the view is not only locked when selecting bombsight view (as it should), but it is also limited in the amount of axes available and also the amount of "travel" for available axes, even when we are not looking down the sights. This presents various problems or deprives the player of useful abilities.

    For example, having full 6-DOF view control would enable the bombardier of a He-111 to check how open the radiators are on the engines and inform the pilot, since there are no in-cockpit indicators that show this.

    In the case of the Blenheim Mk.IV and Br.20 that use simpler bombsights without scopes, it would also allow the bombardier to look under the framing of the nose and be able to line up the target with more accuracy from a greater distance. Currently, especially in the Blenheim, going higher than 5000 - 6000 feet is prohibitive, because the nose framing obscures so much of the ground at high altitudes that the target "appears" under the transparent part of the nose a split second before it is time to drop bombs.

    This makes lining up the target almost impossible from altitudes above 4000 feet.


    Tested: Yes, on the Blenheim by various players.


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: None.




  • Type: Bug report


    Aircraft: Br.20


    Description: Only magnetic compass is working


    Tested: Yes, but in a previous version (JG53Frankyboy)


    Workarounds: N/A


    Additional Information: None




  • Type: Suggestion


    Aircraft: All bombers


    Description: Currently, players flying bombers have to do the workload of at least two people: pilot and navigator, in certain situations bombardier, gunners, spotters and flight engineer as well. In reality, multi-crew bombers enjoyed the team work of the whole crew. This a proposal for a new feature, simulating the working environment inside the bomber by adding certain commands for the crew.

    For example:
    - Bombardier: turning on/off the running commentary function, which automatically activates within 10km from the target (visual range). Bombardier will constantly tell the skipper to steer left or right, or keep height and airspeed when these two vary too much. Also bombardier will confirm the effect of impacts.
    - Navigator: commands to inform pilot of 1. current position, 2. direction to the next waypoint, 3. time to the next waypoint, 4. maximal flying time left
    - Gunner: commands to scan the sky or the ground. Also commands to track the movement of the closest contact (like: fighter, unidentified, 6 o'clock, closing). All commands should be able to be given to individual gunner.
    All information should not be always correct. For example, gunner can lose contact of enemy fighter hiding under the fuselage, or navigator can make wrong calculations.


    Tested: N/A


    Workarounds:

    Additional Information: Modders already did this in IL-2 (suggestion submitted by rga)

    Blackdog's additional input - For the bombardier to guide us to target, we would need a way to mark the target waypoint. Perhaps we could use the in-game map tools to place a waypoint on target and set its type to "target", then the AI bombardier could calculate his directions based on that point?

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Old 06-09-2012, 07:58 PM
Blackdog_kt Blackdog_kt is offline
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Reserved for list of issues and suggestions - part 2
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:58 PM
Blackdog_kt Blackdog_kt is offline
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Reserved for list of issues and suggestions - part 3
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:29 PM
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Reserved parts 1-3...I hope it dos'nt go on that far
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:34 PM
Blackdog_kt Blackdog_kt is offline
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It depends on how much text we need to describe each issue. There's a limit of 10000 characters per post, if some bugs need a lengthy post to describe what happens it might be easy to reach the limit of one post.

So i reserved 3 posts at the top of the thread just to be on the safe side, instead of having to start another list in another page. Just to keep things tidy and readable
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:02 AM
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For a bug compilation of the Bf 110 follow the link below:

"Bf 110 C bug-fest"
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:33 AM
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For the Ju 88 and the BR20 I would talk to MajorBorris who I think is still part of the ATAG squad.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:21 AM
Blackdog_kt Blackdog_kt is offline
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Kodoss - Thanks for the feedback, i'll try to compile them into the list in the next couple of days.

Doggles - I've also posted links to this thread on the ATAG and simHQ forums. Let's see if we can gather up some more help.

Everyone else - Shameless bump. I can sticky my own thread if i want to, but it's lacking in taste/manners a bit i think
So just tell everyone you know that flies bombers about this thread and let's get to identifying everything that needs fixing. If we do get enough interest, i'll sticky and maybe move it to a more appropriate section.

Thanks for your help everyone.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Type: Modeling error

Aircraft: Bf-110

Description: Missing variants equipped with DB601N engines. According to data presented by other forum users, half or more of the Bf110 fleet during the battle of Britain was equipped with DB601N engines and higher octane fuel, making them some of the fastest aircraft in the theater. Currently the variants are missing. If they were indeed so numerous, it would be a proper addition to have the N-powered variants in the sim.

Tested: Not myself, other report that the in-game 110s don't conform to N standard.

Workarounds: N/A.

Additional Information: Anyone with relevant documentation on the issue is welcome to provide information, WITHOUT however turning this into an 80-page FM debate like the RAF 100 octane threads.
Regarding 100 OCT fuel in the Book "Messerschmitt Bf 110, Me 210, Me 410" from Mankau/Petrick is some interresting text about this.
Looks like 4 groups of Bf 110 and one group of Bf 109 had DB 601N engines.

I will try to translate the according text and post it in the Bf 110 Bug fest threat.
With that I hope to keep your threat as clean as possible.
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