New A.I. Files

Hello All,

Enge and I have had a brainstorm about some key class files, and subsequently I have managed to once again compile some of these. As a result, I have improved the AI function in the sim, redressing some errors and other bugs which have existed in the current version of the files since the time when we lost the ability to re-compile them (appx. one 1/2 yrs ago). There are too many subtle fixes to mention, but some of the key behaviour traits which have been changed concern the AI’s gunnery, corrections to aiming while firing, bomber formations, and so on. Briefly, to summarise:

AI pilots now hold their fire until closer ranges. The range at which they fire decreases with pilot Skill rating. Currently, all AI pilots of all Skill levels start shooting at 500 or 700 meters, depending upon the “attack type”. Now the range will vary per “attack type”, and if the target is a fighter or bomber. Average pilots, for example, vs a fighter target using a ‘normal’ attack open up with machine-guns starting from 350 m, and then with cannon from  275 m, IF “on target” (hopefully they will determine this property better now). And so on… you can see that there are a number of variables about how and when they will shoot.

When firing at a target, the AI will now check twice as much to determine if they are “on target”. They will be able to correct their aim more than previously, again as per AI pilot Skill. Hopefully, as a result, they will waste less ammo. I have tried very hard to make them avoid this current behaviour where they keep firing at a target which they just miss, expending all of their ammo. Being Oleg creations, the AI wil still do this, but I hope much less than previously.

Bombers have an annoying habit of maneuvering like fighters, and breaking formation. This is very hard to control. However, I think that there will be some improvement now in this behaviour. It seems to be the case, but more testing will tell the tale.

I propose that these files should be introduced into our current installation (P6.4). The changes are very much needed, and they look to be stable and bug-free. We will want to test this claim, of course. But, I feel that these are too important to leave for the P7 release. AI updates should be immediate, in my view.

Therefore, please find me on Skype and obtain these new files. They are tiny and will transfer in 2-3 seconds. Thanks, and hope to see you all for coops!

— VPB_x4btr | read more

Final add-on to Phase 7 today (?)

Erik (and I?) worked a little today to get a forgotten and neglected Fw 190 variant into the next update, the Fw 190A-8/R-2, also known as the “Sturmjäger”.

This is a Fw 190A-8 with an additional 191,6 kg of armour, concentrated around the cockpit and canopy and the outer wing guns. The armament is also changed and consists of 2 x 20 mm MG 151 in the wingroots and 2 x 30 mm MK 108 with 55 RPG in the mid-wing position. The Mg 131s are deleted.

This variant is thus better against defensive fire from bombers (but not rear attacks from fighters!) and well equipped to bring down heavy bombers. The downside is that it is extremely heavy, almost 5 tonnes fully loaded, fully armoured and with a 300 litre drop tank. It is therefore not a fighter and should not be used as such, so no sharp turns or you will stall!

Here´s some interesting information about the armour protection of this and the more standard Fw 190A-8 and where the armour was placed:

Sturmjager_armor

 

And here a drawing of the extra cockpit/canopy armoor and a photo showing its placement. We will not have the canopy armour (except the “Windshcutz” ) in the game version, but this was often removed in the field anyways. Also note that there is no new 3D-model involved, the side armour panels will be simulated on new skins!

Fw190A8R2_cockpit_armor Sturmjager_cockpit_armor

— VPB_Kjetilman | read more

Phase 7– Update

Greetings All. My intension was to complete a little Phase 7 re-cap, and to list the new features as tested and installed so far… But, my word!

What started out as an Ordnance (bomb/torpedo) mod has turned into a searching re-invention of VPB IL2! The number of new aircraft, features, 3D models, cockpits, and on and on has reached staggering proportions. I had not really anticipated this, to be honest. But, the more I test this version, the more it becomes crystal clear that this is a major release; quite a lot better in every respect to everything we have had hitherto.

I will attempt to summarise the new features in Phase 7. However, please forgive me if I forget something, which (with the numbers of changes going) is quite likely. If you see something missing here, please add it to the article. Be that as it may, here we go:

New Aircraft (all flyable)
A-20 B/C VVS modification (MV-1 turret)
A-20G-1
A-20G VVS modification (external weapon racks)
DB-3 M-87
Il-2 NS-37
Pe-2 FT with field mod defensive armament
Yak-1 Massoviy
Yak-1 PF
Yak-1 Oblegchenniy
Yak-1 Okhotniki

Fiat Br.20M
RE-2002

Ki-45-Id
Ki-67-I
A7M2

Bf 109E-4/Trop
Bf 109F-2/Trop
Bf 109F-4/Trop
Bf 109G-2/Trop
Do 217M-1
He 111H-20
Ju 52 bomber (SCW)

Me 410 Bomber Destroyer

P-47C

Beaufort Mk I (early)
Beaufort Mk I Srs2
Beaufort Mk VI (RAAF)
Typhoon Mk Ib (teardrop canopy)
Wellington Mk III

New 3D Models for Existing Types
Lancaster
Hs 129
He 219
Il-4
Fiat G.50
Ju 88C-6

The stupid PBN has been transformed into a proper PBY Catalina!

New Cocpkits for Existing Types
Hs 129
He 219
Ki-45
Ki-46
Me 210
Me 410
Fw 190 (all)
Lancaster
B-24
B-17 (all)
B-29
SB
DB-3 / Il-4 (all)

Maps
Madrid – SCW
-updates and improments to many existing maps
Armament
-changes to all gun classes for anti-Oleg aiming problem
-removal of M-Geschuss ammo load-out as standard, re-applied in load-outs where historically authentic
-correction to M-Geschuss ammo trajectory, muzzle velocity, and other parameters
-all new torpedoes of our own design with improved launch parameters
-many new bombs (e.g. 4000 lbs ‘Cookie’, Tallboy, Fritz-X, SD-2, and so on)

Additionally, every class file has been reviewed with respect to weapon load-out, ammunition, and other features. Improved bomb salvoes introduced where practicable.

Lastly, special mention to Kjetil and Oky for sorting out this VPB SFX mod, which I think we all agree is superb. This is a great addition to our VPB sim.

*Whew*…  now, I have missed anything?…

— VPB_x4btr | read more

Proper Yak-1s– At LONG Last….

Thanks to Kjetil for spotting this release! At last, someone has finally modified the Yak-1 fuselage into the correct form so that we can introduce the vast majority of Yak-1 fighters into IL2. For 10 years we have been stuck with the bloated, over-weight early version of the Yak-1, which was both uncommon and unsatisfactory. Now, finally, we can add the rest.

Allow me to introduce four new Yak-1s, all available in Phase 7:

The Massoviy
yk1-mass
A ‘mature’ production Yak-1 with reduced take-off weight and better aerodynamic properties. You’ll find this model to be faster (~15-25 km/h) and climb better than the early version.

The PF
yk1-pf
This is the massoviy airframe now mounting the much more powerful M-105PF engine of 1260 hp. The supercharger gearing has been lowered (2nd stage at around 2000 m) for maximum performance at lower altitudes, as was the usual environment for VVS combats. The Yak-1 ‘PF’ is vastly better in the climb and turn than the earlier models, as you will see.

The Oblegchenniy
yk1-obl
Oblegchenniy means ‘lightened’, and indeed that is exactly what this model is all about. Without losing any structural strength whatever, this model is some 300 kg lighter than the PF, with a corresponding improvement in all flight parameters. Below 5000 m the Obl can fly rings around any Luftwaffe fighter, and fears nothing in the vertical plane, as well.

The Okhotniki
yk1-okt
About 120 of these ‘special request’ Yak-1s were built at the behest of several regiments whose specific job it was to counter Luftwaffe fighters. These units were called okhotniki (‘hunters’) regiments, and they specialised in fighter-vs-fighter combats (not escort, as was the usual VVS job) to counter formations of elite Luftwaffe fighters (e.g. JG 2, JG 51, JG 52, etc) which roamed the front. The Yak-1 okhotniki is an Obl model with the all-metal fin and stabilisers of the Yak-7. This gives the performance of an Obl married to the fine controls of the Yak-7. They were absolutely devastating, as you will see.

 

At last, we will all see see what a proper Yak-1 can do, and why they were so feared by– and successful against– their enemies.

— VPB_x4btr | read more

New Lancaster in Action – Low-level attack and Oky on Fire!

This is the new 3D-model of the Lancaster that Oky managed to implement.  It is vastly better than the previous version and is near perfect!

These screenshots are from my Lancaster low-level mission, which really serves to highlight this wonderful creation.

VPB_Kjetilman

New_Lanc_4 New_Lanc_1 New_Lanc_2 New_Lanc_3

 

 

— VPB_Kjetilman | read more

Coop Screenshots # 2 – Kjetil & Oky’s long journey across Central Europe

The other day VPB_Oky and VPB_Kjetilman tested one of the latter’s new mission on the Westfront 40 map. The mission was a low-level raid agaisns an industrial site in Antwerp and you had to dodge a lot of anti-aircraft fire, barrage balloons and enemky fighters. Somehow we both managed to do just that and bomb our targets without suffering extensive damage and soon we found ourselves in formation heading home to good old England. For some as yet unknown reason we ended up flying all the way to Manston airbase where we landed safelty and taxied up to a dispersal area!

I took a few screenshots of the mission starting just after the bomb drop and the time tags of the screenshots indicate that we spent some 45 minutes in the air on the return leg! Add some 5 minutes before that from the mission’s start point  and I estimate the mission lasted some 50 minutes! That must be a VPB record, right?! The first screenshot was made at 01:24:19 and the last one at 02:09:47.

On the map we flew from Antwerp to Manston, which is quite a long journey. Good thing we didn’t have serious engine problems, although Oky had a slightly malfunctioning no. 4 engine and my no. 3 engine had a few problems too!

Below are screenshots of this long and interesting journey, during which we got to know each other even better!

 

Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_1

 

Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_2 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_3 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_4  Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_6 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_7 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_8 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_9Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_5 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_10 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_11 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_12 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_13 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_14 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_15 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_16 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_17 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_18 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_19 Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_21Oky_Kjetil_long_Lancaster_mission_22

 

— VPB_Kjetilman | read more

One Last Breakthrough!

Hi Chaps,

I am off tomorrow, but tonight I made one more discovery / breakthrough before leaving. I have finally compiled the new Paint Scheme class file I have worked on for months! And, more than that, it even works!

So, from now on we have a special category for any aircraft whose 3D model will not work with directly applied national insignia [ex. the Ju 188A]. These can be assigned to this special paint scheme class, and they will get game applied national markings as in the pre-KEDSS days. There are not too many of these, but now we are covered when we find such models.

Brilliant. And now, to France…! See you all soon, and play nicely.

— VPB_x4btr | read more

Trops, Bombs and Other

Phase 7 will have several Bf 109 Trop versions. The Bf 109F-4/Trop is shown here.

109f4trop

As you all know, I will be away during all of August. So, in my absence (in addition to playing lots of coops, I hope!) please have a think about bomb salvoes. Changing these is a bit of work (so let’s not go over-board!), but if there are any important re-configurations to undertake, please make a list of these. When I return, I’ll see what I can do.

I have removed the telescopic sight from the Fokker G.I. This did not really function correctly, and was a nuisance. I have replaced it with a simple iron sight, as G.I’s also carried. Gunner cockpit still not working….

— VPB_x4btr | read more

A little more on innovative non-gun rear-facing aircraft armament

Erik and Enge´s work on the Pe-2 with rear-facing (and shooting!) rockets will be interesting to try in practice! Here are some photos and drawings of the real installation:

Pe-2_rear_rockets Pe-2_rear_rockets_2 Pe-2_rear_rockets_3 Pe-2_rear_rockets_4 Pe-2_rear_rockets_draw_1 Pe-2_rear_rockets_draw_2

 

I find this installation fascinating and some of the mountings above (including the ventral one) could apparently be rotated and aimed!

So, will this be next?? A flamethrowing Ju 88!!

 

Ju88_flamethrower

VPB_Kjetilman

— VPB_Kjetilman | read more

Absent Friends…

Missing from the sim for too long, the Il-2 NS-37 model makes a triumphant return. The 3D model is not perfect by any means, but much better, and I reckon it is now useable. See for yourself (and ignore the colouration).

Il2-ns37

— VPB_x4btr | read more