After a long silence, FlyingIron Simulations has given a development update on their upcoming A-7E Corsair II for DCS. The project was unveiled back in February of 2020. FlyingIron Simulations’ Dan wrote an extensive blog post on the progress of the plane, its flight model, systems and more. The whole post is worth reading in full if you are really interested in this plane.
The external flight model that will be used for the plane is based on a combination of wind-tunnel data, CFD general data and feedback and information from former A7 pilots. The flight model development is progressing very nicely and the team has managed to achieve the goal it set out to do; namely capture the key aerodynamics and characteristics of the plane with minimal aerodynamic data. The team has used software to simulate the airflow over a CAD model to create a highly accurate flight model that match real behaviour of the plane. Dan also details how he’s begun drag modelling in situations where landing gear, flaps, slats and spoilers might be deployed. After that, flight modelling development will move on to surface modelling and edge of envelope performance.
The core functionality of the AN/ALR-67 RWR has been developed and implemented, meaning the hardest part of the development is done. The development is now focussed on calculating priority groupings and threat rings, lock/launch and other symbols.
Another focus point of system development where work will be started soon is the HUD. The placeholder HUD that has been used up until now will be replaced with an AN/AVQ-7B(V) HUD. This HUD has the additional capability of operating in night mode in conjunction with a FLIR system. Night mode combines video feed from the FLIR with HUD symbology to create a composite display on the HUD.
Development work on the PMDS (Projected Map Display System) is well underway, and all basic modes and functionalities have been accurately modelled. More advanced features of the PMDS will be implemented over the coming weeks and months, adding features such as slew functionality, Manual/Hold operation and mark point saving. The visual model and elements will also be completed during this time.
Last but not least in the systems department, work has been ongoing on the AN/APQ-126(V) Forward Looking Radar. It has several functionalities and modes of operation. The work on this part has begun, and so far a basic ground mapping mode has been developed. In the future, additional modes will be added, as well as aiming and weapons delivery logic.
The 3D modelling effort lately has been on the MSFS side, with the Corsair development mostly focussing on systems and flight model development. However, after a recent team expansion there are still some previews to show off an overhaul, update and completion of the Corsair’s 3D model. These (along with all other) previews are not final and work will continue over the coming months.
Throughout the whole blogpost, a rough roadmap or focus areas can already be identified. The current development phase, internally dubbed ‘Phase 3’ (FlyingIron Simulations works in 4 development phases, after which a release should follow), is ongoing and in full swing. Phase 3 will still take a considerable amount of time, but the team already shared some of their plans for Phase 4, during which flight testing in the simulator will also be conducted.