Today we've got a small development update for you from the A-7E. Apologies that we've been quiet lately; we've had a few setbacks these last few months that have slowed us down slightly, but work has never stopped completely and progress continues to be made. Aside from that, we've also been polishing and tidying up our next (non DCS) module for release; more info on that to come soon.
Previously I've discussed our development plan for the A-7E and our intended phases of development. We can now happily report that we are elbow-deep into Phase 2, and making excellent progress so far. With the Flight Model making progress in leaps and bounds, we'll soon be turning our attention to avionics and systems development and integrating these with the previously developed core systems.
Today we'd like to ask your thoughts and feedback: In what condition do you prefer to see the cockpit in DCS? Dirty, worn and aged? Immaculate, fresh from the factory? Or somewhere in between?
As you can see, 3D Art has continued to progress steadily, with some focus returning once again to the cockpit. Alex has been very busy experimenting with materials & photogrammetry, building texture sets, and painstakingly recreating panel and rivet lines. Work has begun on gauge and analogue avionics modelling, including some initial experimental lighting tests. These are all of course very much WIP and subject to change substantially throughout development.
Below are some WIP images including a photogrammetry test, texture demos and lighting tests.
We're very excited to say that our Phase 1 test EFM has been discarded, and we are now well underway building our first iteration of our full-fidelity A7E Flight Model. Our current model is exponentially more complex than our previous test build, and is built from real world wind-tunnel force, moment and derivative data for the A-7E.
The FM so far is built from a combination of Stability & Control derivative tables (taken from real world data) and force/moment lookup tables to accurately capture the unique aerodynamic properties of the A7, including it's interesting spin and stall tendencies. Whilst the available data is comprehensive and suitable for a detailed simulation, we will be going the extra mile and investing heavily in Aerodynamics simulations & CFD software in order to extrapolate additional data, validate current data and validate additional parameters of our FM. In this way we can create a comprehensive aerodynamic database for the A-7E, cross-checking and validating data as we do so via CFD simulation and other means.
All this of course is a significant amount of work, and we expect work on the FM to be ongoing for many more months yet as we continue to develop the aircraft systems. With that said, we're extremely pleased with the current progress of the FM. So far we have met our development timeline targets and are confident we can produce an excellent FM.
Whilst todays update isn't quite as detailed as some of our others, we hope this bit of information is enough to help appease your appetite for A-7 news!
Thank you all and have a great day,