In this exclusive update from Aeroplane Heaven, CEO Barry Bromley shared with us the status of several projects he has in the pipeline.
Following the announcement of an updated version of the Bristol Bulldog. Barry explained: “The first example was released more than 15 years ago. It became very popular and we still get asked about it today, especially as we did eventually release it as freeware (no longer available).”
Consequently, he decided to revisit this important aircraft, introducing modern technology to give it the tribute it deserves, modelling the aircraft in very high definition down to the split-pin in the starter dog on the spinner. The engine has fully detailed valve gear complete with double valve springs, rockers and other intricate details. Inside, the cockpit features a correct gas-pressure starter system, hand-cranked magneto and highly detailed machine guns and loading chutes.
According to Barry, the scheduled release date is in May but that can change depending on other projects in the priority line.
He also explained: “We are finishing off our all-new Lancaster Mk1B, which is in high definition and is our largest, most detailed model to date.” The exterior will feature a massive amount of authentic detail with unique animations while a highly-detailed virtual cockpit will include the front turret and bomber’s compartment, engineer and navigator station as well as a radio operator’s position.” The Lancaster is scheduled for a late May/early June release.
A new project currently in development is the Fairchild C119 Boxcar. Barry commented: “I guess you could say it joins the C46 Commando in our ‘forgotten heroes’ range. A true combat veteran and an extremely versatile workhorse, the Boxcar is an interesting challenge to get right. It has twin booms with a rear barn door opening fuselage, a complicated cockpit arrangement perched higher than the cargo bay. We are modelling the F variant in high definition. Due probably mid-year.
Another aircraft in development is the Socata MS893 Rallye. It is super-detailed and comes in a variety of specifications. Wing treatment varies a lot on this aircraft. Its high-angle dihedral wing and slow-speed flying ability make it a tricky subject for flight-modelling. With this Socata MS-893 they have gone for different options and variants for a fuller representation. It is scheduled for a June/July release.
Also, currently in production for Just Flight is the French-built Sud Aviation Caravelle III jet airliner for FSX and Prepar3D. Still in early development it is scheduled for release later this year.
Barry continued: “In the last year or so, we have released the Hawker Typhoon fighter/bomber and Curtiss Helldiver carrier-bomber though Aeroplane Heaven, the Curtiss C46 Commando, Spitfire Mk1 or Dunkirk Spitfire, Stinson L-5 and Vickers VC10 for Just Flight and also the Republic P47D Bubble which is also due to be released by Just Flight.
We continually look for interesting, classic subjects to model for FSX and P3D with a view to maintaining a busy build programme for 2018 and into the future.”
When asked to explain what impact Prepar3D version 4 has had on development, Barry concluded: “There are a few changes, particularly in V4. I guess the most useful for developers and simmers is the ability to use large models with HD textures and still achieve more than respectable frame rates. Projects like the Lancaster are huge. The model is topping more than 1 million polygons, unheard of in the early days of FSX. Even so, with DirectX 10 and 11, better video cards and more powerful processors, one can get very good rates in FSX.
“Other advantages in P3DV4 are dynamic reflections, improved shadowing and we can use high definition, PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) workflow techniques – the same used in high end computer games which is a whole new ballgame for textures. Much improved metal and paint effects, weathering and authentic looking materials are making things really exciting and should provide a much-needed boost to the life of these ageing simulation engines.”