The F/A-18C early access is getting closer and Eagle Dynamics details the state of the aircraft in a mini-update. Initial texture work is complete, and ED is moving into some additional F-18A/A+ textures. Some systems won’t be available with the early access, but the F/A-18C should remain a deadly aircraft when it gets out.
We are very much in a sprint now to create a Hornet press preview, which will then fold into the Early Access release version.
As is probably a familiar mantra by now, much of the work is focused on the air-to-to air radar with implementation of STT, accurate gimbal limits in reference to the antenna frame, and SRPS scan being done “electronically” based on gimbal command to correct azimuth and elevation values. This results in the actual antenna maximum sweep azimuth varies with aircraft roll angle in RWS. The antenna servo electronics have additional scan limits applied to gimbals: 40 degrees of elevation at maximum azimuth, and 50 degrees of azimuth at maximum elevation. This results in the gimbal scan limit having the shape of octagon (gimbals physical limits + the limits applied by servo electronics). This can be observed by moving the antenna up or down using manual elevation control on the throttle. You’ll be able to observe this by not touching manual elevation and set the aircraft roll to 90 degrees.
In the attached image, you can see some of this new radar code now manifested on the HUD in regards to target range and Vc. A big push is now on auto-lock for the ACM modes and correct attack radar symbology on the HUD and radar display (AA Gun, AIM-9, and AIM-7).
Navigation is basically done for the Early Access, but we’ll return to this after Early Access release and add additional functions like the GPS, Mark Points, Offset Aim Points (OAP), and ICLS. For now though, you will have TACAN, ADF, and Waypoints.
With Early Access navigation ready, this part of the team has now moved to implement the AG bombing modes on the HUD and clean up the AG gun HUD mode. Once this is done, we’ll be able to create some pretty cool videos.
The flight models is undergoing continual refinements and tuning, and it’s already quite close. However, we strive to make it even better!
We have completed all the planned skins for actual F/A-18C squadrons and we’re now working on skins for F/A-18A/A+ squadrons. We have not forgotten about you Canadians, Australians and Spaniards!
We will have seven interactive training missions at the launch of the Early Access Hornet to include: Introduction, Cold Start, Taxi and Takeoff, TACAN and ADF Navigation, Waypoint Navigation, Straight In Landing, and Overhead Pattern Landing. More will come as Hornet systems come to completion!
The Early Access Hornet Guide is undergoing art creation, and it’s our hope that we can release this prior to the Early Access release of the game.
Matt “Wags” Wagner