Brian, From Black Cat Simulation, has published the following on Eagle Dynamic‘s forum. They are planning a trip to Ukraine and invest in a 3D scanner. They are trying to get some funds thru the sales of items such mouse pad and shirt.
We have some substantial up front costs, namely the trip to Ukraine, and the cost of the 3D scanner. The trip serves two purposes. First, it gives me an opportunity to fully document the cockpit and systems, and establish relationships with Backfire pilots who can help make this simulation as true to the real thing as possible. Substantial costs related to the trip are airfare and donations to the museums in exchange for their efforts. They are doing much more than opening up cockpits to us. They have done research specifically for this project, digging up manuals and locating Backfire pilots, and offering to scan the manuals electronically for us. Part of your donations will be passed on to them, and the amounts will be reported back after the trip. I hope this adds to the value you see in your donation.
Second, we are using an Artec Eva 3D scanner to do complete scans of the cockpits, weapons bays, and key geometry that is time consuming to model traditionally. The scanner is not a magic solution; it takes a certain touch to get good data, and the mesh requires processing to fit into a game, but when all is said and done, we expect a substantial savings in labor costs and time that will more than offset the cost of the scanner. I also plan to incorporate the scanner into my prototyping business, so proceeds from that are earmarked for the scanner, but frankly it’s an up front $17,000 expense that we need help with. I have plans to make the scanner available for other aviation scanning projects at minimal or no cost, the intention being a ‘giveback’ to the aviation and flight sim communities, but that is a conversation for later.
We presently have two modellers, alieneye (Dimitry) and ExtremeArtist3D (Oleg). I am the only programmer at the moment, but I hope to have at least one other programmer working on this full time when programming really gets underway after the Ukraine trip. There will also be some volunteers giving their time to program parts of this, so in a sense this a mixed, profit/non-profit effort, kind of like Linux. in that spirit, I intend to release parts of the source code publicly, in the hope that when people see ways that things can be accomplished, more people will be pulled into the DCS programming community than would be the case otherwise. The cockpits, systems, and flight dynamics are being thoroughly documented, and when we have a full picture of what needs to be done after Ukraine, we will plan accordingly and post an anticipated release date then. We are taking as professional an approach to development as we can, to include wise project management, budgeting and scheduling, and a development process incorporating good requirements at the very beginning, along with proper testing.
Finally, a few words about what the Tu-22M3 simulation itself will be like. There will be an accurate, validated flight model. It will accommodate your wildest ideas about multi-crewing, but will be equally playable by an individual. All of the systems that are related to gameplay, and the spirit and mission of the Tu-22M3 will be fully modeled. You will have a realistic nav/attack system, attack and navigation radars, TV bombsight, tail gun, the radar warning scope will let you evaluate the details of threat radars yourself rather than the clunky experience of the SPO-15 that we all love. Missions simulating mass attacks on US Navy fleets will much like the real thing might have been. But systems and switches that we consider not all that critical to the experience will not be made functional, examples being the focus nobs on the radars, air conditioning switches, HF radios, and some switches related to failure modes that are academic in a flight simulator. More FC3, less the Leatherneck Mig-21 or the A-10C, but given all that the Tu-22M3 incorporates, it will not be a lacking experience.
I’m sure I have some bad grammer in there somewhere. Grammer Nazi’s can go to town and I’ll clean it up accordingly. My mind is fried at the moment.
Finally, many thanks to those who have already given moral support, and offers of donations already. I’m excited.
Black Cat Simulations