Leading Edge Simulations Releases New DC-3 Development Update

Friday, June 5, 2020

After their initial announcement of the DC-3 v2 back in May, Leading Edge Simulations has been hard at work on their v2 of the DC-3. Today they released an update, which is rightly dubbed a ‘pleasure for the eyes’ on the X-Pilot forums.

At the beginning of the update, Ilias Tselios mentions the unfair use of the term ‘eye candy’ being used for aircraft which have beautiful looks yet also have terrible systems simulation. From the update it is clear Leading Edge has different plans for the phrase, giving us some ‘eye candy’ to rejoice over.

Tselios talks about the importance of how the ‘looks’ of the aircraft play an ‘equal role with the systems’ simulations and flight dynamics’. He also mentions that through the use of high definition textures, PBR materials as well as weathering effects, they have ‘created every little detail of the aircraft’, which, while a bold claim, seems supported with their new screenshots.

The developer is clearly focused on immersing the captain of the v2 with the true and real feel of the DC-3, without any compromises. The Leading Edge Simulations team is ‘packing as much detail as possible’ and they aim for the DC-3 to be ‘projecting the character of the aircraft’. It seems that the development team is currently full steam ahead on making sure the tiniest of details are included in the release.

Tselios makes us pay particular attention to the cockpit and the textures and materials inside; “on the cockpit walls, you can see the thousands of small bumps, covered in thick paint.”

“The way the light is interacting with all these, thanks to PBR materials, you can almost ‘sense’ how this surface feels on the touch.” Tselios adds that he himself is at times ‘mesmerised the way everything looks’ and believes that the visual quality is ‘top-notch’.

Continuing, he also credits his team member, Goran Matovina, and his skills in 3D modelling ‘as well as in texturing and application of PBR materials’.

Tselios addresses the potential performance cost of such detailed textures and materials. "When there is a deep knowledge of 3D modeling, and how to use materials and various effects, you can achieve great results without suffering in performance,” he explains.

“In addition, the new tools that Laminar introduced with X-Plane 11.50 (Vulkan/Metal), allow us to have metrics of the performance, and help us to optimize the aircraft, without any loss in quality.

“This is not magic, just hard work and experience built through the years, developing aircrafts [sic] for X-Plane.”

Though we are not yet sure of the release date of the Leading Edge Simulations DC-3 v2, it seems the developers are keeping us up-to-date on the development progress regularly, with an update every week so far. The other updates (and more screenshots) can be found on the DC-3 v2 development thread.

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