DC Designs Releases F-14 A/B Tomcat on Just Flight
August 19, 2021
Seems like today is a great day for fighter jet enthusiasts! The team at DC Designs has released a native MSFS fighter jet; the F-14 Tomcat. In this product, two versions (A and B) are faithfully replicated. Whilst it doesn't don the coveted "study level" label that people have come to categorise products with in all these years, this is a product made for accesibility for everyone, "without the need for intense study." Nnetheless, the features that DC Designs brought to the table is no less an accomplishment.
The aircrafts were developed to take advantage the simulator's features such as effects and sounds (with fully custom sound sets for both the TF-30-powered F-14A Tomcat and the GE-F110-powered F-14B Tomcat), truly reflective glass, "native aerodynamic sound structures", and conditional visibility controls for ground accesories such as wheel chocks, covers, tie-down chains and GPU.
Starting with the exterior, the visuals are developed purposefully to harness the power of MSFS, making use of Microsoft Flight Simulator's 'Model Behaviors' animation feature, which is further tailored to MSFS specs to prevent issues with future updates in the simulator. Throughout the jet, Numerous external animations including canopy, crew ladders, tail hook and control surfaces are implemented, along with customised effects such as afterburners.
In the cockpit, users are greeted with a detailed cockpit environment; featuring scratched canopy glass, reflective mirrors, accurately modelled ejector seats, controls and detailed texturing. All of which are brought to life with 3D modelled dials, ADI, 'whiskey' compass and other high-detail instruments designed to emulate the appearance of the real F-14 Tomcat. The visuals don't stop at night either, as the team faithfully replicates the night lighting which are controllable and includes user-operated 'slime lights' for combat operations.
On the system side of things, they included Direct Lift Control, CADC and basic ACLS simulation. Every custom gauges and displays are equipped with performant HTML code for efficient rendering, the display screens are done (within the confines of MSFS's capabilities) based on the real aircraft's systems, the same effort is applied to the HUD - replicating the layout of the real Heads Up Display.
Lastly but most importantly, the Tomcats utilises the simulator's current flightmodelling system which enables behaviours such as 'departure spins'. Custom-coded manoeuvring flaps, slats and intake ramps, are all based on aircraft airspeed and angle of attack. Bringing up the ante, DC Designs developed custom coded engine modelling on the F-14A TF-30 engines, featuring full compressor-stall simulation.
For VR users, you'll be glad to know that its made for VR flying too.
A total of 7 paint schemes are avaialble by default, packaged in the product, however, a paintkit is also available for those who wants to bring the Inner Artist out of them:
- VF-1 Wolfpack
- VF-41 Black Aces
- VF-84 Jolly Rogers
- VF-142 Ghostriders
- VF-143 Pukin' Dogs
- VF-32 Swordsmen
- VF-213 Black Lions
This will definitely be an interesting comparison as we're expecting another F-14 rendition from the folks at Laminar Research as part of their future default lineup, perhaps?
The Tomcats are available on the Just Flight store for $35 USD. The feature list and the manual is avaialble o the product page. No Top Gun references this time, sorry!
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