I had intended to do a follow up post about what I meant when I said, in reference to the Tu-22M3, "I didn't say it can't be done. It might be done, even with official support, and that is the way I think it should be done."
The short explanation is that this project needs resources FROM THE START to make it happen. My 'free load first, money later' approach would never have worked. Knowing what I know now, I'm kind of embarassed to think about what went through ED and Heatblur/Leatherneck people's minds as they watched me push this along. Man, I was so pie-in-the-sky! To state in hindsight what should have been elementary from the beginning, this is not a Yak-52. The external model and cockpits (plural!!) are complex, as would be the flight model and aircraft systems. The thought that really got me going on this project is that the analog nature of all its systems would make it easier to program than an aircraft with digital displays and systems. I would not be surprised if that's incorrect, though I still think along those lines. Regardless, this is a project on the scale of the F/A-18 or F-14. Look at the resources they've consumed, and how hard the slogging still is, though in the end I think they will be economic successes. I had thought the main obstacle was technical data, but it's not. It's the usual stuff: time, money, and people. Time is really just money in another form. People, great people, require money and so there's money in yet another form. And that forms my short, unhelpful answer to the question, "How do you make a DCS Backfire happen?" Money. ED's licensing requirements at first seemed like an unhelpful obstacle to getting money, but really they're just trying to head off what can become larger problems for everyone in the long run. If you have sufficient resources in the first place, what ED wants to see up front is not inconvenient. In fact it forces you to get your priorities straight in the beginning. Good on them!
If money is the main thing that is needed, I do have two smaller points to make. First, the project should either be a prodominantly Russian/Ukrainian effort, or at least lead by a Russian/Ukrainian. Although everyone loved the project and generally believed my intentions were not malicious, in the end I was a US-person asking for priviledged information about a Russian military plane. It was 2015-2017, not 1994, and my citizenship was a problem. I'm convinced a Russian could get the portions of the flight manual necessary to simulate in DCS the Tu-22M3 as it was around the end of the Soviet Union.
Second, I'm not the guy who should actually manage a project like this. I'm learning my limits. Research is fun, as is programming flight models, aircraft systems and avionics. Learning about models and texturing, OK, I can learn enough about them to know what they need from programmers. Schedules: meh. Money: ugh. Forming a business case, fundraising, actually building a company? I'd rather clean my toilet. Person-who-is-perhaps-NOT-Matt-Wagner-but-is-LIKE-Matt-Wagner should lead this project.
So, big obstacles, the project is dead, and I'm not really working to make it happen, but I'm still nursing little bits of it along, in the hope that someday Matt Wagner announces that somebody got a license to do DCS Backfire. It's a pipe dream, but a pleasant one. One of the things that excited me most was the prospect of doing a flight model for the Backfire, so I'm trying to put that together so people can at least play with the default Tu-22M3 in external view. I've only just now gotten back to it, after a break of at least a year (has it been two?) I'm in the middle of trying to switch career fields from engineering to commercial flying. It's a very cyclical industry, in the US at least, with periods of furloughs and bankruptcies, and many airline pilots have a backup source of income. I've decided to make mine programming, since it's something that permits flexible hours. I'm trying to finish the Backfire flight model to include in a portfolio to present to potential employers, so it might actually get done...