It's very rare that I post in the forums but now I feel compelled to tell you of the background behind the exciting developments coming to the Hawk version 2.
The thing is Ells is a modest chap so you won't know the amount of work he puts into rectifying the Hawk and how much he cares about the product.
The pressure is really on VEAO at the moment with the imminent release of the P40f and, as a result, Pman and his teams are working flat out on producing, what I believe, will be a fantastic warbird in every sense. But there has been little resource left for our little Hawk.
However Ells and I have been secretly working on this new update for the last few weeks and I have to say it has been an absolute pleasure to watch and learn. From working with 3D models to understanding program structure and module coding Ells has worked tirelessly and as a result we can bring to you now a major update to the Hawk.
So what's the big deal.....
Well right from the beginning Ells has always wanted to have 2 seat capability in the Hawk but we have always hit problems when we tried to implement it. The final straw was when the L39 came out and we realised that we would have to rewrite the entire Hawk code as (learning from the L39) ED coding required separate instances of clickable j based on seat occupied. Our Hawk was coded such that all cockpit switches were available from either seat. This meant in practice that you may be able to mouse over and click on forward cockpit switches from the rear seat through the front ejection seat. Clearly undesirable . This lead Ells to reluctantly announce that the rear cockpit would not be available until after a complete code rewrite.
Then we had a eureka moment.
We found that, buried in the code, there was a maximum distance which, once exceeded you would no longer be able to operate a switch with the mouse. The rear cockpit was again viable!
Many thanks to Alex at ED for his help in uncovering this and many other programming functions in DCS world
Now it was dark back there in the rear. Half the gauges didn't work properly, no lighting, misplaced 3D objects and no inter connectivity with the front cockpit. The weapons panel had to report and indicate switch selections in the front and we couldn't get the rear head position to work correctly. All in all we produced a list of over 25 project stopping bugs which, as mentioned earlier, Ells enthusiastically worked through, with me, to the end result that I can now tell you that we have single player rear seat capability in the Hawk and the view is great from back there!
If you're using track i/r or VR you can look round the front ejector seat and see everything functioning correctly in the front and the elevated seat position is great for take off and landing. You can even map a joystick function to swap seats on the fly for the best of both worlds.
Whilst working on the rear seat we also took the time to rectify and energise some of the systems that were non functional in Hawk version 1. We now have working brake pressure gauges and transponder functionality anyway, Ells will let you know the full list of upgrades in due course.
I was very fortunate to be given by a friend of mine, who used to fly the Hawk, an original Hawk t1 ,hard bound, flight manual and checklist, including hand written notes. I've scanned the checklists and emergency checklist into the kneeboard so that now, when you fly, you'll be using the actual checklist that's travelled at 400Kts through the valleys many times in the real Hawk. It's a testament to the ASM coding by The team that the checklist works very well with our Hawk.
That's it from me. I'm sure you'll hear a lot more from the guys about further improvements to the Hawk in future including new textures and multiplayer capability etc etc. But, as I said at the beginning, Ells is a modest chap and I just wanted to convey the excitement and pleasure, I've seen in him bringing, to you, something ,I know, he's wanted you to have all along........ Enjoy.