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gospadin
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Do you think you will model the behaviour or not?

 

Without any real radar experience, I am not sure how it would manifest on the scope. I imagine, though, that you'd have to have your nosecone within a few feet of a solid object through, which I think is probably unlikely most of the time. (Unless you're using your wingman's exhaust to defrost your windshield.)

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Community A-4E: April 2017 Update

 

Unfortunately, we have another non-update update, where we didn't finish integrating any of the major modeling changes in time for this update. About half the team has been on vacation, one had final exams, etc. Not an excuse, but it is what it is.

 

We're trying to get the cockpit modeling and unwrapping finished, but it's obviously taking a while. The radios have been modeled and animated, and need to be plumbed in code, along with a few other cockpit systems. We're down to only 2 or 3 incomplete panels in the cockpit at this point.

 

Plusnine has gone through and done a cleanup / improvement pass on our weapon icons to be more consistent in the ME, as well as working with Jones on updating his gunsight texture based on newer photos we have.

 

From a code perspective, we have some newer data on the wing performance that I am trying to integrate, along with new AoA data in certain flight conditions. While the approach speeds are on-target right now, the glide slope is a bit steeper than it should be due to bad calculations in our AoA system which I am working to fix. While we know it's just SFM at this point, we also know the existing table system should be able to produce some very-accurate performance, if we put in the time to tune it properly using good source data.

 

Since we don't have anything new to show you, and a few folks were interested in any images or videos we came up with, I recorded a quick formation flight with a SEAD AI plane. Armed with two 300 gallon tanks and 2 AGM-45 Shrike anti-radar missiles, that loadout might be used if a tanker wasn't available or the carrier was based especially far offshore.

 

FCqO75FmAXw

 

The fun part of taking video is it sometimes lets us find bugs. I see at least 2 (edit: 3) in the video, maybe one of our fans can find more. =P

 

--gos

Man, this is nothing like a "non"-update.

So much info and detail about status and what you are working on.

 

Glad to hear you get closer to completion.

 

Keep us updated and even if it isn't fancy screenshots or videos, these little tidbits about what's going on in the background are well appreciated.

Shagrat

 

- Flying Sims since 1984 -:pilotfly:

Win 10 | i5 10600K@4.1GHz | 32GB | GeForce RTX 2080S - Acer XB280HK 28" 4k | TrackIR5 | Simshaker & Jetseat | VIRPIL CM 50 Stick & Throttle | MFG Crosswind Rudder Pedals | TM Cougar MFDs | a hand made UFC | AHCP | 2x Elgato StreamDeck (Buttons galore)

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Since you asked though, the switch on the Chaff panel, the one that has WR on top and Off on the bottom keeps sliding on and off.

 

Hah yea, I noticed that one about a week ago. Need to figure out what it's plumbed to, but since I hadn't implemented the countermeasure panel, I hadn't bothered to dig in just yet. That'll definitely be fixed by our next update.

 

--gos

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Gospadin,

 

I was curious about the ADI and also noticed the stand by compas up above...are they backwards? It appears to me that if the a/c were to rotate to the right, the compass heading indication would decrease. Then I figured that the ADI was just built that way and would rotate the opposite direction. That's when I noticed the magnetic compass. It is definitely backwards.....I think :smilewink:

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

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Gospadin,

 

I was curious about the ADI and also noticed the stand by compas up above...are they backwards? It appears to me that if the a/c were to rotate to the right, the compass heading indication would decrease. Then I figured that the ADI was just built that way and would rotate the opposite direction. That's when I noticed the magnetic compass. It is definitely backwards.....I think :smilewink:

 

The ADI is definitely correctly oriented as implemented.

 

The A11 Attitude Indicator (ADI Ball) is not the gyroscope, it's just the display unit of the gyroscope's information. The gyroscopes themselves are located in a separate equipment housing on the left side of the fuselage.

 

The magnetic compass may be backwards, I'll need to dig up the reference photo we used for it and double check, thanks.

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Hah yea, I noticed that one about a week ago. Need to figure out what it's plumbed to, but since I hadn't implemented the countermeasure panel, I hadn't bothered to dig in just yet. That'll definitely be fixed by our next update.

 

--gos

 

Home now. Confirmed the chaff panel power switch and the engine minor RPM needle share an animation argument. Oops, we'll get that sorted shortly. :pilotfly:

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Nice update video Gos!

 

I was wondering, if you were behind an aircraft (Quite close), would the A-4 radar not detect it as interference of some sort?

 

I worked on the attack radar and terrain following radar of the ef-111...radars have what is called a "blanking pulse" which is basically an internal suppression of all radar signals within 1/4 mile or so. I forget the reason, it has something to do with the aircraft's timing of all electronic broadcasts.

 

If one were super-close to a large blocking aircraft (like a B-52) yes there might be a pie-shaped shadow (area of no returns) on the screen, just like if there was a mountain in front of you, you couldn't see through it.

 

I would think that such close encounters would only happen when refueling, because it is inherently risky to be that close...and if for some reason one was that close, your radar screen would not be as interesting as the aircraft in front of you.

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Sensitivity time control and Duplexer switching times can prevent close returns from being seen. Nearly all radars cannot transmit and receive simultaneously, as the receiver is shielded while the radar transmits. Being that close with such an old radar, the time between the end of a radar transmission and the un-shielding of the receiver could be long enough to prevent close reflections from being seen.

 

Also, the blanking signal is used on other systems, such as an RWR or jammer, to prevent them from receiving signals while the aircraft's powerful radar is transmitting. As far as I know, no blanking signals go into a given radar.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Community A-4E: May 2017 Update

 

Community A-4E: May 2017 Update

 

Hi everyone! We admittedly had a slow few months, with a number of vacations and distractions, but as of the end of May, we've built up a bit of momentum again and hope to push closer to release at a decent cadence. On that note, I figured I'd surprise everyone (as well as half the team) and post the update two days early! Hope nobody minds...

 

Unwraps and Texturing

 

This month, the biggest visible difference in the A-4 is that we've started unwrapping and texturing more of the cockpit. The gauges themselves have been unwrapped for a while, but now the ejection seat, cockpit wall baffles, and flooring are all unwrapped and textured. Additionally, we've been trying to make the light bulb textures a bit more realistic for the cockpit indicators. We're happy to show some in-progress textures:

 

upBrsmi.jpg

 

vvqVBqk.jpg

 

plusnine has an imgur album here, to which he'll add any additional texture screenshots as he tweaks things:

 

http://imgur.com/a/Oy9YZ

 

While we were at it, we re-did the texture for the Mk-4 gunpod. Don't have a handy picture (hopefully another team member will post one), but it looks a lot better than before.

 

New Systems

 

For this update, we implemented our impression of the AN/ALE-29A Chaff Control panel. This small control panel was added on the upper left glareshield via an AFC to manage chaff delivery, as the base airframe didn't have this. There's now a single "countermeasure dispense" binding available, and the pilot will need to choose whether to dispense from bank 1, bank 2, or both. They'll also need to remember to power-on the system as part of fencing in.

 

For gameplay, we did, however, take a design liberty. While in real life, the system would control two banks of chaff, what we implemented was a bank of chaff and a bank of flares. If you load all chaff or all flares, you'll see the other bank be zero, instead of the chosen countermeasures being split across both dispensers. The counter values are pre-loaded with the correct values when you first spawn, but if you re-arm you'll need to manually setup each counter.

 

We made a short youtube video to show all these behaviors:

 

T7Qs7b6Lc8s

 

You will probably notice an ECM control panel in that video as well (just inside of the chaff control panel) and we hope to plumb that by our next update.

 

 

System Modeling and Tuning

 

We went back to our flight model, and using some new-ish data, we tuned the critical AoA at all airspeeds in the flight model tables. This gives the A-4E a much better turn rate before you lose elevator authority, meaning you can once again black-out with full back elevator. The stated structural G-limit for the airframe was 7G, however this isn't a control limitation per the data we have available. A brave enough pilot should be fully capable of breaking things.

 

Additionally, we noticed that the drag with our in-house created ejector rack setups and cluster dispensers was way too high. We've tuned these drag coefficients to be much more representative, which gives more accurate cruise speeds with stated payloads. This affected both the MER and TER setups (especially the 5x Mk-81 on pylons 2/4), as well as cluster munitions using the SUU-7 dispenser. (These munitions had a copy-paste error which treated every bomblet as a drag contributor, even when still inside the dispenser tubes.)

 

Within the flight control systems, two adjustments were made: First, we implemented both hot and cold modes for the approach power compensator (APC), which changes the ideal throttle bias point depending on outside air temperature. (A bit less throttle in cold weather, and a bit more throttle in hot weather) Second, we fixed the short-mode oscillation in the altitude-hold function of the AFCS.

 

You can see the short-mode oscillation in this video:

 

KA7VMQq7r4w

 

And the improved dual-mode altitude hold controller in action here:

 

88-6YtSoNuQ

 

 

And Yes, Bugs...

 

Our module isn't without bugs either. We are currently tracking about 25 bugs right now, after these small fixes and improvements:

 

  • Fix unreliable chaff and flare counts and behavior
  • Fix overshoot / wraparound on the ARC-51 frequency knobs
  • Fix magnetic compass direction
  • Fix an animation conflict between the chaff control panel and the RPM gauge
  • Cleanup of the flaps code so that keybindings and the cockpit control remain synchronized
  • Fix for missing adapter mount when using the AGM-45B on pylon 1
  • Fix for sidewinder growl heard when the AGM-45B Shrike is mounted
  • Implement FC3-like jettison logic (wing fuel, centerline fuel, outer weapons, inner weapons, center weapons)
  • Implemented a host of missing keybindings, as well as new defaults for the warthog joystick and throttle

 

 

 

Lastly, from when I was testing the chaff dispensing bugs, I made a short video dodging missiles from an SA-3. This is from very early in May before most of the rest of the content of this update was developed, but it's still kind of fun:

 

NqRWE5Zh38c

 

Thanks!

The Community A-4E Team


Edited by gospadin
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Gos... you... I mean... I don't know how many times I can say you're exceeding expectations, but you guys are. I am so incredibly excited for this module, keep up the amazing work.

 

I may be sounding like a broken record at this point, but you mentioned a Sidewinder growl when the Shrike was mounted, can you share what you all have been up to with the Shrike? No progress on that front or still under wraps?

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I may be sounding like a broken record at this point, but you mentioned a Sidewinder growl when the Shrike was mounted, can you share what you all have been up to with the Shrike? No progress on that front or still under wraps?

 

No progress yet.

 

I had a few ideas but none have panned out yet. The trick is how to target something without a targeting system. =P

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Btw, the team wants to give a huge shout-out to SkateZilla, who helped us figure out why our mod had been crashing in all 2.x builds since March. We're finally up and running in the new engine again, though admittedly we've got zero time with the new graphics so it looks pretty awful for now.

 

At least it's functional again, however!

 

--gos

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