Hey everyone and welcome to this first post of Viper mini-updates! As the project progresses and different Viper elements come online, I’ll be posting here to keep you update-to-date as much as possible. Just like the Hornet mini-updates. One important note: any date or time frame mentioned is only a best estimate at the time of writing. Particularly over the past two years, we’ve been trying to be a lot more open about our plans and intentions. However, due to a variety of reasons like unforeseen technical challenges, staff changes, holidays, changing priorities, etc., plans can and will change. So, while we will try to be open and honest about our plans and intentions, but please bear in mind that these can and will change. The alternative is that we go radio silent until a feature is released into an Open Beta. Anyhow, moving on…
For the first academic video, it will probably be regarding waypoint navigation and how it relates to the Data Entry Display (DED), Horizontal Situation Display (HSD), and HUD. Yay, more acronyms to learn! After that will be a talk about bullseye in the Viper. You might be thinking that a cold start video might make sense to lead off the academic series, but you would be wrong Doug Masters. The cold start sequence touches on a many element of the aircraft as a system and many of these systems will be under development from now and until early access release. As such, much of this can change, and coding to make it work now will probably need to be re-written later (very inefficient use of coding resources).
Much of the work now is focused on the engine (GE-129) and Digital Engine Control (DEC) with PRI and SEC modes, fuel system, electrical, hydraulics, oil, Jet Fuel Starter (JFS), landing gear, flight model basic envelope, Flight Control System (FLCS), NAV HUD and functions, initial Stores Management System (SMS), gauges including ADI and electronic HSI, external textures, tuning the cockpit, internal and external audio, and completing racks, adapters, and rails.
Once the external graphics are where we want them to be, we will release a stellar trailer video.
A critical aspect of building a simulation like this is the research. Such a complex aircraft requires a huge amount of data, but this must be in the confines of public documents without export controls. We have though located what we need, and much of what we are doing now is focused on working with Subject Matter Experts (SME) on appreciating the qualities of the aircraft that you never find documented. To that end, I was at Luke AFB yesterday with a retired F-16 pilot with over 4,200 hours in the Viper. He and the other Viper pilots I met at the squadron bar had amazing stories and insights into flying the Viper. I was also scheduled to have an hour in the big dome simulator at Luke AFB, but Lockheed Martin nixed the idea due to my mobility issues, bastards! All in all, it was a very interesting trip and I have more such trips planned this summer, with some Viper simulators time that should work out. Now, if I can just finagle myself into the backseat…
Stay tuned for the first academic video in July.