Currently, the Heatblur team is undertaking a large effort to refine and finalise the flight modelling of the F-14 Tomcat. In the previous update, the changes delivered were exclusively for the F-14A; the TF-30 powered version of the aircraft. The overall goal of this tuning pass was to even more closely match published performance data and ensure that the F-14A performs as it did in reality. The Heatblur F-14A is now even more accurate in how it maintains energy states across the whole flight envelope, meaning more accurate performance while manoeuvring.
Further refinements include an overhaul of some of the intrinsic behaviour of the aircraft, such as wing rock. Wing rock in the Tomcat is now more pronounced and accurate to reality, and associated buffeting has also been improved to be more in tune with the real aircraft.
The flight modelling refinements for the F-14A are now practically complete and the team is focusing on the F-14B, the F110 engine powered variant of the Tomcat.
We thus figured we’d write-up a full and detailed breakdown of the latest DCS: F-14 flight modelling changes, our assumptions, methodologies and some of the theory behind the why and how.
We love to share and learn together as a community and enthusiasts, and considering these changes impact the way you fly and fight the F-14; why not have you be part of this last step of our development journey. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time recently perfecting and tuning the last parts of the flight model for our F-14. As mentioned above, we’ve focused entirely on the F-14A first; the TF-30 powered version of the aircraft. To give you a better overview of the how and why, let’s do a quick deep dive and give you some background (pls follow the link above).
F-14 Flight Model Future
With this process nearing completion, the F-14A flight model is nearly in a fully finished state. The journey has been long, initially focusing on handling qualities with our very dedicated pilot SME, Victory205. We wanted to get those out of the way first to make sure handling was correct, with extra time spent focusing on handling qualities around the boat to ensure a very authentic carrier trapping experience. In the near future we will update the following FM items:
AOA buffet update to be more realistic (new checkbox option)- will be included in DCS Patch April 13th 2023
Finish performance tuning for F-14B- will be included in DCS Patch April 13th 2023
- Improve ground handling
- Misc minor handling qualities and performance updates as needed
Of course the biggest of the items above is to finish a similar pass to the above for the F-14B; also fine-tuning the performance to perfectly match the available data and plots. We’ll chime in with another flight modelling update focusing on the F-14B results once we’re ready!
If you have questions or just want to leave your feedback or else discuss the new performance and FM changes, feel free to discuss here. As always, we're looking forward to your input!
Thanks for reading, and for your support – we hope you enjoy this deep dive, especially as a precursor to similar articles for the DCS: F-4E, DCS: A-6E and Eurofighter aircraft.
EDIT April 13th, 2023:
- Adding Performance and FM Changes to F-14B, inlcuding level flight acceleration, turn performance and top speed and access power across the flight envelope.
Feel free to also join the official Heatblur Simulations Discord and discuss with us there: https://discord.gg/heatblur-simulations