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DCS: F-15C Eagle. Advanced flight model development overview

Dynamics modeling experts at BelSimTek are completing work on advanced flight and engine models of the F-15C Eagle for the upcoming module for DCS World.

The current model featured in DCS was originally developed over a decade ago and represents an earlier generation of technological potential and resulting model accuracy and performance. Despite exhibiting generally correct aerodynamic properties under normal flight conditions, by today’s standards the model falls short of increased user expectations, computing power, and experience gained by the developers over time. In an effort to meet these demands, we have begun to develop new flight and related component models as upgrades to some of the existing DCS aircraft. As the primary U.S. jet fighter in DCS and indeed one of the premier fighters of the world in reality, the F-15C Eagle will be the first DCS aircraft to receive this upgrade.

The flight model has been through over eight months of development and is now undergoing initial external (closed beta) testing. The complete aerodynamics model accounts for the entire spectrum of mass, force, and moment interactions of the aircraft as a physical object subjected to airflow. Unlike the mathematical approach of the previous model, which regarded the aircraft as a single point of focus, the new flight model consists of individual aircraft elements carefully tuned to reflect their unique aerodynamic characteristics and joined together to determine the sum vector of the airframe’s momentum. Such an approach makes it possible to accurately recreate the specific performance of the F-15C Eagle airframe throughout the entire flight envelope, including critical regimes like high angles of attack, stalls, spins, as well as specific flight conditions such as ground effect. Additionally, a new engine model is also created on par with the flight model to provide more realistic and accurate performance, for example featuring effects like negative G loading. The flight control system is modeled realistically, for example including input authority coefficients dependent on speed and altitude scheduling, the Aileron/Rudder Interconnect (ARI), Control Augmentation System (CAS), as well as Attitude and Altitude autopilot modes.

F-15C refuel

DCS: F-15C refuel

The new model significantly improves the entire flight control experience making special flight conditions like air to air refueling, landing, and edge of the envelope flying far more dynamic, exciting, and possibly even more challenging. Even straight and level flight loses the old feeling of flying on rails.

We are considering the possibility of creating a complete avionics model with clickable cockpit and accurate systems modeling. This would be a major development however, so a final decision has not yet been made.

The estimated release date for the advanced flight model for F-15C Eagle DCS module is middle of 2014.