Tuesday, September 20, 2016

F-35 V3.11 VIRTUAL COCKPIT MODIFICATION


SPECIAL VIRTUAL COCKPIT BUILD FOR INDIAFOXTECHO PAYWARE F-35 V3.11
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As some of you are aware of, some months ago my computer has been infected by a nasty ransomware causing the loss of all the source files of my projects, including backups.
Therefore some of the improvements I planned to do to for my projects are basically lost.
I experimented a little with Model Converter X but rebuilding the files takes way too long for me to do, so I just made some tweaks that you may like.
This package contains a special build of the F-35A, -B and -C virtual cockpits modified as follows:

- Brighter MFD graphics (much better reading on most pages in many visibility conditions... however, in some cases TFLIR and DAS are saturated)
- Added reflection effects to all the geometry resulting in a more realistic look.

HOWEVER, BEFORE INSTALLING, PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING DRAWBACKS (these are due to MCX limitations):
- MOUSE CLICK AREAS ARE LOST. MFD touchscreen will work, but switches and levers will not...so you should assign custom keypress
- Weapons visibility is lost in the internal view, meaning you won't see weapons hanging below the wings
- These cockpits are a little worse for FPS performance... beware
So...pros and cons, your choice.
This modification is not "official" by any mean and it is not supported.

TO INSTALL THIS MOD:
Drag and drop everything in the SimObject folders as usual. The files will add a visual model in the MODEL subfolder of each aicraft and replace the model.cfg files.
It also include an harmless mod to the HMD to fix a visibility issue.
You may want to backup the model.cfg files for an easy unistallation.
The file will not add any entry to the registry.

TO UNISTALL:
Open the model.cfg file with a text editor for any of the aicraft you want to restore and edit it following the comments
...OR simply reinstall the package....OR restore the model.cfg files if you have made a backup.
Also, although it might work in FSX, it is designed to work with P3Dv3.
Using it in FSX may lead to higher memory consumption and...well, they will look too shiny in my opinion (P3Dv3 and FSX engine differ in the reflection intensity).
NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND IS PROVIDED FOR THIS MOD!

DOWNLOAD THE MOD FROM GOOGLE DRIVE FROM THE LINK BELOW:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1VJtKJlye7FNGtaYXpkSTVSRWs

Sunday, July 10, 2016

F-35 Project Version 3.11


I have recently uploaded F-35 version 3.11 to the distibutors - which hopefully will get rid of the installation issues experienced by some users in v3.11

WHAT IS NEW IN VERSION 3.11
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FIXED - Installation issue in v3.10 causing MFD1 and MFD2 not being independant
FIXED - Installation issue in v3.10 FSX Compatibility Patch preventing HMD to show properly in some intsances
FIXED - Installation issue in v3.10 FSX Compatibility Patch leaving an unintended temporary file in the FSX folder

WHAT IS NEW IN VERSION 3.10
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ADDED - VX-23 Salty Dogs livery to the F-35C
ADDED - Warlords VM-01 livery to the F-35B
ADDED - Israeli Air Force livery to the F-35A
ADDED - Aural cues to ICAWS system
FIXED - Minor texturing issues in Virtual Cockpit, all models
FIXED - Bug in RWR system which preventer track 0 to appear on some instances
CHANGED - RWR system now supports up to 16 tracks (previously was 8)
CHANGED - JSOWs can now also be loaded in the internal bays
FIXED - Minor bug preventing canopy open/close switch to work
CHANGED - In flight refuel fuel flow rate is now higher following users feedback
CHANGED - STOVL flight model for better realism (by Rob Barendregt)
ADDED - Auto-takeoff feature to the F-35B (by Rob Barendregt)
FIXED - Resolved bug preventing laser guided weapons to hit their target (note: this was actually a Tacpack bug - tacpack 1.4.3.0 or higher is required to fix the bug)
FIXED - Resolved bug preventing GPS coordinates being correctly loaded to GPS guided weapons in some instances.
ADDED - CNI keypad is now operational
ADDED - Autopilot keypad is now operational
ADDED - Keyboard shortcuts now are active also in external views
FIXED - Bug in HUD page preventing TFLIR page to show
ADDED - Provided models with no geometry for cockpit builders

Here is a further explainations of some of the new features:

NEW STOVL DYNAMICS AND AUTO-TAKEOFF
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The F-35B features new STOVL dynamics courtesy of Rob Barendregt.
The new dynamics should offer a more realistic performance in most conditions, and a new handling scheme which, as far as we know, is closer to the real thing.
The new STOVL dynamics also introduce the "auto-takeoff" feature, in which the aircraft takes off automatically in the shortest possible distance.
To activate this mode, when the a/c is on the ground or on the deck and still:
- Select STOVL mode (AUTO T/O appears in RED in the FCS page=
- Apply full brakes  (AUTO T/O turns blue)
- Select AUTO T/O (turns white)
- Release the brakes and enjoy the show

CNI AND AUTOPILOT KEYPAD
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Keypads are now active and can be used to program the CNI and the Autopilot. Note however that the BACK and ENT functions are not implemented - just enter as many digit as needed and retry if need be.

Example 1 - SET NAV RADIO TO 113.00
- Select CNI PAGE
- Click on the NAV 1 SWAP digits
- Enter 1-1-3-0-0
- Click on NAV 1 SWAP to swap frequencies

Example 2 - Change Heading to 188°
- Select Autopilot Page
- Click on HDG
- Enter 1-8-8

MODELS WITH NO VIRTUAL COCKPIT GEOMETRY FOR COCKPIT BUILDERS
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Model folders now contain models without cockpit geometry, intended for use by cockpit builders.
To activate this feature open the MODEL folder of the aicraft you wish to convert and open the model.cfg with a text editor and follow the instructions inside the file.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Recovery of the Eurofighter Project...


As promised here is a status report of the Eurofighter project after the "ransomware" incident that wiped out all of my source files. Basically you can indeed use ModelConverterX by Aron (great tool...THANK YOU ARNO) to open the .mdl files and convert them into .3DS format, and then reimport it into 3DS Max or Gmax (or other applications....3DS is a very popular format). In principle you loose the animations, smoothing, the materials and the XML taggin but preserve the geometry and the texturing coordinates - as side effect, the geometry is not super-clean nor flawless.
Unfortunately, in the case of the Typhoon, a number of minor details were lost in the process - such as the landing gears, some engine details and the pilot helmet.
So... the external model is recoverable...but will require several weeks of work - not good, but could have been much worse.
Unfortunately, most of the Virtual Cockpit is garbage. A lot of the geometry of the switches and levers is lost or corrupt and require more work than I expected.

Here is the status:

LOST:

- 3D source models (both external and VC and custom weapons)
- Source texture sheets and paintkit (layered PSD)
- Part of the XML code
- My standard templates for things such as HMD projection etc.

INTACT:
- External .mdl was almost finished (maybe I can use it as it is...)
- Incomplete virtual cockpit (is missing the ejection seat and some other details)
- Latest avionics code (HUD almost complete)

RECOVERED
 - (Partial) geometry and texture coordinates. Need to redo part of the geometry, animation etc.

 Long story short... I need to evaluate my options carefully. One possibility is to use the external .mdl as is (missing a number of eye-candy features, and the custom weapons) and redo the missing parts of the VC.
More news soon.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ransomware infection update

 

First, THANK YOU ALL for the oustanding support and encouragement I have received - the flight simulation community has always been very kind and positive to me and my projects and it is awesome to know I have such a loyal and appreciative user base.
I have thought a lot on what to do next - and what would be the best thing for me. My final decision is as follows:

- The ransom WILL NOT be paid. It is not a question of the money per se - I am lucky enough so that 500 USD would not make a big difference for my bank account. It is just that I do not like giving money to criminals.

- The hard disk with my source 3D models has been segregated and kept in a safe place. Hopefully, sooner or later, a decryption tool with a key database will pop up. This was the case for similar malwares in the past few years - so there is a small hope. Very small. But it is defintely worth preserving the encrypted data.

- My system has been formatted and it is being rebuilt (with a much needed switch to a SDD). I have already installed Win 8.1, P3D, Tacpack and the P3D SDK. I will restart with a pristine system.

- Once the system is restored and all my design tools are in place, I will see what to do next.

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT:

Apart from my personal files (pictures, savegames etc.) I lost access to ALL my 3D source files and all master texture sheets. This includes pretty much 95% of my past work in terms of work hours. The files installed in the simulator were not affected (the ransomware did not touch the Program folder) so my latest flight version of the flight models and XML/avionics code are still available. Current situation is as follows:

AVATAR PACKAGE (payware) - Losing the source files for this project is quite saddening in particular the animation/bone system I created. I planned to update the current version and expand it with additional models, or create a "civilian" package. But given the small user base, and the amount of work needed decision is to TERMINATE the project and any further update. Sales will continue with current distributors 

F-35 LIGHTNING II (payware) - I was working on a significant upgrade with would include some bug fixings and some new functionalities. Lucklily the modeling work was finished, and the compiled models are safe - and so are the latest avionic files. Therefore the decision is to CONTINUE the development of the update.

EUROFIGHTER TYPHOON (payware) - This is probably the biggest loss. I will try to recover the geometry by decompiling the current .mdl and see what can be reused and what not. For the moment this project is ON HOLD.

T-45C GOSHAWK (freeware) - I don't know if I could add anything to this project - but it has always been by test bed and loosing it has more a sentimental value than anything. But there is not place for sentimentalism in the modern world so this project will be TERMINATED - version 2.83 is be the final version.

MB.326 (freeware) - An update was in the works with minor bug fixings...The update is CANCELED and the project will be TERMINATED.

S-3B VIKING (freeware) - An update which would have included some minor bug fixing, addition of TFLIR functionalites and a AI-Tanker model was in the works. I'll try to salvage the tanker model, but I cannot guarantee anything. Apart from that, the update is CANCELED and the project will be TERMINATED.

F-14D Super Tomcat (freeware) - There was actually a plan to develop a new, better payware version of this project. Maybe I'll pursue that in the future. As for this freeware rendition, any further update is CANCELED and the project will be TERMINATED.

Also, preliminary work on Aermacchi MB.339 is lost,
there is some undisclosed work done on the E-2/C-2 project in cooperation with another developer which - for a pure chance this is safe.

FUTURE PROJECTS:

It is still unclear to me if I have the time and will right now to embark on new projects - at least for the moment. I am looking into some very small, very quick projects to develop - just to check that everything is working. I have some ideas... but they are just ideas for now.

That is it for the moment. THANK YOU AGAIN for your support.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ransomware infection


Unfortunately, my Flight Simulation computer has been infected with Cerber Ransomware - which is basically a malware that sneaks into your system and encrypts all your data and then asks for a ransom to get a software to decrypt them. More information here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/the-cerber-ransomware-not-only-encrypts-your-data-but-also-speaks-to-you/

After a full night getting documentation and trying any possibility I could read of, it is my understanding that, at the moment, there are no known solution for my case but paying the ransom - which right now I am not willing to do. I may change my mind when I'll be more calm.

Currently, after running several recovery softwares, it seems that all the critical files (mostly source 3D models, animations and textures) are compromised and I cannot access them anymore. The only exception being the files that were actually already installed in the simulator, which have not been touched - that basically means the F-35 update I have been working on.

Therefore, as of today, I have no choice but suspend ALL my projects indefinitely with possible exception of the F-35B update.

I am evaluating all the options I have - in the very worst case, all my current project may be canceled.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

T-45 Goshawk version 2.83


As much as I'd like to abandon the T-45C, some minor and annoying inaccuracies pop-up... hence here we go again with a new release... in this case, I was notified that the MFD-ADI sky/ground colors were reversed (due a wrong interpetation on my side of the NATOPS graphics). Cockpit videos show the real thing very clearly - so here we go again - sorry for the inconvenience.

VERSION 2.83
- Fixed ADI graphics (light area = sky, dark area = ground)

Download link on the side bar as usual.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

T-45C Goshawk version 2.82 release - sorry for the inconvenience!

 
Following a report from an user, a significant bug has been identified on the latest release of the Goshawk - basically the latest Virtual Cockpit was built with the wrong ModelDef.XML file (which is the file that governs the associations between the 3D model and variables, click spots and visibiliyu conditions during MDL compilation...I have several for the various aircrafts). As result the Data Entry Panel was mostly unusable. It was not my intention to released yet another update to the Goshawk but this is a show-stopping issue to me and I felt it needed to be fixed.
Here is a new version that should fix the problem. Download link on the side bar. Once it is confirmed to work it will be uploaded to Avsim and Flightsim.
Sorry for the inconvenience!


VERSION 2.82 - Released on April 2nd 2016

- Previous build was compiled with wrong Modeldef.xml resulting in several Data Entry Panel issues. Rebuilt with correct XML coding.
- Fixed minor bug with DECLUTTER function in DEP
- Fixed minor bug with DEPRESSION function in DEP