The Stearman may just be out of the gate but DC Designs is already gearing up for its next aircraft release for Flight Simulator. The venerable F-14 Tomcat is getting close to completion, in what is looking to be another step-up in quality from DC Designs.
In the usual weekly development updates from DC Designs, we learned that there’s a couple of particularly exciting new features that will come to the Tomcat. The first one is that the F-14 will have custom HTML gauges designed to emulate the appearance of the real aircraft. This includes the HUD, which has been a lackluster feature on other fighter jets that have been released for MSFS. The developer says that not only do these HTML gauges look significantly better, they are also less taxing on the simulator’s FPS.
The second cool feature is the introduction of effects, which are now possible after a recent update to Flight Simulator. Developers are now able to create and include custom effects on their aircraft, and the F-14 will take advantage of that with the inclusion of contrails and possibly even G-vapor effects on the wings.
While these are two of the latest highlight features of the Tomcats, there are a few more interesting particularities about this aircraft that DC Designs is making sure to implement. The F-14’s most iconic feature, the variable-sweep wings, will be fully modeled here, with the corresponding changes to the aircraft’s flight characteristics. The engine performance will also be accurately represented. For instance, the engines were vulnerable to compressor stalls in certain phases of flight, and this will be coded into the F-14 by DC Designs.
The developer is looking to deliver a relatively authentic experience. While the goal is definitely not to create a so-called “study level” aircraft, DC Designs aims to make the F-14 a little more complex than the F-15. The Tomcat is an especially quirky fighter and its unique features deserve to be reproduced.
After an initially estimated release for late May, the F-14 Tomcat’s release has now slipped into July, which isn’t too far off actually. In the meantime, you can read about all the interesting details with the aircraft’s development (and DC Designs overall work for that matter) on the developer’s Facebook page.
While we wait for the release of the F-14, enjoy the gorgeous preview images that have recently been shared by the developers.