Sign in to follow this  

Leatherneck: F-14A/A+/B Tomcat

Recommended Posts

Leatherneck announce F-14 Tomcat proyect to DCS: World.


SWINOUJSCIE, POLAND - March 3rd 2015 - F-14A/B (A+) Tomcat coming to DCS World

Leatherneck Simulations, in association with The Fighter Collection and Eagle Dynamics are immensely proud to announce the development of the F-14 Tomcat for DCS World!
The F-14 Tomcat is a fourth-generation, twin tail, supersonic naval interceptor aircraft, developed for the United States' Navy VFX programme. 
After it's debut flight in 1970, and subsequent fleet introduction in 1974, the F-14 became the primary fleet defense and air superiority fighter for the U.S. Navy. 
The legend of the F-14 only grew after the hollywood smash-hit "Top Gun" - in which it was heavily featured.
Key Features of DCS: F-14A & B include:
Highly Accurate 6-DOF (Degrees of Freedom) Cockpit
Highly Accurate avionics and weapons system modelling - including the vaunted AWG-9 Radar system and AIM-54 Phoenix missiles.
AIM-54 Phoenix Simulation with a CFD based AFM
'JESTER AI' - A Proprietary AI System for fully voiced, dependable and smart RIO/WSO
Highly Accurate Flight Model - Based on Real Performance Data
Both -A and -B Model F-14's
Multiplayer Multicrew capability. Fly together as RIO and Pilot!
Animated Crew Members - Closely Integrated with JESTER AI
Highly Detailed External Model, Animations and Textures
Highly Accurate Aircraft System and Subsystem Modelling
One Free Theatre bundled with the Aircraft
Full, lengthy single-player campaign
Full Suite of Documentation, including game manual, quickstart guides, and more.
Fully voiced and interactive training missions, teaching you to fly and fight.
...and much, much more!
At Leatherneck Simulations we strongly believe in raising the bar. We have never been comfortable with adhering to the status quo.
Currently we hope to complete development and enter BETA testing on the first version of the F-14 by the end of 2015. Subject to significant change.
For the Development Team, the F-14 will represent the culmination of years of experience and dedication. 
Our passion is only rivaled by our ambition and we are pushing ourselves to be better than ever before. 
So strap in and enjoy the ride, and get ready to experience the definitive F-14 experience.
Leatherneck Simulations
NOTE: Due to an unexpected technical error in our website & subsequent down-time due to overloading the server, this is a limited, interim announcement.



Share this post

Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Wow!! If this is anything like their Mig-21 it will be incredible.

Share this post

Link to post

Glowind Ammram confirm the making of a Trailer video to the F-14 module of Leatherneck.


 I am pleased to announce that I'll be working with Leatherneck Simulations and creating a trailer for the upcoming DCS: F-14!

Make sure you check them out over at
Here is an exclusive image (work in progress) for you guys. 



Share this post

Link to post

F-14 done by Leatherneck fidelity & quality is going to be mindblowing :rolleyes:


Share this post

Link to post

New WIP Cockpit Shots.....











Sent from my iPad

Share this post

Link to post

Development Update from LeatherNeck.....


"Dear All,

First off, thank you all for your kind words of support and positive attitude to our announcement.
It is a great motivator to put in those long hours when you know you've got such a great community behind you. 
Sincere gratitude from the entire team. Also a big thank you to those of you who have gone above and beyond to spread the news of our announcement. 
While it's still relatively early in the development process, it's good to get some awareness out there right off the bat.

We've been kind of quiet lately, but not to worry; it is simply an effect of the large workload placed on each and every member of the team. 
Ambitious plans require hard work and much of our focus lies on attaining planned development sprints.

Unfortunately, a byproduct of this is that many of your questions about the F-14 have gone unanswered. I've been gathering many of these and they will be answered in the FAQ section of our new F-14 site section coming next week. 
Therein you will also find a lot of information on various features of the aircraft and our design goals for e.g. JESTER AI.

We're due for a monthly update, which will have some information about other developments and the MiG-21. 
Thus, I'll be keeping this F-14 specific update fairly short.

Art Development

We're now essentially feature complete on both exterior and interior models for the F-14, including the majority of integration work and animations. 
Thus, preparatory work for diffuse, specular and normal map texture creation has begun.

With the F-14, we're pioneering several new techniques based on the tried-and-tested industry standard sculpting and baking workflow. 
We've already put this to good use for our other unreleased, in development aircraft, but we're hoping to take it that one step further for the F-14. 
We hope we can further enhance the realism of both our exterior and interior textures and the initial results are very promising.

It's very exciting for us as artists to have the opportunity to apply years of accumulated knowledge to a project such as the F-14. We hope to capture every minutiae detail, down to the touched up lumps of paint.

Something many of you have concerns about is performance. We're taking a very pro-active stance on ensuring that performance is optimal at release this time around.
We very much wish to ensure that the F-14 will perfectly on the vast majority of systems, and approaching things more carefully from the beginning will make it easier for us to make adjustments in the future.

Attached below you can see some Work in Progress renders of the cockpit. 
Do note that these images have flaws, so take them with a few pinches of salt.

Codebase Development

Not counting the Radar and HUD (two big systems in themselves), the Tomcat contains, by our count, roughly 67 Major systems, of which 37 are related to Flight and Flight Controls. 
In addition to this, one must take into account the size and difficulty of both the JESTER AI system and the External Flight Model. Noting that the F-14 is a massively difficult undertaking is putting it mildly.

Currently, heavy focus lies on creation of the AICS (Inlet Control System), Hydraulic System and Electrical System. 
These systems, together with the Engine and grouped control systems lay the basis for the construction of the swing-wing EFM that will capture the spirit and real performance of the F-14.

There is yet a long road ahead, and many difficult tasks to complete, but we have absolutely no reservations about our capabilities nor our choice of aircraft. 

We look forward to sharing more progress with you soon.
Thank you for your support,"

Leatherneck Simulations


Share this post

Link to post

Amazing modeling skills - looks awesome and I know I use modo and it is not easy - thanks for sharing

Share this post

Link to post
Two new renders and little update


Dragging our feet a little -- we're wrapping up some new sculpted artwork and finishing touches on the F-14 product page. 


Thank you for your patience during the long publicly quiet period we've had over recent weeks.
We're not announcing any new products just yet, but will be telling you a little more about them and the technology involved. (Sorry to take the wind out of your sails there!)
We will be moving away from the monthly newsletter based updates and into smaller, more frequent updates as we move forward.
In the meanwhile;



Share this post

Link to post
Leatherneck F-14 Update



Dear All,
It's been another busy period for the team entire team at Leatherneck. Not only in terms of development and progressing on our current stable of projects – but also with unfolding personal events. 
Family deaths, day-job commitments and more have yielded a rather muted visible public presence. 
Progress has not been impaired in any way; and we're very excited to move into the latter half of 2015.
A considerable amount of the teams' focus has been on projects other than the F-14, including the MiG-21bis.
While that may sound disappointing; it must be noted that several technologies developed for one of our other aircraft can directly be drawn upon to shorten the development time of the F-14. 
Elements include e.g. HUD elements or Navigational implementations. 
We've also spent an additional chunk of time on refinement of our internal tools, in particular a Flight Modeling Visualizer. 
We will go into deeper depth on our other projects in an upcoming all- Leatherneck-encompassing newsletter, so for now; lets focus on the F-14.
The Art team's primary focus has been on assuring proper integration with the F-14 codebase and DCS engine. 
This is a particularly boring aspect of art asset development; albeit very necessary so as to allow the programming team to boundlessly progress. 
Examples include defining clickable areas, animations and creating 2D bitmaps that will be drawn on various indicators and screens. 
We've almost completely finished this process and thus the main focus will again shift to traditional artistry. 
The biggest task ahead is texturing both the interior and exterior elements of the aircraft. 
We're currently evaluating a few new sculpting-based techniques that we hope will yield incredible fidelity and texture depth.
ClosedCat_03_Thumb.png ClosedCat_04_Thumb.png
Our working version of the aircraft is still currently based around a -B model exterior and -A model interior. 
However, work progresses on the -A exterior, starting with completion of the TF-30 engines and exhausts for the -A model tomcat. 
More notable adjustments of the shape and equipment to fall in line with an -A are forthcoming.
Some of our sharp-eyed community members (you know who you are!) noticed various flaws in the initial renders we posted. 
Sincere gratitude for your sharp eyes, and we've already rolled in some of these corrections. 
Examples include widening the main engine intakes and canting the main gear. 
As with all of our development, we adhere to a very iterative process and you should always consider anything shown to be Work in Progress.
Additionally, we've gone ahead and continued on sculpting our pilot and RIO models. 
We're certainly paying very close attention to ensure a high level of detailing and accuracy. 
We have plans for these models beyond the standard in-cockpit / external pilots you are currently used to; features that will hopefully significantly improve immersion. 
You should expect this particular model to look practically identical in-game, as most of the detail will be baked down into normal and diffuse maps. 
After completion of the Hydraulic and some Electrical systems, the programming team has shifted focus to the development of the TF-30 and F-110 engines. 
This particular task will require a significant amount of time to develop, as both engines have unique properties and a lot of interconnected dependencies that need to be recreated and tested.
Thus, elements of the AICS, Fuel System, Pilot Controls must all be in place before all elements of our new engine simulation can be recreated. 
We are of course fully committed to ensuring that we model as many of the various characteristics and quirks of both engines. 
Some of these quirks have massive impact on how you fly and fight in the aircraft, thus we must be certain that we get it completely right. 
We hope that both reliance on documentation and SMEs will allow us to achieve this level of fidelity. 
Our FM simulation is highly dependent on all of the Engine and Flight Controls being completely in place, so as to ensure that all base parameters are correct before attempting to simulate the movement of the aircraft. 
Of course, it goes without saying that every facet of the F-14's flight envelope will be modeled to the fullest extent possible. 
Unlike what some of you fear, we are not limited in any way in what we can model or simulate, including more complex factors, such as variable geometry wing surfaces.
Once the engine and flight controls are in place, the team will move on to creating all auxiliary control system functionality. 
This includes elements such as brakes, hooks, refueling probes, canopy jettison, and much more.
The F-14 Product Page is about to go live and is undergoing final tweaks.
It will contain a considerable amount of depth on various subjects, most of it however has already been covered in the forums.
The F-14 page is part of a wider website update which includes a new News section that will host our more frequent, unscheduled updates.
During and after our initial announcement, many of you had questions about various aspects of development and the planned module roadmap in general. 
I've tried to gather as many of these as possible, but feel free to write more below and I will add as many as I possibly can.
Q: Which particular Airframe era will you be simulating?
We're still ironing out some specifics here; but we're aiming for a mid-to late 80s' airframe for the -A, and mid 90s' for the -B. Thus, some features such as the glove vanes will be disabled, while some advancements and improvements in the aircraft will be included.
Q: Are you sure about those Glove Vanes?
A: We'll be, at the very least, adding a visual option. It is possible that we will simulate the aerodynamic impact of the glove vanes further down the line.
Q: Will you be separating the -A and -B model Tomcats in the sim?
A: Indeed! It is also possible that one model will be released some time before the other.
Q: How much will it cost, and will both versions be sold together?
A: Details to be disclosed at a later time; but do not expect any kind of exorbitant or non-standard pricing.
Q: Where can I pre-order?
A: There is currently no pre-order or pledge package available. 
It is likely that we'll be running a pre-order program at some point prior to release, however.
Q: Will Air-to-Ground Capability be included?
A: Yes; however the specific A2G and sensor capability that will be modeled is yet to be decided. You can note in the renders posted, that the BRU-32 bomb rack is mounted to the Phoenix pylons on the underside of the fuselage.
Q: Which Chin Sensor Pod will the Aircraft utilize?
A: TCS & ALQ-100 Antenna. The bullet fairing visual option will be included.
Q: Will Carrier Operations be included at Release?
A: We are networking together with our partners to ensure a complete package upon release, however the complex nature of the task at hand lends itself to a cautious approach in saying anything definitive.
Q: Will Multiplayer Multi-Crew be available at Release?
A: We hope to include this feature on release. We consider it an essential selling point of this module, and a personal dream of our own.
Q: What do you mean by the AIM-54 being based on a 'CFD' Simulation?
A: We will be using Computer Fluid Dynamics simulations to the fullest extent possible in order to ensure proper accuracy and fidelity of the AIM-54 Phoenix missile flight dynamics. While this particular missile is very difficult to sufficient documentation on; we are investing heavily into ensuring that our recreation of it is true to life.
Q: Will Night Vision be available?
A: Yes.
Q: What is JESTER AI, exactly?
A: It is a proprietary system that primarily simulates the RIO crew member. It will allow you to quickly and efficiently fly and fight in the F-14, while minimizing your workload. JESTER AI will be fully voiced and highly streamlined. The system will be designed to be moduler, and can thus be quickly adapted to other multi-seat aircraft in development. 
Q: Will Multi-Seat licensing be a thing? (RIO Only License, etc.)
A: Possibly. We do like some of the ideas brought forward; but nothing definitive as of yet. It's more likely we'll stick to just a single license.
Q: Will Iranian Tomcats be included?
A: Yes! We have several Iranian liveries planned. We also plan to model the older MBU-5/P mask in use by the Iranian Air Force.
Q: Will you include a HGU-55 helmet option?
A: Not planned at this time.
Q: That looks like it has way too many polygons!
A: We learned our lesson with the rocky performance of the MiG-21 on release, and are taking care to keep performance at a significantly better level. Much of the detail you see is simply normal maps baked down from high-poly sculpts; thus, they already perform very well!
Q: Which theatre will be included with the F-14?
A: Very oceany. Very cold. 
The F-14 Campaign will take place in this theatre.
Q: Why not GOOSE AI?
A: Goose is dead, man.
Q: Any possibility of an MP / COOP Campaign?
A: Not planned at this time; however, we do intend to support the F-14 with significant after-market content, especially taking into consideration the Straights of Hormuz theatre. It can be noted that the SP campaign can likely be easily edited to allow for more players.
Q: What should I do during my inevitable divorce?
A: More Fleet BARCAP.
Q: Will random failures and issues be modeled?
A: Yes! We have a slew of unique and new features planned here that should introduce some RPG-esque elements into your gameplay experience, should you wish it.
Q: Will JESTER AI be able to handle Piloting duties as well?
A: Likely to some very limited extent.
That is all for F-14 development at this point. 
During the next month you should expect to see some strong visual progress on both exterior and interior textures. 
We're very excited to move forward and to start seeing our vision come to life.
Leatherneck Simulations



Share this post

Link to post

pics look real, oh Lord!


Yeah, those pics are a good example of how specular and diffuse lighting, combined with depth of field hazing, can make simple textures look so realistic.

Share this post

Link to post



d Party Developer

 Dear All,

It's been a very eventful year for Leatherneck Simulations-- even though, despite our best efforts, we did not manage to launch any new products this year. 
Not only has it been eventful year, it has undoubtedly been probably one of the most challenging times that we've experienced as a developer.

Not only have we been developing three DCS modules with associated theaters and period units concurrently; but we've also significantly expanded, developed new technology 
and tools, restructured our teams and even begun preparatory planning for products beyond the 'sequel trilogy'.

Perhaps the biggest change for us has been in transitioning from a small, tight-knit and concise 4-man unit, into a 'real' business-- one that currently comprises of 9 full time individuals and many more on temporary or outsourced basis. 
This kind of growth would not have been possible without the success of the MiG-21; and for that you all have our sincere gratitude.

We'd also like to apologize for not adhering to our previous statements in that we expect a new LN module to appear this year. 
Unfortunately, delays in developing some of our critical new technologies as well as a larger than expected workload with the MiG-21 precluded this from being achievable. 
Likewise, these delays have led us to postpone our planned product reveals.
Delicious Leeks – AJS-37 & F4U-1DMiG-21bis
New Team MembersMiG-21bis Backer Rewards

As mentioned in the previous update; we've now made this issue a priority, especially considering how long it's now been since release. After considering several options; we'd like to propose the following changes to the backer tiers. While we are incredibly grateful for the support shown to the MiG-21bis project in its' infancy; we're unfortunately producing these items at a complete loss.

We're hoping to produce the following items:

We'd thus propose the following changes in the backer tier rewards. 
Please feel free to share your input on these changes and whether you would feel comfortable with the new replacements.

We're presently waiting on samples of the listed production items. 
Once we have are satisfied with the items, we will order a proper production run and begin sending you your items. 
Sincere apologies for the delay on this front.Changes between 1.2.16 and 1.5/2.0

The MiG-21 saw many overt and covert changes in the 1.5 and 2.0 updates. 
Some of these changes, coupled with the large changes in the DCS engine have resulted in a high number of new bugs and issues. 
We're working very hard to fix all of these, and you can see most of them in the public bugtracker linked above. 

We've also been very sloppy with maintaining a public change log. 
Most of the items changed or fixed are listed below, but I'd estimate that there are at least a dozen or two more items not listed. 
Here is a more comprehensive list, including the previously listed changes. Keep an eye on the bugtracker in the future for a better understanding on open or resolved issues.


  • Replaced multiple existing inputs with toggle inputs.
  • Re-Added several requested replaced inputs.
  • Added 9 New Keyboard Inputs: ASP Target Size, KPP Pitch Set, RSBN/PRGM Channel Select, Radio On/Off, Radio Volume & Channel Selection
  • Fixed various instances of the Radio not working.
  • Fixed the Radar operating without electrical power
  • Increased missile smoke visibility
  • Fixed the “SPRD Appears on F6 View after use” bug
  • Introduced special option for ASP pipper gameplay features.
  • Improved drag chute physics, including chute use in stall/spin recovery (Animation is however still limited)
  • Corrected Rudder Authority (“Rudder overpowering ailerons”)
  • Added UUA Sensor animation
  • Improved Over-G weapon jettison (Dynamic Weight Calculation, per-pylon/weapon limit)
  • Improved regulated Afterburner throttle control
  • Partially fixed visible weapons remaining on destroyed/missing wings
  • Fixed A-A missile lock tone bug
  • Corrected wing thickness & angle
  • Various corrections on all weapon pylons
  • Rebuilt frontal canopy for smooth fuselage transition
  • Re-Drew rivet and panel lines on rear fuselage
  • Dozens of minor 3D/2D issues
  • Fixed various Cockpit graphics issues
  • Corrected various ASP calculation issues (Incorrect lead, “CCIP”)
  • Added 8-10 new default liveries
  • New specular maps
  • Sculpted rear fuselage into a new normal map
  • Added new SPRD Rocket booster model and texture
  • Corrected placement of SPRD Rocket booster on aircraft
  • Further optimized external model and textures
  • Revised gear door textures
  • Corrected AoA vane animation
  • Temporarily removed 'Canopy Icing' checkbox pending visual implementation
  • LOD models optimized.
  • Incorrect ASO texture replaced.
  • Radome axis of movement fixed.
  • Double cockpit in low graphic settings fixed.
  • Tactical number slot holes fixed.
  • Added more variations of Russian tactical numbers.
  • Added Arabic tactical numbers.
  • Changed material setting from mirror to aluminum.
  • Landing gear’s external lights now come on only at full extension.
  • Remodeled external pilot’s visor and is now transparent with specular.
  • Navigation lights during the day are now bigger in “Bright” mode.
  • Missing panel lines and sealant on external canopy/windscreen added.
  • Missing rivets on right-side drag chute tube added.
  • Missing screws on top-side wing fuel tank panels added.
  • UVs for middle fuselage flipped 180 degrees to fix NMp errors.
  • Liveries adjusted for UV flip.
  • New normal and specular textures.
  • Fixed Radar crashing in 2.0
  • Corrected broken Normalmaps due to UV Flip
  • Corrected broken Specular maps due to UV Flip
  • Added support for NTTR map in RSBN Navigation System
  • Added additional Kneeboard panels
  • Fixed Kneeboard not showing map
  • Increased tracer visibility
  • Changed UPK pod CLSID to avoid CLSID conflict
  • Fixed crashing when selecting RSBN Channel above 18
  • Joystick double throttle input bug fixed
  • Changed MiG-21Bis → MiG-21bis
  • Fixed Training missions appearing in list
  • Updated StarForce protection system to avoid future issues
  • Fixed Aircraft shaking erroneously after broken tires
  • Fixed wheelbrake axis causing unstoppable air leak
  • Fixed booster aileron inconsistencies.

 One of the most important developments within LN this year has been the continued expansion of the team with some of the most talented individuals we can possibly find. 
We pride ourselves on being a team built upon steadfast pillars of professionalism and excellence in our chosen profession; be it in the field of programming or art.

Thus, it's with great joy and pride that we welcome Stirling Rank and Daniel Malmquist to the Leatherneck team. You're already familiar with parts of Stirling's work; in the form of the F-14 Pilot we presented earlier this year. 
We've actually already introduced Stirling in the previous mini-update, but it was fairly unceremonious. 
Daniel has also been with us for a while now; as he takes charge on the creation of the F-14's flight and physical models.


Hailing from Melbourne, Australia-- Stirling has skillfully avoided Scorpions, Exploding Cacti, Sharks, Crocodiles, Snakes, Arachnids, Jellyfish and other Australians to go on and become a brilliant young character and hard surface artist. 

Despite his relatively young age, Stirling has built an impressive portfolio of hard and soft surface modeling, deeply rooted in strong sculpting talents. 
While Character modeling may not be the first thing you think of when compiling your flight simulation wishlist; we couldn't be happier with the human element that Stirling brings to the table.

I think we've all seen the impressive results that well crafted, animated and engaging characters can do for immersion in titles such as Star Citizen. 
We look forward to applying Stirlings' artwork in new and innovative ways, especially with the widespread adoption of VR just around the corner!

Hailing from Ystad, in the south of Sweden, Daniel now lives in Stockholm. 
Complementing his huge interests in engineering and aviation is a Ph.D. in the fields of modeling and optimization of electromechanical systems, from the Royal Institute of Technology, arguably the leading engineering university in Sweden.

Daniels' keen interest in aviation has expressed itself in many ways; including being a licensed private pilot and the designing and developing several small unmanned 
drones during his extensive research experience. Daniel’s strong theoretical background, combined with his programming experience makes him an excellent addition to the LNS team, and for spearheading the creation of the F-14 Flight and physical models.

Besides, look at those dreamy eyes and perfect complexion. How could we have said no?

New Public Bugtracker
Website News SectionAs you may have noticed by the stickied posts; in order to better 
accommodate both current and future project update needs; we have decided to open a public bugtracker. 

This will allow us to more effectively receive bugreports from you, convey what is received and already fixed, as well as offer an insight into our post release support process. 
We also hope that the added transparency will better indicate how many changes are made that previously were not noted in changelogs. 

We'd like to urge all of you to cease reporting bugs on the Bugs sub forums (unless significant discussion is indicated) and instead help us out 
by registering a new account and reporting a bug on the bugtracker.

 A long overdue update to our website in the form of a new News section is now available. 
If you find it difficult or time consuming to follow the forums or hunt down updates from us; we'll be cross posting anything relevant to this page. 
This includes smaller announcements such as notices and warnings. 

We've been fairly quiet over the course of 2015; with a mere half a dozen major updates scattered across the year, but this is of course has only been a temporary period that is soon coming to a close. 
Thus, heavy use and far denser updates on this page are to be expected.

F-14 A & B Tomcat UpdateWhoops!

No, it's not a red herring. (We're bigger fans of cod and salmon, actually).
Obviously we screwed up a little here, but hopefully you'll forgive us. 
We might as well talk briefly about these two, while we're at it.

As mentioned previously; difficulties in some of the new technology: in particular components required for an accurate simulation of these modules, unexpectedly high MiG-21 workload, as well as various illnesses have both delayed the aircraft themselves, as well as their respective announcements. 

Both of these aircraft have afforded us an opportunity to develop critical technology for the future, and also serve as a stepping stone to a larger theater of war (F4U-1D). 
Likewise, they have provided an easier path to unlock other aircraft making use of similar technology (AJS-37). It's also very important to remember that you may only catch a glimpse of the big picture with just the module names. 
We have spent considerable time and resources into making sure that the products we create have an appropriate environment, opponents and other content.

In particular, some of the advancements we have made with these two modules are as follows:
With an average development time of several years; every module we have built or will build will be very special to us. 
Thus we want to make sure that your first look, but more importantly- your first impression of our work is exactly as good as you expect of us. 

The simple but honest truth is: they're just not quite there yet. At least visually. 
If a cockpit is 95% done and but there is a big white blob instead of a HUD– we'd rather ensure that we get that done before disappointing you. 
It will be a few more weeks until we are ready.

Having learned from the mistakes we made with the MiG-21; we are committed to ensuring only the smoothest of launches. This means a feature complete aircraft, all included content (missions, campaigns, documentation) and as much internal Q&A as we can possibly squeeze in. 
We'd prefer to avoid extended and prolonged BETA periods, especially with our planned 2016 & 2017 roadmap; thus it is imperative that we can minimize the intense post-release update period.

Theatre DevelopmentSystems & FM
ArtThe Tomcat has seen considerable progress in the last few months; and even though we are behind our initial projected schedule (H2 2015) – we have very little regret as to how this flagship module is progressing. 
The majority of the year has been spent recreating the entire framework and systems base of the aircraft. 

Items such as Hydraulic, electrical, fuel and control systems are complex components of the aircraft and these items being complete, functional and relatively bug-free is a prerequisite before moving on to some of the more overt features and components. 
We've also spent considerable time implementing various supporting functionality, such as for instance numerical solvers (e.g. 4th order Range-Kutta) for second and higher order dynamics which can be used for components like e.g. actuators.

We have now also begun making progress on the VSI, HSDI and HUD components, which are some of the most visual features of the systems modeling. 
These systems directly tie into most of the other Aircraft systems, so they will not be fully complete until the very end of development.


The Flight Model has seen the most rapid progress over the last couple of months; and we've now begun assembling the physical model. 
Primary focus is currently on Primary Handling of the aircraft: in essence, we are now working to perfect the overall body and wing aerodynamics, wing sweep dynamics & logic, and primary/secondary control surfaces and their influence.

Wing sweep logic, a core component of the F-14, is also complete and implements the four modes (Auto, Manual, Bomb, and Emergency) - making use of multiple underlying sweep schedules for both primary and secondary control channels. 
The current implementation will of course allow us to calculate the effects of asymmetric wing sweep due to damage/malfunction.

In association with that, we have now also begun separating the visual animations into their respective hydraulic systems. 
We are looking for a high level of granularity in failure simulation; and wherever there is a possibility of separate failure (e.g. separate hydraulic systems) – this will be simulated on our rendition of the Aircraft. 
Electrical fuses, something frequently mentioned by the community, will be simulated to their fullest extent.


The aerodynamic speed brakes are a fairly good example of our targeted fidelity. 
Each of the three control surfaces are individually modeled, allowing us to take into account asymmetric effects from damaged/malfunctioning actuators and surfaces. 

Just the speed brakes alone use 11 (that's a lot!) different lookup tables to determine aerodynamic coefficients in the current implementation. 
This will give yield very realistic and dynamic feel.

Overall, we feel very confident in our implementation of the F-14 flight model at this stage. We will not stop short of anything but perfection.

The majority of the art teams' focus still lies with projects other than the F-14. 
The reason for this is that the aircraft is (still) at a level where the artwork does not in any way impair the development of systems or functionality. 
This is an important distinction to make; because it allows for the art team to focus on areas where they are most needed.

That said; we've invested a significant amount of time in the last few months into unwrapping the Cockpit. This sounds boring and terribly unsexy – and that's because it is. Thousands of objects had to be individually unwrapped and correctly placed; eventually comprising 37 cockpit textures split across the two cockpits. 
An artists' personal hell. We're glad it's over!


The next step is to begin sculpting various cockpit parts. 
Bulging and peeling paint, metal imperfections, dings, scratches, fresh and old paint blotches, cloth parts, bent glareshields, and much more need to be accurately recreated to fully immerse the player. 
Once we unveil the AJS-37 Cockpit; you will have a good indication of the quality level that we aim to achieve with all of our cockpits.

Not much has been done on the exterior in the last few months, apart from some significant accuracy improvements. 
Referencing various new drawings caused us to adjust, in particular, the vertical tail planes and the entire front fuselage and canopy areas. 
These were both very inaccurate, and required a lot of adjustments. It's an iterative process; so we expect there to be more changes as we go along.

We're quite optimistic about an F-14 materializing somewhere in the second half of 2016 – however this is, as usual, subject to change. 
We'll keep you updated, and in particular start producing more material once the more overt visual features become more prominent!


Goodbye 2015!During most of 2015; we've focused on the creation of primary map content 
for our planned theatres. This includes not only things like actual map objects (hangars, trenches, bunkers, destroyed aircraft, buildings, vegetation, and much more) but 
also various vector assets such as roads, coastlines, elevation models, bodies of water and similar items.

Learning the production pipeline for the creation of maps for DCS has taken us close to the entire year; but we are now confident in our ability to create any terrain we set our mind to for the platform. 
Perhaps most exciting, is that we've already carried out several in-game tests of already produced sections of land. It's a small, but very exciting step forwards!

In the beginning of 2016; we will be investing additional resources into the expansion of our theatre construction team. This will be in the form of more permanent employees at our offices in Swinoujscie. 
We feel that only a large investment package will be enough to maintain our project goals, especially for products slated in 2017 and beyond.

Leatherneck Simulations TeamMain.jpg
/Nicholas Dackard

Leatherneck Simulations




Welcome, Phantom88.

Private Messages: Unread 0, Total 43.
You last visited: 12-31-2015 at 04:29 PM


Share this post

Link to post

Some of the best modeling I have ever seen as a member of military-meshes I would know and done my share of aircraft 3d modeling its not easy - super work

Share this post

Link to post

**** 2016 Will Be The Year of The Cat**** :smile:



Happy New Year :smile:

Share this post

Link to post
Leatherneck F-14 Update Q1
Dear All,
Welcome to Part 1 of our Q1 2016 update! 
In both parts of this update; we're going to be focusing on development progress of DCS: F-14A & B. 
These two updates will also be the last before we announce or other new projects. Woo!
MiG-21 Fixlist
Before we jump into the Kittykat; let's briefly return to the Fishbed. 
We've been splitting our focus between new projects as well as continuously updating the MiG-21. 
Below is the major item fixlist from the last couple of months-- including a few that are still pending to be released to a public build;
  • Corrected ASO-2 Randomly not working
  • R-55 & R-3S tone slave correction
  • Engine relight system lamp now lights up properly when launching missiles
  • Corrected various ASP issues (A2G range indicator, Aiming solutions) – WIP
  • Corrected BLC Gate RPM level
  • BLC now disengages at 400-420 km/h
  • Added joystick bindings for radio channel, radio on/off & radio volume
  • Added joystick bindings for NPP Course Set
  • Corrected initial position of the KPP
  • Corrected keyboard mappings for Afterburner (fix for afterburner not working unless assigned to axis)
  • Flight controls now affect hydraulic pressure
  • Added CAF/HRZ NATO livery (Thanks Matija Huzjak!)
  • Fixed mirrored stencils on wings
  • Fixed SPRD activation with button cover closed
  • Corrected moving pipper size limits
  • Corrected landing gear emergency extension
  • Corrected Oil Pressure indications
  • Corrected ADI/HSI test discreprancies
  • Added Nose cone extension with PO-750A Failure
  • Corrected Lock Target getting stuck with Target Lock On button
  • Adjusted maximum G Firing limits for R-3S
  • Corrected canopy ventilation handle functionality
  • Corrected various issues with the Fuel Indicator
  • SPS-141 Jammer Pod now works (again! Yay!)
  • S-5 Rockets now fire in appropriate order (If 4 launchers installed, only 2 fire at once)
  • Corrected brake pressure indicator
  • Fixed R55 & R3S tone slaved to radar
  • Head Ready and Lauch Authorized lights corrected
  • Corrected more instances of inverted radar symbols
  • Corrected KPP and NPP knob dependancies
  • Added joystick binding to Altimeter Pressure Set
  • Corrected animation of Emergency Transmitter Button
  • We'll have more information on various open MiG-21 issues, such as backer rewards, in pilot cockpit and other items ASAP.
    MiG-21 Paintkit
    The MiG-21 Paint kit is now available and can be found at the link below.
    Apologies for the long time it's taken to get this to you all; but we wanted to 
    make sure the aircraft was final before torpedoing all of your hard work (and for those of you who made it without a kit, sorry anyways!)
    The .PSDs are backwards compatible up to Photoshop CS6 (possibly lower, untested!)
    Feel free to ask for assistance should you need it.
    F-14 Development Update Part I
    We've just come off the first hard and fast development sprint and crunch on this project-- which are (unfortunately for our sanity and health) to become more frequent as we move towards the end of the year and the (drum roll) inevitable release. 
    The main focus of the art team still lies with projects other than the F-14; thus comparatively little demonstrable progress is found visually. 
    However, all components of the aircraft simulation itself are beginning to come together and form a more cohesive package.
    F-14_External_01_thumb.jpg       F-14_External_02_thumb.jpg
    Primary focuses for the team currently remain with the flight model, associated systems (fuel, engines, controls and more) – but we've now also begun building some of the 
    visual systems for the aircraft. These include the Heads up Display (HUD), Vertical Display Indicator (VDI) and HSD (Horizontal Situation Display).
    We're of course maintaining the same refresh rates and accuracy which the real devices possess. You may find it a bit jarring at first to use the basic F-14 HUD; which updates rather infrequently. 
    Of course, we'll be making sure all of these devices also look much closer to their counterparts, both in functionality, size as well as projection characteristics. 
    They're still very much work in progress, so don't mind any misaligned, mis-scaled or in other ways incorrect elements. We are very likely aware of it already. 
    Worth pointing out is that the cockpit on these images is nothing but a placeholder used to enable our programming staff to execute their work.
    Once the cockpit is textured; we then do a full merge together with our codebase. 
    Cockpit_01_thumb.jpg      Cockpit_02_thumb.jpg     Cockpit_03_THUMB.jpg
    While these systems are still quite basic; they will begin to shape up in the next couple of months and be expanded to include all of their relevant modes (lots of inter connectivity here!)
    We generally keep all of these types of visual systems, even gauges, and implement them at the very end. 
    The systems and flight modeling functionality that lies beneath it all, are far more complex and time consuming.[/indent]
    Flight Model
    Since the last update, we have implemented all of the aerodynamics tables we had previously digitized. We currently use around 60 000 data points in a total of about 80 tables for e.g. aerodynamics and control schedules. This gives us a very dynamic feel to the flight model. The Flight Model is already able to accurately replicate well known characteristics of the F-14 such as wing rock, dutch roll, and flat spins. 
    Another focus lately has been the advanced implementation of flight control logic like trimming, spoiler control and the AFCS. We currently model the pitch, yaw, and roll SAS systems of the AFCS, with the automatic carrier landing system and other auto pilot modes coming later. The SAS system not only stabilizes the airplane, but also augments, for example, the roll rate, allowing for faster maneuvering.
    Last but not least, we have continued the work on the guts behind the simulation; like for instance our dynamics simulation system. Put simply, we've basically implemented a simulator within the simulator (inception.wav) that allows us to simulate physics and control logic in real time (for you control theory interested people we use state space systems and transfer functions for a lot of the autopilot and control modes).
    We're glossing over a lot of smaller things that we’ve been working on-- (did someone say wing flex? Hello mass-spring-damper systems!) but suffice to say we’re all really excited about now having a flyable, high fidelity flight model in the simulator.
    The next major focus area will be further improving the engine model, and we’re currently developing the underlying modeling strategy and data (e.g. various engine maps and logic)
    Model Iteration Pass
    Our development process is built upon iteration upon iteration; as we consider this to be the best and easiest way to attain accurate and high quality results. 
    Earlier this year; we began the final revision pass on the F-14 interior and exterior models. Most of the focus ended up on the exterior; which was plagued with various inaccuracies and inconsistencies which needed to be solved. 
    Some of these still remain; but we're now much closer to a final model, that can be unwrapped and textured.
    One of the biggest items on our list, was rebuilding the entire wing from the ground up; re-doing all of the linkages, hydraulics and control surfaces inside of the wing as well.
    All of the animations have also been redone and appropriately linked with their assigned hydraulic systems. 
    In the future, we'll also use bones to appropriately bend the sealant panels on the top and undersides of the wing root, as well as dynamically inflate and deflate the wing sealant bag.
    Most of the fuselage and various other parts have been adjusted, the biggest changes have happened in the front fuselage section, including the entire canopy and crew compartment, as well as the vertical stabilizers. 
    The aircraft is now far more accurate – but there are several issues that need to be cleaned up (you can see the skewed fuselage hatches, for example)
    We've also begun rigging and animating our pilot models for the F-14. 
    Of course we try to maintain parity in our rigs to be able to quickly transpose animations between all the pilots we create, be it for the Viggen, F-14 or Pacific aircraft in development.
    The images below show the low polygon pilot without applied normalmaps, thus the flat look.



    Forrestal Carrier Update

    ...cont due to image limit
    Forrestal Class Carrier
    A couple of weeks ago we began development of a Forrestal Class carrier to go with the F-14. We don't have any plans for this to be a payware module; and thus hope to include it either in the base simulator or bundled with the F-14 package itself.
    We're aiming for a roughly mid 80s Forrestal Class carrier. 
    We don't currently plan on going into too much detail below deck, including the hangar deck; but that is subject to change. 
    Minimum carrier functionality and integration into the carrier operations of DCS itself is of course, a given!
    It's still early days (a few weeks in, after all), but enjoy some renders below. 
    We have a number of techniques in mind to maximize texture and model fidelity while ensuring excellent performance; but as always-- we build our artwork to be downsized, rather than the other way around.
    We've also begun in creating all the required props, crew and other assets required for a full carrier complement. 
    The deck crew will of course wear appropriate equipment and colours for their assigned role.
    We hope to add a library of animations to our deck crew as well; to keep the flight deck lively and interesting.
    We'd like to thank all of you who contributed photos and research to help us build this storied class of carriers. Many thanks!
    That's all for this part of the update!
    Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the second part coming up sometime during next week. 
    And as always, thanks for your support, patience and excitement! 
    Best Regards,
    Leatherneck Simulations Team



    • Upvote 2

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Leatherneck May, 2 update, carrier deck crew and CV-70/1/2 progress.
    Hi All,
    Many thanks for all of your support and excitement for the last update and additional images we posted! 
    It's always exciting to share what we're working on; and pretty soon we'll be coming close to sharing years of hard work with you.
    As we move into May; the team progresses into a hard, month long crunch on the AJS-37 Viggen project. 
    Refrain from drawing any conclusions from this cursory information- but we're excited about growing closer to completing our second product and follow up to the MiG-21bis. 
    We'll soon be stuck neck deep in the superficial polishing stage. :)
    In the meanwhile; we continue to work hard on the F-14A / B as well as the accompanying CV-60/1/2 Forrestal class carrier. 
    We've completed modeling of our flight deck crew; and will be modifying this base to suit all of the various crew you'd find on a busy carrier flight deck. 
    Smell my finger
    We've also already created the low poly version of this particular character; baked him down and rigged him. 
    Generally, all of our characters will appear just as detailed in the game as they do in these renders.
    As mentioned in the last update, our goal is to try and include as many deck animations as we possibly can. Of course, it's quite possible that this particular feature will not launch together with the carrier or aircraft. 
    However, that has not stopped us taking our first steps with Motion Capture. 
    Here's a rough capture (pre-cleanup) of one of the many animation sequences we'll be looking to recreate
    The past few weeks have been spent shaping the hull and major structures of the vessel, as well as more detailing on the island and associated components.
    It's still early days; and while our team has had significant experience in modeling naval vessels in the past months- the Forrestal class is certainly a challenge. 
    We'll take another pass at our new base, make sure it is correct, and then move on to detailing the hull and major hull components.
    In the last couple of weeks, we posted a few images and .gifs in various places around the forum. 
    On the off chance that some of you missed these; here they are again. 
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record- keep in mind that these are still very early. :)
    We still have lots of cool F-14 related stuff coming up before we wrap things up and unveil the Viggen, but in the meanwhile, many thanks for reading this short update and for all of your support.
    Thank you!


    Share this post

    Link to post

    Hope to see some Viggen shots soon!

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Leatherneck AIM-54 Phoenix flight model on develop to F-14 Tomcat

    Dear All,
    For the F-14 project, we realized that we'll need to spend considerable time and effort with the development and research for the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. 
    Not only due to this weapons' unique place as a weapon designed specifically for the AWG-9 radar system, its' role as the tip of the spear of the USN air-to-air capability or even it's amazing range and performance-- but also to ensure that any advantages and disadvantages of the missile are accurately reproduced and respected.
    It's quite likely that the AIM-54 will change the players' experience in the DCS multiplayer environment. 
    Thus, we consider it of the utmost importance to have a wide breadth of open and readily available research available to the community. 
    We have no horse in this race except for historical accuracy, and with Tom and Márton at our side, we're confident that we'll get as close as anyone ever has.
    Please enjoy their initial development report on the AIM-54 below;
    Basic Overview
    Since the inception of the F-14 project, we have been working closely with Leatherneck to provide our expertise in providing the most accurate simulation for the AIM-54 that can be reasonably developed on a flight simulation game development budget. The iconic nature of the AIM-54 deserves this level of attention, especially due to its long range and advanced guidance systems; systems that were later incorporated into the AIM-120. It's also very important to maintain strict accordance with real life performance parameters, so that historical advantages and drawbacks are accurately simulated and have the appropriate effect on the multiplayer environment.
    As it stands of writing, we are currently simulating drag effects at different velocities and altitudes to ensure accurate drag curves. This is perhaps the longest part of the process as each simulation takes hours to run.  
    This simulation is based off of a 3D CAD model from which has been created based on reliable source material as well as high resolution imagery. The model has been imported into Fluent where a mesh creation, testing and validation process began and has now been completed.
    Once all the simulations have been run, we are able to take this data and then use it to create velocity/time diagrams. These will be matched against literature estimates to revalidate the model. 
    Once established, we will then be able to write DCS code which will mirror the in-game missile’s performance to that which has been simulated. The final step is to then assist Leatherneck with their work in guidance and radar algorithms. The missile has the range it does, not just due to its huge motor, but also its advanced lofting profiles. These exist in the game at the moment, but will be significantly expanded, as their simplicity often leading to worse performance than level flight.
    The first step in the process was to data mine as much as possible about the missile. Fortunately, due to its age and public interest, quite a bit of information is available. The most important information for us was the missile’s motor performance and dimensions, the latter being a relatively easy task if taken just from high resolution photographs.
    As for the motor, there have been a lot of questions raised across the internet about the Mk-47 vs the Mk-60 motor, and which version of the AIM-54 received which- and why? 
    In summary, the first motor produced for the prototype was the Mk. 47, which yields 364lbs of propellant. The Mk-47 was produced from the mid- 1960’s up through and until ‘92. 
    In parallel, the Mk-60 motor was produced with 459lbs of propellant, obviously a much larger motor. However, due to rising costs, this motors' production was cancelled in 1978.
    What this basically means is that the AIM-54A had the choice of either motor, and by the time that the AIM-54C was available in the late 70’s/early 80’s, the Mk-60 was no longer in production. The motors were not retired, however, and some were still in service in limited number. As the years progressed, the Mk-60 was removed from service as service life came to an end and the AIM-54C and C+ exclusively used the smaller Mk-47 motor. 
    As mentioned previously, the CAD model for the AIM-54 was created from reference material providing exact dimensions, with more specific details (e.g. angles, radiuses) taken from photographs. 
    We omitted details that would be otherwise masked by the resolution of the numerical mesh (small protrusions)
    Figure 1. CAD Model used for the simulation
    The simulation of the supersonic regimes was carried out using a density based solver with all compressibility effects and SST turbulence. 
    The mesh was created in a way so that it gives good shock resolution in the necessary velocity regions (M1-M4) and damps possible reflections from the boundaries.  
    The mesh uses hexahedral cells to reduce computational costs and improve accuracy.
    The preliminary simulations managed to reproduce all expected shockwave behaviour and interaction phenomena. Currently, we are testing the mesh to make sure it produces the necessary mesh density convergence. 
    After this step is complete, we can begin the accumulation of data based on the simulations.
    Figure 2. Unstructed mesh with refined shock regions
    Figure 3. Oblique compression and expansion waves along the missile
    Figure 4. Shockwave interaction along the missile, the image shows constant pressure lines
    Figure 5. Bow shocks at low supersonic velocity, the image shows the density distribution (lighter = higher density)
    Future Developments
    Once the simulations are complete and we are happy with their accuracy, we will create a DCS AIM-54 based on this data. 
    Iterative tests and benchmarks will be run at altitude to ensure that it meets the CFD modelling.
    Once the missile matches like-for-like, we will begin to look at the guidance and lofting algorithms. 
    There are a number of sources that already provide clear examples of efficient intercept and guidance laws that include lofting, one such source is directly from the US Navy Academy, for the then new AIM-120A.
    Beyond literary sources, there are SMEs' willing to share their own accounts and insights into how the weapon is employed, and what we’d expect to see at different launch parameters. 
    There will be a lot of work and co-operation together with Leatherneck to ensure that the missile is expanded past current DCS guidance parameters. 
    This is the second most challenging part of the AIM-54's development, but I am confident that together with the Leatherneck team, we’ll recreate this iconic weapon to the utmost realism and standards available outside of military contracts. 
    Many thanks to everyone for reading. The team is hard at work on all aspects of the simulation!
    Thank you for your patience and support, always,
    Leatherneck Simulations



    Share this post

    Link to post

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    Sign in to follow this