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Heatblur Simulations F-14 A/B

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***Tomcat Update***

In parallel with the AJS 37; the Tomcat team has continued working hard on almost every part of the simulation. We fully expect to launch DCS: F-14 later this year and are excited to see the aircraft come together.

We’ve finally begun digging deep into the weapon systems; and have begun bringing the radar and associated weapon systems online. 
With the help of our SMEs; we’ve been able to create a detailed and accurate roadmap for the AWG-9 / TID / DDD systems, which constitute the heart of the Tomcats’ weapons package and functionality.

We’ve also begun work on both the ALR-45 and ALR-67 RWR systems and associated subsystems, Datalink, Navigation and Radio systems. 
We’re making great strides in bringing all of the cockpit systems to completion and tying it together in the sim. 

Some rare documentation that we've been lucky enough in acquiring has been integral in aiding us in the creation of these systems. 
We are very confident in our accuracy of some of the more sensitive systems, such as RWR and Radar.

Now that the deeper systems are in place; it's easier to see progress in the more visually oriented and user oriented components. Like, e.g., the TCS:



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A few pics with the new lighting coming in this Friday's DCS World update to NTTR Map


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From Heatblur fb page...........

"Work continues on high level radar, weapon and navigation functionality! Here's a couple of examples from the RIOs TID (Tactical Information Display). The TID displays information such as computer detected radar contacts, navigation steerpoints, datalinked targets and more.

As a RIO, you'll spend plenty of time looking at and using the TID. While you'll also need to be proficient at reading the DDD Radar Display, the TID will greatly aid you in establishing an overarching view of the tactical situation. Using your joystick, you'll be able to select (hook) and prioritize targets with ease."


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**** From Heatblur***** .................          

"A former F-14D pilot and Navy Commander takes a hands on look at our F-14B Tomcat, and nails the carrier landing!
Read our full trip report here: 



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****Huge Update*** much to list here....follow the link....

"Dear All,

The entire Heatblur team is very hard at work on both the F-14, Viggen and other new projects. While we’ve tried to keep you up to date with smaller updates over the past few months; now may be a good time to give you a better overview of some of the systems development on the F-14!

Much of the focus currently lies with high level, core elements of the F-14 that made it such a valuable replacement for many aircraft in the Navy and probably the most formidable and diverse fighter aircraft of its time. Much effort is currently being spent on our recreation of the Hughes Airborne Weapons Group 9 (or AWG-9), it’s various modes of operation and weapons, as well as continuing the development on JESTER AI, our AI RIO pilot companion! "



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****From Heatblur FB Page****

Supersonic BombCat....No escort needed  LANTIRN....


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***mini update***

"Dear All,

Since our last update just before Christmas; the team has been focusing on hitting several major milestones in the F-14 project. These are actually some of the last major milestones to be completed prior to early access release, and they primarily involve the completion of the new, rebuilt art assets, and their integration into the existing codebase and aircraft. 

While our main development branch is still occuring on the “chromecat” - we’re now very close to completing our work on several major visual areas of the aircraft and merging these together. While this feels like it has been a long journey; we'll be clocking in at just under a year to build the most detailed rendition of an F-14 Tomcat ever created (and perhaps, any digital aircraft ever!)

This has required the full attention of all of our artist resources and has come at great cost - but there is nothing quite like a Tomcat, and we need to make sure that we do the best job that we can.

This process is not yet complete and will still take some time, but we’re very excited to show off what we’ve been working on and are pushing ourselves to the brink to get it done. Once this is complete, we can finally begin to record in-depth gameplay videos from the F-14. You should expect with great certainty for these to start dropping sometime in March. There is a ton to cover!

Late last month we’ve also announced the inclusion of LANTIRN into our F-14, making the Tomcat a formidable Bombcat. You will be able to use a full gamut of guided bombs to strike targets. Somewhat contrary to it’s initial role in the fleet, the F-14 is actually a very potent ground attack airplane, and flying strike packages in a coop scenario is incredibly fun. The Tomcat has plenty of range, and can carry a large payload, while remaining combat effective. No doubt, it will be one of the most capable aircraft in DCS on launch. We’ve always been committed to ensuring that our products are packed with value - and the LANTIRN being a part of the DCS F-14 is a move in the right direction for that to be the case. 

We've also continued working very closely with our SMEs (F-14A, B and D pilots) to tweak the final elements of our flight modeling and control systems. Every time we iterate over a new build with our SMEs, we get closer to achieving satisfaction with both our SMEs and maintaining consistency with our data. We really can't understate how satisfied we are with what we've achieved with the F-14 flight model.

Multiplayer is a big focus for the F-14, and for the Tomcat and other future products, we've written custom networking code to ensure that the multiplayer experience is consistent and smooth. Flying and fighting in the F-14 together is incredibly fun and rewarding. 
Multiplayer is not only important for the aircraft itself, but also for all of our included content. The F-14 will eventually receive two free, full campaigns - one for the F-14A and one for the F-14B, of which one the -B campaign is currently deep in production. We'll be adapting both of these campaigns to work in Co-operative - something which no doubt will be a ton of fun. 

Concurrently, we’ve been organizing our future roadmap and plans. While our main focus during 2018 will be the full completion of the Viggen and polishing the F-14, we’ll be ramping up production on our future product roadmap as well. Jester AI, Navy assets, and other advanced, in-house technologies will be integral to ensuring that Heatblur products will be one of a kind moving forwards. 

Fret not over the lull in updates - in this particular moment - silence is golden. 

As always, thank you for the support!



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"While we’ve already undertaken the development of an engine model with the Viggen, we decided last year to completely redesign this portion of our simulation framework, in order to create an much more in-depth and realistic simulation of a turbofan engine. This will also help us in recreating the P&W TF-30 engines for the F-14A, as well as other turbofan, turbojet, or turboshaft engines for our future product lineup.

The F-14B is powered by two F110-GE-400 turbofan engines with variable exhaust nozzles and afterburner augmentation.They are dual-rotor engines consisting of a three-stage fan driven by a two stage, low-pressure turbine and a mechanically independent, aerodynamically balanced, nine-stage high-pressure compressor driven by a single-stage, air-cooled, high-pressure turbine. Engine operation is automatically regulated and maintained electrically by the augmenter fan temperature control unit and by throttle inputs to the main engine control.

This new F110 model has been built entirely from scratch, incorporating many new features and improving the accuracy and fidelity of the engine simulation. The following components of the engine have been modeled based on actual F110 engine data gathered from various sources:

Air Inlet Control System (AICS)

The primary job of the AICS is to provide quality airflow to the engine in sufficient quantities to prevent engine operation issues. This involves a reduction of the speed of air entering the engine’s fan/compressor face. During this process, incoming freestream airflow is slowed and compressed. As a result, ram temperatures and pressures entering the engine are increased. On the F-14 this is achieved primarily by a system of 3 moving ramps per side that are scheduled based on flight conditions. During supersonic flight, these ramps are scheduled to move in a way that creates multiple shockwaves to more efficiently compress incoming air than a conventional duct would. The efficiency of the inlet’s pressure recovery throughout the flight envelope has been captured from real F-14 flight test data for use in the Heatblur F-14. Considerations for ramp actuator malfunctions have been made, which can include thrust loss and reduced stability margin (i.e. higher potential for compressor stall) if the ramps are out of their scheduled positions (i.e. high speed with the ramps in their stowed position...don’t do this!). 

Augmenter Fan Temperature Controller/Main Engine Control (AFTC/MEC)

The AFTC/MEC on the F-14 is similar to a FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) in function. It schedules fuel to the engine and afterburner based on numerous inputs. It also provides limiting functions to prevent engine damage and reduce risk of compressor stalls. RPM, EGT, and acceleration/deceleration are all limited by the AFTC to ensure safe engine operation. Other AFTC functions include engine start control, asymmetric thrust limiting, automatic relight, and fault detection. Fault detection automatically switches the engine control to secondary mode in the event of core overspeed, fan speed signal loss and other abnormal conditions. The AFTC/MEC simulation on the Heatblur F-14 takes in probe temperatures and pressures from the AICS, Mach number, pilot throttle positions, fan and core rpms, and engine ignition status, and outputs demanded fuel valve positions. These valve positions correspond to fuel flows that will cause the engine’s core to accelerate or decelerate as demanded by the pilot. While the pilot can demand a certain core speed, the AFTC is also constantly monitoring other engine parameters, such as N2 RPM and EGT to ensure that engine design limits are not exceeded and engine damage does not occur. Essentially, the AFTC protects the engine from the pilot while trying its best to give the pilot what he/she demands. When AFTC failures occur, the AFTC/MEC model reverts to what is known as secondary mode, in which the MEC governs N2 speed based on throttle inputs, but protection features such as EGT limiting are no longer available. Be aware that engine stall margin is decreased slightly at low rpm in this mode.

Fuel Metering Unit (FMU)

The FMU consists of the system of valves and pumps responsible for carrying out AFTC fuel schedule demands. The AFTC outputs fuel valve position commands which in turn spray high pressure fuel into the combustor and afterburner when in use. The Heatblur F-14 model consists of a system of valves that open/close according to AFTC demands, as well as a shutoff valve for engine fires and automated shutdown commands coming from the AFTC. Failures such as stuck valves and clogged fuel filters may be implemented in the future.

Gas Generator (N2)

The gas generator is the heart of any turbomachinery. Its primary purpose is to provide hot, high pressure air to the combustor. This is done by reducing the speed and increasing the pressure/temperature of the incoming inlet air even further, which the F110 can do at a pressure ratio of in excess of 30:1. The gas generator on the F110 is driven by a single stage high pressure turbine. The gas generator simulation in the Heatblur F-14 is robust, with the speed and acceleration of the core determined by fuel flow from the FMU, the speed of air entering the engine, and the inertia of the core itself. The amount of fuel introduced into the flow by the FMU directly corresponds to changes in torque applied to the power turbine, which in-turn changes the compressor speed as it is connected to the same spool. Failures such as compressor stalls (core airflow disturbances) may affect core speed, as well as any failures of upstream components that affect the fuel flow, such as AFTC/MEC or FMU failures.

Fan (N1)

The fan on the F110 is driven by a two stage turbine, with a bypass duct that is mixed back in to the core flow in the afterburner section. The bypass ratio of the F110 is about 0.85. Low-bypass ratio turbofans such as the the F110 have the benefit of improved fuel economy at cruise speeds, while still maintaining very good high speed performance. This makes them excellent engines in fighter aircraft applications. The Heatblur F-14 fan simulation is driven as a function of core speed, with a given steady state core speed corresponding to a steady state fan speed. Any failures affecting the core will also affect fan speeds.

Combustor/Exhaust Gas Temperature Model

The combustor section of the F110 ensures that high pressure fuel flow is efficiently ignited, dramatically increasing the temperature and pressure of the gases before the flow is expanded through power turbine section. The Heatblur F-14 combustor/EGT simulation is dependent on the amount of fuel being introduced into the engine, which is determined by the AFTC/MEC and FMU models.


The afterburner on the F110 provides extra thrust by introducing additional fuel into the flow after the power turbine section. Fuel flow to the afterburner is controlled by the AFTC and AB Fuel Control (AFC), with its own set of high pressure fuel pumps that cycle fuel back to the engine boost pumps when afterburner is not in use. This ensures that high pressure AB fuel is available at all times to prevent thrust lags and surges when AB is initiated. The Heatblur F-14 afterburner simulation is purely dependent on available AB fuel flow and throttle position, with the extra thrust as a function of AB fuel flow and nozzle position. Failures to the AFTC/MEC, AB fuel pump failures, or exhaust nozzle failures will affect AB operation and performance. AB operation is inhibited when in AFTC/MEC secondary mode.

Starting System

The engine start system is a turbine powered either by a ground air/power cart or via a crossbleed start from the opposite engine. Ground power can achieve approximately 30% N2 before light-off. In our F-14 starter simulation, the ENG CRANK switches open pneumatic valves allowing the ground cart air to begin spool-up of the core. As the core spins up, the MEC primes the engine with fuel and provides ignition and fuel control up to 59% N2 RPM.

Variable Exhaust Nozzle

The variable exhaust nozzle is responsible for controlling the expansion of exhaust flow downstream of the afterburner section. Engine exhaust gases at higher thrust settings are discharged through the nozzle throat at sonic velocity and are accelerated to supersonic velocity by the controlled expansion of the gases. Varying nozzle throat area controls fan stall margin, which optimizes performance. The Heatblur F-14’s nozzle simulation is dependent on Mach number, altitude, throttle position, weight on wheels, engine oil pressure, and AB operation status. Failures in the nozzle will affect engine thrust and stability.

We’re still working on completing our engine simulation. In particular some of the remaining items to be completed pre and post early access include the:

Engine Oil System

Bleed Air Draw Effects

Generator Load Effects

AICS Anti-Ice and Icing Effects

AFTC/MEC Secondary Mode Effects

Reduced Arrestment Thrust System (RATS)

Asymmetric Thrust Limiting

Afterburner Ignition System

Throttle Control Modes (Approach Power Compensator already complete)

Windmill and Cross-start failures and effects

Battle Damage Effects

FOD Effects

This new engine modeling will serve as a robust and deep base for all of our future jet aircraft simulation. An accurate recreation of the aircraft’s powerplant and all of the follow on effects is important, as it allows us to more accurately depict common F-14 flight characteristics, failure states and especially dangerous situations arising from engine related issues. These effects will become even more apparent as we simulate the TF-30 engines as found in the F-14A. Be gentle with those throttles!

Below are a couple of exports from our engine diagnostic interface. The descriptions above each column describe the conditions in which the snapshot of data was taken in.


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**new pics**update**videos**coming soon**









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***mini update** 

"So the HeatBlur F-14 project actually started with the artwork, which were the first images released in early 2015. Those models were meant to be the definitive art work and were undergoing multiple revisions to fix errors and short comings.

The problem was that the shape of the F-14 is really complicated with lots of hidden curves and angles. Schematics often don't agree on many of the fine details and photos have perspective-based distortions that can limit their usefulness. 

Something similar happened with the interior also. Cobra decided to use photogrammetry to help capture very accurate textures. But this also revealed dimensional errors in the interior. 

Both the interior and exterior were made the "old fashion way" using simple schematics and photos. Because this wasn't giving the quality that Cobra demanded for this project, he decided to travel to the US and laser scan as many Tomcats as he could find. This meant starting over with new models for both the interior and exterior starting in late April 2017. This was a massive undertaking since the detail level afforded by scanning and photogrammetry was much higher, but all the prior shape issues were abolished by taking millimetrically perfect measurements of the real aircraft (many, many separate measurements actually).

The end results will be the most accurate interior and exterior of the Tomcat that is technologically possible. But it is a lot of extra work while the other parts are nearing completion. I've seen parts of the new art and it is simply spectacular. Leagues better than the current models, both of which suffer from lots of errors.

The Tomcat project will be much better for it, but means less to show while the models are being finished. Things are close though. 


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WIP Video featuring *Jester* AI 



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I love this aircraft and it will be a day one purchase for me but... yikes that frame rate in the external shots, i hope that is just the recording software.

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New cockpit texture


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***Podcast featuring interview with Heatblur***



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Posted (edited)

Jester AI 



Dear All,

For quite some time now; we’ve been working hard on making JESTER AI a reality. One of the biggest parts of this undertaking is for us to build a comprehensive and realistic voice library, and for the past year, we’ve had a dedicated team at Heatblur doing just that, in the form of Grayson Frohberg (RIO Voice) and Aleksander Studen-Kirchner (Director).

In order to ensure the most natural performance and realism; we decided to approach our recording process in a unique way. By placing the director (Aleksander) into the pilot cockpit and Grayson into the RIO position, and subsequently placing the duo into appropriate combat or non-combat scenarios, we are able to more naturally record voice lines as opposed to dry reading in the studio. Virtual reality helps make the strain of head movement and confusion have a subtle yet important impact on the delivery of certain lines, while natural pauses and hesitation become more apparent and serve as good reference on the engineering side.

Today, we’re reaching the first of our milestones on the recording and creation process of our voice library. Much effort is being made to ensure that JESTER’s speech sounds natural, and much of our current focus lies with refining existing functionality and adding lots of variations to currently implemented calls. For this, our process focuses on plenty of repetition and repeating the same statement multiple times at a time, and then extracting the lines that we feel will fit well.

While we work on unveiling the “new”, non-chromecat-branch F-14 - enjoy this behind the scenes look at the recording process for JESTER AI recorded over the past year!"

Edited by Phantom88

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Let there be Thrust!
Heatblur Advanced Engine Modeling Update (F-14B F110-GE-400)

Development of the new Heatblur advanced engine model has continued and over the past few months, and our F110-GE-400 engine model has been getting its final touches. 

The F110 was selected to replace the F-14A’s ailing TF30 for two primary reasons; its significant increase in thrust, and its greatly increased reliability. 
While the F110’s operation can be described as extremely reliable, the focus of this update will be on its implemented failure modes and off-nominal operations.

Heatblur’s F110 will feature an extensive library of failure modes and degraded operation, ranging from slow oil leaks all the way to engine fires. 

Below is an overview and list of implemented failures that will come with the F-14B in early access:

Oil System

The oil system is a series of pumps and reservoirs that keeps the engine lubricated. This is especially critical in turbomachinery where rpms are very high. Oil pressure is also used to operate secondary systems, such as the variable exhaust nozzle. 

Oil Leaks
Oil leaks can occur one of two primary ways: battle damage or sustained overpressure situations. While battle damage is a fairly obvious cause, oil overpressure may occur more subtly. 

Overpressure situations are most likely to occur in cold weather conditions when oil viscosity is higher. Oil pressure is primarily affected by core rpm, but when the oil is cold, temperature can play a significant role. Unloading the aircraft may result in low oil pressures as the scavenge pumps cannot operate effectively. Stay alert for oil pressures below about 20 PSI, as this may signal a problem and getting down should become a priority. Watch for oil pressures above 65 PSI when starting on a cold day, and ensure oil has had sufficient time to warm before increasing engine rpms to takeoff power. 

Sustained oil pressures above 65 PSI can potentially cause oil leaks if left unaddressed. Eventually if the engine oil depletes, expect to see engine oil temperature increase (resulting in an OIL HOT caution light) and pressure decrease (OIL PRESS lgiht), and eventually engine seizure if the engine operates too long without oil. Engine oil quantity is not available as an indication in the cockpit, so the instrument panels oil pressure gauges may be your only cue that an oil leak has occurred. By the time the caution lights illuminate you may only have a few minutes of flying time left at higher rpms.

Compressor Stalls/Instabilities

Compressor stalls are events in which the compressor blades stall and can no longer effectively compress incoming air and force it onto the next stage of the engine. When this happens, higher pressure air downstream of the stall can reverse flow directions. Those of you familiar with other aircraft prone to these events are likely familiar with some of their signs and characteristics. Our new engine model goes greatly in depth in the simulation of compressor instability type events, in particular:
Inlet Buzz
Inlet buzz is a cyclic phenomenon that occurs when flow instabilities cause the shockwave to move in and out of the inlet cowl lip. This scenario is mostly likely to occur in a few situations: supersonic speeds and low power settings in SEC mode (fixed IGV positions), unloading the aircraft at supersonic speeds in SEC mode, and loss of mach signal from CADC in any AFTC mode. Inlet buzz can result in severe buffeting (+2.5/-1g @ 6Hz), but is not catastrophic and can be easily corrected and avoided.
Pop Stalls
Pop stalls can occur in a few specific scenarios, but are generally harmless. A slight increase in EGT may be seen, but the most noticeable indiciation from the cockpit will be a loud bang. Pop stalls generally do not result in a loss of thrust or engine damage.

Full Stall/Surge
Full stalls or surges are the most severe form of compressor malfunction. These events involve flow disruptions within the core itself, with numerous resulting effects. Engines require constant airflow, primarily to generate thrust, but also to regulate EGT (constant supply of “cool” air from the compressor regulates this) and drive the compressor via the turbine section. If this airflow is disrupted, thrust loss, increased EGT, AB blowout, and N1/N2 rollback will occur. 

A stall event will be very noticeable from the cockpit and will be accompanied by very loud bangs. Pilots experiencing compressor stalls often believe that there has been an explosion on board before realizing what happened. In extreme cases, the high pressure/temperature gasses in the latter stage compressor and combustor may change flow direction completely, with very loud bangs and even flames coming out the inlet. This can result in damage to the compressor itself or the inlet guide vane linkages. Stalls can also be detected by the FEMS circuit, and a STALL light will illuminate (this is not available in SEC mode).
High Speed Spool Seizure
A high speed spool seizure will result in the compressor spool coming to a stop. This event should only occur via loss of oil pressure or battle damage. The engine will cease to function when this occurs, but the low speed (fan/N1) spool will continue to windmill.
Low Speed Spool Seizure
A low speed spool seizure will result in the fan spool coming to a stop. This event should only occur via loss of oil pressure or battle damage. The engine will continue to function when this occurs as the core can still spin, but airflow and thrust will be reduced.
High Pressure Turbine Damage/Failure
Turbine damage can occur if EGT limits are exceeded. While the turbine can handle brief periods of over-temp, sustained over-temp will degrade performance and can eventually lead to complete failure of the turbine. When this occurs, the turbine can no longer provide the torque needed to keep the compressor spinning.
Low Pressure Turbine Damage/Failure
Turbine damage can occur if EGT limits are exceeded. While the turbine can handle brief periods of over-temp, sustained over-temp will degrade performance and can eventually lead to complete failure of the turbine. When this occurs, the turbine can no longer provide the torque needed to keep the fan spinning.
Engine Fire
Engine fires will mainly be the result of battle damage. Engine fires are detected by a series of thermocouples in the engine compartment and fire detection will be accompanied by a FIRE caution light. If they are not extinguished, complete engine failure will occur, with likely loss of the airframe as well.
Engine Core Overspeed
Engine overspeed event should be very rare, mainly a result of battle damage. Overspeeds are likely to be caused by broken throttle linkages or fuel valves stuck full open. The AFTC provides automatic engine shutdown via fuel cutoff if core speeds exceed 110.5%. Once an automatic shutdown has occurred, the AFTC can be reset by moving the throttle to the shut off position and back to idle. At this point, an engine restart may be attempted.
AFTC PRI Mode Failure
AFTC PRI mode should be extremely reliable, but the AFTC can revert to SEC mode in a number of situations. Once in SEC mode, features such as EGT over-temp protection, N1/N2 overspeed governing, AB operation, stall detection, exhaust nozzle scheduling, and inlet guide vane scheduling are lost. An ENG SEC caution light will indicate this condition. The AICS ramp schedule also reverts to a degraded mode. 

This will result in lower overall engine stability and some loss of thrust, but SEC mode operation is very reliable and will ensure you can return to the boat.

AICS Ramp Failures
The AICS ramps are scheduled to provide the correct quantity and quality of airflow to the engine during all phases of flight. 
This is incredibly important in an aircraft such as the F-14, which encounters a high variability of flight regimes and parameters.

AICS ramp malfunctions will most likely be accompanied by a RAMPS caution light, and the following AICS ramp malfunctions can cause severe engine operation issues in extreme cases:
Fail Open: AICS ramps are scheduled to deploy from their stowed position based on mach number. If the ramps fail to move from their stowed position, the inlet’s pressure recovery efficiency will suffer, resulting in decreased thrust and stability margins, potentially leading to compressor stall. Flying subsonic should mitigate any potential issues.

Fail Closed: This failure has notably occurred in real life, primarily being an issue on cat shots at takeoff power when the ramps drop from their stowed positions at low speed. The dropping of the ramps results in impeded airflow when the engine needs it the most, resulting in severe loss of thrust and compressor stalls. Fortunately, this should be very rare. 

Cat shots should be done with the AICS ramps in STOW, ensuring the ramps are locked in their stowed position and do not drop unexpectedly!

Fail in Position: Exactly as is sounds, the ramps fail in position. If the failure occurs at high mach number, this can lead to the ramps being stuck deployed when they shouldn’t be. Selecting ramps to STOW should allow the airflow to blow the ramps back to a nearly stowed position.

Nozzle System Failures

The variable exhaust nozzle is responsible for controlling nozzle throat area to control massflow and exhaust exit velocities, as well as regulating engine exhaust backpressure and therefore can affect engine stability. 
The nozzle is almost fully closed during non-AB operation, and only modulates open during AB operation to control backpressure and stability when large amounts of fuel are being dumped into the tailpipe.
Nozzle Failures
Fail Open:The F110’s variable exhaust nozzle is operated via engine oil pressure. 
If an oil pressure loss occurs the nozzle will fail open, resulting in reduced thrust. 

Flame Out: Flame out can be caused by improper fuel/air ratio within the combustor, but should be rare due to the F110’s automatic ignition system.


Off Nominal Operations (The Engines and You!)

Importantly for the pilot and aircraft, a result of some of the above failures may require corrective actions or off-nominal operations to bring the engines back from a failure. In rare scenarios such as a flame out or overspeed resulting in a shutdown, the engine may need to be started in-air.

Off nominal operations are really where the intricacies of our engine modeling will interact directly with the player. 
Your decisionmaking will have a big impact on your continued virtual existence.

The following off-nominal operations have been modeled for Heatblur’s F110:
Windmill Starts
Windmill starts are generally a last resort option, usually because both engines have flamed out. Refer to NATOPS for the windmill start procedures, but generally windmill starts are best performed in SEC mode due to the fixed open guide vanes, allowing faster windmill speeds. An odd quirk of the F-14B is that the right engine windmills faster than the left, so always try for a right engine start in SEC mode as this will not require as high of a dive speed/angle to achieve minimum windmill start rpm.
Cross Starts
Cross-starts may only be performed if one engine is already running and bleed air is available. This is an abnormal operation since most engine starts are done via ground cart, but they can also be performed in the air without the need to dive at 450+ KIAS as required by windmill starts.

Lastly, some final additions have been made to complete the functionality of the AFTC detailed in the previous Engine update:
Asymmetric Thrust Limiter
This system is designed to limit high asymmetric thrust situations when one AB has been lit but the other has not. Due to the large lateral distance between each engine, large and undesirable yaw moments can occur at maximum thrust, resulting in spin tendences to develop. The limiter holds the lit AB in a minimum fuel state until an AB flame has been detected on the opposite engine.
Reduced Arrestment Thrust System (RATS)
RATS is intended to reduce wear on carrier arrestment systems, and reduces max engine core speed by 4.5% when the weight on wheels switch is closed and the arresting hook is deployed. RATS is disabled when in AB or SEC mode, but the light will remain illuminated if the system is armed regardless of mode/active status.


Summary & Future

With the additions of these failure state simulations and the completion of the AFTC, the development of our advanced engine model for the F110-GE-400 is beginning to reach an end.

We will be continuing to iterate upon our new engine framework through the development of other similar jet engines, such as the P&W TF30 for the F-14A and other engines for unannounced projects.

Hope you enjoyed going in-depth on the engines you’ll be riding shortly.
Thanks for the support!


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"F-14 Development Update!
Stick with it.

Dear All,

4 years, 5000+ commits and tens of thousands of manhours later we’re finally there, on to the final leg of the final stretch of what will hopefully be a new foundation for all things Heatblur. 

As many hours as we’ve put in, you’ve probably spent quite a few yourself mired in frustration about not climbing into your own GRU-7 just yet. 
We understand this and sincerely hope that the quality of the finished Tomcat will weigh heavily in our favour and put us in your good graces. 

That said; we have plenty to talk about for now! 




Lets jump right in:


Heatblur Simulations is proud to announce the addition of the AI A-6E & KA-6 to DCS World as Free AI units!

Furthering our commitment to providing full and rich experiences to the community, and in line with our module development priorities, we’ve decided to introduce the A-6E and KA-6 as free AI units into DCS World shortly following the release of the F-14 Tomcat!

The Intruder is an aircraft that has been under active development at Heatblur Simulations for some time, and subject to a license agreement, we hope to eventually introduce it into DCS world as a full, playable module - and we are developing it with this intent in mind. 

In the meantime, the AI Intruders will serve a critical role in the F-14 campaigns and provide an additional level of authenticity to the game and simulation battlespace environment. The A-6’s are built to our extremely exacting standards, with laser scanning forming the basis of our core workflow and ensuring complete accuracy in shape and dimensions. 
In-game, the KA-6 will provide the player with texaco services while the A-6E will serve as a venerable strike partner with an unmatched payload - good friends to have in the cockpit of an F-14.

The A-6’s will also play a crucial part in one of the two free included campaigns with the F-14; as the particular cruise being depicted is the famous all Grumman cruise. 
Dirty, greasy Tomcats and Intruders playing with each other on deck? Sign us up.The F-14

Ongoing work on the aircraft itself has been distributed across a broad range of development areas. 

Primarily, and non-exhaustively, these include:

Flight Model

We’re now getting close to completing the final pre-release tweaks of the flight model. The aircraft (still) flies closely to our available performance data and parameters; but we’ve been continuing our heavy back and forth with SMEs, again, repeating ad nauseum: to truly capture the spirit and behaviour of the Tomcat. Some highlights of areas that have been touched upon lately include:

  • Roll behaviour/performance & wing position: We’ve been correcting various inconsistencies between our simulation and the real jet in roll handling, inertia and lateral responsiveness, especially with the wings swept aft. 
  • Elevon drag in ground effect: We’ve been looking at and tweaking behaviour and the influence of the elevons on the aircraft in ground roll or ground effect situations. 
    This has been important in order to more accurately simulate the immense drag and utility that the elevons presented during landing or other ground operations. 
    Differential stabilizer inputs will now turn the aircraft in the direction of stick movement, and the elevons are now more effective at acting like massive airbrakes during your ground rollout.
  • Turn performance: We’ve been spending considerable time fine-nudging and tuning turn performance and related parameters. 
    This is delicate work and has required a steady balance between changing too much and causing cascading effects. Like most of the FM in this stage of development, these changes are truly minute and will continue until launch day (and beyond!).
  • Engine
    Our engine model is now reaching advanced maturity and we’re reaching the stage where we’re adding features not deemed integral to the operation or simulation in the Early Access stage. However, because a deep and robust engine simulation is even more important for the F-14A; we want to make sure to have a head start on this area of development.

    Some of the changes and items added to the engine modeling lately include:
    • Connected various missing interconnectivity between integral aircraft systems, e.g. correct data flows between CADC and AICS/AFTC.
    • Added several new failures; including supersonic inlet buzz and pop stalls due to lost CADC Mach signals.
    • Engine compartment failures due to sustained extreme temperatures, either from engine malfunctions causing extreme EGT or battle damage. We’ve done our best estimate guesswork on how quickly the structural compartments would fail based on the temperatures we’re simulating inside the engine compartment.
    • Multitudes of tweaks and corrections; changes to thrust penalties from AICS errors, turbine overtemp time/severity before turbine begins to degrade and much more. As our engine simulation becomes more deep, we will begin to spend more time fine tuning inconsistencies across the entire simulation gamut.
    • Overhauled compressor stall chance and variability - and began to account for more variables impacting the correct operation of the engine: e.g. spin direction in a flat spin.
    Once we consider the F110 to be fully complete; we will turn all of our attention on the P&W TF-30. 
  • Other areas of the simulation that are being worked on become more broad. In no particular order or priority:
    • Jester AI: This is a massive topic and we’ve been focusing a lot of our attention on this area. In particular, we’ve been working on:
    • Re-recording all older, or non-fitting voice lines (especially those that were recorded prior to us having a solid understanding of how the system would look). This has resulted in re-recording a few thousand lines in the past month and a half.
    • Adding code support for making JESTER appear more lifelike. Mistakes, uh’s and ah’s, conjoining multiple separate statements into one where possible. I think we’re all familiar with ArmA-ness in speech and it’s difficult to avoid this entirely, but we’ve been trying to alleviate this as much as possible.
    • Complete redesign of the User Interface from a visual standpoint. While we’ve been pleased with the usability of the JESTER Rose UI; it was in dire need of a visual overhaul. We focused on a few key areas during this process, namely: Quick readability at a glance, strong identifiable category colours and iconography, pleasing and responsive interaction animation (opening, closing, item selection) and enhancement of text space. We’re currently implementing this new redesign fully and it may not be entirely complete at launch, but we consider it a high priority.
    • Teaching Jester a lot of tasks pertaining to navigation, radios, radar and fleshing out his capability as much as we can prior to release. Make no mistake; Jester will be at its most rudimentary form on launch, but our ultimate goal is to provide ourselves with a solid foundation to build upon.

    • Art! ART!
    • Cockpit_02.jpg




      The big elephant in the room. This has been the cause of a lot of hurt and pain (financially, life-wise, PR, etc.) 
      It really is the cause for the biggest chunk of our delay and the additional cost overhead has been massive. 
      Quality has to always take precedence, no matter how frustrating for everyone involved (and that includes you guys sad.gif )

      Again, in no particular order, priorities for the art team have been:
      • Full completion of exterior textures. This has been an immense task. We’ve hand laid thousands of screws and rivets (yes, manually, each one. ) according to laser and photogrammetric scans. There have been no shortcuts, and no cut corners. This is probably the first and only time we go into this much detail on such an “inconsequential” thing whether screws are in such extremely precise locations.
      • Completion of the Pilot’s cockpit textures and functionality. This area is now for the most part complete and will wrap up in the coming days. We can’t wait to fully unveil the novel and unique features that will elevate our artwork to the next level. That’s coming on the 7th!
      • Completion of the RIOs cockpit textures and functionality. This area is scheduled for completion in the coming weeks of September and will be one of the final major items left for us to conclude.
      • That just about sums up most of what we’ve been working on over the past 1,5 month(s). Obviously we’ve somewhat slipped from the 90 day estimate we made 4 months ago; but not dramatically so, and while we easily expect to be ground down mentally over the next period of time, it’s just about time for us to get our ducks (turkeys) in a row and close what will essentially be a long chapter in each of our lives. 

        We hope it will have been worth it.

        Tune in at on October 7th for our special unveiling. We won’t let you down!

        The Heatblur F-14 Team



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