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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: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.ph... 

 

 

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

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=196159

"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!

Heatblur"

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***Update*** 

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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.

Afterburner

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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