Why the F-16C
The Viper was the next logical extension to the F/A-18C Hornet. They both have a similar multi-role mission and share many of the same underlying technologies and systems. As such, we can be much more efficient by leveraging core technologies and features for both aircraft. The Viper is also cool aircraft that has been produced in massive numbers, with an equal number of fans around the world. It was a no-brainer.
Every aircraft starts from the engine and flight model and follows by 3D modelling and development of all the systems. We started to develop the heart of the Viper in October 2018 creating the needed design documents and collecting as much information available to us. The main production phase started in April 2019 with many placeholder objects up to what you see now this will continue until the module is considered feature completed and can be moved from Early Access to release.
We have never developed a product so fast. Not only is this a testament to our amazing development team, but it also showed the value of creating core technologies that can be applied to multiple aircraft. The development of projects that are similar in tech will always help the speed of creating new tech. You can even see this in our WWII aircraft with similar engine types, and new tech for those.
Current Early Access Features
As development starts, a plan is put into place on what the key features will be required to make an enjoyable product in an Early Access environment. Much thought is always put into what will allow the most gameplay with features still to come. Even development of the Hornet, and what was most popular as it developed, as an example, the targeting pod. Of course, this is all based on how the systems tie together in development, and sometimes that can push much-requested features further out, you can see this with IFF as an example.
- F-110-GE-129 turbofan engine
- AN/APG-68(V)5 multi-mode radar
- AN/ALR-56M Radar Warning Receiver
- CCIP (Common Configuration Implementation Program) update
- ALE-47 countermeasure system
- Color Multifunction Display (CMFD) symbology, Horizontal Situation Display (HSD) format, and Head-up Display (HUD) symbology
- Digitally TACAN and Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI)
- RWS, SAM, and ACM A/A radar modes
- RWS, SAM, and STT air-to-air radar modes
- BDU-33, GBU-10, GBU-12, Mk-82LDGP, Mk-82AIR, Mk-82SE, Mk-84LDGP, CBU-87 CEM, and CBU-97 SFW unguided bombs
- 2.75” rockets
- Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS)
- AIM-9L/M/P/X Sidewinder
- AIM-120B/C AMRAAM
- M61A1 20mm cannon
- Litening targeting pod
New developments for the Viper
- TWS and other A/A radar modes
- Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS)
- Link 16 Data Link
- Identify Friend or Foe (IFF)
- A/G radar modes
- AGM-65D/G/H/K Maverick
- AGM-88C HARM
- AN/ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System (HTS)
- GBU-24A/B laser-guided bombs
- BRU-57/A Smart Rack
- CBU-103 CEM and CBU-105 SFW Inertially Aided Munitions (IAM)
- GBU-31/A and GBU-38/B JDAM
- AGM-154A and AGM-154B JSOW
- Integration of the JHMCS with the HARM Targeting System (HTS), Link 16, and AIFF
- Night Vision Goggles (NVG)
- ALE-50 towed decoy
What to wait for next?
- Programs for CMDS
- Autopilot (HDG SEL and STRG SEL modes)
- INS setup and DED page
- FM/FLCS/engine tuning
- AA and AG mode missing indication
Current Known issues
With this Early Access release, we have already identified and are tracking the number of issues that were not fixed for this build. If you see the issue listed here, there is no need for it to be reported in the ‘Verified Bug’ section for the Viper on the forums.
- All things Damage Model are currently WIP
- Pilot body WIP
- Wing Flex WIP
- DED symbols not affected by reflection
- Seat Shadows in the cockpit not complete
- LAU-3 firing issues after reload
- LERX vortexes only on-air start
- Some stores alignment issues remain
- Tanker can send ‘transfer complete’ in error
- OBOGS BIT Switch isn’t clickable
- MPO check shows nothing
- Depressible Reticle Switch doesn’t affect on HUD
- Some MP sync issues remain
- AoA bracket is bouncing around while taxiing under 60kts.
- No animation on the engine inlet fans
- Pilot shows still in the cockpit after ejection
- EQUIP HOT caution light doesn’t illuminate after for AIR SOURCE selected OFF
- AWACS Declare not available
- ENG CONT switch doesn’t affect nozzle position
- Trying to eject with seat unarmed causes ejection soon as the seat is armed
- HUD IAS delta is too big comparing with info bar
- In certain cases, Afterburner flame overlaps engine nozzle
- HUD velocity switch doesn’t display Ground Speed
- AR floodlight and other lights on fuselage doesn’t work
- ALT GEAR Handle isn’t clickable
- HUD Brightness Control Switch not functioning
- EMER Jettison and GRND jettison not functioning
- Seat adjustment moves POV but not model
- PNEU label is not displayed
- Hook doesn’t extend
- Infobar shows wrong flaps value
- Stores Drag WIP
- Active and Time to Intercept calculations for DLZ
Q&A from community
Q: The number of available skins?
A: Default skin only.
Q: Can I use bonuses to purchase?
Q: Why is the DED not listed at all? Are there no plans to fully simulate the DED?
A: DED is an important part of different systems. As functionality for these systems is added, corresponding pages on DED will be added.
Q: Are there any plans to include a virtual pilot for the Viper?
A: Of course.
Q: How is the FBW-based PFM developed from publicly available data to something that is actually so close to reality that a Pilot/SME is able to validate it and sign off on?
Q: The FLCS for the F-16 had to be constructed from the ground-up. How was that process?
A: Building FLCS from scratch was a difficult task, requiring a lot of research and a lot of effort, due to complexity and a lack of information. F-15C and F/A-18C development experience came in handy.
Q: When implementing something like the RWS radar mode into the F-16, how much of that code is able to be transferred straight from the F/A-18C into the F-16C, and how much has to be modified/rewritten completely?
Q: How much common codebase do the Viper and Hornet have? Will developing systems and weapons for both be seamless and much easier as EA development continues? Can this common base also be applied to future fixed-wing products like the F-4E?
A: A significant amount of code has been reused, which greatly simplified and accelerated development. In the future, this will help in the development of other modules. However, there are still many things we created from scratch.
Q: In the future will there be other variants?
Q: is there ever going to be DLC’s for F-16 that simulate different F-16’s? ( i.e Block 40 Night Falcon, Block 30 )
A: Perhaps, we will consider this option.
Q: Is the Sniper pod still being considered further down the road?
Q: Will the sniper pod make a return?
Q: Will Hornet and Viper be feature-tied when it comes to development and update? So if one got AGM-65 (just an example), will the other be getting it at the same time? (or around the same time?)
A: We will try to. It is in our interests too.
Q: Was wondering if there are plans to implement the Viper’s AGCAS to save pilots from GLOC death.
A: Too modern for the modelled variant.
Q: How will LGB’s work starting online from a cold/dark empty plane on day1? I.e. where do you set the LGB code? Will this be a server setting that bombs will default to?
A: Laser code is set in a mission in EA. Later we will add the ability to set the code on a runway, similar to F-5E-3.
Q: Is there anything more you can share at this point regarding Ground Radar?
Q: How far is the development regarding ground radar?
A: Work in progress.
Q: For us who don’t have cool detents on our throttles, is there any plans to add a similar feature the hornet has (the finger lift to after burner) that’ll prevent me from accidently hitting the burner when I’m trying to only go to full mil?
A: It’s already in EA.
Q: Can HARM targeting system and Litinging targeting pod be mixed in the future?
A: Carried together – yes.
Q: The F/A-18 already has HARM. Will we be seeing that available for the Viper in POS/HAS modes before the HTS pod is released, or will you be waiting to release them as a bundled upgrade?
A: We will start from common modes and then proceed to HTS.
Q: When can we expect TWS for the f-16?
A: This is one of our priorities for the near future.
Q: What are the deliverables expected of the F16 Viper before the developers move back onto completing the Hornet?
A: Engineers will return to Hornet development in the near future.
Q: Will there be a “Viper mission of the week (month? can’t remember)” like you initially did with the Hornet?
A: About once a month.