We anticipate that seaplanes will one day come to IL-2:BoX.
Firstly, seaplanes already exist in Rise of Flight (RoF), which offers the Hanriot HD.2 and Brandenburg W12 floatplanes as well as the Felixstowe F.2A flying boat. The seaplane modelling in RoF is the best in the genre, beating even the best civil aviation sims such as X-Plane and Prepar3D. Now remember that IL-2:BoX is based on the RoF engine.
Secondly, seaplanes have been suggested for the up-coming Battle of Midway (BoMid). Apart from the enthusiastic community speculation, Jason Williams specifically asked for reference material for the F1M2 Pete, suggesting that it is at least being considered. Additionally, Han once indicated that they might do the PBY Catalina.
So, what about the Eastern Front?
Assuming that seaplanes will be present in the Pacific Theatre, the question is whether there is a place for them in the existing Eastern Front theatre.
Until recently, there has been no justification for a floatplane. They are simply not appropriate for the Stalingrad and Moscow maps. However, in drastic contrast, the Kuban map offers fantastic possibilities for maritime-based missions. Half of the map is water. It has long coastlines, intricate waterways and a multitude of bays and havens.
This is perfect floatplane territory.
So, what is the best way to get a seaplane for Kuban?
We realise that it is easier to create a new aircraft based on an existing model, rather than develop a new one completely from scratch. This is the reason that it makes sense to populate the planeset with variants of the Bf-109 (E7,F2,F4,G2,G4... and now even a G6). Although it seems like "yet-another-fighter", there is good reason to keep the development effort manageable.
So, if we want a seaplane for the Eastern Front, the best way to do this is to find an aircraft in the existing set, and then create a seaplane variant of it. Out of all the aircraft that have been produced for IL-2:BoX so far, there is only one that had a float variant... the Junkers Ju 52.
Modifying the existing Ju 52 3mg4e model to create a 3mg5e/W (Wasser) variant seems to be the minimum amount of work, compared to any new-build. The only possible alternative is that there is a Po-2 being built by a third-party. This also had a float-plane option, but it is still a future project which has not been realised. The Ju 52, however, is already operational.
It may be that a Ju52/W could not be realised until after BoMid. However, it might also be that it could be done before BoMid, and be used to test the technology separately from the Pacific implementation.
A suggested plan.
Implementation of the Ju 52 3mg5e/W could be as a "collector plane". It would require the following:
- Remove the landing gear; add the floats.
- Re-introduce the float-plane mechanic from RoF into BoX.
- Tweak the engine parameters from the BMW 132A3 to BMW 132T.
- Remove the paratroops "unlock", which is not appropriate for the seaplane.
- Remove the MAB-canisters "unlock", which is likewise not appropriate.
- Create suitable paintschemes.
Obviously, this is still considerable work. However, it would be much, much less than any new development of a completely different aircraft type, such as the Ar-196 or He-115.
There are no-doubt countless optional extras which could be done. Examples of which are discussed in the Unlocks for Ju-52/3m g4e thread. However, the following is the most relevant:
- Add a sea-rescue loadout. It need do absolutely nothing. However, it would register in server/mission logs as the load-out and thus allow statistics and missions to recognise the aircraft as Air-sea-rescue as opposed to cargo. It would also let server hosters lock the loadout, forcing Ju 52 3mg5e/W aircraft to fly a particular role from a particular base.
The proposal to introduce the Ju 52 3mg5e/W is a speculative suggestion. No doubt the developers are inundated with good ideas for a host of other equally-interesting ways to enhance the sim. However, new aircraft are being planned based on existing ones (Bf-109 G6, He-111 H-16), and this seems a perfect opportunity to do something similar. And, incorporation of a seaplane into BoX adds a completely new dimension to this simulator. If enough pilots like the idea, the developers might consider it in the future.
So, please post your comments... for or against.
Edited by xvii-Dietrich, 28 September 2017 - 20:25.