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Why no B-17s for Operation Bodenplatte?


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B-17's were extensively used by the 8th AF during WWII and they crossed the channel to bomb the Germans and toward the end of the war the 8th AF had even launched attacks on Berlin itself. I just find it surprising that such an iconic aircraft much like the P-51 wouldn't be included. The B-17 could take a hell of a pounding and still make it back home.

 

The 8th AF and the RAF played a huge role in the crippling of German infrastructure and their air power and between the night raids of the RAF and the day bombings of the US bombers they turned the tide of war.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bodenplatte

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_Air_Force

 

reference book "Blood and Fears"

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Why no B-17s for Operation Bodenplatte?

 

 

a) Apart from one B-17 destroyed on the ground, no B-17s were involved in Operation Bodenplatte... as per the reference you gave (REF).

 

b) IL-2:BoX is not suited to strategic bombing.

 

c) The Devs have said repeated that 4-engined aircraft are beyond the scope of their current resources.

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makes sense thanks for the reply. its to bad that 4 engine aircraft cant be supported though. :/ Keep reading the ref there is more about the B-17s in the operation there talks about the B-24s as well.

 

either way it doesn't matter. They cant support 4 engine aircraft anyway :(

Edited by O_Conner
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There is a plan to include (AI-controlled) B-25s bombers in Bodenplatte. No doubt this will be used as a stand-in for general Allied bomber types at that time.

 

There are also a selection of flyable medium bombers already implemented (He 111 H-6, He 111 H-16, Ju 88 A-4 and Pe-2). There is a planned flyable A-20 due soon (for the final Kuban release).

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The use and modelling of flyable biggies (4 mot) is problematic in this combat series. Here are some reasons:

 

- maps are way too small to build up a bombing raid

- bombing raids need altitude and to build up altitude you need space and time (if you're supposed to do it historically)

- very complex programming of 4-mots (system, crew etc.) - feasible but expensive

- Online will be near impossible due to the limited amount of planes per battle.

 

I think they should keep on with what they already have and perhaps expand the palette of planes. So we might one

day see a B-25 or even a B-26, but Do-17 as well. All these planes suite better in the theatre we already have and

will get (hopefully) in the future... and most of the people fly between 500 - 6000 meters.

 

I don't want to have to climb endless minutes to reach my operational altitude (4-mots) of 10'000-12'000 meters,

fly to destination around ~2 hours and finally get shot down before hitting something... no, no, no gentlemen. That

won't happen in my limited spare time.

 

But as always this is my point of view.

 

Cheers

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The use and modelling of flyable biggies (4 mot) is problematic in this combat series. Here are some reasons:

 

- maps are way too small to build up a bombing raid

- bombing raids need altitude and to build up altitude you need space and time (if you're supposed to do it historically)

- very complex programming of 4-mots (system, crew etc.) - feasible but expensive

- Online will be near impossible due to the limited amount of planes per battle.

 

I think they should keep on with what they already have and perhaps expand the palette of planes. So we might one

day see a B-25 or even a B-26, but Do-17 as well. All these planes suite better in the theatre we already have and

will get (hopefully) in the future... and most of the people fly between 500 - 6000 meters.

 

I don't want to have to climb endless minutes to reach my operational altitude (4-mots) of 10'000-12'000 meters,

fly to destination around ~2 hours and finally get shot down before hitting something... no, no, no gentlemen. That

won't happen in my limited spare time.

 

But as always this is my point of view.

 

Cheers

 

Yep.

 

Good summary.

 

Even in the existing medium bombers in BoX, a high-alt run is quite a haul. As a test, take any single one of them from a cold start and do a bomb run at 7000m, return to base and land safely. Time it. This will quickly illustrate the limitations of the map size, visibility, bomb sights, mission duration, etc., etc.. Then extrapolate to a 4-engined example, flying higher and further, and taking much, much longer.

 

Coming from RoF and CloD, I initially was frustrated by the lack of level-bombers in BoX. However, I've come to realise that for the late-war, strategic bombing doesn't make so much sense for a title like this. The game engine is designed for tactical air combat and it does that exceptionally well. Long-range, strategic bombing/flying is best done separately (e.g. A2A B-17).

 

Introducing the AI B-25 for the western allies is a good move. There is even a small chance it will be converted to a flyable model one day. Maybe. Otherwise, there are already some medium bombers in BoX, and the planeset could be diversified more practically in other ways. And yes, I definitely support diversification!

 

Forget the Do-17 though. There are no surviving examples, only one recovered wreck (currently in poor condition and not accessible) and an extremely limited set measurements and blueprints. There simply is not enough material to attempt implementing it in BoX to the high-level that the Devs have accomplished on all the other models.

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  • 3 years later...

Hello, Maybe somewhere in the Forum it is mentioned already.  We have a Bodenplatte , Normandy,  North Africa. But the airwar over Germany is not represented ? In fact the decicive Victory over Germany was done in the Clouds, by US Airforce bombing essential industrial plants, artificial rubber/Petrol procucing, Schweinfurt. The huge battle in the Clouds, b17,librators etc, german fighters, umcoming Long range escort… 

i am missing a bit this theatre… if soemhow, somedays possible, it would be a great add on for this great game imo. a lot of me 110 variants, ju 88 variants, ...

In a first stage AI conrolled Bombers, next of Course Player controlled Bombers also... with all that interesting procedure of fuelling, loading etc... of Course Maybe too much work to do, but i think it would  be a great add on...

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1 hour ago, WildWilly said:

Hello, Maybe somewhere in the Forum it is mentioned already.  We have a Bodenplatte , Normandy,  North Africa. But the airwar over Germany is not represented ? In fact the decicive Victory over Germany was done in the Clouds, by US Airforce bombing essential industrial plants, artificial rubber/Petrol procucing, Schweinfurt. The huge battle in the Clouds, b17,librators etc, german fighters, umcoming Long range escort… 

i am missing a bit this theatre… if soemhow, somedays possible, it would be a great add on for this great game imo. a lot of me 110 variants, ju 88 variants, ...

In a first stage AI conrolled Bombers, next of Course Player controlled Bombers also... with all that interesting procedure of fuelling, loading etc... of Course Maybe too much work to do, but i think it would  be a great add on...

The forum had already some discussions about the B-17 and similar bombers like the B-24. (You can find some of those topics with the search function.)But to make a long story short there are several points that make the implementation of these bombers (at the moment) rather unlikely.


- The game engine has some problems to run smoothly even with smaller skirmishes of less than 20 bombers. Not to imagine how it would look like with a 300-1000 bomber attack + escorts.
- The time to create such a 3D- and flight model takes (understandably) much longer, is much more difficult and involves more effort. In general I think the main target group of Il-2 is (unfortunately) not the bomber pilots :unsure:. And the dev's stated mutliple times that simplified FM's etc. are not planned.
- The maps we have at the moment, such as the Bodenplatte map, have no bases from which the bombers (historically) took off from. Therefore an implementation of the maps would be more difficult (if you look at the singleplayer). Regardless of the fact that many of the players (in multiplayer) very rarely use bombers and even less take the time to climb, let alone fly an 8 hour flight from London to Dortmund etc.

 

So yeah, I would love to sit in those fat birds but even the implementation as AI is at the moment really unlikely unless they find a way to optimize the game for this kind of stuff. So I have higher hopes for a flyable B-25 (and B-26) someday.

 

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1 hour ago, WildWilly said:

Hello, Maybe somewhere in the Forum it is mentioned already.  We have a Bodenplatte , Normandy,  North Africa. But the airwar over Germany is not represented ? In fact the decicive Victory over Germany was done in the Clouds, by US Airforce bombing essential industrial plants, artificial rubber/Petrol procucing, Schweinfurt. The huge battle in the Clouds, b17,librators etc, german fighters, umcoming Long range escort… 

i am missing a bit this theatre… if soemhow, somedays possible, it would be a great add on for this great game imo. a lot of me 110 variants, ju 88 variants, ...

In a first stage AI conrolled Bombers, next of Course Player controlled Bombers also... with all that interesting procedure of fuelling, loading etc... of Course Maybe too much work to do, but i think it would  be a great add on...

 

Hey there, well don't forget we have NW Germany (the Rhineland) in Bodenplatte which includes major industrial areas which were part of the strategic bombing campaign... but yeah I agree its limited in scope for the types of long range battles you're talking of.

 

It's always been the case that the team is limited in resources and time, and that limits the type of aircraft and maps we get (B-17, B-24 etc being big potential projects).

 

In order to have a map to replicate the air battles you're thinking of in late 1943 / 1944 you would need it from SE England to Berlin which is probably over 800+ miles and many hundred miles deep. That's a really big ask, especially as it can take a year or more to develop a map of the sizes we currently have. Unfortunately I can't imagine people being satisfied waiting 18 months just to fully simulate those long distance air raids - many people will not want to fly them due to the flight time alone (6 - 8 hours). As Big_Al mentioned - you are also limited in the number of aircraft you can process in-game at one time without degrading the performance. Multiplayer net code and performance issues have already been contentious in the forums, imagine a huge bomber formation with all those thousands of .50 cals firing off.

 

However, the Normandy map that is coming next year should at least give us some opportunity for longer cross channel raids into France / Belgium which will add a lot more depth into missions - including bombing missions.

 

I'm kind of hoping (naively) that after we receive the Normandy map and all the new and interesting aircraft... that we could perhaps gauge from a poll how many people would seriously be willing to pay and wait for an aircraft like the B-17. Knowing that by then we'd have most of the late war fighters / ground attack aircraft already in place... it would seem only then a good time to raise it as a next step. Now is probably too early.

 

Personally for me - the B-17 is symbolic of American air power and therefore must be added at some point if we want full authenticity in late war battles - but its also a very big undertaking... it will need a lot of commitment from people to buy and resource its development, as well as patience. The question is - are enough people going to put their money by it, and how many will  fly it regularly and what other future plans are going to be potentially displaced by it. Ultimately, the team is trying to satisfy many different player bases.

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Few planes represent allied air victory like the b17 does...i totally inderstand the huge amount of efforts to  make it fly in il2... in fact it would be a step into a new era of il2. Addong to theTactical airfight the strategic ...maybe il3?🙂 and i really appreciate the work of the devs.. it would be interesting to get their opinion ref this topic. And we would not neef 400 bomber raids but scaled down like in il2 46 sas... 

..

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I think that developping  B17 and other 4 engine strategic bombers would make sens if 1C developped a full new addon with specific options.

Maybe with a limited number of flyable plane (say   1 B17 + 1 B24), and option to fly the otehr planes if you own BoBp, collector planes ... ?

The addon would be specific because the game engine would have to be modified to "fly" several dozains of multiengine planes (I've heard that it could be a challenge for the AI at the moment), and to takeoff from GB and fly over most of Germany (simplified large map, several maps with transition ...) ?

 

In the current Bobp, and even in BoN, it would not be very interesting

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While unlikely best solution would be to use the current bodenplatte map, rework it to include more industrial area's, extend it westwards to include Britain so you can have both american and british bomber airfields and extend it eastwards to include Schweinfurt, there are plenty of targets, the harbors of dutch and belgium, many industrial area's including the famous ruhr area and even the dams for the lancasters, timeperiod can be in 1943, Operation Chastise (dambusters), Bombing of Schweinfurt and Battle of Ruhr all happend in this year so plenty of targets and no need to extend all the way to Berlin.

Luftwaffe can have there own bombers (Do217 or Ju188) bombing britain along with many types of nightfighters and there even is still the bf109G5 and AS versions left for daylight intercepting.

This all could be sold as an new release, it sadly is unlikely though for reasons already pointed out on the forum and this thread, specifically the interest in bombers from the playerbase, it's also the reason why we have so many fighters and fighter bombers but still not 1 allied (usa/britain) bomber.

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The problem with developing a B17 has multiple facets.  If everything was in place it would be a very large undertaking.  Now add to that the fact that everything is very much NOT in place.  I don't know how much of their engine they would have to rewrite to put many four engine, 10 crew airplanes in a mission, but the answer is probably "it's scary".  And that has to happen before you can even think about building the actual airplane.  The financial outlay for such an undertaking might be "risk the company" scope.

 

Could you imagine the outcry if the made the B17 but performance limited mission to 3 planes?  

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32 minutes ago, MiloMorai said:

European Air War 20 years ago had AI 4/e bombers. 100 4/e bombers didn't slow down the 286/386. What is so hard about adding 2 more engines?

 

My understanding is that from a performance PoV it is more the 9 extra crew than the 2 extra engines.  The 2 extra engines are just something the AI is not currently trained to handle.  It's not so much flying straight and level with 4 engines as much as what happens when they are damaged.  Not that it is undoable, but there is more for the AI to handle.

 

Bringing up a 20 year old product is not really fair.  The flight and physics models of 20 years ago are nothing like the ones in IL2 GB.  It takes a little more work to do things to today's standards.

 

As for the AI impact on performance - yes, that should be worked.  My guess is that it is being worked.  However, that is some seriously scary stuff to mess with.  There are going to be a lot of interconnected parts.  Serious changes, while they may offer tremendous long term benefit, also put the whole product at risk short term.

 

Given the frequency of "my guess" in this post it's obvious that I am conceding that I do not know the inner workings of 1C's code.  Still, I've been there and done that often enough in my career to have a decent understanding of the reasons why "just do this" is not as simple as it sounds.

 

Simple fact: if it was easy it would have been done by now.

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Besides the B-17 itself, you also have to consider just how large of a map would be needed for such a plane and things like differing weather fronts over differing parts of the map. Building just a map all the way from East Anglia to Berlin, with all the requisite targets, cities, landmarks, and airfields itself would be a massive undertaking and would require far more resources than is needed now. Then there's the AI needed to properly show all the German flak defense zones, crew resource management in-game and on the ground in career mode, etc. 

 

In short, it's a huge, time-consuming project that would be a whole title unto itself. Just plopping it in as a flyable with the current state of the game's technology just wouldn't cut it. That's why the focus so far has been on tactical twin-engine bombers - they're far easier to build and to create plausible missions for in the current game engine.

Edited by LukeFF
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7 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

I dunno, it would cut it enough for me to get my wallet out.

 

I doubt it.

 

The combat box for an average B-17 strike was 36 aircraft within a 60-72+ BG mission, though that was below the norm when combining multiple strike groups within the same mission. So, anywhere from 72 to the massed 300 aircraft for any given mission and this doesn't take into consideration the escorts. Given the engine limitations with regards to AI and how it tends to poop the bed when mass formations appear, I highly doubt you or anyone else would enjoy flying or intercepting a formation of a dozen aircraft or so.

 

On 11/28/2017 at 3:52 AM, xvii-Dietrich said:

 

 

a) Apart from one B-17 destroyed on the ground, no B-17s were involved in Operation Bodenplatte... as per the reference you gave (REF).

 

b) IL-2:BoX is not suited to strategic bombing.

 

c) The Devs have said repeated that 4-engined aircraft are beyond the scope of their current resources.

 

A) Operation Bodenplatte is just the name of this iteration. It however covers far more than that.

 

B) Because of the engine.

 

C) Yep, budget and all that.

 

@[DBS]Browning

 

Here ya go.

j8JNxNl.png

Edited by DetCord12B
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1 hour ago, DetCord12B said:

 

I doubt it.

 

The combat box for an average B-17 strike was 36 aircraft within a 60-72+ BG mission, though that was below the norm when combining multiple strike groups within the same mission. So, anywhere from 72 to the massed 300 aircraft for any given mission and this doesn't take into consideration the escorts. Given the engine limitations with regards to AI and how it tends to poop the bed when mass formations appear, I highly doubt you or anyone else would enjoy flying or intercepting a formation of a dozen aircraft or so.

 

 

Isn't this a tad bit of a hyperbole. The game itself is a microcosm of the air war. Nice cover though 👍

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6 hours ago, DetCord12B said:

 

I doubt it.

 

The combat box for an average B-17 strike was 36 aircraft within a 60-72+ BG mission, though that was below the norm when combining multiple strike groups within the same mission. So, anywhere from 72 to the massed 300 aircraft for any given mission and this doesn't take into consideration the escorts. Given the engine limitations with regards to AI and how it tends to poop the bed when mass formations appear, I highly doubt you or anyone else would enjoy flying or intercepting a formation of a dozen aircraft or so.

 

 

No, really, I'd buy it faster than anything.

 

The game can't support the average size of most bomber attacks, not just B17's, but I still enjoy my He-111 flights. Not least because there were some He-111 sorties with just a dozen planes, just as there were some B-17 sorties of such a size.

 

 

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18 hours ago, LukeFF said:

Building just a map all the way from East Anglia to Berlin, with all the requisite targets, cities, landmarks, and airfields itself would be a massive undertaking and would require far more resources than is needed now.

I agree about East Anglia but I don't see why it would be neccesary to make an map all the way to Berlin, the current rheinland map was an main bombing target area of both the British and American bomber command because of it's many harbors/industry/transportation terminals/enz even all dams from Operation Chastise (Dambusters) are on the map, maybe the map could be extended to include Schweinfurt since that's an more well known american bombing target but further seems completely unneccesary.

19 hours ago, LukeFF said:

In short, it's a huge, time-consuming project that would be a whole title unto itself. Just plopping it in as a flyable with the current state of the game's technology just wouldn't cut it. That's why the focus so far has been on tactical twin-engine bombers - they're far easier to build and to create plausible missions for in the current game engine.

There is actually enough for an 1943 planeset so it could be it's own title, there is for example still the Fw190A4, Bf109G5 and many versions of night fighters, the germans could even have there own bomber (Do217/Ju188) since the luftwaffe was still bombing britain in 1943, the allies still have earlier variants of the P47 and P38 and could even have an nightfighter version of the mosquito.

 

There are many reasons why an bombing campaign product release is unlikely but huge map (all the way to Berlin) is unneccesary, while it still would be quite some work to rework the current map (like added industry/railyards/dams/enz) it could very well be the easiest map to devenlop compared to making an entire new map like Italy 1943 or eastern front 1944/1945, we also likely get British architecture with Normandy.

On 12/7/2020 at 4:57 PM, PatrickAWlson said:

My understanding is that from a performance PoV it is more the 9 extra crew than the 2 extra engines.  The 2 extra engines are just something the AI is not currently trained to handle.  It's not so much flying straight and level with 4 engines as much as what happens when they are damaged.  Not that it is undoable, but there is more for the AI to handle.

My understanding is that each turret has it's own ai control which reduces performance, I might be wrong but other crew members like navigator/co-pilot/bombardier are all under 1 ai control (pilot).

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Isn''t the reason that a whole map and tracé needs to be calculated and loaded when you start a mission?

Car navigation with it's seemingly far simpler maps seem to load data along the route on the 'fly'.

Of course such a thing for IL2 would mean quite a different sort of programming for the game. For an IL3 upgrade version in the future ....

Edited by jollyjack
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46 minutes ago, ww2fighter20 said:

...

My understanding is that each turret has it's own ai control which reduces performance, I might be wrong but other crew members like navigator/co-pilot/bombardier are all under 1 ai control (pilot).

 

Probably true, but every position on the B17 manned a gun.  Even the navigator could shoot out of the forward side windows.  So it is (9 my bad, pilot and copilot are not gunners) 8 AI gunners on a B17.  

 

My main point was that a B17 or anything like it would require foundational changes to the code.  The external model, cockpits, and FM for such a plane are daunting enough.  Add to that the AI changes and requisite gains in performance needed to run an adequate number of these things and you have a lot of very challenging, very risky ground to cover.

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2 hours ago, ww2fighter20 said:

I agree about East Anglia but I don't see why it would be neccesary to make an map all the way to Berlin, the current rheinland map was an main bombing target area of both the British and American bomber command because of it's many harbors/industry/transportation terminals/enz even all dams from Operation Chastise (Dambusters) are on the map, maybe the map could be extended to include Schweinfurt since that's an more well known american bombing target but further seems completely unneccesary.

 

Well, then you're cutting out a good chunk of the area over which Eighth Air Force flew, which is not going to make people happy. IMO you either render their area of operations properly or don't do it at all for something as ambitious as this. 

 

9 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

Not least because there were some He-111 sorties with just a dozen planes, just as there were some B-17 sorties of such a size.

 

Yes, but small B-17 raids as such were the exception, not the rule. It's part of the reason why B-17 The Mighty Eighth wasn't as good as it could be - you had a half dozen planes in your flight, along with another six or so who were just empty, dumb entities - they didn't drop bombs, shoot guns, etc, and the Germans wouldn't shoot at them. For a game that claimed to be an accurate rendition of the strategic bombing offensive, such a rendition was wholly unsatisfactory. 

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1 hour ago, LukeFF said:

Yes, but small B-17 raids as such were the exception, not the rule.

 

If we say small is the dozen or so bombers that the game is currently comfortable with, I think it may well be the case that small bomber flights where the exception, not the rule, in several (if not all) theatres we currently have in-game.

 

The only sim I know of to reproduce accurate plane numbers is BoBII WOV.

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what tends to be lost in these discussions is that you don't need B-17s. We already have A-20s, B-25s and getting B-26s. Those ACs were involved in all sorts of bombing raids over the BON and BOBP map, so you can easily model attacking or defending different types of bombing raids.

 

When you are charging a bunch of enemy bombers, you don't care if they have 2 or 4 engines, you just care how many MGs are being fired at YOU...😉

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18 minutes ago, Sgt_Joch said:

what tends to be lost in these discussions is that you don't need B-17s. We already have A-20s, B-25s and getting B-26s. Those ACs were involved in all sorts of bombing raids over the BON and BOBP map, so you can easily model attacking or defending different types of bombing raids.

 

When you are charging a bunch of enemy bombers, you don't care if they have 2 or 4 engines, you just care how many MGs are being fired at YOU...😉

 

 

I don't know about that. Jason has said there will be no collector plane releases in 2021 and has expressed difficulties in modelling the B-26.

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6 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

 

I don't know about that. Jason has said there will be no collector plane releases in 2021 and has expressed difficulties in modelling the B-26.

 

Agreed, the comment to which you replied is the typical IL-2 apologist and placation tactic we see so often around here. We don't need this, we have that! We don't need that, we have this! Ugh, that's tiresome and utterly asinine. Truth be told if they could do it they would, period. But they're limited by the engine and funding.   

 

11 hours ago, sevenless said:

Well there is that "other" sim, which has the fat ladies in. Something stripped down like that would work also here, without melting your CPU.

 

That other sim also has lots of capital injection with regards to licensing and third-party module sales. These developers don't have that.

 

And that other sim, regardless of how much I actually use it, just isn't as fun or as fleshed out as the BoX series regardless of this engines technical shortcomings. Yeah, I can flip all the switches and depress all the buttons in that other sim...but the thing is just flat out boring and lacking any sort of development cohesion.

 

Eagerly awaiting my next $90 module purchase...

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So, I'd like a shitty AI only b-17 for the sole purpose of giving us a reason to have really high altitude dogfights. I'm a bit bothered by how all the online dogfights go down to the deck quite quickly. If we just have a bunch of b-17s, almost like capture the flag style gameplay (or more accurately, conquest in the battlefield shooters). It would be fun! Gamey? Yes. But still fun.

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