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Possibility of AI B-17F/G and B-24H/J

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I know this has been addressed but not sure in the capacity of flyable vs AI.

It's my opinion that these heavy bombers were a pivotal part of the Western Theater of Operation and should be implemented if possible asf AI in the least.

Edited by JG7_X-Man
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The one major stopping block to making these heavies is their impact on performance due to the large number of AI (all gunners are separate AI) so making them AI-only will not solve the issue. 

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2 minutes ago, Finkeren said:

The one major stopping block to making these heavies is their impact on performance due to the large number of AI (all gunners are separate AI) so making them AI-only will not solve the issue. 

 

As that's my understanding, too, I wonder how many B-24/17s on a map would be sufficient to be worthwhile. I mean, if one of us were playing SP and asked to escort four AI B-17s, is that a game you'd care to play often enough to justify the time it would take developers to do?

 

I am not that interested in any of the strategic bombers, though, so maybe I'm off.

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5 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

 

As that's my understanding, too, I wonder how many B-24/17s on a map would be sufficient to be worthwhile. I mean, if one of us were playing SP and asked to escort four AI B-17s, is that a game you'd care to play often enough to justify the time it would take developers to do?

 

I am not that interested in any of the strategic bombers, though, so maybe I'm off.

I'm partly with you on this. 

 

I'd love a BoS-style sim about strategic bomber warfare. But wether it'd be Battle of Britain or Bombing the Reich - it would need large formations. At least something like 20 bombers escorted by 20 fighters attacked by 20 interceptors - better 5 to 10 times these numbers possible. 

 

GB excells at tactical air combat but is completely unsuited for any strategic scenario. 

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18 minutes ago, Eisenfaustus said:

I'm partly with you on this. 

 

I'd love a BoS-style sim about strategic bomber warfare. But wether it'd be Battle of Britain or Bombing the Reich - it would need large formations. At least something like 20 bombers escorted by 20 fighters attacked by 20 interceptors - better 5 to 10 times these numbers possible. 

 

GB excells at tactical air combat but is completely unsuited for any strategic scenario. 

 

Not only this, but the amount of time it would take to climb would probably not jive well with the current maps.

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43 minutes ago, cardboard_killer said:

I wonder how many B-24/17s on a map would be sufficient to be worthwhile.

 

IIRC smallest formation to fly bombing missions for the heavies was in a combat box. Those were 27-36 planes minimum. Never read that single squadrons (12 planes) flew bombing missions.

Edited by sevenless
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1 hour ago, sevenless said:

Never read that single squadrons (12 planes) flew bombing missions.

And the question is, what would be the win over the same mission with B 25s. Heavies only make sense with the fitting scenario. Even with one complete combat box it would not justify the costs it would cause in time, money and manpower.

EDIt: I missed that british gentleman.:biggrin:

Edited by Yogiflight

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2 minutes ago, Yogiflight said:

And the question is, what would be the win over the same mission with B 25s.

 

I don´t think there is any possible win. I´d rather see them put their energy into twin engined planes like A-26, A-20G, Mossie XVI, Beaufighter, Wellington, P-61, Tu-3, Il-6 to name a few.

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5 hours ago, Eisenfaustus said:

GB excells at tactical air combat but is completely unsuited for any strategic scenario. 

For daylight bombing, I agree for obvious reasons.

 

However, when it comes to night bombing combat, as done by the RAF, I disagree. With night bombing missions, I think you could go by with much lower numbers of bombers involved, especially because during those missions bombers where flying in much looser formation. For these kind of missions I'd say around 12 bombers should be quite enough. However, given the various gunner positions on planes like the Lanc, whether such number of planes would still be too much for the game engine to handle I don't know, although 12 planes somehow do sound reasonable/doable to me.

 

Just my two Yen. 

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6 hours ago, Finkeren said:

The one major stopping block to making these heavies is their impact on performance due to the large number of AI (all gunners are separate AI) so making them AI-only will not solve the issue. 

 

Make one gunner AI per plane.  One AI gunner who can warp from one position to the next as needed.  The limitation suddenly becomes 10x easier.  

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8 hours ago, Finkeren said:

The one major stopping block to making these heavies is their impact on performance due to the large number of AI (all gunners are separate AI) so making them AI-only will not solve the issue. 

 

The He-111 H6 we have in game also has 6 positions, but with 4 gunners.

The most obvious choices for a heavy bombers are:

 

B-24: 6 gunner positions with 6 gunners

B-17: 7 gunner positions with 7 gunners

Lancaster: 3 gunner positions with 3 gunners

Halifax: 3 gunner positions with 3 gunners

FW-200:  5 gunner positions with 4 gunners

He-177: 6 gunner positions with 5(?) gunners

Pe-8: 5 gunner positions with 5 gunners

TB-3: 3 gunner positions with 3 gunners

 

 

Of those 8 choices, only one has more gunner positions and only four have more gunners.

Edited by [DBS]Browning
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11 minutes ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

Lancaster: 3 gunner positions with 3 gunners

 

dam busting aside, they did some day time sorties, right? maybe that would be a good choice taking on a dozen or so of them , but sad shooting down such virtual beauties 

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6 minutes ago, Esel_kong said:

 they did some day time sorties, right?

 

They did plenty of day time raids, but typically only when the LW was no longer significantly active in the area.

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From what i have experienced doing these proper bombing missions in DCS world (this may not translate 1 to 1) the b-17 combat box type formation is quite laggy.  especially when you add in flak and AI enemy planes to take out those bombers.  And honestly DCS has slightly better performance for me that this game as far as AI go. Not to mention the B-17s are designed for a very specific kind of mission which I do not think is very suited to the current Battles.  This game focuses on front line gameplay while the high altitude bombing is behind enemy lines tactics.  You do cross the front, but you do not directly affect the ground battle.  Everything is indirect as it was about crippling the means of production and crushing the spirit of (insert country name here) people.  I personally think the b-25 is enough (though i do want it flyable) for me as it accomplishes the task of on the line objective based bombing.  I see far more ju-88s than he-111s in multiplayer right now, and i don't see many people doing he-111 campaigns.

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With Normandy you’ll find that strategic bombers were very involved in the tactical engagements on the ground. It’s a shame the engine can’t handle it cause it would be fantastic to see at the least. CLOD seems to handle large bomber formations, with flak and fighters well. However, we’ll see if it remains that way after TF5.0 comes out. If it does it might be worth looking at what they did differently.

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Just curious: Has the dev team tested a dummy 4 engine plane in-engine?

 

I'm thinking of doing a test with an object that has 4 engines. No need to be fully modelled or textured, just simulated 4 engines with multiple gunners, and test that in-engine, individually and larger formations.

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I suppose we could test it ourselves with ships. The "float model" of boats will be less taxing than an airplane flying, so we could use that as an estimate of a simple flight model's impact, and then the boats all have guns on 'em...

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21 hours ago, Finkeren said:

The one major stopping block to making these heavies is their impact on performance due to the large number of AI (all gunners are separate AI) so making them AI-only will not solve the issue. 

Not sure if pilot AI logic which should calculate many variables at fast amount of time equals to gunner AI that checks specific radius range and aims at specific point, both interval of radius check and aim can vary on difficult setting, but will be calculated less frequently than pilot navigation which is more crucial.

Take for example colission safety check of AI #1 against AI # 2 and player while flying in formation:

1. Check all objects in vicinity of radius 100 meters.

2. For x amount of planes within radius 100 do:

2.a check plane x if its projectory will collide with your plane in 1 second depending on speed.

2.b if true, change your projectory

2.c if false, continue with current flight projectory

 

This algorithm is only 1-5 % of pilot AI

 

Gunner AI will have less ligic:

1. Check redius of 1000 meters

2. For each plane in radius

2.a If plane is enemy

2.b Decide to shoot depending on threat and some randomization dependibg on difficulty

 

Thats most of AI for gunner.

Edited by Zeev

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Check out the scenarios posted in this thread and see for yourselves:

 

 

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13 hours ago, Esel_kong said:

dam busting aside, they did some day time sorties, right?

 

They sure did. They were specialized in blind bombing, so if a target had to be hit during overcast weather, they could do it same as if it was nightime.

 

https://images.app.goo.gl/KXARyCwCFn7usa269

 

If there was to be an AI heavy (can't beleive I am getting myself into this discussion again...) the Lanc would be probably more suitable. It has 3 gunners in 3 turrets, less than the case in many planes that we already have.

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22 hours ago, Finkeren said:

The one major stopping block to making these heavies is their impact on performance due to the large number of AI (all gunners are separate AI) so making them AI-only will not solve the issue. 

You are right, but Viermots would be amazing...

Look at this 3D model of an incoming large scale plastic model !

29822793-44E5-4484-AB84-F30EA994BC99.thumb.jpeg.3e3eb71c35626c029ad54ae024a21abb.jpeg
 

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16 hours ago, [DBS]Browning said:

 

The He-111 H6 we have in game also has 6 positions, but with 4 gunners.

The most obvious choices for a heavy bombers are:

 

B-24: 6 gunner positions with 6 gunners

B-17: 7 gunner positions with 7 gunners

Lancaster: 3 gunner positions with 3 gunners

Halifax: 3 gunner positions with 3 gunners

FW-200:  5 gunner positions with 4 gunners

He-177: 6 gunner positions with 5(?) gunners

Pe-8: 5 gunner positions with 5 gunners

TB-3: 3 gunner positions with 3 gunners

 

 

Of those 8 choices, only one has more gunner positions and only four have more gunners.

 

Lancasters and Halifaxs are probably feasible as they have both fewer gunners and lower densities of aircraft over the target at any one time. If modeled prior to H2S the avionics are not that complicated (and if AI... modelling such equipment doesn't matter that much anyway). The Lancaster 'Specials' often had a single gunner... so the gunner AI is closer to that of a Ju-87 or Il-2!

 

Similarly the TB-3 and Pe-8 do not have unusually high numbers of gunners, nor were they deployed in huge densities. The Fw-200 (often more like 6 gunner positions and 5 gunners) was often flown by itself.

 

The question is more whether the research and development costs justify the design. It has to be popular enough to motivate purchases... and are any of these aircraft popular enough? I suspect that an AI Lancaster might be. A lot of people seem to still be interested in the aircraft even if they would prefer an American bomber were that technically feasible: 

 

 

As for the American designs... one would need some very efficient streaming technology that could smoothly transition AI aircraft into versions without gunner AI and with simplified aerodynamics... kindof like LoDs except for flight-models, physics calculations, and AI... a huge amount of work.

 

Even then I wonder if it could be run? How many aircraft flying in a box-formation would fit inside a 4 kilometre bubble?

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4 hours ago, AndytotheD said:

With Normandy you’ll find that strategic bombers were very involved in the tactical engagements on the ground. 

 

True, but the A-20, B-25 and B-26 which will be in game carried out the same types of missions, so players will be able to model all types of bombing missions.

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28 minutes ago, Avimimus said:

As for the American designs... one would need some very efficient streaming technology that could smoothly transition AI aircraft into versions without gunner AI and with simplified aerodynamics... kindof like LoDs except for flight-models, physics calculations, and AI... a huge amount of work.

 

Even then I wonder if it could be run? How many aircraft flying in a box-formation would fit inside a 4 kilometre bubble?

 

So, this inspired me to do a bit of research!

 

The problem is that the Americans were exceptionally good at producing high densities in their formations... so an entire box formation could be close enough to the player to have to be fully modeled... so, we are talking probably 36-54 aircraft with 250-375 gunners...

 

8th Airforce
Before August 1942, 6 plane formations (only the first ten missions) = 42 gunners, 6 AI pilots/FMs
Before October 1943, 18-21 plane "Javelin Down" formations = 126 gunners, 18 AI pilots/FMs
54 aircraft Stacked Javelin/Early "Box" = 378 gunners, 54 AI pilots/FMs
After May 1944, 36 plane "Box" = 252 gunners, 36 AI pilots/FMs

 

15th Airforce
Typically 20 aircraft = 120 gunners, 20 AI pilots/FMs

 

As AI aircraft would be attacking alongside the player... a lot of those gunners might have targets (which would mean a lot of tracers to calculate). If we assume that 40 percent of gunners have a target, that the gunners only fire 1/3rd of the time, and a low cyclic rate of 450 rpm, and six guns are able to find targets (i.e. dorsal, tail, and two other gunners)... that is between 32400 and 48600 ballistic calculations per minute. If we assume that the AI gunners who have targets choose to fire about 70 percent of the time... then it quickly exceeds 100,000. This also isn't including an AI calculations or fighter aircraft.

 

RAF Bomber command
Four group (night) = 12 gunners, 4 AI pilots/FMs 
Augsberg (day raid), 12 aircraft = 36 gunners, 12 AI pilots/FMs
Late war (day raid), 40 aircraft = 120 gunners, 40 AI pilots/FMs
Pavane (i.e. vs Tirpits) 22 aircraft = 22 gunners, 22 AI pilots/FMs


Note: Lancasters used in Pavane were 'Specials', although some may have retained dorsal turrets (I haven't looked up the specific examples used)... but it shows how the specials with their 12,000lb bombs and reduced gunners would be a non-issue.

 

Other Aircraft

I haven't found the formation sizes for Pe-8s... but due to the small production runs and their use at night... I'd assume that it would be similar to current aircraft - as would the TB-3. The Fw-200 should be a non-issue from an AI perspective.

 

The He-177 did participate in an eighty-seven aircraft raid (most of which were not He-177s presumably)... but Operation Steinbock only had 14 aircraft, and only 4 reached London... so doable, although likely a lower priority than a Do-217 or Ju-188...

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Never say never.  I have said it many times, performance enhancements are a grind but they are manageable with a dedicated effort.  Been there and done that.  A non trivial performance enhancement would have to come first.

 

After that ... who knows.  There could be compromises by eliminating some of the gunner positions.  Keep nose, tail, top turret and ball turret.  Eliminate two waist gunners, radio operator and navigator.  Not ideal but it's a compromise I would accept.  AI only so only exterior model.  

 

Again, who knows.  Even a pared down heavy is not in the cards today and won't be for a couple at least a year or two more.  But tings happen over time.  This sim - counting RoF - has been going for 10 years now.  Nothing is impossible.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, PatrickAWlson said:

Never say never.

 

Nothing is impossible.

BRAVO!!

 

That's the spirit I truly like! :good:

Edited by Gretsch_Man

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18 hours ago, Jade_Monkey said:

Just curious: Has the dev team tested a dummy 4 engine plane in-engine?

 

I'm thinking of doing a test with an object that has 4 engines. No need to be fully modelled or textured, just simulated 4 engines with multiple gunners, and test that in-engine, individually and larger formations.


The Ilya Muromets is in RoF, which IIRC uses a much older and less advanced version of the GBS engine.

 

To my knowledge, the engines aren’t the issue, the gunners are.

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Did anyone test how many B-25 AI you can have for simple intercpt mission?, B-25s escorted by P-51s at high alt bombing some factory and axis fighters intercepting. For any mission you need B-17s/B-24 AIs you can use B-25s and probably double amount of them then if you had B-17/24s.

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10 minutes ago, 77.CountZero said:

Did anyone test how many B-25 AI you can have for simple intercpt mission?, B-25s escorted by P-51s at high alt bombing some factory and axis fighters intercepting. For any mission you need B-17s/B-24 AIs you can use B-25s and probably double amount of them then if you had B-17/24s.

 

In SP-career 12 bombers with escort (6 planes) was the maximum. As to what is possible in the editor look here:

 

 

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In reading your comments - I think it's best to leave them out.

Also it's my opinion that a true combat box of  even 50 "Heavies" would validate the AI gunner hyper accuracy issue. I don't think anyone would be able to get through the barrage of fire.

 

We all know that was not the case: Remember the Regensburg and Schweinfurt raids?

 

This would also contradict the 8th's Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. James H. Doolittle's own words:

 

In January 1944, the new commander of Eighth Air Force, Maj. Gen. James H. Doolittle, was visiting his subordinate commander, Maj. Gen. William A. Kepner, at VIII Fighter Command, when he noticed a slogan on the wall. It read: “The first duty of Eighth Air Force fighters is to bring the bombers back alive.” Kepner said the sign was there when he got there. Doolittle told him to take it down, that it was wrong.

A new sign went up: “The first duty of Eighth Air Force fighters is to destroy German fighters.”

This was considerably more than a moment of fighter pilot bravado. It marked a key change in strategy in the air war in Europe.

“As far as I’m concerned, this was the most important and far-reaching military decision I made during the war.” Doolittle said. “It was also the most controversial.”

The fighters were no longer constrained to holding close formation with bombers. Instead, they would fly ahead, look for German fighters, and attack them where they found them.

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On 12/31/2019 at 3:12 PM, AndytotheD said:

With Normandy you’ll find that strategic bombers were very involved in the tactical engagements on the ground.

 

Could you give some examples of this? I'd like to know more as your "tactical engagements on the ground" description, conjures up direct front line engagement like that of a dive bomber or rocket firing fighter-bomber.

 

The only "tactical engagements on the ground" application that heavy bombers were used for in the Normandy campaign that I can think of off the top of the head, was giving the 8th Air Force the responsibility to knock out defenses at Omaha beach. It was, as should have been predicted at the time, a total fiasco.

 

The only effective input that heavy bombers had to the Normandy campaign in my opinion, was the destruction of rail marshaling yards of which there were but a handful. You can argue that the rail bombing campaign was tactical rather than strategic, but then most of it was carried out by tactical air forces.

 

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8 minutes ago, Pict said:

The only "tactical engagements on the ground" application that heavy bombers were used for in the Normandy campaign that I can think of off the top of the head, was giving the 8th Air Force the responsibility to knock out defenses at Omaha beach. It was, as should have been predicted at the time, a total fiasco.

 

Perhaps he means the carpet bombings in preparation of Operation Cobra, the bombing of Caen in preparation of Operation Charnwood, the bombing in preparation of Operation Goodwood, the bombing in preparation of Operation Totalize?

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On 12/30/2019 at 4:23 PM, JG7_X-Man said:

I know this has been addressed but not sure in the capacity of flyable vs AI.

It's my opinion that these heavy bombers were a pivotal part of the Western Theater of Operation and should be implemented if possible asf AI in the least.

They are coming as flyables and with clickable cockpits, don't worry ;)

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3 hours ago, sevenless said:

 

Perhaps he means the carpet bombings in preparation of Operation Cobra, the bombing of Caen in preparation of Operation Charnwood, the bombing in preparation of Operation Goodwood, the bombing in preparation of Operation Totalize?

 

Perhaps he was, only he knows for now. That's why I asked him.

 

The unnecessary obliteration of Caen & almost all of it's civilian population by the allies doesn't quite fit the "tactical engagements on the ground" format, at least not in my view. They also used naval artillery, so it wasn't all aerial bombardment.

 

This kind of contentious use of airpower lingers around heavy bombers to this day and may well be yet another reason we don't see them in what is a tactical air warfare simulator, a very good one, if not the best.

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On 12/31/2019 at 12:57 PM, Sgt_Joch said:

 

True, but the A-20, B-25 and B-26 which will be in game carried out the same types of missions, so players will be able to model all types of bombing missions.

Except all high altitude strikes.  None of these are even capable of high altitude bombing.  There's a reason you don't read about these types and escort.

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9th Air Force med alt bombers were escorted from time to time.

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