B-17 Test Results

To upgrade the 2001 Midway addon
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Wudpecker
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B-17 Test Results

Post by Wudpecker » Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:52 pm

New B-17 test results.

No Readme file supplied, so unzipped ftp file directly into game.

Machine: 1.4 g P-4, 256 meg RAM, old Radeon card (for viewing 3dz! Studio-also shows briefing screen). Uses DirectX for 3d.
Unfortunately, the screenshots with this card are unusable, or I would include some.
Exes:
--1.2a.exe supplied with zip.
--1.2a.exe of mine.
--eaw.exe
--1.21 large HUD
--1.2c 4
TESTING on one "clean" Midway and one "junk" file Midway used for testing various mods.
RESULTS:
Take-off from Midway. ALT-N to target. All the same in LOAD Midway scenario or not, or file type, or .exe used.

ENGINE START autopilot or manual-- left side cockpit guage, but NO PROPS in motion on any plane.
No autopilot response beyond one engine start. Take-off on manual works, but same as old B-17; no squadron follows.
ALT-N produces turning props on all four engines and both guages work. May or may not be followed by wingman and part of squadron.
SQUADRON--Is there, but "frozen" despite turning props. Aircraft do not move.
All four engines stop with "feathered" props when heavily damaged.
WINGVIEW--varies in .exes. Sometimes excellent turning props, sometimes darkened prop look.
ATTACK RESPONSE---gunners defend themselves. Upper turret probably should point backward, since it does not move.
APPEARANCE--Capt. Kurt's hi-res skin is outstanding, with highlights. Camouflage does not match actual B-17 pics from Midway.

ODDITIES-- CTD common with 1.2c 4.exe. Message: "Can't find psp2ate.tpc" (no such animal, as far as I know. Only aTEX.tpc and .TES.tpc.)

MY CONCLUSION---Either I have corruption in my Midway file or the Mod suffers from the former B-17 syndrome (no takeoff).

SUGGESTIONS--Use the alternative B-17 files for selective 3Dz's if that's possible to fit in with Kurt's Mod and skin. I've had good luck with this alternative B-17 taking off (only one real working engine on takeoff--the rest are "faked") and followed by squadron, but gunners fail to defend themselves. Will have to have its slot changed.

I will upload this alternative B-17 version to the FTP lockbox site for review.

---Wudpecker

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Post by Moggy » Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:15 pm

Wudy - the new B17 should only be used with the supplied exe file since since no other file provides support for the transparent wingview props. With the supplied exe do you get transparent props from the cockpit view?

Were you able to see and use the "bomb sight" panel in the cockpit floor?

I will have a further look at the other B17 oddities. Thanks for testing.

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Post by Moggy » Wed Apr 21, 2004 9:03 pm

Wudy - the Midway B17 anamolies is definitely an FM problem. The original Midway FMs were done four years ago now when we knew very little about flyable bombers. Happily Flyright has done an awful lot of work on this. Tonster used a snap of Flyright's new flyable B17 FM in his Nactjager addon, and the flyable B17 there performs fine (albeit it is the lo-res model).

I copied that FM into the Midway files, and behold I get a good autopilot B17 take off with the other three members of the flight joining okay (though on take off one goes dangerously near that fuel truck so I shall have to move it!). I flew to the Japanese invasion fleet, could actually see through Pobs bombing panel, and after the bomb run, made it back to Midway.

Manual takeoff still shaky. To be developed.

I'll post up the new files later.

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Post by Moggy » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:58 pm

I've now posted the revised Midway FM with a new planes.dat section and flt file for the B17 in the Sp2a slot. Give it another spin using these and the Midway.exe

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That did it!

Post by Wudpecker » Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:56 am

That did it, Moggy!

The new FM works very well, with extensive "bomb" view on the floor (in two parts), autopilot take-off, manual engine switch, and proper flight speeds. Wingviews are good, with transparent props.

The B-17 aircraft defend themselves well and drop their bombs without dive-bombing (though a flight had to be called back into formation after trying to dogfight Zeros). Bomb accuracy isn't too good, but can't expect autopilot to do everything.

Other exes have some problems. 1.1 produces "solid" black rotating props on wingview, as does 1.2a. Didn't try von Beerhofen's.
Standard EAW.exe, like 1.2c 4.exe produces CTDs with that "missing" file.

But your Midway.exe does the job. Good work.

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Post by Moggy » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:39 am

Excellent Wudy - the FM is Flyright's work based on experiments we were doing with flyable bombers some two years ago. The problem with EAW is that the basic code doesn't have particular routines for flyable bombers so we have to bend them to our purposes. After many many experiments Flyright developed some ideas for getting flyable bomber missions to work - I included some of his tips in the readme for Dunkirk, which has a substantial flyable bomber side. The most basic tip is to issue the "attack ground positions" instruction as soon as soon as the squad is off the ground. That should keep the squad in formation unless you are under heavy attack when you may need to issue other instructions to keep the formation and issue the "attack ground targets" instruction several times to get the squad to move in on the target.

We'll stay with the Midway.exe, beacuse there may be other changes either now or later (particularly with regard to ground target properties) we may need to write into it.

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Yes, Moggy (other observations)

Post by Wudpecker » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:09 am

Yes, the Midway.exe is looking pretty good. You know of some problems--all four engines start at once (though manual start left and right is still required). But the aircraft and props LOOK GREAT.

See my REBEL FLIGHT post. There also is a Rebel Flight (of two aircraft so far) that break off and try to dogfight near the drop point. The others are sticking close to formation and firing like hell.

The only other observation is that speeds seem a bit low--the opposite of what is usually true--135 mph or so. The lead aircraft exhibits a speed about 10 mph faster than the squadron, but doesn't gain ground (or sea).
These low speeds "bleed over" into some other aircraft, particularly carrier bombers flying about 95 mph. And carrier take-offs are sluggish.
I've not tried the new aircraft yet. But as you can see, I got my All-IN-Wonder card working. I kinda miss the heavy horizon fog of the old one.

--Woody

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Post by Moggy » Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:45 am

I'm trying to get separate engine start at least for the two wings i.e. start right and left side separately. At least this will underline that manual start requires both left and right starting. Got that for the internal wingview, trying to get it for the external view. This is a 3dz problem - four engine aircraft in what was a single engine slot. Watch this space.

I agree the speeds are a bit low. This is FM and there almost certainly is something we can do about that.

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Switch to new thread

Post by Wudpecker » Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:12 am

Switch to the new thread of Moggy's---Separate right and left engines running.

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