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B-17 Flying Fortress: The Mighty 8th!
By Len "Viking1" Hjalmarson
Damage Model and Physics
Damage modeling is entirely dynamic, as befits a simulation of this caliber. The level of detail in the simulation is stunning. Wayward developed a unique twin-skinned model to allow them to create aircraft that look like the real thing when struck or punctured by shells. When flak or cannon score a hit ragged holes appear through which you can see the landscape or clouds.
In this image I fired two short bursts from the waist gun. You can see the sky through the tail of the Fortress flying off my port wing. Engines can be damaged individually, and there are at least three levels of damage modeled. Your engine can overheat or lose oil as well as being killed outright. (Itís desirable to feather the props once the engine is out.) Iíve seen engines on fire, engines trailing smoke, and wing surfaces scorched or with holes and tears.
But damage in an aircraft with a virtual crew is far more complex than merely the graphical modeling. The sounds of flak bursting, and the occasional THUMP of impact or cry from an injured crewman, raise the tension and the challenge. To which do you give your attention first? The engine fire in the waist, or the navigator who is screaming for help? And what about that 109 coming in at your 12 oíclock. Whew. This simulation gets the blood flowing.. er, no pun intended!
Since the Fortress has been modeled in detail inside as well as out, there are a host of different damage textures INSIDE the Fort as well as out. I have seen surfaces blackened by fire, as well as bullet holes in chairs, instruments, and the aircraft skin.
Systems too can be damaged, though I havenít discovered the extent of the modeling. Instruments can quit, or your Norden bombsight can be put out of action.
One of the disadvantages of shooting at fighters that are pointing directly at your Fort is that getting a hit means you may have a very heavy projectile coming your way out of control. When a Fort and a fighter collide, nasty things happen.
Iíve seen wings and tails sheared off, and wings fluttering to earth. Iíve also seen the wing of a Fort hit another Fort and shear the tail off. When the chutes pop out, crewmen sometimes get caught in the slipstream and youíll see the chute windmilling about.
Fighters, naturally, also take damage, and respond accordingly. P51s and Me109s can take some damage, but get a couple of hits on the Me262 and your efforts are usually rewarded with a fireball. Youíll also see holes in the skin, and if you take an engine hit you will be streaming glycol or oil, and oil can splatter your canopy.
What goes up must come down. If you have to make a forced landing, it really helps if you come in slowly.
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