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Author Topic: Janes A-10
Member # 8209

posted 11-27-2000 06:22 AM     Profile for BenChain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Does anyone know what happened to Janes project A-10 ?

Posts: 3 | From: France | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged
Member # 6152

posted 11-27-2000 09:57 AM     Profile for CoryRG   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Jane's A-10 was scrapped about two years ago and I think they salvaged the engine and some of the models to make USAF.I may be wrong on that. I do know that the Jane's combat sim group is no longer in operation so its a good bet that F18 was their last title.
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Member # 962

posted 11-27-2000 10:39 AM     Profile for Hornit   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
A-10 was scrapped due to the graphic engine having some serious problems. It was going to take too many resources and too much time to fix it so the suits nixed it. It was not related to USAF in any way. USAF is an evolution of the IAF engine from the guys over in isreal who had nothing to do with the EA group in Baltimore.

It's a shame as it looked good and would have promise I believe. I think If the guys at Razorworks could modify the EECH engine for an A-10 sim it would be awesome.


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Jedi Master
Member # 3223

posted 11-27-2000 11:25 AM     Profile for Jedi Master   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
It's obvious F/A-18 is based on the F-15 engine, so why didn't A-10 use it? It was to come out sooner, too, and wouldn't have looked as outdated.
Let's not forget Origin/EA also dumped FAS, which was largely done, as did Sierra with Desert Fighters, which was also almost done.
Some people...
The Jedi Master

Posts: 477 | From: Coral Springs, FL, USA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Bill Hewett
Member # 115

posted 11-27-2000 04:16 PM     Profile for Bill Hewett   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
My voice had already been recorded as the FAC for Jane's A-10. Darn, another 15 minutes of fame dashed The producer, Bryan Walker, is on to massively multi-player games with Origin.
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Member # 275

posted 11-27-2000 04:47 PM     Profile for Envelope   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hornit, I can only imagine the problems involved, but I think that not only is a better graphics engine worth waiting for, but may even have been a reasonable restriction for not releasing Janes A-10. Meanwhile we have enough sims to keep us going for a long long time. The popularity of flight sims is not going to go away even if the companies that write them do. As users get more sophisticated about the software, so also will the potential for new efforts increase when desktop computing power catches up with the demand for graphics.

I myself chafe at the fractalization of terrain graphics, but I'm spoiled rotten by what we have and its ease of availability. I have no real complaints. All in good time.

Posts: 2057 | From: Davis, CA, USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member # 358

posted 11-27-2000 07:36 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hawg Graphics.

IMO, depends on how you want to employ the beastie...

Much has been made of the JAWS type profile 'between the trees and in The Valley' and yet every in-air range photo of the aircraft practicing their art, even back in the good'ol-bad'ol days, of Myrtle and Bentwaters Greens, shows them operating at heights of 300-1,000ft up on VERY long (3,000++) slants out from their targets.

In many ways, this makes more sense as the typical pongo rocket loses a lot of oomph (and gives you some time to plume-see and work the kine) beyond a half mile while the GAU is ground-target good to 5-6Kft on most armor, /if/ you can beat the gravity drop which dictates the 2-4K inner zone.

Then there's Maverick and anti-zoos/SA-8 drill. Again, see-to-shoot with your head down looking at the tv repeater is not something you want to do from literally /under/ their noses. But even through the HUD, if laser marking is going to work, it's gotta have a LOS that matches the weapon distance.

So, if you're into bunting over ridgelines and using the scouts or Cobras cowering behind trees to line up your own shots, then you need something like Gunship III. Where individual trees and hillocks are shown in high detail and terrain pixellation doesn't make you dizzy with 'how high am I?' befuddlement.

If you take it up to a point where you can be both precise and /slow/ in the rate the target service/threat-defense cycle goes, you need something that can trade increased LOS and -some- critical details (like accurate vehicle travel rates and missile launch signatures) for total rendered 'depth of field' detail. Probably with a zoom=panscan Padlock.

Dirt in this can (and IMO /should/ be a simpler light sourced 'contour line' pattern of terrain fold AGL separation simplicity. F3 did this very well in it's first releases.

The one mode is fun as hell but apt to get you chewed to bits on a near random basis.
The other is slower and more 'exposed' /feeling/ but because of teamwork and long sighting radius/Pave Penny, apt to be more ultimately survivable.

I gotta say, I didn't like what I saw of Janes A-10. Their sneak-peeks showed more emphasis, literally, on the 'cheering crowds' aspect of endwar celebration and the few shots of the aircraft itself had things like 'A Maverick on every other station and LGB's inbetween' which are nearly useless to the Hawg's mission profile and thrust trust.
Indeed, they stank of the kitchen-sink included loadouts you see from way back in the Edwards days.

Tie this to a modern-day WWIII Europe scenario (laughably unbelievable) and I just didn't see much to be proud of.

I similarly don't think F2.5 or FA or whichever version of Flanker is going to to have the A-10 will be an improvement because the aircraft will be secondary (and /very/ vulnerable) to the primary Russian threat systems of today.

Some people like the drama of dieing repeatedly. Me, I want to kill and come home carrying my own shield rather than pall bearered upon it.

There is a proper way (and time) to do the A-10 and /if you're going to do it/, it should be concentrated around that airframe with both a theatre concept and threat force that matches realistically for capabilities and tactics.

Unfortunately, as the recent drawdowns at Spang and elsewhere have proven, we are rapidly approaching the time when the A-10 /won't/ be a 'good airplane to simulate'.

It will simply be outdated in it's performance and too limited in it's onboard sensor/offboard relay suite to be useful.

I hope we get something to mark it's honorable 'time in' service to this nation before then...

Kurt Plummer

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Member # 6839

posted 11-28-2000 01:30 AM     Profile for Hotdog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
From what I understand the graphics engine used when A-10 was sacked, allowed one to spot definition on road signs. Any A-10 sim requires a graphics engine that will allow for superb viewing qualities at low level and over a few miles, and the only engine that currently comes close is that of Flanker 2. On the furthest side of the scale I will put F/A-18 where one can barely see what going on a few hundred yards from your plane.

The Jane's A-10 team was behind because of a lot of factors. Do a search on some of the gaming sites, there has been some extensive articles regarding the issue. It was a very sad day that marked the downfall of Jane's Combat Simulations in my humble opinion, we don't have to argue about it, just disagree if anyone needs to.

SSI will be introducing the A-10 together with the Su-25 and Su-39 in Flanker Attack! with a reworked graphics engine to support ground warfare. If anyone can spare a minute or so out of their daily routine to think about it, they will see that SSI is the only company still making jet sims in this time of depression.

Do the theatre in which the A-10 will fight make such a big difference? I don't think so, and coupled with the great flight models SSI are known for with the Flanker series, I'm sure the A-10 in there will be an absolute babe. The A-10 was designed to fight modern Russian hardware, and although it is on its way out, it will sure be able to do its stuff.

Posts: 31 | From: ZA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged
Jedi Master
Member # 3223

posted 11-28-2000 09:44 AM     Profile for Jedi Master   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Geez, Kurt, if the A-10 was THAT bad it would've been retired already! The Iraqi ADA network was considered one of the best in the world, but it was neutralized sufficiently to allow the A-10 to operate--and at medium altitudes yet!
Of course it's a sitting duck when enemy fighters come in, but only BVR. At low level SAM threats are negligible (about the same as CFIT in combat), and while AAA is deadly, no plane is all powerful on the battlefield, as the loss of an F-117 to an SA-3 showed!
I always hoped for a WWIII/mid-80s sim with the Hog, 'Vark, 117, Eagles, Falcons, Bones, yada, yada, yada...but how likely is that?
The Jedi Master

Posts: 477 | From: Coral Springs, FL, USA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member # 358

posted 11-28-2000 12:30 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey Hotdog,

Gotta disagree with you...;-) First, it's not how far you see but how /well you scan/ (and integrate that with an 'expectation of FAC') that matters. From the demo, Flanker's PLock is no better and some worse than any other jet sim, concentrating too much on 'realism of simulation' rather than the pragmatics of a useful simming view system. The fact that 'virtually' every damn system out there can /directly/ trace it's functionality roots back to F3 of 1991 is absolutely insane. Like giving a Rolex to a Neanderthal.

The A-10 was designed to fight Russian hardware based on a 1970's AX baseline long after (more useful) 'advanced' systems like the Cheyenne had been kaiboshed for interservice character assassination reasons and while the USAF was fixated on it's precious Eagle to fight the blunderbus that the MiG-25 turned out to be.

The Su-25 will kick the crap out of any A-10 and 'flight model realism' is only apt to make things worse. If the big bad bear's /least/ A/A capable aircraft will win say 70% of the time, what then a Su-27 or MiG-29 (or 23 or 21 for that matter...)?

Hey JM,
Naawww, you gotta keep in mind I /never said/ that the A-10 would be 'easy' to fly and fight in, even in 198x CentFront conditions. You're gonna lose airplanes _by the dozens_.

But if the alternative is nuclear wipeout of humanity, you've got a helluva reason to 'die trying'.

OTOH, fighting in a napsack sized theatre (like F1 was anyway) with Soviet's all-round and minimal secure airspace/basing against their massive Strategic CM as well as tactical threat? Bahhh.

Desert Storm was 10 years ago, 10+'45 is 55 and an entirely knew tactics and technology baseline. Would you fight Korea with WWII systems and expect not to come home bloody?

Especially in an airframe they cannot even afford to hold off OEM-engine thrust droop on (down to 8.2Klbst per side last I heard) to maintain /baseline/ performance?

The Iraqi IADS was largely bogus. They died because they fought stupidly and we had decoys, trap plays and reach-behind that let us eliminate their C2 'turn on, turn off' controls.

They had NONE of what is considered baseline today: No 2s6 or shelter Pantsyr, no SA-15, no SA-10/12 multishot TVM SAMs. Not even /decent/ SA-16/18 12K+ MANPADS. Indeed most of their arms accounts had been in receivership for months before the conflict began so what they did own was on the verge of use-or-lose maintainables dating.

BEFORE everybody (including the Russians) started pitching in to supply CM/CCM codes that basically took them apart on a technological as well as tactical basis.

Some basic facts:

1. The A-10 still doesn't have it's 'programmed but not paid for' TGP. It's so far right on the program line that unless LANTIRN is unseated by Terminator/ATP or (LITENING=ANG) similar it likely never will.
This means it hunts by-eye or using another shooters FLIR-ball which effectively makes it little more than a dumb truck too slow and vulnerable to go where the party is.

2. The AGM-65D/G/K are all outranged by the better of the SHORADS systems and modern day camouflage will outright -deny- the shot by masking or at least multiplying the same-as signatures you see on the seeker display. EGI only works if you have J-weapons and the A-10 doesn't. Hell, the USAF doesn't, still being fixated on 1-2Klb 'deep strike' malarky from 8th AF days.

3. Our Training /sucks/. Compared to what it used to be let alone what the threat demands today. Largely this is technological but it also comes from trying to support too many units 'in rotation' to other peoples problems rather than accepting that a smaller force means fewer types and really intensive home training/upgrade to maximize what's left. New capabilities mean nothing if they aren't in-force practiced for on more than a showcase basis.

4. Poor Auto Defense. The A-10 has some new RWR characterization capability but too my knowledge STILL lacks a decent set of decoys and a MAWS to weapon-launch cue them too. You cannot overfly (at Hawg speeds) the threat envelope today. If you are restricted to using visual range weapons outside FAC support and without a 'friendly fix' on force:force encounterment.movements to flush the enemy you are completely screwed, I don't care /how many/ bucket loads you've got under the wings.

Similarly, there are, at a minimum, four things that _must happen_ to make the A-10 viable again-

1. Head Steered FLIR.
To serve as both basic nav and attack steering rather than a 'looking into shadows' set of NVG that are more hazard than help. IR Flares are not an excuse here.

Ideally, this should be linked to an independant targeting bore but I'm not sure but that this shouldn't be radar rather than EO.

2. Fullup Cockpit/Datalink Upgrade.
That means at least two MFD's and comprehensive, automated, 'command multiservice' datalink. All tied to a standalone digital map. 'Not yer daddies IDM' fer shur.

3. Integrated EW. To include V-9 ALQ-184 with FOTD, ASTE-invisible/powered MJU-47++ IREXCM, SIIRCM/DIRCM turret and a dual spectrum MAWS. Even if some or all of the latter has to be separately 'optical countermeasures' podded and rushed from firebrigade to firebrigade in small-serviced numbers.

4. New, widebore, LOAL, weapons. INS footprint cued from JHMCS and preferrably to start with a rapid capability prototyping of established testbeds like the LOCAAS-glider versions on a SWARMER styled (1760 in a can) rack. These should be effective to at least 12nm downrange and 40` offbore from 10-12K up and out. Thrust trust doesn't matter if you aren't being shot at, though the farther out on the slant you go, the more you pay on the targeting gear.

_IDEALLY_ we should also look into pylon carriageable recce drones for looking under a hard CBase and getting 'fire all you want, we'll make more' cheap closeups of parked decoys under netting. MALD would be an ideal option here.

Having all those pylons is damn useless if you can't sling survivable ordnance under them and LASTE-5 or whatever they're up to on the gun is _not_ the ****ing solution!

WCMD and JDAM are not the solution.

A _useful 'smallARM'/MANPADS_ suppression capability might be -nice- but is unfunded and is arrow-swatting rather than archer-killing never likely to be.

What the A-10 needs (and can do, for future programs) is serve as testbed to a pilot-stereo nav/targeting system, integrated/offboard target relay and most especially a _Maverick Replacment_ system that has loitering kill capability in a useful but not extreme radius of employment around the airframe.

On a range of small-point targets that are hard to see, let alone kill.

Because it's the littlest turds that hide the meanest pungy sticks and refusing to kill the leash holder means going after his dobermans.

Like it or lump it.

One by one.

Kurt Plummer

P.S. How likely was Il-2 five years ago? When we get /our/ butts kicked in some future war, we'll be looking back longingly to the 'bad ol days' when our armed forces actually meant something too...

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Member # 15

posted 11-28-2000 02:34 PM     Profile for Stinger   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt Plummer
From the demo, Flanker's PLock is no better and some worse than any other jet sim, concentrating too much on 'realism of simulation' rather than the pragmatics of a useful simming view system.


If you are basing all your comments, past and present, of Flanker 2.0x and what the capabilities of Eagle Dynamics team is...on a demo of Flanker 2.0...

Give your head a big shake and wake up!

Are your views of Falcon 4 RP4 also based on the original demo too?



Owner of the Flanker FBO

Posts: 356 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Jedi Master
Member # 3223

posted 11-29-2000 11:09 AM     Profile for Jedi Master   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt, I never said the A-10 was that GOOD, either. Because of its age, the A-10 will never get any upgrades other than those that prevent it from falling out of the sky from sheer exhaustion. Too much money is devoted to the F-22/JSF pair right now. Besides, thanks to WCMD, JDAM, and JSOW, the JSF can do EVERYTHING right???
I find it amusing that everytime someone has set out to make a jack-of-all-trades fighter bomber, like the F/A-18, F-111, and now JSF, they get a master-of-none with serious shortcomings in all arenas. When they set out to make a plane PURELY for AA, like the F-4/F-110, F-15, and F-16, they get a plane that turns out to be surprisingly able to do a kick-ass job in AG! Granted they're specialized variants (Blocks or even suffixes differ), but they're basically the same plane.
The JSF is to replace not only the excellent F-16, but also the entire non-interceptor front-line force of the US! It's just too ambitious and it's going to get a bad rap, like the F-111, due to no fault of its own.
The Jedi Master

Posts: 477 | From: Coral Springs, FL, USA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member # 358

posted 11-29-2000 06:20 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I know a neanderthal when I see one. Even if you shave his entire body and stick him in an Armani, when he swings that club to 'bypass Macdonalds' it's going to be pretty damn obvious who the primitive is.

I feel the same way about a padlock system which surprisingly, is closer to a computer logic basis than a human-function simulated sight-physiology one.

'look-to-see' (and then instantly forget your last bearing) is /nothing/ compared to 'scan to SA' and then remember-reacquire.

And every sim manufacturer I've sent my idea to has had NFC what the ergonomics and spatial recall advantage factors are in air combat that would make /their game/ the next top-seller. With my PLock.

"No, thank you sir, we would rather stick with the F3 style, being as we're happy just swinging our club".

Morons! It's like trying to teach dirt differential calculus. And I should know, as I've only been trying since 1993.

So I guess you could call mine the /original/ 'RP' for F4. Because that's the genesis of my idea.

Hey JM,
I described the basics of what I think is needed to make the reallife A-10 an effective BAI strike-coordinator/night-intruder/heloop support player in the modern threat and weapons arenas. The only areas where it can still function effectively, IMO (high and far from the madding crowds).

None of which has more than a tangential relevance to 'entertainment'. Just look at Crimson Skies.

However; what the A-10 /does bring/ is a sense of 'WWII at jet speeds', gunfightering together with a target set that offers (realistically) multiple trigger-pull thrill-kills per mission and enough terrain/tactics variation to be immersive in doing so (over and over and over), IF you handle the premission ground force movement/encounter controls just right (gotta have a big bar brawl before you can organize a hockey game).

Not to mention a whole bunch of really nifty paint schemes!;-)

The problem is 'simulation' tends to suffer from '50:10' tunnel vision syndrome that is either 194x or 10-seconds-ago biased.

And to use the Hawg in any environment based on /todays/ weapons systems (2s6, distributed MANPADS, SA-10/12/400 etc.) is to either dumb down the game challenge to tourist-class, or your virtual pilot's life _very short and ugly_.

BUT, if we can sales-success do Crimson Skies for the Swollen Thumb brigade of arcade-idiots who 'wannabe pilots in their spare time'...

Then we can also do A-10 Assault Breaker for armchair strategists (i.e. wargamers) that want to fight WWIII Europe from the safety of a thick manual.

A war that, by Western doctrinal choice, could only have been won by successful airpower intervention against the Slavering Hordes.

And which, to include the A-10 as it was /designed to fight/ must happen in the '79-'84 timeframe. IMO.


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Member # 15

posted 11-30-2000 12:12 AM     Profile for Stinger   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Kurt, I don't think your idea of a padlock would make a sim the next best seller, a little more is required then that.

Flanker has the simplest and most efficient padlock I have seen in a sim yet. Look, visually aquire what you want to track and lock. The padlock with the aid of the mini-HUD and cockpit reflections will give you all the necessary SA you will ever require. Using the glance forward view, you will always be able to look forward, then snap back to your padlocked target. It is seamless, smooth, and very simple.

The only improvement it needs is to be able to disengage the padlock and have your viewpoint remain at the same spot free to pan again.

F4, JF-18, Aces Hi, BOB demo, and any other sim I have seen try to model a good padlock fail to offer the efficiency of Flanker's.

IMO of course.

BTW...if you are a fan of flight and the jet experience, drop $20 or so bucks on Flanker 2.0 and patch it up and then make your comments. Judging it on the year old demo is ridiculous.



Owner of the Flanker FBO

Posts: 356 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Kurt Plummer
Member # 358

posted 11-30-2000 03:00 PM     Profile for Kurt Plummer   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

You're never killed by the _one_ that you see. Your blasted by his wingman or the 4 other tap-bounce outside threats you don't.

Furthermore, 'massively online multiplay' has been proven to be the way companies want to go whether they have to drag us kicking and screaming in Quake-pursuit or not.

But they have such incredibly poor SA and atmospheric feel to attract both the righteous old hand and the novice/occasional 'want to watch the movie I'm starring in' flight simmer communities that they can never match the success of these shoot'em ups and so end up pretending the old 'let's look out the jail cell at the dustmote pixel' cockpit graphic system is at all entertaining, let alone meaningful.

What's the point in cutthroat against ten guys when you can't see more than the one you've got 'padlocked'? Do you /like/ being shivved from behind from the threat you never knew was gunning for you?

Furthermore, when you look around, do you reach up, _grab your head_ and 'swivel the sightline'?

Hell No! You look, near-instantly, across the 60-70` eyescan and then head slew -automatically- to either center up the object of interest or expand the search zone if you cannot find it in the primary field.

And if somebody lifts you up and 'applies aileron' you are still largely horizon stabilized in your scan arc, rather than flipping wildly up-to-down like your cervical vertebra were what was controlling the mental-picture orientation, rather than your _Six Million Year_ experientially wisened monkey visual cortex.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, if there are -two- targets of interest, and you know roughly where they are in relation to your face-forward position, you don't /have to/ repan (reach up grab chin, yank it across) to get the other guy back. As long as you maintain the SA _scan_ so that you can see each plane in turn, you snap-back automatically.

Nobody on the face of the planet is so literal in their visual search physiology as game padlocks would have you believe is 'natural'.

These 'simulations' (and I use the word very damn loosely) either-

1. Skip-Sequence on a near random basis through all possibly point sources, with little or no recall for the one 1-10 back and a prolonged '10 more to go' on the object that /is/ desired.

2. Or force you to reach up and grab hold to hat-twist your head in an incredibly slow, mindbogglingly imprecise, manner while the world goes 'round and round' based on physical not mental realities of sight picture stabilization.

3. NONE reinforce the need to _SCAN_ to make Situational Awareness /work/.


I stand by original statement that any idiot that pretends to program a flight sim with an idea that was outmoded when it was introduced 10 years ago is not 'simulating' anything but the human ability to get stuck in a rut and/or be too lazy to think up a better means.

The really disgusting part is that I -have- that better means and they still would rather swing that damn neanderthal club. Morons, I swear there are times I think we should toss the 'sapiens' moniker and get back down to running on all fours so we can at least be honest in finding our level.

Kurt Plummer

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