IL-2 Sturmovik Version 1.10

by Len "Viking1" Hjalmarson

Article Type: Preview
Article Date: June 05, 2002

Product Info

Product Name: IL-2 Sturmovik
Category: WWII Air Combat Simulation
Developer: Maddox Games
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Release Date: Released (Nov. 2001)
Min. Spec: PII 400 (or equiv.), 128 MB RAM, 3D Accelerator
Rec'd. Spec: PIII 600 or better, 256 MB RAM, 32 bit 3D accelerator with 32 MB RAM or better
Files & Links: Click Here

A New Executable
Sometime this week Ubi Soft will release the final patch for IL-2 Sturmovik, with three new aircraft and additional variants of the MiG 3, for a total of ten new flyables: the 109E-4, the 190A-8, the Yak 1, the I-16 and the MiG 3.
  • Messerschmitt Bf-109E-4 fighter
  • Messerschmitt Bf-109E-4/B fighter
  • Messerschmitt Bf-109E-7/B fighter
  • Focke-Wulf Fw-190A-8 fighter-bomber
  • Polikarpov I-16 type 18 fighter (third-party)
  • Polikarpov I-16 type 24 fighter (third-party)
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 (UB MG variant) fighter
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 (ShVAK cannon variant) fighter
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-3 AM-38 fighter
  • Yakovlev Yak-1 fighter
IL-2 has been going through a continuous online evolution almost comparable to Aces High or WarBirds III. These online games are never finished. The worlds are constantly updated, with new aircraft, new ground objects, new vehicles and new features.

The same model has never been used with a boxed simulation. Boxed simulations are finished when they leave the developer, with the exception of a patch to address any bugs. Occasionally some unfinished features might be added.

While Microsoft’s flight simulations seem like an exception to this model, they are not. In the case of the Flight Simulator series and Combat Flight Simulator series, additional aircraft arrive from the user community. Some of these are freely available, and others arrive in pay-for add-on packs that include new missions and new campaigns. But never has a new executable been released, with new aircraft and new features.

IL-2 appears to be pioneering a new development model. The user community was busy building new 3-D aircraft models even prior to the release of the simulation. With each new patch iteration, both new features and new aircraft have appeared. The new aircraft were developed by third party designers and then the flight modeling and damage modeling is completed by 1C: Maddox Games.

Custom paint by Ian Boys

Version 1.10
Pilot kills are back. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Fw-190A-5 in past weeks, and not once did I see my pilot killed. In the six missions I flew this past weekend in the new update, my pilot was killed twice.

Pilot kill messages now appear on screen in multiplayer coop missions. This was not present in earlier versions.

There aren’t any noticeable AI changes in this version; at least, I haven’t seen them yet. The last version added a few moves for AI pilots, making them more difficult than ever at high levels of AI skill.

On the other hand, each version has added some graphical refinements. Version 1.04b improved frame rate while improving lighting and reflections. This version seems to do something similar. The reflections on my aircraft canopy or on the windshield of the I-16 seem more refined. The overall world of IL-2 is stunningly beautiful as always.

The big news is the addition of three new flyable aircraft: the Yak 1, the 109E, and the I-16. Some of us are equally thrilled about the new A8 variant of the Focke Wulfe.

New Aircraft: Fw-190A-8
My first test flights in the new patch were in the Fw-190A-8. In the past few weeks I have spent many hours in the A5, so the A8 was the best test for me of changes in FM, physics, and in the particular flight characteristics of the new variant.

190A-8 with 6x20mm

I was pretty excited as I fired up my instant action intercept mission. This mission places the pilot in the air about 1 km behind a flight of four IL-2 ground attack aircraft. The IL-2 is a tough customer, with a rear gunner and heavy armor. Typically I take down an IL-2 in two passes, though sometimes it takes more, and sometimes I get lucky with a kill on the first pass.

I loaded the A8 with the R22 package: the outboard 20mm cannon are replaced with the MK 108 30mm cannon. This roughly doubles the hitting power of the 190 A5.

The A8 also adds additional armor and additional horsepower. The overall effect is to slightly reduce acceleration, but the A8 has a slightly increased top speed. With additional armor survivability is up, but at a slight cost to maneuverability. The feel on takeoff is about the same: I use one notch of flaps and WEP and can get off the ground quite quickly.

I entered the familiar mission at my usual point. I could see the two groups of IL-2s heading down the valley in front of me. I engaged WEP and accelerated to 450 kmh, then chopped the throttle to 50 percent as I closed.

190A-8 makes a kill

My first burst was from a position slightly below the lagging group of IL-2s. The plane disintegrated in front of me.

I rose slightly and then broke away from the group, then dove below the level of the gunners. I circled around for a shot at the second IL-2.

My second pass was not as dramatic. But the port wing flew off the second IL-2, and I had two kills for two attempts.

This left the remaining pair, who were now slightly further up the valley. I closed quickly and my first pass this time was not accurate. The IL-2 rose abruptly and turned, so that most of the volley passed harmlessly below and to his outboard. I circled and went for the remaining IL-2, and this time my accurate volley caused the same disintegration I had seen on my first pass.

I was very impressed with these results. My second run through the mission was almost the same. I had two kills when on my third pass my pilot took a hit and was killed.

I then switched armament to the twin 20mm gun pods. This gives the IL-2 six 20mm cannon, plus the two cowling mounted 13mm MG 131.

My results came close to duplicating the results of the MK 108 equipped version of the A8. The addition of two more 20mm cannon increases the hitting power of the Fw 190 significantly.

However, where the performance of the MK 108 equipped version is not greatly different from the standard A8, the twin gunpods made the A8 less stable and increased drag. Acceleration is reduced, and the A8 is more prone to spin. This makes the gunpods dangerous equipment for low flight, where the MK 108 doesn’t affect stability enough to notice.

New Aircraft: 109E-4 “Emil”

Default Emil paint scheme

Custom paint by Ian Boys

My next set of flights was in the Bf-109E-4. This used to be my favorite mount in WarBirds, so I was really pleased to see it arrive in IL-2.

The Bf-109 is everything it was in WarBirds, and more. The cockpit is really beautiful; not that surprising since all the cockpits in IL-2 are fantastic.

109E-4 cockpit

Of all the 109s in IL-2, this one will be my favorite. While I liked the look of the F-4 added in the last patch, it never felt right to me. And I am just not good enough of a shot to want to fly any aircraft with a single 20mm cannon. As a result, I tended to fly the MiG 3U and the Fw-190.

The 109 E4 has a fantastic feel. It was predictable at every speed and angle I flew it. While it lacks the speed of the F or G models, and is very lightly armored, it is a pilot’s airplane. Furthermore, if you lock on the tail of an La5 or a MiG in this plane, you can make short work of it.

Armament consists of two 7.9mm machine guns in the cowling, and two 20mm cannon on the wings.

Two 20mm cannon are twice as powerful as a single 20mm. But better still, you have almost twice as good a chance of scoring a hit every time you pull the trigger.

When you do score with two 20s, you have a good chance of scoring twice.

Locked on the tail of MiG

Dead MiG

The downside is that the total number of rounds is quite low. Sixty rounds for each cannon means that you’ll run out of ammo quickly if you shoot from too great a distance. On the other hand, for smaller aircraft, you can 1000 rounds for each of the machine guns.

With the 109 E the rule will be, to paraphrase the legendary WWII fighter pilot Erich Hartmann, get in close! and when you think you are too close, get in closer still. With a stable gun platform like this, it will be easier to hit your target.

New Aircraft: Yak 1

Yak 1 takes on Stuka

I confess to not loving the Yak series. Since the early days of IL-2 I have tried them at various times, only to return to the aircraft I knew better. The sole exception was the Yak 9U, which I flew occasionally in the earlier days.

It was with hesitation that I loaded up the new Yak 1. I was pleasantly surprised. I found it stable and maneuverable. I was underwhelmed by the armament, however, which consists of one 20mm ShVAK cannon and two 7.62mm machine guns. Online I really felt the lack of firepower. When I get on the tail of a bandit I don’t want to have to find four or five firing solutions, since by that time his buddy is on my tail.

On the positive side, this machine is 40 kmh faster than the 109E-4, and has a total of 120 20mm rounds

New Aircraft: Polikarpov I-16
(with credit to Vladimir Titov , Roman “Mad Dragon” Deniskin, Ilya “Luthier” Shevchenko, and Vladimir Kuznetsov.)

I-16 windshield. Either the Ju87 or I am in trouble

The I-16 fighter was developed in 1933 in the design office of N.N. Polikarpov. The first flight of the I-16 prototype was conducted by V.P. Chkalov on December 31, 1933. The I-16 ("I" for “istrebitel” - fighter) was created as a high-speed fighter, also looking for maximum maneuverability. The I-16 was launched into large-scale production in 1934. Overall, some 6,555 units of all variations were produced.

This is a real bonus aircraft. It’s unique, fun to fly and has good hitting power in the Type 24 (two types are modeled).

The “Rata,” (named by its opponents in the Spanish air war) was a surprise to many when it first appeared. It has good speed, a good rate of climb, and carries plenty of ammo. The Type 24 was of the best, with a top speed of 525 kmh and two 7.62mm machine guns plus 2 20mm ShVAK cannon.

The fun of this little fighter is in its open cockpit, crank style landing gear, and lack of ability to start in the air. It’s also quite tough. I was surprised at the amount of damage it will take.

It’s maneuverability is good, but it can be twitchy at certain speeds and angles of attack. There is good stall warning in a gentle turn, but in high g maneuvers, stall can by nasty, leading to a flat spin. If you have enough altitude, you can cut power and use your rudder to stabilize the aircraft.

Even against the F4 this one is dangerous in a turning fight, but it must be in neutral trim. In reality the I-16 does not have trim, but you can adjust the elevator up or down a notch. When you get into a fight make sure trim is at neutral or spin tendency is more pronounced.

Making the kill

In my first hour online with the Type 24 I was not shot down a single time, in spite of facing two 109s at a time on three occasions. I did, however, spin-in four times in that hour and I made one kill. When the 109 is low on energy the I-16 can catch it.

The addition of the I-16 to IL-2, along with the addition of the 109 “Emil,” means that we can now re-create the early battles of the war, including the invasion of Poland. With the PZL P11c, the 109E, the Ju-87 and the I-16, we have an entirely new possibility within the simulation environment.

The Future?

The next “patch” ater 1.10 will actually be an add-on that you will have to purchase. IL-2: Forgotten Battles will release in the fall. With all that you have received beyond the initial game, I hope you plan to buy UBI’s add-on.

New flyable aircraft for the add-on include the Stuka (with rear gunner position), two late model 109s and even the I-153. Here is the complete list.
  • Ju-87D-3
  • Ju-87G-1
  • Fw-190D-9
  • La-7
  • La-7TK
  • I-153 M-62
  • I-153P
  • Hurricane Mk I (Finnish Air Force)
  • Hurricane Mk IIB
  • Hurricane Mk IIC
  • Hurricane Mk II Field mod with 2(4)x20mm cannons
  • Bf-109G-14
  • Bf-109G-10
  • Bf-109K-4
New AI aircraft are as follows:
  • IL-4
  • SB
  • Bristol Blenheim MK I (Finnish Air Force)
  • Bristol Blenheim MK IV (Finnish Air Force)
  • Fiat G-50 (Finnish Air Force)
  • Morane MS.406 (Finnish Air Force)
  • Morane MS.410 (Finnish Air Force)
  • Mörkö Morane (Finnish Air Force. Equipped with Soviet M-105P engine)
  • Bf-110C
  • Bf-110G
  • Me-210Ca-1 (Hungarian Air Force)
In addition, Forgotten Battles will include new maps: Finland, Hungary and L’vov (the Ukraine and Poland).

IL-2 Sturmovik Resources

IL-2: Forgotten Battles

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Interviews with Oleg Maddox

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