Draken 4.1 released

The release version of Draken 4.1 for FSX is now available for download.

At the moment the download menu is only visible when you are logged in. This is a security measure while I am building up the new download system.

A repaint kit for 4.1 will be uploaded ASAP, I am working on it right now is now also available. There have been only a few small changes in the exterior texturing, so any repaints created for 4.0 will probably only need some minor tweaking.

If you have any problems with this release, please use the support forum. I you have no problems at all, tell your friends. 😉

Peace /Tom

Download area down

The latest update of the plugin I use to manage downloads on the website took down the whole download system, just as I was preparing to upload the final 4.1 release.

I am truly sorry about this, but it is not me but the developers of the plugin who are to blame. They changed the plugin radically without informing their users, and now want us to pay to get the functionality back. I think this is really unprofessional and bad form. It’s like suddenly being asked for a ticket to get off the train.

I am working on replacing the plugin with something that works and has better support.

Please stay tuned

/Tom

About the Flight Manual

The Draken 4.1 Flight Manual is constantly updated to reflect the changes made during development, and is always valid for the latest beta version (including patches). The online version and the pdf version are usually in sync as they are generated from the same source files. However, you should be aware that if you downloaded a pdf manual some time ago it might contain information that has since been revised.

The most recent addition to the manual is a basic instruction for flying an approach using the PN-59 unit and the Barbro navaids. PN-59 navigation was broken in 4.1b3 (sorry) but has been fixed and will work perfectly in the released version – which is just a few days away. 🙂

Stay tuned /Tom

Almost there

2014-11-11-004

This is what I call a nice view in my bug tracker. One issue left to close, then I will consider 4.1 ready for release. And only 17 months overdue. 😉

DX10 texture patch

Just uploaded yet another fix for DX10 compatibility: Three small bitmaps that I had forgotten to convert to DDS format, which means that they would not render properly with DX10. The new bitmaps can be found on the Download page.

Unzip the archive and copy the bitmaps to the folder “Saab_35_41b3\texture\” and reload the aircraft. You don’t have to delete the old bmp files, the dds files will automatically take priority.

These files are intended for 4.1b3, although they will also work with earlier versions.

DX10 effects patch

A set of DX10-compatible light/smoke fx files for 4.1b3 are now available on the Download page. Just drop these files into your FSX Effects folder (overwriting the original fx) and restart FSX.

Please note that these fx are only intended for 4.1b3.

DX10 and Draken

I only now realised that some people actually use the infamous “DX10 Preview” mode in FSX, which may explain some of the more mysterious bug reports I have received over the years. So I will try to sum up how this mode affects FSX in general, and Draken in particular, and then you can decide for yourself if you want to use it or not.

DX10 was never fully implemented in FSX, but a “technology preview” mode was thrown in to show what could be expected in future versions of MSFS. It has generally been recommended to keep this box unticked, as the results were erratic and could even crash the program. The user would typically see flickering texture maps, disappearing airport and aircraft lighting, etc.

Today there are third-party patches available that makes it possible to fly with DX10 mode enabled without too much trouble – although there are still some problems, mainly concerning lights and effects which function unpredictably or not at all.

I have been testing Draken in DX10 today and it works perfectly well except for the lights and smoke fx. These fx have now been updated to be DX10-compatible, and I will upload an update package ASAP. Some detail textures are also not working well with DX10, they will be replaced in the final release.

I do not support using Draken in DX10 Preview mode, but I will at least try my best to make it work as good as in DX9.

Feedback wanted

More than a dozen people have already downloaded the third beta release, and as you now have to register to download I am pretty sure that this time it is not bots scraping the site for content. Still, only three (3) people have been active in the forum. 🙁

Beta testing is the final stage before release, which means that feedback from beta testers is crucial to avoid releasing something that is still full of bugs. So I am really anxious to hear from all of you who have downloaded the beta. Please post!

By the way, when posting bug reports it is really helpful if you also tell me about your software/hardware environment. The easiest way is to add this info to your user signature. Just click on your name (in your forum posts or in the sidebar) to access your profile, then you can edit your signature.

Anyway, I am still amazed that people even find their way to this website, as it is not announced anywhere and is prohibitive to search engine bots. Well, that’s the wonder of the Internet. 😉

Stay tuned /Tom

Draken 4.1 beta 3

The third beta release is now available on the Download page.
It includes all previous patches as well as some additional fixes and changes:

  • Completely new wing vapor fx
  • Scaled down the afterburner flame fx
  • Added conditions to prevent “event loops” in some gauges
  • Fixed missing speed brakes animation
  • Fixed turn/bank control in autopilot
  • Fixed bugs in the com radios (again!)
  • Added missing scenery textures
  • Minor fixes to the exterior model and textures

As you may have noticed, you now have to be logged in to download beta versions and related patches. Registering is free and gives you full access to the forum.

Upgraded flight dynamics

If modeling flight dynamics in FSX was simply a matter of entering the specs of the real aircraft, I would have been finished years ago. But it’s not, at least not when you are dealing with turbojets, delta wings, and supersonic flight.

The FDE in 4.1b2 was the best so far, but I was not really happy with the afterburner and how the aircraft behaved at high Mach. I have received comments on this in the forum and in emails, and I have to agree that performance on afterburner is not very impressive. Rate of climb is also way off the mark – especially at high speed, indicating that the wave drag table is not properly set.

So, I have been working hard on this all week and am happy to say that the FDE now seems to be “on the numbers” in almost all aspects. Climb rate, sink rate, acceleration, everything seems to more or less match the performance data I have.

The new FDE will be included in the third and final beta which will be released in a couple of days, but if you are impatient you can download the upgraded FDE separately and replace the existing one in 4.1b2. Just put the downloaded .air file in the Draken 4.1b2 aircraft folder, then edit aircraft.cfg to point to the new file:
sim = j35bm_fsx_55

Please note that this FDE will NOT work in any other version – it is specifically paired with the aircraft.cfg file in 4.1b2!