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BN-2 Islander Development Update 2

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It’s been quite a while since we last posted an update on the Islander project, and we’ve been hard at work on it.

About two weeks ago, we were finally able to send the first beta version off to our testers, and have since incorporated much of their feedback into the project. Testers found a variety of smaller bugs, and one or two bigger issues to spice things up.

During this time, we also undertook a complete rebuild and cleanup of the fuselage 3D meshes. These were still unchanged from the very early stages of the project. Although this was a very time consuming undertaking, we think the results speak for themselves, and the new look definitely improves the ramp presence and proportions of our Islander.

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Apart from bugs getting fixed, there’s a new feature we’d like to show off. The Islander has very prominent and visible external hydraulic lines for the main gear brakes. These are a recognisable feature of the aircraft, and one we felt definitely needed to be included. After some internal development, we’re proud to say that we’ve been able to recreate flexible brake lines.

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The effect is amazing to witness in action, especially considering the limitations of X-Plane’s animation system when it comes to such things.

In the past weeks, we’ve also made enormous progress on the plugins for the Islander’s systems. Most of the avionics are custom coded now, with only graphics left to integrate to make them fully functional. Various custom datarefs ensure realistic operation and readouts of core systems, especially within the electric system.

A custom but lightweight menu further allows for features such as anti-icing gear (including switches and breakers) and 3d passengers to be toggled on and off, and includes a load manager for easy configuration of weight and balance.

In addition, the flight model is coming along nicely. Careful tuning of the airfoil using real NACA data allows for dynamic handling at various airspeeds, from near stall to high cruise, and accurate control deflections give realistic pitch and roll rates. With some help from the Islander pilots in our testing team, we’ve also tuned X-Plane’s engine model to perform as close as possible to the real thing.

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Some time ago now, we received high quality audio recordings of an actual Islander, and the sound pack is nearly complete! The plane would not be the same without the characteristic rumble of two O-540’s, and we’re as excited as you to hear her in all her glory!

This week, we hope to finish plugin integration, bug fixing, fine tuning, and of course, FMOD!

Now, I could go on and on about all the effort we’re putting into this project, but I think it’s better to let our screenshots do the rest of the talking.

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