:: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Jet Thunder:

:: New questions submitted:

Lots of flyable planes in the argentinean side and only Harriers for the british side, is it possible to include the Avro Vulcan as a flyable to make things a bit more even for us british players??
This is a solid request that we're pondering about - the player-flyable Vulcan bomber possibly will be featured, if not in the JT release, in a future expansion, to prevent any mission creep in our already delayed development. Black Buck raids as well as what-if scenarios (such as attacks on the mainland) will be part of this feature.

Why I don't see mention of a clickable cockpit? It's the most important feature for a jet combat flight sim, how come you guys forgot or neglected it??
We're aware that a large part of the jet flight sim community is extremely used with clickable cockpits, and more recently, 3D clickable cockpits are becoming practical. It was not originally in our plans, but a 3D clickable cockpit may be a positive side effect of a certain software product we may be developing for a third party, so it will probably be used Jet Thunder as well.

:: Basic questions:

What is this?
With the working title "Jet Thunder: Falkands/Malvinas" (JT:FM), it is an in-depth flight simulation featuring an historically accurate, although dynamic, Falklands/Malvinas war scenario. The project started in late 2002 as a simple simulation of just the Harrier, and first we thought of having only the islands as scenary, as terrain making would be easier with only the isles represented, intended for simple self-publishing in a shareware style... But the positive feedback was so strong and unexpect, and the project quickly has grown to a organized, professional effort with a programming team, art / 3D modelling team, and extensive research work, with full order of battle, historical accuracy, argentine and british flyable aircraft and detailed cockpits/avionics.

Why a Falklands/Malvinas 1982 scenario?
Because it was never fully developed as a wargame scenario, and the extensive use of air power in naval operations makes it an ideal scenario for an imersive, tactically dynamic combat flight sim with strong naval component. The vital importance of some naval assets create conditions for several "what if" situations. Also, important aircraft such as Super Etendard, carrier-based A-4, Sea Harrier FRS.1 and the Mirage series never had been represented in a realistic way in a flight sim before.

Is Jet Thunder based in the engine of another flight sim such as SFP1? Why not make a mod instead of an entire sim from scratch?

No, Jet Thunder is not based or related in any way to the SFP1 engine or any other flight sim engine. We decided to make a new flight sim engine from the ground up to allow new features such as complete V/STOL simulation, HUD representation, volumetric clouds, carrier operations in rough seas and more. Everything we use is homebrew technology so far.

:: Technical Questions: Flight Model

What about the flight model?
With a sophisticated physics and torque engine, expect a good feeling of the flight inside the constraints of the featured flyable aircraft. It will include delta-winged supersonic specific dynamics (for the Mirages), twin-prop behavior (for the IA-58 Pucará) and full V/STOL flight (Harrier), providing an extensive and varied range of flight styles.

Will this simulation be based on "super lift flaps" or other cheats to fake V/STOL operations?
No 'cheats'. The featured Harriers will have correct modelling of the RR-Pegasus engine, with the vectoring limits (0 to 98 degrees vectoring in the 4 nozzles, with correct rotation speed of the nozzles and thrust-weight ratio) and the reaction system that kicks in at the slow speeds where the normal control surfaces are useless.

How detailed will be the avionics?
The Agave radar used in the Super Etendard and the Ferranti Blue Fox radar used by the Sea Harriers FRS.1 will be modeled with all their modes, and correct detection ranges. The same level of detail will be present in the Thomson-CSF Cyrano II radar of the Mirage IIIE. RWR and the respective gunsights/HUDs will be also part of the avionics package.

:: Technical Questions: Combat

What naval assets will be present? Are ships damageable by Exocet missiles?
It'll include all naval assets to form a correct Order of Battle. Type 22 Frigates (HMS Broadsword, HMS Brilliant), Type 42 Destroyer (Sheffield), Atlantic Conveyor, landing crafts, ARA General Belgrano cruiser, etc. And they will feature full damage modelling and will be subject to anti-ship strikes.

Can I employ the VIFF Harrier techniques in air-to-air combat?
Yes, VIFF (Vectoring In Forward Flight) can be used, with several tactics and in different situations. In its simplest form, rotating slighty down the nozzles in a turning fight will tighten the turn and cause a sudden nose up attitude, putting a Lag Pursuit Sea Harrier in Lead Pursuit and in advantage for a 30mm deflection shot or making easier for an AIM-9L lock. Another typical use is the quick vectoring of the nozzles to avoid an overshoot, or to force an overshoot in a defensive situation. Keep in mind that VIFF doesn't means "stop in mid air and then accelerate instantly", Hollywood-style... If not used properly, you WILL burn a lot of energy and end as a "sitting duck" in the sights of the enemy's wingman.

:: Technical Questions: Multiplayer

What are the multiplayer aspects?
It will be server based, with (hopefully) support to Hyperlobby , and at least 16 players at once. Dogfight, COOP and Online Campaigns together against AI-based foes are available.

Isn't the Sea Harrier with AIM-9L and good use of VIFF, a rather unbalanced fighter for online dogfight rooms ?
No. According to expert's advice, the Mirage IIIE is more than a match for the Sea Harrier, in any condition.

:: Technical Questions: Campaign

What about the campaign system?

The campaign will be dynamic, with the British task force attempting to re-gain the islands from Argentine forces. Argentine starts with more troops and planes. The number of planes in each side at the start of the campaign will be historically correct (making it tougher as you think for the britains, because they started the campaign with only 20 Sea Harriers, Squadrons 800 and 801). The argentineans will also have to make the best use possible of certain limited ammo resources (for exemple, only 5 Super Etendart fighters with 4 Exocet missiles available).This makes for interesting resource management, also the outcome of most missions will influence the outcome of the campaign (for example, in the first Mirage vs. Sea Harrier dogfight with you as a british, fail it and the Argentineans would feel encouraged to make more aggressive use of their Mach-2 interceptors, eventually pushing air superiority over the islands. Enter here the strategic factor of the british Vulcan bombers, in a dynamic campaign they can even fail to reach their targets in the islands, changing completely the outcome of the conflict.

With the dynamic Campaign, will there be a career mode for the player including ranks and medals?
There'll be a career mode starting as a rookie pilot, advancing the career up to a squadron commander. Medals and Promotions will be featured and these will be saved to the personal pilot's log together with statistics, kill ratio and other data.

There will be carrier operations?
Yes, with the McDonnel Douglas A-4Q Skyhawk onboard the argentine carrier ARA 25 de Mayo. And for the british side, onboard the HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes, with short take-off runs through deck ramps to maximize fuel and weapons load, and vertical landings on the deck.

There will be air-to-air refuelling?
Yes, indeed air-to-air refuelling should be present because it was needed for the long range flights from the continent to the islands. The Lockheed KC-130 Hercules of the Fuerza Aerea Argentina was used as refueller in these missions. We're aware that the long-range "Black Buck" operations flew by the british were also heavily based in air-to-air refuelling.

Will the map include Ascension Island (for the Vulcans)?
We're still thinking in the best way to solve the Vulcan/"Black Buck" problem. To extend the map seamlessly to include Ascension Island, will mean getting the entire brazilian coast as well (Vulcans did most of the air-to-air refuelling with Victor tankers parallel to the brazilian coast, in one situation, one missed a refueller and had to make an emergency landing in Brazil/Rio de Janeiro - it was "Black Buck 6", carrying Shrike anti-radiation missiles).

It is technically not impossible to do this, problem is 1) time to create the huge scenary (texture tiles, featured cities in the coastline) 2) extreme RAM usage. A down to earth approach at the moment is to make the Vulcans (currently A.I. only) to ingress in the campaign's map through the most north/east position, they do their business down in the war zone, and return through this same route.

Another approach would be to include Ascension Island as a separated map but co-existing with our current map, with correct distances between the 2 areas correctly calculated as well as flight times and fuel usage - of course there will be a gap between the two areas, but at least players will be able to see Vulcans departing from Ascension Island in direction to their targets, hours away of flight in the south direction.

:: Production questions:

Who is doing this flight sim?
Thunderworks, a development team with members based mostly in Brazil, Argentina and the UK. See the Staff section.

What the manual will look like?
It will have full contend on the flyables, flight and combat techniques, an unbiased view of the historical conflict in the Falklands/Malvinas, plus a basic info on the history of V/STOL flight, If whether it will be a printed manual or a downloadable PDF, only the future publishing method of the project could stablish. See next question.

How do you guys will be rewarded after all that hard work? Do you plan to publish it?
Well, the best reward is to see the flight sim working, with people actually playing and having fun with it. :) Yes we plan to publish it, but we will approach possible publishers only with the product as finished as we can with our current resources, so the deadlines and release dates they impose will not affect negatively the final product. If no publishers are available, we plan to publish it by ourselves, someway.

What are your resources/funding to the development of this simulation?
We're working at the moment funded by ourselves, with our own resources. I think this condition will stay this way until the product is very mature (see previous answer).

This is all very cool and I love classic aircraft like the Harrier and the Mirage, but when it will be release?
The creation of a modern flight simulator from scratch is a long, complex and demanding task (see this article). So, don't spect anything released still in this year or the next.

What about a demo version ?
An internal demo of Jet Thunder actually exists, and has been shown to possible publishers and other interested partners. However, it would just harm the project if released publicly, because the post-release support of any software (being a demo or a commercia/finished release) requires a good amount of work and time spent on it, ie answering people in forums, getting different configs to work for different users, and overall causing an undesirable burnout in a small and unfunded team like us.

:: General questions:

Will it be "mod-friendly", or a more "closed" approach?
Indeed the current engine is flexible enough to allow easy modding, but we're pondering about the best way to allow this without damaging the multiplayer aspect.

There will be tutorials on the missions or basic flight concepts?
Yes, we're planning several scripted tutorial missions, following basic principies of flight, such as turning, diving, and more advanced and Harrier-related stuff, such as VTOL landing and ski-jump deck take-offs. Also weapons usage is planned to be included.

What about Easy Flight options and the such?
It will be very scalable, with options for simpler FM/avionics, no damage, etc.

Any other question or detail you wish to see in this FAQ, please email me.



Copyright 2007 Thunder-Works Ltd.