BN-2 Islander Development Update 2

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.

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.

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.

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.

As always, you can catch up with us on our Discord server and follow the blog for updates. For now, we hope you enjoy our newest batch of screens.

SR22 Development Update 5

Aerodynamics is one of many reasons why we all love X-Plane. That’s also why, just like with the engine, aerodynamics on the TorqueSim SR22 have been designed to take full advantage of the simulator’s capabilities and get as close as possible to the real world equivalent. Therefore a professional flight model of the SR22 was created by X-Aerodynamics in 2018 – over many months of work using all available resources and documents. It is up to the most recent standards and greatly benefits of the flight model improvements introduced with version 11.41 of the simulator and is ready for 11.50.

Key features

  • Highly accurate cruise speeds and rates of climb
  • Precise matching of stall speeds and glide ratio
  • Correct take-off and landing distances
  • Spot-on shape of the aircraft body to supply the most accurate input for X-Plane´s flight model effects
  • Accurate control surface areas and deflections for realistic turn rates

Special features

A stack of custom airfoils ships with the flight model to resemble the scimitar-shaped propeller as well as the Roncz wing profile introduced with G3 of the SR22 which has some interesting characteristics:

Cuffed Wing Design

This term refers to the non-continuous leading edge with its characteristic droop on about the outboard half. Thus the outboard section features a lower angle of incidence than the inboard section and is still flying while the inboard part is already stalled.

Stall Strips

The real wing offers stall strips to complete the cuff effect, and our airfoil polars contain modifications in the places where these are located to accurately account for their effect. Stall strips are small attachments mounted at the leading edge located on the wing´s root, triangular in shape. At high angles of attack, they trip the laminar boundary layer at a location where stall is most favorable to onset, causing earlier flow separation and consequently a sooner stall than on the outer wing portions.

Together with the cuffed wing design, the SR22 wing is engineered to stall from inboard to outboard, allowing for maximum roll control and spin prevention way into the stall.

BN-2 Islander Development Update 1

It’s been close to two weeks since we announced the Islander as a TorqueSim project, and we figured it’s time to give you a look at what has happened since.

Last time we showed you pictures, our Islander wore Cape Air’s iconic dark blue livery. This week, we’re featuring VAL’s striking orange/blue combo in our exterior shots:

What’s more, we’re finally ready to show off the interior and panel. We elected to withhold pictures of these parts the last time, knowing we had yet to add many of the details that give this aircraft its character: The BN-2 has been in service for over half a century, and we wanted our model to reflect some of this history.

Islanders fly all over the world. Whether rain or shine, snow, or tropical heat, short jungle strips, or large international airports, these aircraft serve in some of the most difficult conditions known in aviation. For this reason, we’ve added a highly capable avionics package, dual gps, but also the redundancy of full gauge sets for both pilot and copilot.

And while our screenshots show off the traditional steam gauges, we have also done testing on a version making use of AFM’s G5 instrumentation. What’s more, our Islander features a full set of circuit breakers with accurate amperages (taken straight from an actual Islander Parts Catalog).

They’re integrated with a powerful custom-coded electrical system which far exceeds X-Plane’s in scope and capability. A custom KFC 225 autopilot system and Garmin-like transponder round out the package.

She’ll take you anywhere you want to go, reliably.

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that beta testing of this project is planned to begin shortly.

For more updates, follow this blog, or sign into the AFM Discord server. We’ll also be sharing some unpublished screenshots on our server, and we’re always available for questions, suggestions, or just to chat.

Stay safe in these trying times, friends. Our thoughts go out to all of you, and we hope this crisis will be over soon.

SR22 Development Update 4

COVID-19 Status:

We would like to take a moment to share our well wishes to everyone during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, all members of our team are healthy, and as we work remotely already, work is progressing normally. As always, safety and health remain paramount to us.

Best wishes,

Steaven McKenzie and Cooper LeComp

Managing Partners, TorqueSim Aircraft Development

The TorqueSim Pocket Rocket is on the final day of its sale (45% off), returning to normal pricing on Sunday, March 22 at midnight eastern time. If you want a fun aircraft to add to your fleet when you are stuck at home, we’ve got you covered! You can get it here.

A fully custom engine model:

Enhanced or custom engine and failure models are becoming increasingly established in flight simulation, but are usually not able to trace the characteristics, peculiarities and limits of an aviation internal combustion engine back to a well-founded model, because there is a lack of physical basis and often simple, schematic relationships are used. Unfortunately, this often leads to confusion and resentment even among real pilots, including myself.

Our SR22 and SR22TN will therefore be the first aircraft to be equipped with a technology I have been working on for the past two years which is fundamentally new in X-Plane – as the aircraft nears completion, I have the honor of introducing you to the results of this work in the coming weeks, which will also cover flight model, TKS and oxygen systems, but this week we will start with the engine – the Continental IO-550-N, delivering 310 hp at 2,700 RPM.

Why go beyond X-Plane’s engine model at all?

X-Plane’s piston engine model is great in being generic and it provides a good approximation of all relevant performance parameters for a wide range of different engines. However, at its core it is configured by only a handful of parameters and can therefore be quite unprecise in individual cases, sometimes large discrepancies in the combinations of power parameters can be found and the power curve does not fit every concrete model. It also does not reflect the dynamics and inertia of an internal combustion engine very well, and those of turbochargers practically not at all.

Based on scientific literature, I have succeeded in integrating an approach to simulate an aircraft piston engine in X-Plane, which maps the mass flows of air and fuel in each part of the engine in real time. Air enters through the air filter, flows through ducts, passes obstacles like the throttle plate, burns the fuel and leaves the engine as exhaust gas. Pressures and temperatures are calculated in each section, the system is modular and can map even complex induction systems like the one on the SR22TN. With the Tornado Alley turbo-normalizing system installed, the full performance capability of the engine model comes into play, as compressors, intercoolers, wastegate and turbines also have their places in the calculation of air flows and pressures.

The output is not simply made to fit, it requires many real input parameters such as the shape of the throttle plate or ducts or a turbocharger map for the TN, all of which have been carefully researched and integrated in months of work – but everything else just falls into place, finely tuned to match the documentation of the real aircraft within a few percent across the entire normal flight envelope. We have made no compromises here! Also regarding your framerate, the architecture is heavily multithreaded and has virtually no performance impact on X-Plane.

Does it have other advantages as well?

The biggest advantage of this approach is the fact that the masses of air and fuel are available at hand and therefore the air-fuel ratio in each individual cylinder. So it is known at all times whether fuel is able to burn at all and how efficiently. You will notice this when priming and starting, when flooding the engine or when leaning – the EGT of the cylinder with the first peak will decrease while all others are still increasing!

You will even have the possibility to turn some engine set screws which a mechanic in reality also has to adjust for example maximum fuel flow or manifold pressure target on the turbo-normalized.

Inertia and dynamics are directly visible in the evolutions of fuel flow and manifold pressure when moving the power lever, especially in the TN. Turbocharger speeds are calculated and they need time to accelerate – just like the wastegate does to compensate for you advancing that power a bit to quickly on takeoff and the resulting overboost by allowing parts of the exhaust to bypass the turbine!

The fuel system has been treated in the same way as the air system, from tanks to the injector nozzles. You will notice fuel sensors and strainers that are sensitive to bank. Fuel lines which take time to empty and fill, engine-driven and boost pumps with fuel pressures following real evolutions.

Since the model simulates the engine down to its smallest components, it offers the optimal conditions for a very fine wear and failure system. Just imagine, on a hot day with warm fuel, to quickly climb up to the flight levels and forget about the boost pump – vapor lock will certainly be waiting for you! Or think of an induction system leakage at FL250 which makes you lose all your manifold pressure, followed by a steep descent cooling down the engine and wearing out the cylinders – but thankfully the SR22’s propeller control is connected to the throttle lever, which limits engine speed to 1,900 RPM at low power settings.

There are so many more advantages to this you will still be able to discover yourself.

In Development: BN-2 Islander

For all your bush-flying passenger-carrying cargo-hauling air-taxiing needs, TorqueSim are proud to present the legendary BN-2 Islander for X-Plane 11!

Initially started independently of TorqueSim, the inclusion of this beautiful bird into the new TS development pipeline has allowed for rapid progress and the seamless integration of custom systems, as well as boosting the quality of the 3D models and textures significantly!

This aircraft will feature a high quality model, PBR textures throughout, a full custom electrical system with working circuit breakers, support for the AFM G5 avionics on launch, and of course the fantastic roar of its O-540s will be rendered in beautiful FMOD!

All that, and more to come as we plan to update and improve our product throughout its lifetime!

To stay up to date with what’s going on, don’t forget to follow this blog, the AFM Discord, and keep a close eye on the various X-Plane forums! Stay tuned for more dev updates, screenshots, and insights, and of course for the big moment when our plane is available to fly on X-Aviation!

For any questions, suggestions, or just to chat: Hit us up @Random’93 (models/textures) @Coop (systems) and @Not_Steaven (FMOD sounds) on the AFM/TorqueSim Discord (Join at afms.im/discord)!

To learn more, check out the page on our website: https://torques.im/islander

We hope you’re as excited as we are to finally fly this plane!

SR22 Development Update 3

It has been a few weeks since the last update and we are excited to share all the progress we have made!

First off, we now have the SR22 3D model integrated and flying in-sim! This is a huge milestone for us, as this means we will soon be entering our closed beta stage. 

We are also excited to announce that another developer has joined our team, Marius Bohn! Marius has been working on an engine model for the IO-550 for over a year, and we are in the process of integrating the custom engine model, custom oxygen system, custom anti-ice system, and more.

We have put together a preview of our current progress on the FMOD sound pack here:

SR22 Development Update 2

It has been another week of work on the SR22!

This week, we will show previews of the interior and demonstrate the many features of the electrical system that is being simulated, even beyond the individual circuit breakers.

Interior Previews

Electrical System

The electrical system is complex, but important to be accurate. We have simulated many different aspects of the system:

  • Electrical Sources
    • Battery 1 and 2
    • Alternator 1 and 2
  • Electrical Distribution Busses
    • Main Distribution Bus 1/2
    • Essential Distribution Bus
  • Electrical Busses
    • Main Bus 1/2/3
    • Avionics Bus
    • Essential Bus 1/2
    • Non-Essential Bus
    • A/C Bus 1/2

With the accurate representation of these many different busses (and associated circuit breakers), we can ensure a proper simulation of the avionics/systems in all the many different potential configurations imposed by mismanagement or failures – providing a robust platform to train upon.

Here is a diagram we are using in the system’s development, where the connections between distribution busses and general busses are shown in different colors.

SR22 Development Update 1

After another week of hard work, we are excited to show some new screenshots and provide some more information regarding our development progress of the SR22 G3 GTS.

First off, we are excited to announce that the SR22TN G3 will come bundled with the SR22! The turbocharged variant of the SR22 will allow the option for faster cruise speeds and higher cruising altitudes.

G1000 Perspective System (Work in Progress):

G1000 Custom Engine Page
G1000 Custom Engine Sidebar
G1000 Custom Checklists

In Development: SR22 G3 GTS

TorqueSim and RealSimGear are excited to announce our next aircraft for X-Plane 11 – the SR22 G3 GTS! 

The SR22 will be entering internal testing in the coming weeks, with a release to follow currently forecasted to be in late Q1 2020. The SR22 is the culmination of months of work to revamp all our development practices to ensure the highest level of fidelity and accuracy!

We will be posting more information about the SR22 weekly until release, make sure to follow our website to stay up to date!

Features

  • G1000 Perspective customizations to the Laminar X1000
    • Synthetic Vision (using Saso Kiselkov’s Synthetic Vision, as implemented in HotStart’s TBM900 and TorqueSim’s Pocket Rocket)
    • Custom engine page and engine sidebar
    • Lean-assist functionality
    • Checklists
    • Top-bar customizations (% Power, Distance, etc)
    • Custom boot sequence including “Know Your Limits” and fuel adjustments
    • Designed to interface with RealSimGear’s G1000 hardware, especially their G1000 Perspective Package
  • Fully-custom electrical system
    • Dual-battery and dual-alternator simulated
    • All 11 electrical busses individually simulated
    • All 48 circuit breakers functional
  • High-fidelity flight model created by Austin Meyer of Laminar Research
  • Insanely detailed 3D model
  • Full PBR 4K Texturing
  • Highly immersive custom captured FMOD
  • Custom Tail-Number configuration utility
  • Persistant systems
  • Fully custom C++ plugin using the X-Plane SDK for maximum performance
  • ….And many more features to be announced soon!

Pocket Rocket 1.1.0 Update Released

We have released version 1.1.0 update for the Pocket Rocket. We have made this a very simple process! For those that purchase the Pocket Rocket from today forward, your purchased download will already be updated to version 1.1.0 for you.

How do I update?

1. Login to your X-Aviation account here: https://www.x-aviation.com/catalog/account_history.php

2. Find your original Pocket Rocket download and re-download the file. It will download as the latest version!
 
What’s New / Changed:

  • FEATURE: Environmental Control System
  • TWEAK: Updated FMOD with improved sounds
  • TWEAK: Additional decals added to cockpit to mimick regulated placards
  • TWEAK: Added JET-A icons to exterior
  • TWEAK: Revised Particle Effects
  • TWEAK: Added window seal texture
  • TWEAK: Added vents to the cabin

As always, thanks for being a customer of TorqueSim and X-Aviation. We appreciate your feedback and support!


Enjoy these latest updates, and stay tuned to the forum and our discord as we continually announce the latest happenings.