TorqueSim BN-2T Turbine Islander Releasing Friday!

TorqueSim and X-Aviation are excited to announce the release of the Turbine Islander this Friday (January 29th)!

We’re pleased to finally present our rendition of the BN-2T to you.

What began as a simple conversion grew into a completely new aircraft. This is the culmination of efforts spanning nearly four months, including updates to the 3d model, textures, texture mapping, FMOD sound pack, plugins, flight model, and many more small fixes and changes. If you enjoyed the BN-2, you’ll find the turbine version an absolute joy to fly!

You can see our preview flight of the aircraft here!

Many of the upgrades built for the 2T will also find their way into our BN-2 in the near future in the form of update 1.2. We very much look forward to sending that out as well.

We’ll share final details for the Turbine Islander throughout the days prior to release. If you haven’t subscribed to our email list, make sure to subscribe here so you can stay up to date with all our projects!

You can also find us on our Discord server and all the usual social media sites!

Update 25 Jan 2021:

Regarding pricing and release logistics:

  • The TorqueSim BN-2T Turbine Islander will be available for $34.95
  • Everyone who has purchased the BN-2B through Thursday (Jan 28, 11:59pm EST) will be eligible for promotional pricing, bringing the price to $19.95 (43% off!). A coupon code will be emailed on Friday which will be valid for 60 days.
  • A bundle will be available containing the BN-2B and BN-2T for $54.95

All prices are in USD.

If you have any questions or want to discuss the release, join in at the announcement post on the forums here.

Here are some other great screenshots showing off the new visuals!

###

Coming soon: BN-2T Turbine Islander

Written by Ulrich Oetzel, Islander Lead Developer, TorqueSim 3D Artist

This is a project I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time.

I’m sure some of you remember the old freeware FS9 Islanders by Marcel Kuhnt. Later came Flight1’s offering for FSX. While I enjoyed both of these very much, I distinctly recall always waiting for a Turbine Islander to show up. I loved and still love that plane.

It certainly made an impression on me. You could hear its twin Allison 250’s from what seemed like miles away, and the noise would build into a deafening scream when it came rolling across the apron. It was louder than a King Air, and most certainly louder than the 206’s and 402’s I knew! Little me would always cover his ears to shut out the noise.

At any rate, the years rolled on. The old 2T got sold a short while before the aging fleet was replaced entirely by Kodiaks, and I never heard anything about it again. Much in the same way, there was never any further talk of FSX (this is pre-P3D still) Islanders getting made, much less the turbine variant.

Which brings us neatly to my first entry: The trusty old 2B Islander. I grew tired of waiting. Tired of waiting for Flight1 to move their old model to X-Plane; tired of waiting for somebody to make it. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that “if you want something done, you should do it yourself” – or something along those lines. The end result of that was the TorqueSim Islander, which will soon be on version 1.2, with some serious upgrades over 1.1.

Now, I had always intended to make a 2T conversion of that aircraft. Even when I first joined TS, I knew that the Turbine Islander was somewhere in the future.

If only I had known. What started as a relatively simple conversion spiraled into extensive and intense reworks of the 3d model, the flight model, paint kit, interior, and myriad other items that needed improvement or alteration.

Now, with the project time dragging out (by no means a bad thing: more time means better quality), the 2T is essentially a completely new aircraft. It shares some minor features with our original model, in some places uses bits and pieces of the old textures, but it’s a whole different plane. Even the flight characteristics are much improved over the previous iterations.

All this also has benefits for version 1.2 our piston BN-2 Islander.

The new interior of the 2T can be retrofitted almost 1:1 to the older model. New interior textures, better UV mapping and texel density, new 3d models in the interior, all that comes benefit of the work on the 2T. 

The changes extend to the exterior of the plane. Old repaints will of course remain compatible, however new textures on the fuselage and wing offer improved visuals, with better rivet work and cleaner joins. The default paint schemes have already been updated to match the new standard, and the new paint kits will support the new version of the exterior textures.

All this is a rather long winded way of saying we have a BN-2T Turbine Islander coming very SOON™ alongside a huge update 1.2 for the BN-2B.

We’re very excited to bring you both of these aircraft, and hope you’ll enjoy flying them as much as we enjoy making them!

As per usual, questions, suggestions, comments, and the like are welcome. Come find us on our Discord server, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for regular updates and more screenshots!

In the meantime, we’ve prepared some pictures of the new Turbine Islander to tide you over while you wait. Enjoy!

BN-2 Islander Update 1.1.2

X-Aviation and TorqueSim are pleased to announce the release of the BN-2 Islander v1.1.2 update. This update consists of a variety of bug fixes which we have integrated to improve the Islander, providing the most realistic X-Plane 11 Islander experience!

To Update: Download your installer here and re-install!

Here’s what’s changed in version 1.1.2:

Improvements / New Features:

  • [IS-363] – FMOD tweaks to improve sound
  • Installer now auto-installs latest G5 if purchased and installed on computer

Bug Fixes:

  • [IS-374] – Fixed HPA Altimeter baro texture
  • [IS-375] – Glideslope indicators were not visible at night
  • [IS-379] – Autopilot Disconnect Button Fix
  • [IS-380] – NAV/HDG HSI Flag Fix

As always, thank you for supporting TorqueSim and X-Aviation. We appreciate your feedback and support!

Thank you to Rob H. for these great screenshots!

BN-2 Islander Update 1.1.1

X-Aviation and TorqueSim are pleased to announce the release of the BN-2 Islander v1.1.1 update. This update consists of a variety of bug fixes which we have integrated to improve the Islander, providing the most realistic X-Plane 11 Islander experience!

To Update: Download your installer here and re-install!

Here’s what’s changed in version 1.1.1:

Improvements / New Features:

  • [IS-367] – Add door open/close to menu bar
  • [IS-372] – Rebake gauges_LIT.png in 2k to match ALB textures

Bug Fixes:

  • [IS-364] – Typo in the cruise fuel flow charts, first row: 23.5 should be 33.5
  • [IS-365] – Possible texture or UV artifact on the prop governors
  • [IS-366] – Roll index markings on AI
  • [IS-368] – 3D modelled bolts on nose fairing missing on one side only.
  • [IS-369] – Door latch animation linked to AviTab
  • [IS-370] – Glareshield 3d extends beyond fuselage
  • [IS-371] – Carb heat keybinding gives different result than mouse manipulator
  • [IS-373] – NAV flag texture mapping bug

As always, thank you for supporting TorqueSim and X-Aviation. We appreciate your feedback and support!

BN-2 Islander Update 1.1.0

X-Aviation and TorqueSim are pleased to announce the release of the BN-2 Islander v1.1.0 update. A massive revamp of the 3D, textures, sounds, and systems on the Islander! We have integrated customer feedback to perfect the Islander, providing the most realistic X-Plane 11 Islander experience.

To Update: Download your installer here and re-install!

Here’s what’s changed in version 1.1.0:

Improvements / New Features:

  • RealityXP GTN 750/GTN 650 Integration
  • Revamped FMOD Sound Pack
    • New engine/prop noises
    • Revamped switch and internal noise
    • Custom “headset” simulation with adjustable noise cancellation
  • [IS-351] – Panel Shake/Vibrations
  • [IS-309] – Mechanical Hobbs meter/tacho in 3D
  • [IS-346] – Placard with flaps speeds
  • [IS-332] – Add ability to open plugin menu from plugins bar at top instead of only side tab
  • [IS-295] – Avitab integration

Bug Fixes:

  • [IS-241] – Carb Temperature Gauge animation jumping
  • [IS-264] – Gyro CW/CCW switch motor should play until switch is released
  • [IS-265] – Gyro Slave/Free switch has no sound for ‘slave’
  • [IS-282] – Landing light fix
  • [IS-285] – Radio channel selector lights fix
  • [IS-286] – Bose A20 Headset improvements
  • [IS-312] – [AFM-114] VOR and HSI behavior
  • [IS-320] – VOR 2 Glideslope reversed
  • [IS-326] – Mags / Door Interlock
  • [IS-327] – BN-2 VR bugs
  • [IS-329] – Stall alarm not audible when the headset is worn
  • [IS-333] – KFC225 ARM and VS buttons correct order
  • [IS-342] – Exterior lights issues
  • [IS-345] – Autopilot working with avionics off
  • [IS-347] – HDG / NAV flags reversed on HSI
  • [IS-352] – o-540-e4c5.obj reduction
  • [IS-353] – furnishings_2.obj reduction
  • [IS-321] – Brake Lines missing proper normal data
  • [IS-331] – Create .snd file changes for new manipulators
  • [IS-343] – Change annunciator brightness to run from 0-1 rather than 0-2
  • [IS-350] – Add utility light power commands
  • [IS-354] – animated prop governor control arm
  • [IS-361] – Smoothed datarefs for the sunshades on the overhead panel
  • [IS-291] – Add cockpit utility light (moveable)
  • [IS-294] – Update manual with cruise data, fuel flows, etc
  • [IS-306] – Add brightness switch and test button to annunciator panel
  • [IS-322] – Set flight model CHT min/max
  • [IS-323] – Change cowl flap lock
  • [IS-337] – Add persist to Ammeter knob
  • [IS-338] – Hide-able interior glass to remove reflections
  • [IS-357] – Update GUI
  • [IS-289] – Make custom audio panel datarefs
  • [IS-299] – Optimize 3d vertex counts
  • [IS-300] – Optimize textures
  • [IS-315] – Cabin light can turn on without battery power
  • [IS-316] – Pax notices can turn on without battery power
  • [IS-319] – Utility lights
  • [IS-334] – Add Door Interlock Sound
  • [IS-349] – Make avitab datarefs persist
  • [IS-358] – Switch wording for glass reflections

As always, thank you for supporting TorqueSim and X-Aviation. We appreciate your feedback and support!

Islander Screenshot Contest Results

We would like to thank everyone who submitted for their great entries! The three winners will get their choice of the TorqueSim Pocket Rocket, AFM M20 Collection, or both of Attitude Simulations “Gate to the Great Lakes” sceneries (Custer and Fox Islands). It was a close competition – we are also featuring our three runner up screenshot choices and three honorable mentions. We look forward to running more of these competitions in the future!

Winners:

Winner: Rob H.
Winner: Richard S.
Winner: Jakob E. J.

Runners Up:

Runner Up: Thorsten F.
Runner Up: Richard S.
Runner Up: G.

Honorable Mentions:

Honorable Mention: (Anonymous)
Honorable Mention: 7redline7
Honorable Mention: Rob H.

Islander 1.1 Update: Coming Soon!

We’ve been hard at work preparing a major update for the Islander since its initial release! Our philosophy at TorqueSim is to make the absolute best product we can, and to that end we’ve taken time and considerable effort to prepare the Islander Version 1.1, which represents a massive improvement over the original in all areas.

With this part of the project now on the home stretch, we decided it’s time to share some of the improvements we’ve made with you.

First off, we’re very proud to say that we’ve been able to fix or resolve all bugs reported to us so far, and many more that showed up in the course of our own continued work on the project. Thank you so much to everybody who contributed reports, contacted us about issues, and offered solutions! So many of these bugs would’ve just slipped by us if not for our dedicated beta team and all of you, flying the Islander out there in the wild.

Probably one of the most anticipated additions to our Islander comes in the form of integration for RXP’s GTN simulations (RXP GNSs were compatible on launch, for anybody wondering). From 1.1 onwards, the Islander can make use of both the GTN750 and the 650, either separately or both at the same time, in both the regular and G5 versions of the aircraft.

BN-2 Islander Cockpit Night Lighting, shown with RealityXP GTN750, GTN650, and AFM G5 (sold separately)

In addition, we’ve integrated the excellent Avitab plugin, including a way to move it to various locations within the cockpit. It’ll start out hidden on every flight, but a quick click to the center of the glareshield edge should bring it right up when you need it.

In our quest to increase the performance of the Islander on all systems, we’ve undertaken some serious texture optimization, which should render the need for a 2K texture pack obsolete. The new textures retain full 4K format where needed, while selectively downsizing performance-intensive normal maps. Heavier reliance on LIT textures also permits night flights and cockpit lighting with little to no performance impact. A total of only 4 HDR lights have been retained in places where they make sense.

BN-2 Islander Cockpit, shown with RealityXP GTN750, GTN650, and AFM G5 (sold separately)

Following some requests to make the overhead utility lights functional… that’s exactly what we’ve done! The utility lights are now fully operational, with individual HDR lights attached to them. No more searching for those overhead switches in the dark.

The other two HDR lights are used in the pilot’s row cabin lights. It made little sense to bake the LIT textures here, as these lights can interact with certain parts of the cockpit, however they should have very little impact on performance.

Further optimization could be achieved in the 3d meshes of the Islander. Many parts contained unnecessarily high numbers of polygons contributing nothing to the overall appearance of the aircraft. These have been eliminated, reduced, remodeled, or otherwise repaired. You should see a marked improvement in framerates in certain areas.

Thanks to the combination of texture and mesh optimization, we’ve brought the size of the objects folder for the Islander down to just over 500 MB (including all objects and textures), from over 1 GB before. Needless to say, these are techniques we intend to apply to future projects.

We could go on and on and on about all the little things we’ve changed and improved for this version, but instead, here’s a quick list of some other improvements:

  • Expanded UI with more options for both the aircraft and the passengers
  • Manuals now contain useful charts for operating the Islander, including gross weight limitations, take off and landing distances, and cruise data
  • Cockpit switches are much more mouse friendly now, and we’ve eliminated the ‘click-and-drag’ style clickspots entirely
  • Addition of a CSL package

And last, but not least, a quick reminder that the Islander Screenshot Competition is still going on! We’ve had some excellent submissions so far, and participants have the chance to win their choice of either the TorqueSim Pocket Rocket, AFM M20 Collection, or both of Attitude Simulations “Gate to the Great Lakes” sceneries! There will be three winners. See the competition page for official rules and details. If you haven’t submitted a screenshot yet, now’s your chance, as the contest will end at the end of the month (May 31st)!

BN-2 Islander Update 1.0.1

X-Aviation and TorqueSim are pleased to announce the release of the BN-2 Islander v1.0.1 update. This is a quick round of bug fixes for the newly released TorqueSim BN-2 Islander! While we aren’t adding any new big features with this update, this should improve the quality and functionality of the aircraft. The most major change is a revamped and retuned FMOD sound pack that should more authentically replicate the roaring engines. See below for the changelog from this version.

To Update: Download your installer here and re-install!

Release notes – Islander – Version 1.0.1

  • Improvements and New Features
    • [IS-27] – FMOD Soundpack Revamp
    • [IS-311] – Custom Dataref for FMOD door opening
    • [IS-184] – Paintkit PSD files
    • [IS-280] – Night lighting of passenger notices.
    • [IS-296] – Change headset click spot to be easier to find
    • [IS-302] – Animate brake pedal action
    • [IS-170] – Prop Disc updated
  • Bug Fixes
    • [IS-249] – R/H Engine Magneto No. 2 No Sound TSBUG-93
    • [IS-266] – Pitot and Stall Heat switch has no sound for ‘off’
    • [IS-267] – Screechy tires sound plays even on grass/dirt
    • [IS-274] – Window opening should not trigger door annunciator
    • [IS-277] – [Ver 1.0.0] External engine sound TSBUG-104
    • [IS-278] – [Ver 1.0.0] Prop Animation TSBUG-105
    • [IS-283] – Anti-ice switches not functional
    • [IS-284] – ACF Missing ICAO in Plane Maker
    • [IS-287] – Make covers integrate with X-Plane
    • [IS-290] – Cockpit lights work without battery on
    • [IS-292] – 3D people not in G5 ACF
    • [IS-293] – N203PR livery: Some of the yellow paint appears to have ‘spilled’ over onto the brake lines
    • [IS-301] – Elevator trim bug too wide
    • [IS-303] – Right-hand passenger on row 3 is too tall! headset clips the ceiling.
    • [IS-304] – Headsets are 20% to large
    • [IS-310] – 3D people (co pilot+pax) TSBUG-118
    • [IS-313] – [AFM-116] Static Wicks should be black
    • [IS-314] – RH main gear tires have no wear pattern
    • [IS-317] – Fuel selectors left doesn’t work properly with mouse wheel
    • [IS-318] – Prop discs rotate the wrong way

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.

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.