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DCS: Module EF-2000 Interview with Gero and TOM from True Grit (english version)

DCS: Module EF-2000 Interview with Gero and TOM from True Grit (english version)

Newcomers in the DCS modules universe, the True Grit team starts with an ambitious project: modeling a Eurofighter 2000 in the DCS universe.
Modern and complex machine, this module could become the most powerful fighter of DCS.

The challenge is thus consequent and it seemed interesting to us to know more about this project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checksix:

First, can you introduce yourself, your past and near future “? First, can you introduce yourself, your past and near future “?
What is TrueGrit and why DCS environment? “What is TrueGrit and why DCS environment? “

Gero (True Grit) :

Hello Guillaume, thank you for having me in your site.
My name is Gero Finke. I am CEO and founder of TrueGrit. I am 50 years old and my background is nearly pure military. I served in the German Air Force – Luftwaffe, for close to 30 years. I am a retired Lieutenant Colonel and former fighter pilot. I flew the mighty F-4 Phantom II for 10 years, became a Weapons Instructor and converted 2003 as instructor pilot to the Eurofighter Typhoon. I had the honor of being one of the first 10 pilots of the Luftwaffe that were trained by the industry to fly the Eurofighter to setup Germanys first Eurofighter training squadron in Laage.

I flew the Eurofighter for 15 years. During these years I progressed from instructor pilot to squadron commander, ops group commander and ended my career as base commander of the famous Richthofen Jagdgeschwader. Early 2018 I retired and began my second career in the civil IT industry.

I was my whole life a big fan and enthusiast of military flight simulators. Based on Falcon-4 I even build a simple Cockpit in the late 90s. I also followed very closely the development of VR headsets during all those years. After leaving the Luftwaffe it was for me only a small step to having the idea of trying to deliver the Eurofighter to the flight sim community since it is up to now not really well represented there.

DCS is the logical place to do this since it is an excellent military flight sim with superb graphics and VR support. It also has a large community of enthusiasts. So, I founded TrueGrit, looked for professional coders and 3D artists from the flight sim community and started the project. I picked the name TrueGrit exactly for what it stands for: courage, braveness, stamina. I thought those are fitting synonyms for such a bold endeavor. In short: no guts no glory “! “

Tom (True Grit):
Thanks for this opportunity. My name is Tom Grueninger and I am TrueGrit´s Lead Test pilot and Head of VR-Development. I am 36 years old and my background is the German Air Force, too. I flew the Eurofighter for about 10 years. I was in one of the first Eurofighter Training Classes, without having flown another fighter aircraft before. I was a “computer kid” and went straight to the “computer fighter jet”. My last job was being a flight commander in Fighter Wing 71 “Richthofen”. Gero happened to be my boss during my years in the Jagdgeschwader “Richthofen” and we indeed flew some real-life Missions together, too, which is really nice, because we can continue to fight right in DCS.

Checksix:
“Looking at your past, Eurofighter seems to be a logical choice. DCS environment doesn’t offer such modern plane. The introduction of the Typhoon could change the balance and this plane may be felt like an Überplane. What’s your opinion about this, how do you place the Typhoon into the current DCS fighter line up?

Gero (True Grit):
The question of balance in DCS is obviously a very contrary subject. The community seems to be divided on this pretty evenly. I think the fact that more and more different modules will be available in the future will create a constantly changing environment. The community will create missions and scenarios that they like to use in any constellation. If you do not like a certain module or prefer another one for your own reasons you will fly these modules like you think it makes the most sense anyway. I believe the question of balance will balance itself in any case. Pun intended! 😊.

Tom (True Grit):
With the Typhoon DCS will get the most modern fighter, that is true. If you look at Basic Fighter Maneuvers, for example, it will be absolutely astonishing for some people and their opponents will have, if flown right, no chance at all. But, I think, as Gero already said, people will choose and create scenarios accordingly. They will choose their own balance. And if they trouble in BFM, they will choose the Typhoon 😊.

 


Checksix:
Like all modern fighters, the real EF-2000 is evolving, upgrade, new radar, new ammunition. What version can we expect, what ability’s? Will you include some air to ground capabilities?

Gero (True Grit):
“You are correct Guillaume! That is also the reason why there is no real answer to the question of:“ when is the Typhoon finished“. Our module will also grow in capability over time.

We will start with an early access setup like pretty much all the other modules too. The Typhoon will be a very capable A/A platform at release. We announced just recently that we will bring the IRIS-T infrared missile as a completely new weapon to DCS. We were successful in getting Diehl Defence, who are the manufacturer of this weapon, on board. So, the representation of that missile will be very precise. We are looking also into the possibility of introducing the METEOR to the A/A realm. Talks with MBDA are also under way. We are intentionally having these talks to the manufacturers to be able to bring the best representation of the systems to DCS World that are permissible in respect to the classification issues. That is also the main reason why I can not go into too deep details of the capabilities at this time. The process of getting clearances to display certain systems and capabilities is an ongoing process through the whole program.

That is of course the main hurdle when trying to introduce such a modern fighter to the public flight sim community. On the other hand, are we not willing to bring a totally unrealistic representation to the user. That would make us not authentic and be contrary to the whole idea of Eagle Dynamics. That also means that we would rather not introduce a capability and wait a bit longer then try to fake one.

 Tom (True Grit):
“The Typhoon will be introduced as a Interceptor and Dogfighter in the first place. It is difficult enough to use all the Typhoons Air-to-Air Weapons efficiently and with the first release the community should be overwhelmed with the Typhoons capabilities in Air-to-Air, together with its Avionics, Link and Helmet Mounted Display.

 

Checksix:
With JF-17, the Eurofighter might be the most modern plane right now. Modern avionic introduces data fusion, new interfaces, some artificial intelligence. What level of realism can user hope or expect from this future module?

 Tom (True Grit):
That is true. The JF-17 uses the data or sensor fusion quite nicely. The Typhoon fuses its sensors, too. For example: When the Radar detects a target, or most likely more than one, it will be put directly into the data link, so that all other platforms, using link, do have the information right away on there awareness display or even helmet. Depending on the DCS development we will bring the best Typhoon Avionics to the community.

As a special feature, I would see the HEA (Head Equipment Assembly), which is the Typhoons Helmet Mounted Display. In the early release it will only have the Air-to-Air Capability, but even with that, the community will get a nice feature, especially in combination with the IRIS-T!

The cockpit of the Eurofighter has many buttons with contextual display, a nightmare in perspective for  simpitters.

Checksix:
Now that we are aware of what’s going on in terms of global features, are you going to make each country localized version of the plane? Single seat, 2 seated? or are you focusing and a single version yet ?

Gero (True Grit):
We will launch with the German single seat version. The two-seat version is currently not on my list because it is a pure trainer version. The backseat cockpit is a repeater cockpit for the instructor. That means you can not do different tasks like in an F-14 with a RIO or WSO. If you switch a button in the back it will change screens in the front and vice versa. So, there is no crew coordination going on. In my opinion there is no good reason to do that module.

 Tom (True Grit):
“Correct, the Typhoon is a single seat fighter. After 5 flights in the double seater you go SOLO and from there on your training is from the other aircraft, not from a second seat in the back. Your Instructor teaches you via Briefings and Debriefing and airborne, of course.

Later on, when you are a young wingman, all leading is done by the flight lead or even four ship lead. All tactics are based on a two ship or four ship concepts. Even Air-to-Ground. So, there is no need for a double seater. You fly as a single-seat fighterpilot!

the cockpit under development has a detailed and meticulous 3D view

 

Checksix:
Develop such sophisticated plane under the DCS environment doesn’t seems to be an easy task. Even for Eagle Dynamics, it takes years of work to deliver a fully capable plane. Recently, we had some good surprise with Heatblur and their F-14 or with the JF-17 from Deka ironwork Simulation. At the release date, those modules where quite advanced and operational. But we also have the opposite examples, modules that are released much too early. What will you try to offer at the first release?

Gero (True Grit):
It will be early access but in the A/A role as complete as possible. A/G follows later…

Tom (True Grit):
Same as Gero

 

Checksix:
If build and add new 3D models, Texture etc. seems to be pretty easy under DCS. Making a full modern plane is quite challenging. The coding and specific avionics seems to be the most complicated. How do you manage and deal with this major task?

 Tom (True Grit):
“We do have brilliant coders and 3D-artists. Together with the real-life Typhoon Experience we do have, it will be a nice and realistic model. As Gero already said, classification and timing are a challenge here, but in the end, there will be a modern and fun model. As I always like to say: a BFM (dogfight)-BEAST!

This panel unfolds to reveal some analog instruments.

Gero (True Grit):
The Avionics are very complex, that is true but you can customize a lot of information to your specific likings. The content on the three MHDD (Multifunction Head Down Display) are interchangeable. A lot of the information that would be available at any given time are not always displayed. Only the ones that are relevant to your current phase of flight. For example, on the ground when starting up the aircraft you have all the info of the engines, the stores and an overview «screen where you can see if all is booting up correctly or things are still missing. After takeoff the phase of flight changes automatically and the engine page disappears and is replaced by a Radar page.

In flight you will have under nominal conditions no engine or hydraulic information on the MHDD. Because there is no necessity. Instead you have two Radar pages and the Map page. Of course, you can at any time switch through all the available info if you want to. The Typhoon information handling concept is designed to give the pilot only the information he needs at a specific time so that you can concentrate on the important stuff. So, you can see that there is a lot of detailed programming needed and that is what we are doing right now.

On Typhoon, a panel can hide another one.

 

Checksix:
How would you start a combat, or what advantages of the Typhoon would you use against various planes?

Tom (True Grit):
Be exactly on corner speed 😉

That is a very complex discussion and depends on many things. And it touches definitely classified info. So I would rather skip that question at this time and leave the discussion for a later time when the Typhoon is released and first experiences are made.

 

Checksix:
And to conclude, what’s your best memory, while handling the real Eurofighter? And to conclude, what’s your best memory, while handling the real Typhoon?

Gero (True Grit):
There are so many best memory moments in flying the Typhoon that it is difficult to answer. From a pure pilot point of view the Thrust to Weight ratio is every time the absolute best thing that can happen to you. If you had a slow or bad start into your working day, just get into the Typhoon, plug the burners and after 8 seconds going vertically into the sky hammers you a smile into your face and heart so that you are happy for the rest of the day!

From the avionics side it is also extremely rewarding when you have a nice AWACS/GCI picture via MIDS on your screens, commit to the threat and have a great Radar and weapon mix to reassure you that you will be able to handle everything that comes the wrong direction on your Radar scope.

Or finally, when doing a dogfight against any very modern and capable airframe, the knowledge that you are sitting in one of the best machines build for this task that will support your fighting skills to the max so that YOU are the one telling the story about this amazing fight later at the bar.

Tom (True Grit):
Nothing to add 😊

 

Checksix :

Thank you to True Grit for playing the game and wish this young development team the same success as their military career.

1 Comment
  1. Develop Games
    19/11/2020 at 19:13 Reply

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