War Thunder

The video clip below was uploaded to Youtube by the user mdbuehler, it is only linked to this website.
While IL- 2 Sturmovik: 1946 was still the most flown PC flight simulator, while everyone was waiting impatiently for the followup to be published, insightful and capable people started their work on software which, with help of Oleg Maddox himself, got a flight model that isn't deficient as compared to the old Sturmovik, while it enjoyed the benefit of starting out with a significantly better looking graphics engine. Today, War Thunder is an online multiplayer game which, apart from providing the possibility for the player to try one's hand in the role of a fighter pilot, also provides the possibility of playing the role of a tank crew member, while adding the possibility of manning a battleship in online battles is ongoing at this time. To add to all this, a new graphics engine has been developed which will require OpenGL 4 or DirectX 11 support from the graphics cards on which it's expected to run. On the other hand, support for obsolete graphics cards has been provided, which makes it possible for owners of such cards to run War Thunder with a little less makeup.
Sadly, panzer generals and sea wolves won't find anything of interest on this page, because this website is dedicated to simulating flight after all. It has already been mentioned that War Thunder is categorized as a game. It's developers invested effort into making it fun for people desirous of fun and, as a consequence, made it possible for aero planes to be controlled with the mouse, while being viewed from the outside. On the other hand, daredevils who endeavour to switch off the visual aids such as the indicators and the HUD, who decide to use control devices appropriate for simulating flight instead of the mouse and who choose to take part in "Simulator battles", are in for a pleasant surprise. Apart from the phenomenons which are considered primary, such as the aerodynamic force, force of gravity, propulsive force of the engine, torque moment etc., phenomenons which are encountered only while flying flight simulators with advanced flight models can be perceived, which is why the simmer will have to coordinate one's maneuvers as a consequence of acting of the gyroscopic moment, the P- factor, the dehidral effect and others in War Thunder as well. The result is a flight model which yields sustained performance of simulated aero planes which is very close to the sustained performance said planes have in other sims that simulate them, such as the IL- 2 Sturmovik: 1946 and the IL- 2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover, while a small difference in lateral stability at higher angles of bank can be perceived with regard to stability and control. The perceived difference could be a consequence of different results the developers of different flightsims reached while doing research and calculus, or a personal impression imposed by improperly adjusted controls. The behaviour of the simulated aero plane at values of angle of attack close to critical is, seemingly, also well modelled, which makes it possible to fly spins and accelerated stalls, and these phenomenons can be properly modelled only with  difficulty. Damage inflicted by weaponry is modelled, and one can also perceive the interaction between the damage model and the flight model which leaves a good impression. Collision with trees that the forests in War Thunder's 3D world consist of is detected, which will oblige the odd simmer, well used to flying through forests carelessly in the other sim, to take the forests a little more seriously. It' s worth mentioning that War Thunder provides the possibility of manoeuvering smoothly when the direction of the longitudinal axis of the simulated aero plane is close to vertical direction, which indicates that the division by zero problem connected to use of the Euller coordinate system was successfully solved, while the aforementioned other simulator still doesn't provide as smooth an experience under the conditions mentioned. On the other hand, War Thunder doesn't have clickable cockpits, and the engine models, although adequate, aren't as detailed as in the other sim either. After a relatively short period of time that was spent flying War Thunder, an impression was gained that, should one decide to use it as a flight simulator, which is to say to fly it rather than play it, it's flight model and other important bits are advanced enough to provide one with the possibility to do so. Support for virtual reality goggles is also provided, which endows Oculus Rift owners with a display of the outside world and the cockpit that isn't worse than the one "big" simulators offer, as pointed out by the author of the short movie linked at the top of the page. With regard to aspects of modelling one might perceive as deficient, one shouldn't loose perspective of the fact that War Thunder is still in development.
The authors of War Thunder endeavored to provide executables for all operating systems widely used today, as well as for PS3. On Linux Mint 17, with Windows version of War Thunder running under Wine and OpenTrack 2.2, using the Wine game protocol, head tracking with six degrees of freedom was achieved. Using the libevdev protocol for joystick emulation with Linux native version of War Thunder, head tracking with only five degrees of freedom was achieved which, while it could have something to do with someone being too lazy to set things so that the maximum potential of what's available is used, is quite adequate for flightsimming. Those interested can find more information on War Thunder's website from which, after having registered, they can also download, free of charge, the version of this software appropriate for their operating system.

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