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!
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.
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.
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)!
We are excited to share what we have been working on behind the scenes for the last month and a half! We last shared about how we are integrating the many unique aerodynamic features of the SR22 into the model, this has been further refined along with our custom engine model (which was discussed here). While refining our custom systems has been a top priority for the development team, our 3D artist Steaven has also been hard at work, making one of the best 3D models for an X-Plane aircraft to-date!
Our rendition of the SR22 aircraft has designed from the onset with the hardware customer in-mind. Our aircraft will integrate perfectly with the RealSimGear Perspective Hardware, providing the ideal home flight simulator.
The RealSimGear Cirrus Perspective hardware package will work out of the box with the new aircraft providing a fully integrated and easy to configure home training solution for people wanting to learn and practice flying real Cirrus aircraft. The PFD and MFD screens will automatically display the screen contents when the aircraft is loaded, all buttons and knobs will be pre-configured. This makes it possible to practice the exact same workflows and procedures you would normally encounter during a real world flight, including full checklist operation, flight plan loading and instrument approaches. This coupled with the extremely realistic engine and system modeling means that flying with the simulated aircraft combined with realistic hardware provides an incredibly effective home training platform.
Learn more about the RealSimGear G1000 + Cirrus Perspective Package here.
3D Modeling and Texturing Update
We have also nearly completed the 3D model and texturing process for the aircraft! The model has full 4K PBR texturing, with accurately replicated materials throughout (Even down to the style of fabrics and leathers used)!
Engine Model Update
The SR22 IO-550-N engine will be the most accurately replicated piston engine for X-Plane. The engine is simulated down to each individual component! Over the past few weeks, the engine model has been further refined and extensively enhanced in order to represent the proper behaviors of the IO-550-N as authentically as possible during normal, hot, cold, flooded and false starts. This is now supplemented by an extensive oil system and other features never seen before on piston engines in X-Plane, such as engine knock (detonation) based on real data as well as some unique characteristics pointed out by real Cirrus pilots on our testing team. The entire component-based simulation of engine, fuel, TKS and oxygen systems has also been integrated into a novel maintenance concept which organizes maintenance intuitively in the form of inspections.
Our custom FMOD sound pack also benefits from the advanced physics-based system simulation. For example, when flooding the engine you will hear fuel dripping from the cylinder drain port. On the SR22TN you will hear the sounds of the turbochargers depending on their speeds.
Electrical System Update
We originally discussed the Electrical System back in February, detailing the level of depth of the system. We have further refined, tested, and validated the system in all of its various modes! We have developed an internal physics model simulating the lead-acid battery and its various behaviors. The behaviors of the Alternators and the Master Control Unit are also all simulated. The electrical system is a low-level physics simulation, when a switch is flipped on the plane, instead of simply checking for power on the bus, the SR22 simulation actually connects the “switch” tying the individual electrical item onto the power bus. This new logic allows for the many different states of the SR22 to be dynamically simulated at runtime.
TorqueSim has a new website! Visit torquesim.com to check it out, our goal was to make everything easier to find and for the website to load quickly across the globe. We have split off the development blog from the main website, you can now find our development blog at blog.torquesim.com with our update blog posts and more.
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
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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: