LEGACY POST Developer David Brice, from the Australian house IRIS Simulations, tells
how he went the extra mile to come up with his impressive T-6/A Texan II.
Who are you, David Brice? Tell all.
I’ve been interested in aviation since a very early age. I am very passionate about anything related to both aviation and computers, having also studied Computer Programming at college. My current job as founder and Product Manager for IRIS Flight Simulation Software allows me to mix a perfect blend of my two passions, PCs and Aviation. The closest I’ve been to flying a real-world aircraft was when gliding with the Air Cadets, at a young age. Today I prefer to spend my time and money on a home-made simulator. 😀
What are the ‘Pro Series’?
The Pro Series is a new line of add-ons which is superior compared to our standard products. From early on in the developmental cycle of the T-6 and other oncoming products (PC-9, T-6B & AT-6B) we decided these aircraft deserved a deeper commitment in terms of depth and quality than anything we had done before.
About the development of the Texan: What made you decide on this particular aircraft? What access did you have to the real thing? What problems did you encounter?
Originally our idea was to go for the Pilatus PC-9. I now have a new home in Australia, and the RAAF’s primary trainer and display-team aircraft is the PC-9/A. From a commercial standpoint, however, we decided to cater for the stronger American market first. The PC-9 will soon follow.
Regarding access to the source, we relied on the input from UPT pilots and students, and on a long and arduous analysis of the T-6 systems manuals. MS Flight Simulator’s limitations played their part too. With considerable effort we were able to model the Trim Aid Device (this device in the T-6 manages automatic rudder trim to combat adverse yaw when applying excessive power at lower speeds). What we simply couldn’t code at this time was the PMU (Power Management Unit) which controls a number of engine functions which keep it running smoothly. As it usually happens in simulation development, it was an exercise in achieving a proper balance between realism and playability. I believe we have done a pretty good job.
It is mentioned that some elements remain “in development” and that “packs will be released”. Can you comment on this further?
Yes. We knew from the instant we set out to recreate this aircraft that some items would be overlooked during development (normally they are small things which go past ourselves and the test team). We will distribute fixes for those, and some major improvements too, in upcoming service packs. My goal is to incorporate a working ejection system, a PMU, a fully working GPS, and an even more accurate Trim Aid Device.
You’ll probably be busy for a while with that, but what’s next for IRIS?
In our immediate future we will concentrate on the Pilatus PC-9/A. I have been lucky enough to obtain a copy of the RAAF PC-9 Pilot Manual, which will allow us to faithfully replicate the PC-9/A’s systems and gauges. We are aiming at completion (or at least at an acceptable demonstration status) for the OZ Flightsim Expo, this October. We are proud to be attending there!
After all that, I have a number of products in the oven, including the T-6B, AT-6B and the E-2C Hawkeye, amongst others. Some busy months are ahead for the IRIS team, but the constant support of the community helps us a lot!
All the previous shots were taken in FS9. These last shots are from FSX, with the model showing off its native bloom and self-casting shadows.