The MB-339, brought to life in DCS by the development team of Frecce Tricolori Virtuali, is having great success. It is the clear testimony of what perseverance and commitment can do, along with passion and skill.
The following are comments about DCS: MB-339 by people that flew, worked and lived the magnificent Aermacchi MB-339. They had the chance of testing an alpha version of the MB-339 at the Verona Model Expo earlier this year.
If someone asked me an opinion about PC flight simulators a few years ago, I would have probably replied that it was child’s game; that, even if sophisticated, it was still very far from reality. Now, after having flown with the Frecce Tricolori Virtuali… well, I changed my mind. The actual flight experience is always unique and unrepeatable, but flying the 339 PAN on DCS, especially with a VR headset, is the closest thing to reality.
The details inside and outside the cockpit, the details, the concrete sensations you live (G-force aside) are incredibly faithful and conforming to what you experience when flying “live”. Flying with the FTV team, I had a déjà-vu, a feeling I had almost forgotten.
I found myself being the newbie: the classic novice who jumps up and down, struggling to stay in formation, while the others hold firmly their position. After 10 years in the PAN and 2 in the Experimental Flight Department I never thought it could happen.
Good job, guys.
In the last 20 years of my professional activity, first at Aermacchi and then at the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, I was able to evaluate military and civilian flight simulators designed and built by almost all the major suppliers in the industry.
When I met the Team of Frecce Tricolori Virtuali I would have never believed that flying with a MB339 PAN simulator, designed and built, let me tell you, in an “artisan” way, would have given me sensations similar to those I felt the first time I flew on a Jet aircraft. Albeit, unfortunately, no simulator can instil the feeling of the aircraft departing from the ground and lingering through the air.
Nevertheless, the VR headsets puts you into a reality very similar to the one you live in the cockpit of an MB339. You look at your left and see your wingman saddled on your wing, or extending the landing gear. Watching the MB339 lever lowering with the light indicating the correct sequence.. All these details drag you into a “virtual world” that, when I started flying with the P66 over 40 years ago, I never thought it could exist.
In addition to the professionalism and the passion of the team about their project, I was also able to appreciate the continuous search for improvements. The questions that were asked me and the following exchange of information with your “gracious engineer” [Mr Bernardini playfully referring to himself – NdR] dealt with profusion and energy, showed me the “thirst for knowledge” and “curiosity” that are the basic elements of every successful project.
I hope to meet the team again and have a new virtual flight experience with the guys of FTV soon.
I got in touch with your simulators during the Verona Model Expo. I did it with great discretion; without telling I was someone who spent three years on the 339 as an instructor for the Air Force. I felt a little embarrassed. Perhaps I was afraid of disappointing the expectations and maybe look bad at the controls after such a long time, although in a “virtual” world.
So, to break the ice, I came back with reinforcements, former military personnel as myself: my friends Gigi Zanovello and Stefano Bernardini. This was a fantastic experience, the team welcomed us with great enthusiasm and an extraordinary passion. The work they did in that virtual world is incredible, it brought me back to when I was “Bianco 38” and to the flips in the sky over the Salento at the controls of this wonderful machine.
But for me, the most beautiful thing is the amount of enthusiasm and pure aeronautical passion that surrounds everyone coming close to team of FTV. It made me feel again the atmosphere I lived as an instructor in Galatina, among so many guys who were finally realizing their dream.
Keep it up!
The MB-339 mod for DCS can be downloaded from the website of Frecce Tricolori Virtuali.
If you want to know more about the project, check the interview with the Flight Model developer of the 339.