Flight simulation developer Aeroplane Heaven has offered some new teaser images showcasing the textures for its upcoming P-47D Thunderbolt add-on.

The new series of screenshots reveal rivet patterns, stenciling and weathering all reproduced with stunning attention to detail – although marking options have yet to be announced.

As previously reported, we expect that the add-on will be compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX), FSX Steam Edition and Prepar3D, although this has yet to be confirmed.

The company has not yet revealed plans for future compatibility with Dovetail’s Flight Sim World (now available on Steam as an Early Access Game) and Lockheed Martin’s upcoming Prepar3D V4. However, they did report that they are awaiting the SDK (software development kit) for the latter.

Click below to check out additional screenshots.

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A collaborative effort known as “Project Recover” has resulted in the documentation of two B-25 bombers off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

Their mission, carried out this spring, consisted of mapping the seabed in search of missing aircraft and conducting the first official archaeological survey of a known B-25 wreck. While covering an area of nearly 10 square kilometers, the team discovered the debris field of a second B-25 that crashed nearly 75 years earlier.

The two bombers were carrying six men each. One crew has “long been unaccounted for” while the other was made up of five who survived the crash (becoming Japanese POWs) and one who is still listed as missing. [click to continue…]

You may have heard that a sequel to the 1986 film Top Gun was a possibility, but yesterday Tom Cruise set years of rumors to rest and confirmed that the project is “definitely happening.”

Appearing on Australian morning TV show Sunrise, Cruise stated that Top Gun 2 will probably begin filming in the next year, prompting the Twitterverse to begin throwing out plot ideas.

In light of current news and technological advancements, the internet suggests that Maverick will be monitoring drone cameras or solving the mystery of why the F-35 is behind schedule. Yet another premise suggests Cruise’s character Maverick battle rude United Airlines flight attendants on a cross country flight.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer had been stirring the pot in recent years, hiring a screenwriter in 2015 and sending out a tweet last year confirming that Cruise was on board for the proposed sequel. It has been suggested that the new installment will probably hit theaters in 2020 or 2021.

Click below to check out Crusie’s announcement and samples of Twitter’s reaction.

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Airfix has released sprue photos, box art and livery profiles for its forthcoming 1/48 P-51D Mustang model kit.

As previously reported, the kit will reportedly include “impressive levels of detail” and a number of build options, including flight or static configurations and the ability to represent different variations of the legendary D model – from the first examples introduced into service to the improved later versions. A number of weapon and drop tank options will also be included.

Two marking options represent “Little Indian” of the 2nd Commando Group, 10th AF, and “Jersey Jerk” (44-15152), flown by Captain Donald Strait of the 351st Fighter Squadron, 356th Fighter Group. The kit is currently slated for release in August.

Click below to check out additional images.

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Yesterday, MeierMotors GmbH of Eschbach, Germany performed the first post-restoration rollout and engine test of their latest restoration project: a Fiat G.59-4B.

The aircraft (MM.53278) is a two-seat trainer variant of the famous G.55 Centauro WW2 fighter which utilized a Rolls Royce Merlin engine in place of the previous, license-built Daimler-Benz DB 605, which was in short supply. This particular aircraft was originally built in 1950 bearing construction number #179 and served with the Italian Air Force Flight Test Wing as “RS-25” before being stored at the Museo Storico dell’Aononautica Militaire in central Italy. [click to continue…]

Martin Glöckner of the Hangar 10 collection has posted stunning footage of the world’s only original, airworthy Messerschmitt BF 109 G-6 taxiing with the world’s only Bf 109 G-12 trainer at Heringsdorf Airport on the island of Usedom.

As previously reported, the G-6 (S/N 440738) was built by Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke in 1944 and served with served with Jagdgeschwader 27 before crashing on May 29, 1944. It was recovered for restoration in 2007 and completed by MeierMotors GmbH of Eschbach, Germany.

The G-12 (S/N 440738 / D-FMGZ) was also restored by MeierMotors, being converted from a Hispano Aviación Buchón. The machine is powered by an original DB605 engine, although it is equipped with a QEC System (Quick Engine Change) which allows for the installation of a Merlin 500-45.

Both the G-6 and G-12 are currently available for sale with price tags of €4,950,000 and €6,950,000, respectively. Click below to check out the video.

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Lockheed Martin has announced the upcoming release of Prepar3D V4, which will reportedly bring “major enhancements and new capabilities” to the popular flight simulation platform.

The upcoming release is the culmination of over eight years of Lockheed Martin development and will boast a comprehensive baseline update to 64-bit architecture, as well as higher resolution visuals, more objects, increased data precision, larger scenarios and improved performance.

In addition, the new sim will provide dynamic lighting, rain/snow particles, global 3D trees, a fully reworked software development kit (SDK), and new default vehicles, among “countless” other improvements. [click to continue…]

Sword Models has announced the upcoming release of two new kits representing variants of the Lockheed P/F-80 Shooting Star – the first jet fighter employed by the USAAF.

The new 1/72 kits will depict the RF-80A photo reconnaissance version, as well as P-80A/B pursuit aircraft (later redesignated F-80/”fighter”). The RF-80A will feature six livery options representing aircraft operating in Korea in 1952-53, while the P-80A/B will include five marking options for aircraft assigned to the 31st, 94th, 412th and 416th Fighter Squadrons in the 1940s.

Final release dates for the kits have not yet been announced. Click below to check out additional images.

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The future of an F-86 Sabre perched on Blockhouse Island in Brockville, Ontario is in doubt following a failed effort to obtain funds for maintenance.

The aircraft (#23649) was acquired by #426 Wing of the RCAF Association in 1968 and mounted as a memorial to “all Allied airmen who lost their lives in the cause of freedom.” The aircraft is painted in the colors of the Golden Hawks demonstration team, which was formed by the RCAF in 1959 and operated until 1964.

The Sabre is currently in deteriorating condition and in 2016, a city report confirmed that the existing paint on the aircraft “contained unacceptable lead levels which would require additional measures during the pre-paint preparation stage to mitigate airborne lead dust.” [click to continue…]

In his upcoming book Messerschmitt Bf 109: The Design and Operational History, author Jan Forsgren is shining the spotlight development, production and service of one of the most famous aircraft of WW2.

Illustrated with high-quality photographs spanning over 80 years, the 272-page book offers technical descriptions, an overview of every production variant and details on the Bf 109’s service with every arm that operated the fighter, including post-war operations. Prototypes, unbuilt projects and survivors, static and airworthy examples are also included, as are rare and unrecorded opinions of Allied pilots on the pros and cons of the type.

Messerschmitt Bf 109: The Design and Operational History is currently available for pre-order with an expected release later this month.

Product Page (£25 via AeroScale)