Dev blog #350
Dev blog #350

Dear friends,

The upcoming update 5.107 will introduce three new airplanes to the game - the La-5F Collector Plane we already discussed and two new planes for the Flying Circus Vol.III Early Access program: the Hanriot HD.1 and the Nieuport 17 GBR.

The Hanriot HD.1 was developed by Pierre Dupont in the summer of 1916 for the Hanriot company as a classical biplane made mostly of wood with two-spar wings (the rudder frame and the nose part were metal). The upper wing had a small V-angle while the lower one was straight. There were 3 fuel tanks in the fuselage: two behind the engine and one more behind the pilot's back.


At first, the HD.1 was meant to take over from the older Nieuport 11 and 17 planes, but the new Spad 7s were already in use on the front lines and got positive feedback from pilots for their in-line engines. Meanwhile, Nieuport squadrons still used Le Rhone engines. As a result, the French Air Force (Aviation Militaire) decided not to switch to HDs as it wasn't cost-effective, and the acquisition was canceled.


However, the Entente allies found this plane attractive - it was more firm, maneuverable, and slightly better than the Nieuport in general. The Italian Air Force (Aviazione Militaire) was the first to order this plane. Societa Nieuport-Macchi started manufacturing HDs in November 1916, and in the summer of 1917, the first Hanriots were delivered to the front lines. By the end of the war, the Italians had 831 Hanriots. The Belgian Air Force, Aeronautique Militaire Belge, ranked second in buying these new planes, and the French Hanriot manufacturer constructed 125 aircraft. Belgian squadrons began flying HD1s on August 22, 1917, and they used them effectively, especially the Belgian aces like Coppens, de Meulemeester, and Olieslagers.


When the Nieuport 17 arrived on the battlefield in March 1916, it swiftly replaced the Nieuport 11. By the end of 1916, every squadron in the French Aviation Militaire had Nieuport 17s. Its superiority over any British plane led to its adoption by the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. The Nieuport 17 GBR was customized for British service with an overwing Lewis MG replacing the Vickers in the nose and Imperial system instruments instead of metric.


Many top Allied pilots flew Nieuport fighters, like Albert Ball and Canadian ace W.A. Bishop. Captain William Avery Bishop, of 60 Squadron RFC, scored 28 of his 72 kills in a Nieuport 17, B1566 between April 20th and July 20th, 1917. He also conducted an air raid on a German airfield on June 2nd in this aircraft, earning him the Victoria Cross.

The beta-testing of the new aircraft and many Career mode changes is ongoing. New mission types 'Advancing troops support' and 'Defending troops support' are in development. All night missions in all theaters of war will receive updates with new features that were introduced in the previous update. These features include searchlight beacons, AAA friend or foe identification, and night fighters. The newly added squadron, 32nd GIAP, will offer the La-5F and La-5FN planes from July 5th to October 7th, 1943.

The new update is planned to be ready for release the week after the next one. "Two weeks, be sure";)