In an surprise post on the .org forums (surprise because of how advanced the model seems to be already), Karl Leclerc has announced the project, which aims to bring the OH-58D Kiowa to the sim. In fact, Karl, indicated that he has “spent over 2000 hours so far developing an early-production model”.
Karl started this project with a couple of goals in mind. One of them was to learn aircraft development in X-Plane and the other goal was to keep himself busy during the pandemic. The project evolved quite nicely and he will be distributing it as a freeware addon for X-Plane, as he says, as his “contribution to the community”.
The project is really a one-man-show and Karl is looking for people to help him as alpha-testing is planned to start this Summer, with a first version, “to be released this fall”.
We should not take these dates for granted, though.
On the aforementioned post, Karl also makes an appeal to the community: he is in need of pilots to help him. Especially OH-58D pilots (you will find how to reach him in the paragraph below):
“We have a few experienced pilots that have already volunteered to assist with the alpha-testing. We could use one more tester (maybe two, depending on background). If you have real-life helicopter stick-time, are familiar with the X-Plane environment, and would like to join the testing team, please send me a PM [editor’s note: you need to be logged in at the x-plane.org forums]. The ideal candidate will have flown an OH-58D, and run his sim on Linux and VR, as these setups are not currently tested. But if you have time in small airframes (206s, 407s, or others) and care to participate, please contact me.”
Karl is also looking for good quality sounds: engine, rotor, wind, weapons and others. This is, of course, a very important part of immersion and it would be amazing if we could get him some quality material.
If you can help, you can also contact us (in this case, me) at [email protected] and I will get you in touch with Karl.
Karl also shared a few images, which you can find in this article. Please not that all this is still work-in-progress, obviously.