There have been only two official aircraft add-ons for SF, both being available from mid July 2005. The first is the A-4F Skyhawk, and the second the F-4J Phantom II. SF Gold has an additional official add-on, the F-104G Starfighter. You may notice that SF originally shipped with the F-104G, my understanding is that it was left out of the Gold release due to a contractual dispute with Lockheed-Martin, which has since been resolved, at least as far as the F-104G is concerned. The C-130 remains missing from the Gold version, however, but in all incarnations of SF objects are portable, so if you own a version of SF which has the C-130 you can import it into the Gold version as well.
Other official add-ons from Third Wire include the gun and weapons editors, enabling third party users to create new weapons and guns. SF is currently approaching 1000 new missiles, weapons, ECM pods, external fuel tanks, etc.
The other official mod is the LOD exporter, enabling third party modders to get their aircraft/ships/tanks into SF, using SF’s standard “Level Of Detail” object format.
Third Party User Mods
This truly is the amazing part of SF. As mentioned earlier, there are 1000’s of mods and skins for SF. It would be virtually impossible to list them all, and more are given to the Community, for free, on a daily basis.
The aforementioned “people with half-glass empty” mentalities often refer to SF as a sim for modders only. This is far from the truth, it’s just that as SF is so openly moddable that it’s relatively easy to create mods for the sim. People who wouldn’t have a hope of contributing to the likes of the IL-2 franchise, for example, can do so with ease for SF.
The modders themselves put an enormous amount of effort, often for little reward, other than the use of bandwidth from their site! You’ll see few complaints from modders, however, it’s their hobby and they’re glad to contribute. Mods made years ago by people who have moved on are still in wide use by the Community, a fine legacy indeed.
We can’t mention all the mods, or even the majority of the most loved mods (even in passing), but instead we’ll showcase a few “milestone mods”, selected by the Community.
Obviously the stars of the show are the add-on aircraft, but many modders work tirelessly in other areas that are almost as important, but don’t get to share the limelight.
Third Party Aircraft Mods
SF aircraft can be slotted into 5 time periods:
- Pre- World War Two until late 1940’s
- Korean War and the 1950’s
- 1960’s and Vietnam
- 1970’s/80 and the start of the digital computer age
- 1990’s and the future, stealth included. (Yes Virginia, SF supports stealth!)
Here is a selection of aircraft from each period, as voted for by the Community:
Pre-World War Two – late 1040’s
|B-25J by the SF A-Team.||Beautiful Me-109E by RussoUK2002.|
|Spitfire Cockpit by the SF A-Team’s Kesselbrut.|