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WIP Beta released DH Super Gnat 0.95

The first, and the worst! Full mechanical swash plate helicopter

  1. Darren9

    Darren9
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    @cgjunk I missed a bit off in the over-simplified description, the nodes are blobs of mass and the beams are springs that connect the nodes together. So a beam has a node at each end and the properties of the beam, how high you can set the "beamSpring" value which makes the beam stiffer and can't expand/contract so much, is linked to the lightest node. If you need a stiff beam going from the center of the rotor to the outside you end up with the same mass node at each end, increasing the mass of the node at just one end doesn't help.

    I added a vertical plane on to the blade, I had to keep it symmetrical to not get even more vibrations so this seemed reasonable since the blade pivots at where the horizontal and vertical planes cross and I could add it with just 2 extra nodes. It looks too big but the horizontal and vertical planes can have different "dragCoef" values which makes them relatively bigger or smaller that they appear (or the same size triangle can create more or less air drag). There's something else to remember, there's no airflow or shielding, each green triangle gets full airflow and isn't shielded by others that appear to block it.

    Helihoriz1.png

    I don't think it will be possible to get rid of the effect of the rotor having too much mass but they'll be some magic numbers for the "dragCoef" of the horizontal and vertical planes in the blades that will help - I just don't know what they are :) I made it easy for anyone who's following and wants to test, just go the tuning menu and you'll find two temporary sliders to adjust them. Let me know what values you think works. (remember delete the old one)

    @Dyghaun Thanks, it should be possible to scale it up without huge problems, but a full size helicopter is a massive project, this small one is small, just a few little bits of models and jbeam apart from the rotor mechanism :)

    Twin rotors is the whole next level, two swash plates for counter-rotating blades (specially stacked like the ka-50) is super complex, and they yaw by differential torque/speed of each rotor (or tilting the whole rotors and swash-plate for the Chinook) which makes it even harder. I expect I'll try and make one :)

    I haven't forgotten making the controls more accessible/adaptable for everyone who suggested it, just need to get the flight mechanics fixed as far as possible first.
     

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    #101 Darren9, Sep 10, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  2. cgjunk

    cgjunk
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    Excellent! I'll give it a try right now.

    And regarding the complexity of a coax or chinook. Yes, I agree, way too complicated. Dont burden yourself with it. Maybe just try a simple helicopter like:



    :p

    It will go perfect with a red Bolide!
     
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  3. Darren9

    Darren9
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    There's already this one, beautiful, especially the interior. I might be getting my hacksaw and welder onto it, but everyone involved has to be contacted and in agreement.

     
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  4. cgjunk

    cgjunk
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    Sweet! That's an oldie, but a goodie. I had that one running for about a week before it went outdatded :(

    I need to double check something with you. For the sliders: does horizontal represent main rotor drag, and the vertical represent tail rotor drag?

    Just checking, need to make sure I didn't misunderstand anything.
     
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  5. Darren9

    Darren9
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    Just the main rotor, horizontal is more or less how wide the blade will seem to be, vertical is more or less how thick the blade will seem to be, it's fudged, and only effects air-drag but roughly that :)
     
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  6. cgjunk

    cgjunk
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    Ok, it helps me visualze.
    --- Post updated ---
    I've spent a couple of hours with it and really think it's getting better and better.

    Right off the bat (no adjustments), with the realistic config, I noticed that the need for anti-torque was immediate. If you weren't dancing on the pedals, that thing would get away from you real quick! I also noticed that the tail rotor was making horizontal thrust at hover, which requires a little bit of left bank in order to keep it over the same spot. This is exactly what a real helicopter does!!!! The only weird thing that happens is that the nose hunts left/right as the engine governor seems to let the rotor decay a tiny bit, which is then bumped back up..all this repeating at about 2 or 3 times a second. It could almost pass for lash or wind-up in the mechanical system.

    So, onto the experimentation. I messed around with the values of horizontal and vertical drag, all on the realistic config. The best I came up with was 266 horizontal, and 3.0 vertical. With these values:

    -I got an auto rotation that was very realistic (in neutral), that maybe gave you one shot at correcting a bad flare.

    -I got a realistic amount of anti-torque requirements at hover. I also had just enough anti-torque left in reserve when I really poured on the collective. That said, It might be possible to over power that tail rotor under some circumstances-which I think is fine. It seems to have the perfect balance of tail rotor authority at these values.

    -I did not notice any tendencies to over speed the rotors in an unrealistic manner. They could over speed, but just like you would expect-like when you tilt back too much at high forward speeds. And even then, it wasn't magical levels of over speed like before.

    -The left bank required to maintain a stable hover seems to be realistic (2 to 4 degrees or so)

    The only thing I'm not sure about is straight and level cruising. The heli seems to require a bit of left bank in flight, which might be accurate, but just not sure on this size heli. I have to hunt around for some in-flight footage to see if I notice anything. EDIT: A slip/skid indicator would be a nice instrument to have to help fine-tune straight and level flight. It's hard to tell exactly how you are flying through the air. Not sure how much of an ask that is though :)

    I'd say at this point, the biggest issue is the nose hunting left/right. Hopefully it's not unsolvable. I did get it to go away, but it required that I adjust the vertical drag to zero, which made the torque reaction disappear, and gave magical auto rotation properties.
     
    #106 cgjunk, Sep 10, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  7. Dyghaun

    Dyghaun
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    Guess there will always be some oscillation/vibration somewhere somehow...
    beam always has :p

    anyway, it's amazing how people are interested about this, for the real physics...

    about the other ones I suggested, I know they're way more complicated, but for darren that seems to be just another word for 'fun', so...
    but of course I don't want to bother him with that if he's doing more single rotor choppers, cuz id love to see a Comanche :p (with hellfire missiles)
     
  8. jazryll12345

    jazryll12345
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    PLEAS AD FOR KEYBOARD MOD:oops::oops::oops::oops::oops:
     
  9. Darren9

    Darren9
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    @cgjunk There were some serious issues there I hadn't noticed, I was testing in the fun version not being such a competent pilot :oops: To cut a long story short I increased the power slightly to compensate for the extra drag and it sent the whole drive-train unstable with the torque reaction active.

    The center of gravity was slightly off to the left so I corrected that, and also there's a slight issue with the tail-rotor, what happens is the rpm is so large for that it actually grows in size as it spins up. It spawns with about -5 AoA at 0 rpm and that reduces to 0 AoA at 2000rpm. For the realistic version, since there's more drag/torque now I tweaked it so when it's at 2000rpm there's -2 AoA so it's closer to counter the hover torque with the pedals at neutral (pre-trimmed I guess). If you loose rpm during flight though it'll change the tail blade angle slightly, I don't think I can do anything, except of have a much heavier tail rotor.

    I'll need to look carefully though the stock .lua to try and get slip values, I can't make any promises on anything that needs programming. The drag sliders are still there for the moment but they default to your suggested values. Here's another delete the old one and try this, thanks for your help by the way - I added you to the credits on the front page :)
     

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  10. PrimeTheBomber

    PrimeTheBomber
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    Buddy, that is just not how this works. If you can't afford a joystick, just get a controller or something, they're pretty cheap (and you already own one if you have an Xbox360), because in the end, even if after weeks of work a keyboard control system is programmed, it'll be practically impossible to fly, given that you need small adjustments impossible without an actual axis.

    Sidenote: In the future, please avoid typing in all-caps and using a lot smileys in your comment, and please proofread it before posting.
     
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  11. cgjunk

    cgjunk
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    I flew the new version around for a while, using just the realistic config (with the new slider defaults). The nose doesn't hunt around anymore, it's rock steady. Im glad it was a quick fix. I also noticed the power levels are more realistic... it tends to fly at 55-60 mph as a practical max cruise now (in line with an ultralight helicopter. Before, it seemed a little too fast.

    The trim you gave the tail rotor is very nice in a hover. I like how you still need to feed in more pedal as you add in any more collective, which is perfectly realistic.

    It really flies around like a dream now under power. And autorotation is still realistic in neutral. Truth be told, even though rpm decay on the rotor is realistic, it seems like it has a bit too much lift at low rotor rpms, but I dont think it is worth messing with anymore. Otherwise, any more adjustments to lift may screw up something else.

    Maybe I'll mess around with the sliders a bit more later. I need to "cleanse my palate" for a while because all the different slider variations are running together in my mind. :)

    And thanks for the credit!
     
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  12. Dyghaun

    Dyghaun
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    @cgjunk is now officially the test pilot for helos :rolleyes:

    I'm such a rookie I would never try auto rotating :p

    About the expansion of the tail rotor, guess it's the same that happens with tyres at high speeds, despite it being metal blades :eek:
    but that's not causing any problems right?
    if it ain't broken don't fix it ;)

    not having anything to add about development...
    I have an idea for fun:
    go into environment and reduce gravity by 10 or 20%
    now you can lift any car! :p

    oh, one last serious idea for @Darren9 :
    can you add little wheels in the back and a hitch at front?
    or three wheels...
    maybe buoys to land on water?:rolleyes:
    It has room for a lot of options:D

    also, is the turbo version going to be real?
    if so, it'd also be cool to see it's rotor get a different number of blades...
    maybe more, maybe less, I don't really know how the number of blades affect flight characteristics. But it'd be awesome finding out...
    --- Post updated ---
    what I really want to see thought is flight-capable AI...
    but that's up to the guys at programming and scripting, so who knows when and if that's happening...
     
  13. Darren9

    Darren9
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    I'm actually thinking add a machine-gun/cannon, they're also pretty heavy though. I hadn't planned at all for wheels or floats, it would need some major additions to the simplified lower frame. There probably will be a turbo, it's much more realistic now which is the ultimate goal but I still found it fun when it was a bit (more like extremely) over-powered.

    Anything except 2 or 4 blades gets harder, I put the center of the main rotor at 0,0 so the blades point straight down the x and y axis, it makes any scaling or adjusting the rotors/swash-plate simple addition or subtraction. With 3, 5, 6 or more some don't point down the axis. To get the co-ordinates that Beam uses needs trigonometry which is more time consuming and easier to make mistakes. I try to avoid doing maths if it's at all possible :)
     
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  14. MrWohoo

    MrWohoo
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    Alright man, thanks. I will experiment with the files. Just promise me you dont stop working on this. This is really good, and can lead to many more wonderful creations in the future :)
     
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  15. Darren9

    Darren9
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    Just in-case, be sure to get the one that's a couple of posts up from here, a few things have changed since that post where I mentioned you :)
     
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  16. Dyghaun

    Dyghaun
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    yay! guns!:D

    thanks for explaining more about the blades too :rolleyes:
    math should always be avoided, for the best solution is the simplest.

    keep up the great work man, love your mods :oops:
     
  17. cgjunk

    cgjunk
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    Expanding tail rotor?!?! I have to look more carefully.

    I like your idea for different landing gear. I was kinda wishing for regular skids, but only because I want to do this:

    :p
     
  18. MrWohoo

    MrWohoo
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    Sure thing man, you have a strong supporter in me. I am no coder, sadly, but if you need any help, just ask.

    Sidenote: I find it amusing to land on moving objects like the truck and trailer while the AI is in control. Also smaller like cars are challenging at best.

    Keep up the good work :)
     
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  19. cgjunk

    cgjunk
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    I just went through half a tank of fuel flying around jungle island, without resetting. Just joyriding, doing quickstops, autos, practicing precision landings, sight seeing. But just for fun, no testing this time (and no crashing). Man, what a machine :)!

    Back in the old days, I remember buying any pc game that said it was was a helicopter sim. All were disappointing in one way or another. Even X-plane didnt impress all that much either at the time, but it was among the better ones. The last, really, all version of MSFS were a joke for helicopters (stupid things were weird at hover). Not only were the flight models unconvincing, but the scenery did not do any favors. Both sims were more "systems" simulators than anything else.

    Who would have thought that BeamNG and the Super Gnat would be the combo that finally delivered! I think it's the mechanical feel of the heli, in combination with the ground detail on Beamng maps, just hits all the the right buttons.

    Gotta give Darren another round of applause--again. :)
     
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  20. Darren9

    Darren9
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    @Occam's Razer and anyone else who's interested in key/pad setup. I've added the option for keys/buttons for the collective and rudder (tail rotor), and also managed a simple app that shows collective, rudder and throttle position ("DH Gnat app" if you want to try it). I've changed the default bindings so it's rudder on left/right triggers and collective on left/right bumpers, that allows the left stick to be left for the camera, and the axis collective and rudder are still in settings/controls if they're wanted.

    It also allows to get into the air with a mouse and keyboard, not too much hope of landing though I don't think :) Here's one with the app if you want to try it (delete the old one).

     

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