While the forums were down, I decided to try implementing an often-suggested but (IMO) foolish drag model; it uses raycasting and some fluid dynamics to attempt to model the effects on the entire vessel in flight. It's decent for rockets, terrible for planes, and maybe better than what's there by default; presenting:
Ferram's Raycast Drag Experiment
A demonstration of the pros and cons of this model, and why it really won't work in KSP
Get v0.1 from KerbalSpacePort!
Get v0.1 from Mediafire!
Note: this is not intended to be used as a serious, finalized plugin; it is simply a demonstration of the problems inherent in this type of drag modelling.
With respect to the current, stock model, here are the pros and cons of this one:
- Drag doesn't vary with mass
- Drag and lift vary with orientation
- Drag and lift are fairly accurate for very large speeds (V > 1,400 m/s)
- Re-entering pods automatically orient themselves properly
- Automatically handles payload fairings and cargo bays
- Drag and lift highly inaccurate at relatively low speeds (V < 500 m/s)
- Discrete modeling of incoming air requires large overhead or low raycasting resolution (and this is for only the focused vessel); at low resolutions strange effects may occur while at high resolutions there is a large amount of lag
- Cannot account for angular velocity of the vehicle; this results in no aerodynamic damping; all airplanes are unstable as a result
- Can cause parts that should be affected by the airflow to be considered blocked, such as a plane's vertical stabilizer when the plane is at a high angle of attack
The reason for this plugin's existence is to point out the unrealistic aerodynamic behavior of this model and as a counterpoint to the frequent suggestion that this be used to model aerodynamics in KSP. It is not intended to be a "usable" or "fun" plugin, but a technology demonstrator.
This plugin is not compatible with Ferram Aerospace Research (FAR) any consequences of combining the two are the user's problem.