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i'm trying to make a siwng-wing fighter but the wings are a bit too floppy. I know that strutting the wings to other parts of the planes prevents the servos from working. is there anything else i could do to fix the wing floppiness?
The Tomcat has always held a special place in my heart. As a child, I used to rewatch Top Gun over and over and build scale models of the famed big fighter. Even today, I still believe it is one of the most beautiful and innovative airframes ever concieved and constructed. Even if it won't take it to the skies under US Navy roundels ever again, I have decided to give it a second life in the skies of Kerbin. Here is my replica of the F-14 Tomcat - the most successful variable-geometry fighter to ever enter service. INTRODUCTION: The "stock" part of the title is actually a bit complicated. In this replica, I've decided to opt for visual accuracy and performance over anything else, and thus I could not fit in a bulky stock bearing system that could handle the stresses on the wing surfaces properly. At the same time, a Tomcat without it's variable-geometry wings isn't a true Tomcat of course, thus, I've resorted to a different solution. Parts that make up the aircraft are completely stock and you are free to fly it out of the box. Swing-wing capabilities though are provided via a handy mod called DockRotate which I will include below. It doesn't add any parts or functionalities besides making the docking ports capable of rotation. I believe this is the best compromise I could manage. It allowed me to place the wing bearings in their correct position (I've actually read some blueprints to make sure they are correctly modelled) while maintaining the sleekness of the wing gloves themselves. The mechanism operated extremely smoothly and I'm very satisfied with the result overall. INSTRUCTIONS: The Tomcat has extremely comparable performance to my other jet fighters. Due to it's unconventional wing layout and behaviour it has a few small details worth knowing before you take it to the skies and buzz some towers. 1. Takeoff: This one is pretty straightforward. Don't use excess yaw and roll as in all planes in KSP when rolling, feel free to use flaps (AG6) and rotate at about 90m/s. Tailstrikes shouldn't be possible unless you have your tailhook extended which would be unusual for takeoff. 2. Landing: The Tomcat has some beautiful handling characteristics when landing. Remember to land with wings extended, with wings folded under 200m/s the aircraft may be very underresponsive, albeit in emergency situations landing with wings folded is absolutely viable as long as you keep your speed about 30m/s higher than usual. The stall speed depends on your fuel load but with about 50% of fuel (which is about what you will be landing with for the most part) sits at around 40m/s. Optimal approach speed sits at around 60m/s or whatever other speed that allows you to slowly lose altitude while maintaining mild nose-up attitude. AoA for touchdown should sit at about 10 degrees. You can extend the brakes (Brake buton), flaps (AG6), and the tailhook (AG5) if you need to bleed off speed. With drop tanks attached be careful not to slam down too hard as this can damage the tanks. 3. Overall flight behaviour: Some quirks the Tomcat has: Since it uses it's elevons for roll control it can sometimes take a few tenths of a sec to achieve it's max pitch rate if coming out of a roll. Keep that in mind if you need to pull up hard from a dive for example. Other than that just keep in mind that it's a big and heavy fighter. Also be aware that flight behaviour will change depending on the wing sweep: 20 degree sweep will favor turn rate and responsiveness at low speeds while folded wings will increase roll rate and energy retention at higher speeds. 4. Operating the wing mechanism. The wing mechanism is the central part of this replica. With DockRotate installed, AG1 and AG2 are assigned to increasing and decreasing the sweep respectively. Main guidelines are: - Only change the sweep when not maneuvering. After the wings are locked in position you are free to push the 'Cat as hard as you like. - Change the sweep at speeds of 240-250m/s and higher. Lower speeds will not break the pivots but they will put unnecessary strain on the wings. - Don't try to unfold the wings when they are already unfolded or fold them when they are already folded. One click of the proper AG will put them in their correct position. ACTION GROUPS AND FUNCTIONALITIES: Stage - Detach the drop tanks. Brakes - Deploys the airbrake, engages wheel brakes. AG1 - Toggle afterburners. AG2 - Wings folded (With DockRotate). AG3 - Wings unfolded (With DockRotate). AG4 - Toggle tailhook. DOWNLOAD LINKS: DockRotate (Optional, enables variable-geometry wings) (Thank you @peteletroll!): https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/170484-141-dockrotate-rotation-control-on-docking-ports/ CRAFT file: https://kerbalx.com/EvenFlow/F-14B-Tomcat Enjoy! v1.0 - Initial release. v1.1 - Some tiny details polished out, missing autostruts added where possible. v1.2 - Nose assembly smoothed out. v1.3 - Ventral fins aligned properly, strutting improved. v1.4 - Minor changes to the tail section to make it appear smoother. v1.5 - Changes to the tail section and nacelles to make them appear smoother overall. v1.6 - Aerodynamic improvements, top speed increased by about 5m/s overall. v2.0 - Major overhaul of the whole airframe. Airframe reinforced, wing gloves remodelled, wings refurbished to appear cleaner and more accurate, wing sweep corrected to match the real aircraft, horizontal control surfaces updated. I highly recommend updating your craft if you have downloaded a previous version. v2.1 - Aerodynamics improvements, antennas are now modelled better. v2.2 - Tiny changes to the positioning of the fuselage panels in some places to increase the overall smoothness. v3.0 - Complete rework of the nose section, the replica is now fitted with a cockpit which closely resembles the real F-14.
Grumman F-14 Tomcat - America's Favorite Fighter A few months ago, for the Jet-of-the-Day thread, I made a functional, visually accurate F-14 Tomcat. However, going back to it, I found it much less accurate than I thought, so I decided to return. At the cost of doubling the part count, I finally have a Tomcat that I'm happy with. The Mechanisms In addition to the visual overhaul, I redid the hinge mechanism to work smoother and explode less. The result is a mechanism that works smoothly in level flight, and is actuated by only two action groups (one forward, one back). The mechanism is pretty interesting. The solar panels in the hinge hold two RCS balls each, in two chambers. The docking ports (facing up) are actuated by the airbrakes between docking ports (facing down). The result is a smooth hinge that's timewarp resistant. The Arsenal The F-14 was an extremely versatile big fighter. It was extremely maneuverable when armed with AIM-9 Sidewinders, and could kill from long range with AIM-54 Phoenix. Long-range interceptor roles used a combination of the two, and this replication follows the most common loadout for that role. On the central pylons are four AIM-54 Phoenix. Like its real-life counterpart, this AIM-54 is a long-range air-to-air missile capable of destroying bombers in one shot. Decouple the missile and use target hold to home in. Earlier versions of this missile were capable of killing planes from kilometers away (in KSP, IRL it had much more range). To complement the jet rockets, there are a pair of unguided missile types. The inner wing pylon holds AIM-7 Sparrow missiles, and the outer one holds AIM-9 Sidewinders. To extend the range, there are a pair of drop tanks as well. More Information In addition to the accurate weapons loadout, I spent a lot of time making sure that the craft would look and function the same as an actual F-14. The variable incidence wings are fully functional, and are actuated by action groups. This is mostly non-problematic, and the wings dock back without incident, provided that the transition is done in level flight. The focus for this project was extreme visual accuracy, so the craft is extremely draggy. Because of this, expect top speeds of about 100m/s with afterburner, and about 170 with burners lit. I expect that it will perform much better in FAR, but have not tested it. Fitting to the real Tomcat, this replica is significantly more maneuverable with wings forward, and a bit faster with the wings swept. Action Groups 1 - sweep wings backward2 - sweep wings forward9 - toggle engines0 - toggle afterburnerRCS - body spoilersABORT - tailhookG - gear + gear bays Download https://kerbalx.com/servo/Grumman-F-14-Tomcat Enjoy!
Stock 1:1 F-14 Tomcat The F-14 Tomcat is one of the most iconic U.S. fighters, ranking along the P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, and the F-4 Phantom in the lists of the greatest fighters of all time. Its wide versatility, immediately recognizable swing-wing, and appearance in Top Gun add to its appeal. In the air, the F-14 was a Mach 2.2, carrier based fighter-bomber designed with experience fighting MiGs in Vietnam. As a capable dogfighter, the F-14 earned 160 kills versus only 10 losses to enemy fire in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. And now, finally to you, so you can take the highway to the danger zone while reliving tales of aerial combat and trial by fire. This is a 1:1 scale replica of the F-14 Tomcat, complete with a pair of air-to-air missiles and swing wings. Controlling the wings is simple. Simple use action group 1 to toggle the wings forward, and action group 2 to toggle them backward. Note that you have to stage to release the wings first. Most of the time, the wings should snap into position by themselves, but sometimes you have to adjust the limit on the airbrakes manually in order to move the docking ports so that it docks. The F-14 can be flown without/halfway docked wings, but landing and time warp are discouraged. Takeoff is really simple. Pitch-up at 40m/s and it's off like a rocket. Landing is much harder. To land safely, come in really hot, at full throttle (non-afterburning), above 120m/s at a low glideslope. As soon as the wheels stick, kill the throttle and brake hard, and it comes to a stop quickly. Guide for Aerial Combat: Due to the magic of Target Hold on SAS, it is very easy to control a large number of craft in the air at the same time. When I was flying my dogfights, I had a single "lead" aircraft that each of the other craft were targeting. This made flying the entire swarm around very easy, once they made it into the air. Getting five planes airborne at the same time was a feat in and of itself. My method is extremely quick, and requires lining up aircraft slightly farther apart than their takeoff roll (this is extremely easy with the F-14s, which take off in under 200m). The intent is so that as soon as you lift off with one craft, you are passing over the next one in line (within 200m), so the entire chain takes off before the lead plane passes the end of the runway. From there, it is merely a matter of maintaining speeds (ideally, they should be equal, but 2-3m/s is excusable) so that one plane doesn't turn into a guided missile. From there, simply have the lead plane make a hard yaw to spread out the chase planes, and begin dogfighting. In order to fire the missiles, decouple them and select the target and the target hold on SAS. After you have done that, you can switch back to the F-14 and continue flying. The missiles are fire-and-forget, so multiple can be targeting a plane at the same time. This can lead to swarms of missiles chasing their target, as for what they lose in accuracy, they make up for in flight time. Often, unless the probe core is destroyed, they will follow their target all the way to the ground. I am also including the F-5 (or MiG-28, if that suits your fancy), as it has a very comparable top speed, and is armed with two unguided rockets. They can make excellent target dummies adversaries in dogfights. Download Links: F-14: https://kerbalx.com/servo/F-14-Tomcat F-5: https://kerbalx.com/servo/F-5-Freedom-Fighter I would like to give a massive thanks to the people upon whose shoulders this was built on, first and foremost @Torquimedes for his own amazing stock F-14, which inspired me to begin building swing-wing aircraft in the first place, and also to @Jon144 for designing the bearing which I ultimately used on the F-14 wings. Enjoy! -Servo