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HELP! How do I turn a plane around without it rolling out of control?


VincentMcConnell
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The new spaceplanes are very annoying because it seems like the game is just not yet advanced enough to really handle it, but I need help with one thing. How do I turn around -- back towards the runway -- without the plane rolling upside down and flipping out of control? I noticed other people having this problem.

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Your plane is arse-heavy. The centre of mass is too far behind the centre of lift. Move the wings back a bit, or lessen weight/add weight to the back/front, or add more lifting surfaces to the rear half of your aircraft.

EDIT - Think of your plane as a set of scales.

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It is still a balance issue. I\'ve managed to make a plane that is capable of going roughly halfway around Kerbin, and I can probably make it go further by allowing spent engines to be jettisoned.

If your plane is slightly tail-heavy, it will tend to pitch up easily. Counteract this by adding engines situated above the wings, towards the middle of the plane.

If it\'s nose-heavy, it\'ll be difficult to pull up. Counteract this by placing engines under the wings.

That\'s how you re-balance with thrust -- engines above wings tend to make the thrust push it down a bit, whilst engines under the wings will make it want to go up instead. You can also re-balance with weight, by moving existing engines around or adding extra fuel tanks or structural pieces. If it\'s too heavy, add some more wings -- the Delta Wings are the best, and ALWAYS make sure you have enough control surfaces to ensure maneuverability.

If it\'s too hard to pitch up or down or perform a roll, add more horizontal control surfaces -- ailerons/elevators -- and if it\'s too hard to turn left/right (yaw), add vertical control surfaces (rudders).

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If you have canards get rid of them. Canard + vectored thrust engine results in Su-30MKI style supermaneuverability which allows you to perform post-stall moves like flying forward with engine pointed in all kind of wield angles:

fvfcsp.png

The problem is supermaneuverable planes cannot be controlled by manual control, you need fly-by-wire controls which is something like an Advanced SAS except it doesn\'t fight the pilot. It constantly applies slight input to control surfaces and engine thrust angle to counteract instability while still responding to pilot input. We don\'t have something like this in KSP so flying a supermaneuverable plane is nearly impossible.

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Also, try to stick with horizontal and vertical control surfaces; I found that having control surfaces on an angle makes the game use them for yaw, roll and pitch at the same time... so if you try to roll, it yaws out of control and vice versa.

I have found that with a lot of planes, it is actually easier to just roll until you\'re about 45 degrees to horizontal and then apply both yaw and pitch to get the turn to happen faster. It turns beautifully this way (or at least, the plane I\'ve tried all this on works well this way). The plane I use is quite heavy, with three sets of wings AND a makeshift tailplane, and five engines. It still manages to land when all the fuel\'s run out and the engines are dead, though. Gracefully, to boot.

I will make one more recommendation. SAS (Avionics Package) to keep you stable on the runway, turn it off to actually get in the air, then re-enable it to get you to a good 'safe' altitude, where there\'s room for mistakes. Keep SAS on constantly when in the upper atmosphere (rarefied air makes it harder to control the plane; you\'ll need a lot of assistance), and you can use it either on or off for landing; it seems to work pretty well both ways, though I prefer to land without it.

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I\'ve cfg-edited in a copy of the Basic Jet that has no thrust vectoring, and it does seem to improve the situation slightly. The problem with the vectored thrust is indeed that the game can\'t handle super-maneuverability; the vectored thrust \'forces\' the aircraft to change attitude but your vector is somewhere between where you are and where you were for a while which causes the freaky snap-movements and loss of altitude when pitching.

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The new spaceplanes are very annoying because it seems like the game is just not yet advanced enough to really handle it, but I need help with one thing. How do I turn around -- back towards the runway -- without the plane rolling upside down and flipping out of control? I noticed other people having this problem.

There are two things you can do to turn your plane around. Use A if your plane is small and agile, and B if it\'s large and heavy.

A. Flip your plane over on its back to change direction, then use Q or E to put it right-side-up again.

B. Tilt to the left or right with Q or E, then make a lazy, gradual turn using S.

Also, there are a few of things you can do to improve general maneuverability:

1. Turn precision controls on with capslock.

2. Press ALT-S until the pitch gauge is on the second line up from the middle.

3. Use an avionics module. It\'s like SAS for planes.

4. Put wings behind the center of gravity.

5. NEVER steer with A and D. Always roll 90 degrees in the direction you want to go, pull up with S to turn, then set yourself right-side-up again.

Hope this helped!

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it\'s also worth noting that planes dont like to turn if they\'re going real fast. anything 200m/s+ is unlikely to be willing to turn.

flight is a lot more challenging than space travel ya know. the real problem with space travel, is simply getting out of the atmosphere.

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1: Make sure you have adequate flight surfaces for control of all 3 axis.

2: Make sure your have sufficient lift to hold the engines up so they don\'t fall through the vertical, causing nasty pitch changes

3: Until you\'re sure how the airframe will perform while banking, avoid rolling past 45 degrees.

4: Until you\'re sure how the airframe will perform while turning, avoid pitch input while rolling

5: If the aircraft cannot get off the ground without running off the end of the runway first, it is too heavy or does not have sufficient flight control surfaces.

5a: Obviously if once you have an airframe and you go about making it heavier with external stores etc. this rule does not apply.

6: The keyboard is very unfriendly for flight, and joysticks cost less than keyboards

7: Once airborne, test thy aircraft... how low and how slow can you fly it.

8: When flying clean [no stores attached], without huge amounts of thrust the nose should tend to pitch right at the horizon, if it tends to pitch up even when trimmed the rear is too heavy and / or does not have enough lift.

9: Make sure your joystick control for flight surfaces isn\'t at max sensitivity [mine are right around minimum], but make sure the throttle is very responsive... when you turn throttle all the way to low responsiveness, responsiveness get very sluggish making gliding difficult.

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