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I was wondering if it might be an idea to add a wind tunnel to the KSP? Aerodynamics testing is pretty important, but it'd be nice if we didn't have to resort to the debug menu.

Tier 1: You only see how much lift something generates. Positive or negative

Tier 2: You get the torque overlay.

Tier 3: You get the drag overlay.

 

An ideas? Lift is already visible in the SPH and VAB, but I think not the exact amount? Taking a build to the wind tunnel could give you more info on the amount and surface areas, so it wouldn't be completely useless.

Edited by Tricky14
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I would like to have a functional wind tunnel. You put a vessel in there and you get it to kinda fly. Mybe it should be like a closed space with walls around but at the same time there would be wind blowing in the tunnel to cancel out any forward movement of the vessel, or sth like that.

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Just now, Tricky14 said:

I'm not sure about flying, but you should see the direct effect of changing control surfaces and such.

I don't think that would give enough information though. The lift vectors are kind of unclear to read. It's better to fly the plane first to see how it performs at different speeds, what's the turn rate, etc.

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3 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

I don't think that would give enough information though. The lift vectors are kind of unclear to read. It's better to fly the plane first to see how it performs at different speeds, what's the turn rate, etc.

True, but the vectors could be improved? This is just the debug menu we're talking about. Maybe more can be done with them. Or maybe it would be an idea to put the whole build on a pivot or gimbal so you could still test its roll rate, dive rate. Instead of firing the engine, you would control the speed of the fan so you could also see when you're stalling and such.

Man, this could be pretty fun.

Edited by Tricky14
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1 minute ago, Tricky14 said:

True, but the vectors could be improved? This is just the debug menu we're talking about. Maybe more can be done with them. Or maybe it would be an idea to put the whole build on a pivot or gimbal so you could still test its roll rate, dive rate. Instead of firing the engine, you would control the speed of the fan so you could also see when you're stalling and such.

Man, this could be pretty fun.

I agree. This could also work really nice.

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Most of us ksp players don't know what drag means n' stuff so like maybe a timed thing probably 1 minute time and a screen that will probably say how it will fly and it should get more accurate as you tier it up like:

Tier 1: This _CraftName_ will probably fly, This _CraftName_ will probably not fly.

Tier 2: This _CraftName_ has a _Random%_ chance of flying

Tier  3: Much more accurate Version of Tier 2

Edited by Gauga159
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1 hour ago, Gauga159 said:

Most of us ksp players don't know what drag means n' stuff

W7MiQHa.jpg

 

Seriously though, you're right and it's because that hasn't really been part of the game in an explanatory sort of way so far. Mostly KSP is about orbital mechanics and they're explained pretty well. The wind tunnel would be an opportunity to further help explain the principles of flight.

Edited by Tricky14
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hmm..  I'll start thinking about this a bit more thoroughly later. My first impression about this topic is: "cool but a bit complicated solution for our wishes". for instance:

On 4/29/2016 at 6:35 PM, Armisael said:

Wind tunnels would be useful even for rockets. There isn't a good way to look at reentry stability right now, and it'd be fantastic to have some way to see if your ship will stay safely behind heatshields.

This can be done by only having a drag force option in the SPH (like the lift).  (flight direction is towards the hangar door so you can change the angle of attack with respect to the flying direction to see how the drag behaves)

43 minutes ago, The_Rocketeer said:

I see rocket ascent applications for this also - knowing how fast u can go at what pressures without experiencing top-drag instability would be very useful for early career rockets with draggy payloads on top of spindly boosters.

This kinda depends on the shifting center of mass while your fuel is being used. The wind tunnel wont save you :wink:

 

Imo the main problem is:

All the lift forces in the SPH are gathered in a center of lift. Which usually is fine, but it's not the best to perfect your craft.. An option to switch this, to lift forces for all individual lifting surfaces, would allow you to "align" them, reducing drag. We tend to miss a total lift coefficient (mentiond ingame as a lifting surface area) or a total drag coefficient for all parts. For perfection as mentioned above in this post, drag should change when changing the angle of attack compared to the direction of flight (the direction where the SPH doors are)

These changes would effectively make your SPH a near complete wind tunnel.

With the exception of the aircraft's dynamic stability, and control ability. Both will change during flight with shifting weights and height. I'd still test those with the engines on in flight and not over complicate things.

pce

Edited by Knaapie
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Just now, Knaapie said:

This kinda depends on the shifting center of mass while your fuel is being used. The wind tunnel wont save you :wink:

No, I'm talking about aerodynamic stability, not shifting CoM. If the front of your rocket makes too much drag (due to flying too fast in too much pressure) the front of the rocket gets literally dragged off course and the rocket tumbles. We're talking about rockets with a lot of top-drag and a very high TWR, but the wind tunnel could tell u how fast was too fast.

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10 minutes ago, The_Rocketeer said:

No, I'm talking about aerodynamic stability, not shifting CoM. If the front of your rocket makes too much drag (due to flying too fast in too much pressure) the front of the rocket gets literally dragged off course and the rocket tumbles. We're talking about rockets with a lot of top-drag and a very high TWR, but the wind tunnel could tell u how fast was too fast.

how fast is too fast depends on atmospheric density. you need a wind tunnel where you can change this as well. Or do a test flight.

edit: aerodynamic stability will become more apparent when drag forces are included in the VAB and SPH, to solve your top draggy rockets.. @The_Rocketeer  and yeah, you're right I should have written this in my first post here ^  sorry m8

Edited by Knaapie
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1 minute ago, Knaapie said:

how fast is too fast depends on atmospheric density. you need a wind tunnel where you can change this as well. Or do a test flight.

Quite so. I nearly added this to my first remarks, but then figured actually that would be most useful to most people just for Kerbin ascents, and they are most dangerous (in this sense) close to sea level, so variable tunnel pressure, while cool, wouldn't be strictly necessary for benchmark tests.

Edited by The_Rocketeer
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Not to be pedantic, but the wind tunnel is there. Take a good look at the Science Center.

Now, being able to use it, is a different story. That would be great. Unlikely to happen, but great.

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Guys, why won't you use FAR? It displays and visualizes virtually everything you need to say "This thing will probably fly". The only problem is the lack of clear documentation.

 

On 29.04.2016 at 7:35 PM, Armisael said:

Wind tunnels would be useful even for rockets. There isn't a good way to look at reentry stability right now, and it'd be fantastic to have some way to see if your ship will stay safely behind heatshields.

Oh, yes. The wind tunnels that blow air at reentry speeds. That would be quite realistic.

 

Edited by Ser
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1 minute ago, Ser said:

Guys, why won't you use FAR? It displays and visualizes virtually everything you need to say "This thing will probably fly". The only problem is the lack of clear documentation.

 

Oh, yes. The wind tunnels that blow air at reentry speeds. That would quite realistic.

 

Cheers bro

 

thank Reynold

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4 minutes ago, Knaapie said:

Cheers bro

thank Reynold

Watched without sound. I saw mach 2.0 was mentioned. Where are the reentry speeds?

Edited by Ser
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7 minutes ago, Ser said:

Watched without sound. I've saw mach 2.0 was mentioned. Where are the reentry speeds?

this can go to mach 4.5..

More importantly: this a reentry vehicle being tested in a wind tunnel.  ESA's IXV..  The thing you tried to explain as being impossible.

Edited by Knaapie
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1 minute ago, Knaapie said:

this can go to mach 4.5.. can't be arched to do more research, but Reynold makes it possible to go at higher mach numbers as well

Needs another 1000 m/s even for Kerbin's reentry :wink: That's not the subject of the thread, I think.

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