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Simple summary of wheel/landing gear issues?

Go to solution Solved by bewing,


Obviously my own "stupidity" rating is on the high side...  I've been trying (and failing) to piece together something understandable from all the discussion of landing gear/wheel problems in 1.1.2.  Would some kind Kerbingineer please summarize it at a relatively simple (i.e., non-programmer) level?  I have searched through a lot of the discussions on the forum, but I haven't found a post that explains it all satisfactorily.


Specifically, I hope to find straightforward answers to these sub-questions:

1.  I have heard that landing gear/wheel behavior has changed, apparently not for the better, in 1.1.2.  Is this a bug, an intended modification of the game physics, or perhaps a combination (i.e., buggy modification of physics)?

2.  Are all landing-gear type items affected?  For instance, landing legs, aircraft landing gear, and rover wheels?  Anything else that contacts the ground?

3.  Is there a known workaround(s), patch, or recommended best practices to minimize/avoid the problems?

Edited by MaxwellsDemon
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With version 1.1, KSP switched its Unity physics calculation pacakge to version 5 from version 4. This was necessary in order to get 64bit support, and because Unity version 4 is becoming an unsupported legacy version.

Unity is created by another company -- not Squad. So Squad has no direct control over that code. They can submit bug reports, but that's it.

The new version of Unity does not support the old methods for handling wheel and landing gear calculations. So there was no choice except to rewrite that code in KSP.

The first thing you need to understand is that in KSP version 1.0, landing gear was basically indestructible. An LT1 landing leg could safely absorb a 100 m/s landing (I know, because I tested it). You could land an LY05 landing gear sideways at 80m/s and there wouldn't be any problem with that. This was all very unrealistic, to say the least -- but it made playing the game much easier, obviously. Yes, this has changed, and is now much more realistic. Many whiny people say that it is not for the better; because they don't want realism, they want things to always be easy.

Yes, all landing gear types are affected, but in different ways.

Many people think that rover wheels work better now than in 1.0.5. There are more settings now, and you have to tweak them to suit your needs. In low-G environments, you need to set "Friction Control" to manual, and turn it up really high, for example. Rover wheels do not tend to flip your rover over nearly so easily now. Rovers tend to spin out now, instead of flipping. This is a good thing. Automatic friction control may have a few bugs, because it's automatic. Traction control uses the brakes to keep each wheel from sliding. In automatic mode, sometimes all this braking causes your rover to not have enough horsepower to climb hills, and you need to turn it off. We are all testing this stuff out, and nobody can provide you a definitive list on what settings to use for all occasions. One possible issue with rover wheels is that they may pop/break too easily now. Another issue is that people tend to "clip" rover wheels when they design rovers. That is, they tend to use the "move" gizmo to attach rover wheels in aesthetic ways. Doing this will make your wheels not work.

The LY01 and LY05 landing gear are fragile and delicate now. Let me simply say that they are only rated for planes up to maybe 5 tons, and you have to take off and land gently and slowly with planes that are designed to have a lot of lift. These landing gear are no longer indestructible. Treat them with kindness, or your pilot will be dead. Many players don't seem to be adjusting well to this new reality.

The other retractable landing gear are very nice now, I think. They take big impacts. They hold a lot of weight. If you have a very light or very heavy aircraft, then you need to adjust the springs for that. Lower for light, higher for heavy. Maybe the "damper" settings are still buggy. You may need to adjust them to stop your plane from bouncing all over the place -- but there seems not to be any rhyme or reason to adjusting the settings, you just have to try it and see what stops the jitterbugging. They also have friction settings -- if set lower, you tend to slide. You can adjust friction in realtime. If you want to stop on a slope, you can set the friction really high. During landing and takeoff, you probably want it set fairly low (otherwise, your plane may veer or flip). Generally, you want higher settings for friction and brakes on the back end of your plane. The "disable suspension" button does not currently do anything except change the visual display.

Landing legs have serious issues still. If you EVA and walk close to one, it may explode. This is bad -- everyone is in full agreement about that. The impact tolerances are pitiful, except for the very beefiest variety. They slide down hills. They slide UP hills. They cost too much for what they do. They weigh too much for what they do.

In short, if you are wise you will not use landing legs at all. Use something else to land on instead until the bugs have been fixed. I like to use swept wings. Or straight wings. Other people just land on their engine bells. Be creative.


Edited by bewing
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Thank you!   That's the kind of explanation I was hoping for.   So, as I gather, some of it's intentional-- it doesn't make sense for a 747-sized aircraft to have Cessna landing gear, so to speak-- but there are issues with the landing legs that are presumably certain to be patched.



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I just stumbled upon the landing leg problem.

My bases and vessels worked fine so far. No problems, except in one case the whole thing (a mining rig connected via KAS to a landed cruiser) was slightly wobbling. But nothing happened. Tanks filled up, Cruiser lifted off with all legs intact. And this cruiser has had quite a few landings so far.

Until today.

Connecting a big fuel shuttle to a mining rig. Worked as long as all tanks were empty.

But working as intended, the tanks began to fill up, fuel as well as ore.

Hehe... so now I have a mining rig that is slightly tilted (managed to disconnect KAS in time so that only one leg broke), but was unoccupied anyway.

And a mining rig lying on the side with all solar panels broken (except the safety small ones) and two Kerbals awaiting rescue.

Which is no big deal, since I already have all I need in place. Surface to orbit shuttles, transfer cruisers for the moon runs, the works.

But now I need to replaced the all my mining rigs on Mun and Minmus. And I don't really want to think about the mining rig currently in transit to Ike. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. Ikes gravity shouldn't be to hard, since I didn't have any problems on Minmus so far.


Weeeeell... It seems I ran into the old "RTFM" problem. This bug (if it is one?) is known, apparently. Just not to me.

Oh well. I'll figure something out. Use something else in place of landing gear. Will not look as nice, but function comes first. 


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