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[Stock] Grumman F-14 Tomcat with automatic swing-wings


Torquimedes
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I've read that the way to build this aircraft is with Infernal Robotics, but there's nothing infernal about this one.  It's pure stock.  

TUyh11X.gif

After building the Moller Skycar I had a notion how to make the wings work.  I started with the Skycar’s butterfly hinges, added wings, and removed the pistons which were so prone to breaking.  The wings swing fore-and-aft reacting to speed changes like a real Tomcat.  

I had trouble with the wings twisting until I remembered that Tomcats have "wing gloves" that fit around the base of the rotating sections, so I built those, along with the "wing deck" on top of the nacelles to restrict wing motion to one axis.  You can see both features on this Tomcat:

PFkmHMc.jpg

Here's the wing glove/deck:

dIeQUMJ.png

I thought I was done at this point, but wanted a go at synchronizing the wings as well.  So I added some solar-panel gear teeth to each wing hinge that engage in the center section, and another to restrict the arc of the swivel, and the wings move in unison now.  Here's an exploded view of the mechanical bits:

vDEFv38.png

The thermometers hold the hinge axles in place inside the engine nacelles.  The wings are attached to the lower end of the hinge axle, and the solar panels to the upper end.  The solar panels mesh in the center behind the cockpit to synchronize the motion of the wings as seen below:

c6fOHYN.gif

After the early versions were so fragile, I was amazed how simple and stable operation became after these changes.  This Turkey(1) ended up working as I expected and is also fun to fly!

Yes, I did listen to Kenny Loggins DANGER ZONE on a loop for the three solid days it took to build and test this.  But when Youtube wouldn’t allow me to use Kenny Loggins, I discovered DANGER ZONE by The Sinners.

Operation:

  1. Engage SAS. Throttle full. Stage.
  2. Leave the ground as quickly as possible to avoid injesting a squirrel and stalling one of the engines.  This plane can be squirrely on the ground.
  3. Watch the wings sweep back as you gain speed.  Snap roll or decelerate to extend them again.  Stir in afterburner to taste with action group 1.
  4. You have about 20 minutes of fuel, or 6 minutes if you feel THE NEED FOR SPEED.

Mods EditorExtension and HangarGrid were used during construction, but the result is pure stock, so it should also be usable on consoles.

KerbalX link

Mass 11.23t
Cost 60,916
Crew Capacity 2
Part Count 97
Built in KSP 1.2.2
Size 11.86 x 4.26 x 11.05

(1) Turkey is a deck crew nickname for how the Tomcat looks on landing approach with its wings and flaps and spoilers all fanned out.  And a play on the "Tom" in its name.

 

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7 hours ago, Dman979 said:

How do they swing?

The wings are separate pieces that rotate around hinges after decoupling at launch time.  As the pilot, you just hit the Stage button to ignite the jets and free the wings.  The wings' momentum will pull them back, relative to the plane, when you accelerate.  They'll swing forward relative to the plane when you slow down.  You can also snap-roll and their angular momentum will pull them outward.

 

3 hours ago, Redshift OTF said:

Wow, that's pretty amazing, I'll have to have a look at how you did that. You could always use air-brakes as toggle-able levers so you can sweep the wings when you want to.

Thanks!  Download the plane, take off, switch the camera to LOCKED mode and zoom the view inside to see the mechanics in motion.  That's how I got the views above, though I installed interior lights for the purpose.  

I did in fact use landing legs in earlier versions of this craft, modified from the Moller Skycar mentioned in the OP, but the lander legs were prone to breakage and made the plane wobble a lot laterally.  After removing them I found the wings moved the way I wanted to and the whole craft was more stable.

gyPo6hu.png

But, don't take my word for it!  Try everything yourself to see what almost works, and then tweak it until it's closer to what you want.  Maybe the pistons would work better if they were moved a bit.  Or maybe airbrakes make better levers as you suggested.  I also experimented briefly with landing wheels, but didn't get the deployment arcs to work right.  Maybe you will, and find that landing wheels make better wing pistons than landing legs do.

Keep asking questions and building answers.

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