Azimech

Real Control Surfaces: A study into the magical properties of the stock elevons

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Real Control Surfaces

 

qYhbCkz.png

Almost all controls in KSP run on mana. You don't need hydraulic, pneumatic or electrical power to operate elevons, landing gear, steering, brakes, cargo bay doors etc.

Not only that, all flight controls are immune to compressibility effects, something that has killed many pilots during WW2, before powered assist became available.

So I've built this ugly duckling to address this issue. Yes you can laugh at its appearance but it flies well, although like all airplanes it has a few quirks.

 

NtMsfYE.png

 

The only thing that might interest you is what's behind the skin.

Short answer: lots of parts.

Slightly longer answer: linkages, rods and lots of ball joints.

Long answer: elevators and ailerons are combined in the control stick in front of the pilot seat, the rudder is operated through the pedals, just like real life. Since we don't have a giant to sit in that chair, both have their own power supply, reaction wheels and probe cores. The reaction wheel of the main structure is disabled; its probe core controls flaps, landing gear and throttle. This is pure flying.

7p73U9s.png

oSU64UM.png

 

Is it practical? No. A bit of a hassle really. You need to change focus often, especially during take-off and landing. That's why I made the plane very easy to fly.

Here are some pictures of what's inside. First the control column and rudder assembly seen from the front.

XlDGj3g.png

And the control column seen from behind the pilot seat.

8c3Btqr.png

Is it perfect? No. This was my first attempt. I'm actually surprised I was able to pull it off. Due to space constraints the geometry isn't perfect, this means there is some coupling between pitch and roll. But the plane is very forgiving so it doesn't matter. The elevators are the strongest but only with positive pitch, The rudder is next but in practice you won't be using it. The ailerons are quite weak, especially at higher speeds. Yanking the pitch control helps the ailerons a bit.

uVcuO1j.png

Is it beautiful? Hell no. But it's stock and that's what counts :-)

Instructions:

  • It's best to steer the plane a bit off the runway, to prevent collisions with the tower. You don't really have the time to apply rudder.
  • Stage, only once for now.
  • Now look at the control column. Right click on the docking port and stick the window to the screen.
  • Do the same with the docking port on the rudder column.
  • And also pin the window of the MK2 probe core (the cockpit dashboard).
  • Now change focus to the right until you see a change in one of the window. Choose "Control from here".
  • Do the same with the other windows. You have to change focus 7 times to select the control column and you don't need to go further.
  • Go back to the main craft (the MK2 probe core). Start the engines and throttle up. Don't use the flaps, they're for landing only. It will take off by itself at around 30 m/s.
  • Retract gear and switch back to the control column. You're now in control.
  • Do not fly with SAS! Only with trim.
  • Do not use the wrong control input for the wrong column. Don't use yaw when you only have pitch and roll, it might break the linkages.
  • Same with the rudder pedals, only use yaw.
  • Due to the construction, the control column has a tendency to yaw a bit. Ignore it, it will correct itself.
  • Flaps are operated with action group 1, afterburner with action group 2. No, this plane is not supersonic.

Pilot fatigue:

Both columns use reaction wheels stacked into each other. Both use RTG's for power. You might notice the aircraft suddenly becoming less responsive. This means you've drained the battery. Control will return to normal if you don't touch it for a few seconds. I call it pilot fatigue. If you don't like it, go to the cheats and enable Infinite Electricity.

Have fun!

 

Craft file: http://kerbalx.com/crafts/34781

 

 

 

 

Edited by Azimech

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Updated to v1.1.

Changelog:

  • The ailerons have a lot more authority now.
  • Oops! Rudder control was inverted. Fixed.
  • Moved the CoM a bit to the front.

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Wow you've already got it working! Seems like just yesterday you made that steam engine!

 

I wonder if, to allow rudder inputs without switching, one could set up the yaw to be controlled by "twist" of the control stick. Of course that would probably make elimination of coupling even more hard...

Something I want to try at some point... Ugh... I need to stay focused on one project at a time, but alas, that seems impossible! :P

Edited by EpicSpaceTroll139

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15 minutes ago, EpicSpaceTroll139 said:

Wow you've already got it working! Seems like just yesterday you made that steam engine!

 

I wonder if, to allow rudder inputs without switching, one could set up the yaw control to be controller by "twist" of the control stick. Of course that would probably make elimination of coupling even more hard...

Something I want to try at some point... Ugh... I need to stay focused on one project at a time, but alas, that seems impossible! :P

Good thinking!

The way the control column is set up, twisting would affect both the elevators and ailerons. Maybe it can be done but I'd need a new design and probably more space.

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Yep, this is a woah. Gotta love that one form of mana has been switched with another (i.e. the magic of the SAS has been moved down a tier in the pyramid of control, it doesn't turn the plane, but it runs the controls for the flaps which control the plane) but that's the way it is. I suppose this is as real as you can get without the advent of an unsaturable (is that a word? eh whatever) reaction wheel back on Earth. :P

Keep up the good work. And at this rate, I'm expecting you the KSP community to pop out a calculator soon, we can't be beat by those horrid Minecrafters and their *shudder* space mods.

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15 hours ago, TD23ASUS said:

Yep, this is a woah. Gotta love that one form of mana has been switched with another (i.e. the magic of the SAS has been moved down a tier in the pyramid of control, it doesn't turn the plane, but it runs the controls for the flaps which control the plane) but that's the way it is. I suppose this is as real as you can get without the advent of an unsaturable (is that a word? eh whatever) reaction wheel back on Earth. :P

Keep up the good work. And at this rate, I'm expecting you the KSP community to pop out a calculator soon, we can't be beat by those horrid Minecrafters and their *shudder* space mods.

Interesting you say this, just yesterday I was looking at mechanical calculators :-) 

But looking at the complexity and resulting humongous part count, I'd rather invest time in further developing my mod Electronics so people can build their logic gates themselves. I already have sensors and transistors. 

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jesus christ, it's a genius.

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Freaking stop doing crazy stuff like this!

First the steam engine, now this.

Making me feel bad about my own crafts...

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My jaw dropped so hard it hurts.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaawesome!

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Posted (edited)

Amazing I cant evn fathom its just so    so    Amazing :o:rep:

Edited by KandoKris

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I'm speechless! :o I think I need to sit down and think about what I've just seen.

 

Cupcake...

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Look up the Ercoupe (a later builder renamed it the Aircoupe). It has no rudder pedals. The rudder and aileron controls are both linked to the wheel. Its designer wanted a plane as easy to learn to fly as it is to learn to drive a car. How easy is it? Jessica Cox, born with no arms, flies an Ercoupe. She also surfs, scuba dives, plays piano, has a black belt in Taekwondo.

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Another fascinating KSP work of mechanical art, hats off, thumbs up...all dat! :D

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Holy mother of jeb! i'm speechless.:o

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1 hour ago, MacLeod-Industries said:

Now add real turboprop engines!

Okay, wilco :-)

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wait.... Do those avionics, especially the navball.... actually work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  \/ there.. it looks aligned to the ground!

oSU64UM.png

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2 minutes ago, Hast5250 said:

wait.... Do those avionics, especially the navball.... actually work?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  \/ there.. it looks aligned to the ground!

oSU64UM.png

:-)

 

I did that for the picture. I could build a navball but it would be half the size of that cockpit.

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Just now, Azimech said:

:-)

 

I did that for the picture. I could build a navball but it would be half the size of that cockpit.

Cool! now we need to try to do that!

Realistic avionics for the wiiiin!

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1 minute ago, Hast5250 said:

Cool! now we need to try to do that!

Realistic avionics for the wiiiin!

One day I will build a sort of huge flying instrument panel ... with a few working instruments. I've been thinking about this for years.

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Awesome! what kinds of instruments? a navball, of course, an airspeed thingy? how would you do that? Some kind of altimeter, maybe it has a big pole that drags on the ground? I... have no idea what's possible!

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Navball, absolutely. The easiest. For added difficulty I could build gyroscopes to make it real.

Airspeed: doable.

Altimeter: without fluid dynamics probably not possible.

Heading indicator: yes, if I can convince a probe to point at the north pole.

VSI: same as with the altimeter.

Turn Coordinator: Yes, doable.

 

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