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JMBuilder

Physics Feature - Ground Effect

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Aside from airship parts (hint hint), ground effect physics are my second most desired feature for KSP. I'd like to be able to build proper hovercrafts and ekranoplans instead of stubby pseudo-aircraft.

To expand on this, the effects could also apply to part surfaces instead of just the surfaces of celestial bodies. This would allow the construction of even more realistic hovercrafts and could even enable the construction of custom ramjets via air compression structures built around engines.

Edited by JMBuilder

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6 hours ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

It's not that it's a bad idea, just maybe not the highest priority in a game primarily about space travel.

This, and making changes to the physics engine over here, might have catastrophic effects over there.  

Side question though.... do hover craft really employ the ground effect? 

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1 hour ago, Gargamel said:

This, and making changes to the physics engine over here, might have catastrophic effects over there.  

Side question though.... do hover craft really employ the ground effect? 

Well, sort of. Riding on a pocket of air uses ground effect to a degree.

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Part of the issue here is just that the physics of air cushion vehicles across different flight regimes is not at all simple or intuitive to implement. Especially in a way that's not overly computationally-intensive. Remember, we have to be able to deal with people flying an Abrams tank upside down half a meter from the ground. It's not just a rectangular wing moving along the ground in straight and level flight with no sideslip.

Even FAR doesn't have this and I have talked to Ferram4 about why neither nuFAR nor oldFAR nor neophyte's elementary nor the spotlight-based errordynamics mod nor any of Ferram4's aero mods have it. Ferram4 said his attempts to implement ground effect either produced no noticeable forces or produced anomalous forces that were way out of proportion to anything sensible. Long story short, Ferram4, an actual aerodynamicist, tried several times and still didn't implement it because he could not find a way to make it work reasonably.

That we have seen at least six different aerodynamics models, five of which have been from the ground up, in this game and none of them have implemented this in a way that anyone felt comfortable releasing publicly suggests to me that this is not an easy problem.

Edited by Pds314
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