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Ground_Effect_25.png

Make hitting the ground a challenge

A runway is a death trap designed to kill pilots who do not understand the concept of Ground Effect, a phenomenon created by communists to allow ships to fly with tiny wings.

This simple mod adds Ground Effect to the stock aerodynamics, by applying extra forces over existing wings. It allows ground effect vehicles (GEV) to work properly.

Features

  • Increased lift over terrain and ocean
  • Reduction in Induced Drag
  • Up to 200% more lift at closest proximity
  • Custom Lift multiplier can be set per-part config
  • Ground effect scales based on an approximation of wing span
  • Some GEV designs can stay stable without SAS
  • No significant performance loss
  • Works on stock rotors

Installation

No dependencies, and works on almost every KSP version, just put it anywhere in GameData (yes it's just a single DLL). CKAN and Spacedock links coming soon?

[Latest Github Release]

Is it working?

Check the developer console, and it should say "CraftName has entered Ground Effect."

Notes

Wing span is roughly calculated by getting the largest value of a lifting surface's distance from the COM, scaled by how perpendicular the wing's position is with it's velocity. It's pretty complicated to understand, it's better explained in the source, but I put this in because it allows rotating vessels to work, such as non-DLC stock propellers. This mechanic can be abused for very slow aircraft :)

There may be a few problems with Breaking Ground rotors, or any mod that has moving parts on the same vessel, as wing span calculations are done per-vessel.

Tested to work with the following aerodynamics-related mods:

  • Procedural Wings
  • Bulleted List Extender Continued

May unknowingly clash with other installed mods. No FAR compatibility planned; I was working on it for a while but it was really messy, and why make an aerodynamics mod for an aerodynamics mod?

Development Thread

Media

Spoiler

Demonstration video

Floatiness over the runway
https://gfycat.com/slowordinaryamericancreamdraft

Test of old version
https://gfycat.com/HoarseFixedGroundbeetle

Why call it ground effect vehicle when it only goes over water?
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Awesome Ekranoplan pics from @Sebastiaz
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Edited by Capital_Asterisk
Updated KSP version
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This looks awesome! I might give it a go...

16 hours ago, FellipeC said:

BTW, why not compiled to the last KSP version?

Since it says [1.3+] in the title, I'd assume it's compiled for 1.3.x as well as 1.4.x, 1.5.x, and 1.6.x.

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On 4/8/2019 at 8:38 AM, RealKerbal3x said:

This looks awesome! I might give it a go...

Since it says [1.3+] in the title, I'd assume it's compiled for 1.3.x as well as 1.4.x, 1.5.x, and 1.6.x.

Tested in 1.6, working fine and makes landings more interesting, but did not change things in a a way that disrupt my auto pilot. 10/10 will keep installed 

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On 4/9/2019 at 10:12 AM, FellipeC said:

Tested in 1.6, working fine and makes landings more interesting, but did not change things in a a way that disrupt my auto pilot. 10/10 will keep installed 

Is interesting a good thing, or bad thing? Does it make landings easier for you, or more difficult?

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6 hours ago, Errol said:

Is interesting a good thing, or bad thing? Does it make landings easier for you, or more difficult?

Depends on craft. Heavy and fast shuttles are easier to land as they then do flare better with the lift boost of the ground effect. On the other hand, light propeller planes needs to bleed more speed, and it may make the landing a bit difficult if coming high and hot.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/6/2019 at 8:09 AM, linuxgurugamer said:

@Capital_Asterisk What's the state of this mod?  I don't see any updates on Github for at least 6 months.  I am wondering if you are going to continue this when 1.8 comes out, it will most likely need a recompile if nothing else at that time (new version of Unity)

Just confirmed it still works in 1.8 without any recompilation, at least on Linux. The mod is too simple to break easily, being only a bit of vector math with no dependencies. There isn't really anything to add, besides supporting ground-effecting off of 90 degree surfaces, like sides of cliffs or buildings, which isn't really necessary.

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I just saw this for the first time, gotta give it a try.  Great timing, too - my current career just got a test contract for the rapier, so I'm back in the spaceplane business as long as I don't test a rapier on the surface of Mun.

 

EDIT: Took one of my standard spaceplanes up for a quick spin - didn't even go to LKO, just took off, flew around to burn off the oxidizer & came back to land.  Take off felt smoother than usual, and then on landing, I definitely floated for longer than normal.  Felt more like it should, actually - I had a pretty steep descent & it tapered off rapidly as I got within a few meters of the runway with just barely a flare on my part.  Nice job @Capital_Asterisk

Edited by Cavscout74
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1 hour ago, IkranMakto said:

Breaking Ground helicopter/propeller/fan blade. Part of a rotor. 

Ok.  In order for those to work as you expect, this mod would be extremely inefficient and slow down the computer.  It's only doing a single sample of height and speed, and doesn't know about helicopter blades.

@Capital_Asterisk Maybe have some way to tell it about helicopter blades?

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@linuxgurugamer @IkranMakto From the description of this mod it is easily assumed that it only works on ModuleLiftingSurface which produces the blue aero overlay lines. It was clearly only made to target craft that takeoff/land horizontal and have wings (see: no screenshots feature helicopters or other VTOL). BG's heli blades, however, use ModuleControlSurface, the elevon module. It produces the yellow (and pink for DLC features) aero lines.

Lgrypzo.jpg

 

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@IkranMakto @linuxgurugamer @JadeOfMaar

Going a bit technical here, the mod cares about both ModuleLiftingSurface and ModuleControlSurface parts. Just for reassurance, the debug console should say something like "ControlSurfaces counted for [vessel name]: 16."

It's not expected to work (that well) for single-vessel helicopters, like in Breaking Ground, Infernal Robotics maybe, exploited claw gimbals, any mod or technique that moves the parts in a single vessel. This is because of the way it calculates wing span. Oversimplified, it is the distance to the furthest sideways-moving wing from the COM. If you sit near the center of an airliner, and look out the left or right window, you'll see that air is moving fast across the main wings, horizontally from your vision. This approximation works great on fixed-wing aircraft and stock rotors, ignoring the positions of the stabilizers. You can make a craft that is just one big propeller, and it would work. For single-vessel helicopters, there's no good way to to measure the span. The calculated wingspan will be much lower, as the diameter is measured from the COM, instead of the center of the rotor.

The effect might be noticeable if the rotor is larger, and closer to the COM vertically.

The only good way I can think of is to have a separate wing span value for each moving section of the craft. This needs more thinking but it seems to be the right direction. 

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On 10/25/2019 at 2:37 PM, linuxgurugamer said:

Yes

I should have guessed. :rolleyes: If the radar altimeter says this is "ground" this is ground. Aircraft carrier deck isn't "ground"

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  • 1 month later...

I just noticed a big problem - drag increases with lift, while it actually should decrease. I removed additional hidden wings from my ekranoplan in hope it will fly faster close to the ground, but it actually flies slower :/. This mod made if fly more realistically (without those hidden extra wings it can't get out of the ground effect), but close to the ground it should fly faster and it flies slower.

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  • 2 months later...
55 minutes ago, Hotdiggitydog said:

I understand that the mod is incompatible with FAR, but what would actually happen if I installed both? Has anyone tested it? Would it add any ground affect into the game?

That depends entirely on what the stated incompatibility is. Otherwise, if it *worked*, it would be 100% compatible :) But you can always try it.

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/24/2020 at 1:13 PM, Hotdiggitydog said:

I understand that the mod is incompatible with FAR, but what would actually happen if I installed both? Has anyone tested it? Would it add any ground affect into the game?

It would almost certainly not work. This specifically targets the bit of each part that corresponds to the lift it produces, but FAR completely removes the part-based aerodynamics in favor of its own shape-based aero. So, basically, if you have FAR then this mod wouldn't know where to look to find the lift.

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