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[1.11.+] Pitch Perfect 0.8


Booots
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With apologies to the great movies starring Anna Kendricks.

Ever get frustrated that your propeller aircraft don't seem to gain speed? Annoyed that mapping blade deploy angle to throttle can result in less thrust with more throttle? Wish you could just use the throttle to control the force of your propeller without finicking around?

Well now you can! This mod will handle all of the details while you just fly.

How to use:

  1. Add blades to any rotor. Make sure that they are aligned in the disc plane in their undeployed state and that increasing the deployment angle makes them take a bigger 'bite' of the air.
  2. Set them deployed.
  3. On the rotor hub, select which mode you want:
    • Thrust: Keeps the blade at its maximum thrust angle. Throttle the motor's RPM or torque to control your thrust.
    • Throttle: Makes the blade produce thrust proportional to the throttle setting. Set your motor to the desired RPM and a torque setting that will enable that. This is the default and probably easiest to fly with.
    • Efficiency: Keeps the blade at its most efficient (Thrust/Torque) angle. Throttle the motor's torque to control your thrust. This mode is likely the least useful unless you're trying to build a maximum range craft and even then...
  4. Fly.

For you extra 'Kerbal' types, the math is there to try to optimize weird, non-radial or conic propellers but I don't guarantee it will be able to optimize anything. The steps above are well tested but I can't predict everything you'll try. If something doesn't work, please let me know and send me the craft file.

Also, a caveat on my promises of optimization: this optimizes the thrust of the propeller blade, not thrust-drag of the propeller blade. At high forward speeds, it might be a few fractions of a degree away from absolute perfection. I'm working on that.

Reverse thrust is also roughly implemented, but isn't perfect yet. I'm still actively developing this but it's good enough to start.

Downloads:
GitHub: https://github.com/DBooots/Pitch-Perfect/releases
SpaceDock: https://spacedock.info/mod/2616/Pitch Perfect

License: MIT

Dependency: Breaking Ground

Edited by Booots
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Congrats!

Well right away I see with one of my record attempt planes (EM-64s motors and loads of R-12 blades) the controller pushes the blade angle way too far.  I always found peak speed with this craft at 62 degrees, but only after a long slow ramp up to that speed with a lot of time spent in the high 50s.  In Thrust mode, the controller jumped right to 66 almost right off the ground.  Then after a few maneuvers it seemed to get stuck at 53 degrees and never went above it again.  Reverting to runway, twice in a row it tried to launch with negative pitch (and tipped over and exploded).  Then back to the initial behavior.  I could not get it to repeat the speed record in that screenshot until disabling and manually using the settings illustrated.

Repeated with my Mk3 heavy speed plane - similar, blades go to a too-high setting too quickly (15° too high)

Try using physical time warp - typically I see the blades stretch out from the hub and start doing a bizarre dance, speed drops drastically, craft loses control.  Cancel physwarp and control is slowly regained - but the controller has become confused and seems to get stuck in a slower/lower pitch valley.  Not sure this is in scope through?  (BTW if you enable "rigid attach" on blades and hub attachments it seems to be able to tolerate 2x physwarp, but not higher - and this seems to come with a speed penalty)

Auto-feather on throttle cut is nice

Stall recovery, and dynamically tracking during maneuvering is very nice

Ah, maybe the reversing on launch has to do with brake being set on launch?  Is there a default braking routine bound to brake key?

What's the best way to help debug with details? Share craft, share logs, screenshots, ??

Edited by fourfa
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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, fourfa said:

Congrats!

Well right away I see with one of my record attempt planes (EM-64s motors and loads of R-12 blades) the controller pushes the blade angle way too far.  I always found peak speed with this craft at 62 degrees, but only after a long slow ramp up to that speed with a lot of time spent in the high 50s.  In Thrust mode, the controller jumped right to 66 almost right off the ground.  Then after a few maneuvers it seemed to get stuck at 53 degrees and never went above it again.  Reverting to runway, twice in a row it tried to launch with negative pitch (and tipped over and exploded).  Then back to the initial behavior.  I could not get it to repeat the speed record in that screenshot until disabling and manually using the settings illustrated.

Repeated with my Mk3 heavy speed plane - similar, blades go to a too-high setting too quickly (15° too high)

Try using physical time warp - typically I see the blades stretch out from the hub and start doing a bizarre dance, speed drops drastically, craft loses control.  Cancel physwarp and control is slowly regained - but the controller has become confused and seems to get stuck in a slower/lower pitch valley.  Not sure this is in scope through?  (BTW if you enable "rigid attach" on blades and hub attachments it seems to be able to tolerate 2x physwarp, but not higher - and this seems to come with a speed penalty)

Auto-feather on throttle cut is nice

Stall recovery, and dynamically tracking during maneuvering is very nice

Ah, maybe the reversing on launch has to do with brake being set on launch?  Is there a default braking routine bound to brake key?

What's the best way to help debug with details? Share craft, share logs, screenshots, ??

Craft files are easiest (at least if they're stock) so I can recreate issues at will. It doesn't use the debug log for much since I don't want to spam at every frame but screenshots could help.

It's interesting that you're seeing blades jump to too high of an angle. Are the blades 'regular' (do they emanate from the rotation axis and form a disc with zero deploy angle being flat in the disc)? The 'stuck' behaviour you describe could be what it does if it can't solve an equation - it will just leave the prop at the angle it was. It could also be that it's decided that that angle is optimal for high speed, which may not be the case for very high speeds since it doesn't account for blade drag in its decisions.

And yes, I seem to have auto-mapped reverse thrust to brakes in the released version. That can be changed in the Actions menu in the SPH. And feathering overrules reverse thrust so you can feather the props until you're ready to takeoff.

The blades stretching is out of scope for this mod. I have been considering another mod that will make propeller blades physics-less at high RPM and collect their thrust at the center but I want this mod to be a simple stock patch so people doing challenges can still use it.

Edited by Booots
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Just now, DownHereInChile said:

I update CKAN every hour, waiting for this mod to appear ;.;

Haha, soon I hope! I made sure to check the ‘Add to CKAN’ box when I uploaded it to Space Dock. 

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  • 1 month later...

Sounds cool.

Could you also have a toggle to add an auto-counter-torque option for single main blade helicopters?
In a single blade helicopter setup this would adjust the tail stabilizer torque based on the torque applied by the main rotor.
 

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Hi @Booots

I've been having a bit of trouble getting this mod to work.

My main issue is i'm not sure how to align the propellers properly.:confused:

Is there any chance you could make a short guide with pictures,

to show a smooth-brain like myself how to make this thing work right?:)

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7 hours ago, Spaceman.Spiff said:

Hi @Booots

I've been having a bit of trouble getting this mod to work.

My main issue is i'm not sure how to align the propellers properly.:confused:

Is there any chance you could make a short guide with pictures,

to show a smooth-brain like myself how to make this thing work right?:)

I found the blades are usually rotated 90 degs (if you were looking down the blade from one end to the other and the edges are pointing at 12 and 6 o’clock, you need to turn the blade so the edges are at 3 and 9 o’clock. One of the rotation buttons does it with one press but can't remember which. I think it was Q and E in the SPH but easy to test of course.

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