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"Deploy" elevons on planes


AlpacaMall
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I use it to turn elevons into airbrakes to slow down in flight, but it can also be used to give your plane deployable flaps and spoilers to improve lift for takeoffs and landings, to help hold a specific orientation for re-entry or to mimic DRS for your KSC Grand Prix cars.

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When a rocket launches through the atmosphere, it needs to have low drag. When the same rocket comes back down to land, it needs to have high drag, or it will slam into the ground before the parachutes deploy.

So, while it is in space, its aerodynamics need to change completely -- from low drag to high drag. "Deploying" any and all types of aero control surfaces can really help with that. I like to set the surfaces up so they deploy in opposite directions. It's extra nice because aero control surfaces tend to be extremely heat resistant.

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, AlpacaMall said:

What is deploying the elevons used for?

A few things:

  • To use as flaps - place them near the CoM/CoL to add lift and lower stall speed, which can help with both taking off and landing a (space)plane.
  • To use as spoilers/airbrakes - in high deployment angles, and especially when used in opposing-deployment pairs, they can help to slow a (space)plane down in the air and on the runway.
  • To change the natural pitch attitude - this can help maintaining a nose-up attitude when re-entering a spaceplane, or inversely, force a shallower climb rate during the ascent/speed-run.
  • EDIT: To use elevons as variable-angle-of-incidence wings - sacrificing some lift efficiency compared to fixed wing parts to let us adapt/optimize AoI in flight (PAW slider!).
  • To induce spin - when done on radially-mirrored fins/elevons, it can be used to start and/or maintain a stabilizing spin on a rocket.
  • To control jet thrust without suffering from slow spool-up/down - place them near the jet exhaust so they obstruct it when deployed, and you have a handy near-immediate on/off switch to thrust.
  • As actuators - they can push things! Use your imagination as to what that can do for your craft.
  • Al the above, at the touch of a configurable action key, and sometimes, combined too.
Edited by swjr-swis
EDIT: almost forgot - variable AoI!
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