Diazo

[1.3](Jun04/17) Automate Vertical Velocity and Altitude Control

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Control your descent speed exactly and fine-tune it in 1 m/s increments.

Found on the CKAN as Vertical Velocity Controller

This mod assumed you will use the Z key to control it. However, as this conflicts with the Set Throttle to Max command the mod is bound to no key upon installation

You can use the on-screen buttons to control the mod but the following instructions on how to use this mod assume you have unbound the Set Throttle to Max command from the Z key and bound the Z key to this mod.

The closest available alternate key for the Set Throttle to Max command is the Tilde(~) key, all other keys on the left side of the keyboard are bound to something else already.

Latest Update:

Version 1.32: KSP 1.3 Compatibility update. Localization is not supported in this version, English is still hard-coded. Localization will be added when this mod moves to the new GUI.

KNOWN ISSUE: Due to this mod still using the old GUI system, some computers freeze for several seconds the first time a window using the old GUI is made visible in the game. This should only happen once per game session the first time an old style window (from any mod) is shown on screen by KSP. Moving to the new GUI in the next version (barring any bugfix releases that come first) will resolve this.

 

Now, for feedback when your vessel is landed, the "Altitude:" text will change to a green "LANDED" text to indicate you are touched down even though the altitude is still reading a few meters of altitude.

Full changlog here.

Download:

The mod is available on GitHub here. (Version 1.32)

Source code on GitHub

Module Manager is required for this mod to work. Download it here.

This mod's icon will display in the stock toolbar if Blizzy's toolbar is not installed. Blizzy's Toolbar can be found here: blizzy's Toolbar Add-on

License:

Released under GPL 3 license.

What this mod does:

-Set a vertical velocity setpoint that will automatically maintained via downwards pointing engines.

-The mod compensates for vessel angle off vertical so you can move sideways while keeping vertical speed the same.

-Weight changes, such as burned fuel, are also automatically accounted for.

-Aerodynamic lift from wings is accounted for. (Tail fins on a rocket will generate lift even when they point straight up.)

-The setpoint can be set to the current vertical velocity or to 0 to maintain altitude.

-The velocity setpoint can then be modified in 1m/s increments. (Configurable increment.)

-Accounts for the presence of SRBs to make this usable during launch to avoid hitting terminal velocity.

-Should be compatible with all mods, please let me know of any conflicts

-Supports Davon Throttle Control mod to only control engines on Throttle 0 Details

What his mod does not do:

-Control vessels that generate lift solely with wings. If there are no downwards pointing engines, this mod can not do anything. Combination VTOL's work great though, especially in the horizontal transition as you pick up speed and the wings generate more and more lift.

Want to control your horizontal velocity?

Horizontal Landing Aid

Controls.jpg

TWR1Settings.jpg

Quickstart:

Show interface: Click the VEL button on the Toolbar (if installed) or hit Z to display the mod interface. Note that pressing Z will engage velocity control mode and maintain your current vertical velocity. Click the VEL button again to hide or click the bottom mode button when it is Control Off to hide the mod interface.

Show settings: Click the Wrench Icon in the lower right.

Vessel Tilt Compensation: This mod will compensate for the angle of your vessel and will maintain the vertical speed as directed. This is limited by your available engine power however, if you tilt far enough over that 100% engine power can not keep you up, the engine will lock at 100% and you will have to adjust your vessel's angle. (Or disable the mod until you recover.)

Aerodynamic Lift Compensation: Because of the approximate nature of how KSP calculates lift, rocket tail fins generate lift even when pointed straight up. The mod compensates for this to keep your vertical speed at the setpoint. (In tests, the stock Kerbal 2 rocket was generating an acceleration of 0.5m/s^2 upwards with a horizontal speed as low as 25m/s from the 3 control winglets.)

Keyboard bindings: By default this mod uses the Z key, although this can be changed if desired. Otherwise it uses the keys that are bound to throttle control, by default these are Left-Shift, Left-Control and X. This guide will refer to the keys by these defaults, but if you have changed which keys control the throttle, use those keys instead. These bindings correspond to the 4 top buttons (Off, Zero Vel, +1, -1). The Height Control and Operation Mode button have no keyboard binding and must be clicked. Note that you can rebind this key to any key on the keyboard, a mouse button, a joystick button, or a controller button. However, there is no conflict check, if you bind the key to something already in use, both functions will execute when the button is pressed.

Velocity Step Size: On the settings screen, you can change the size of the velocity step from the default 1m/s. Note that due to how KSP handles text boxes, you can not enter 0.5 directly, rather you must enter the 5, then cursor back and enter the decimal point. This is due to the fact that KSP 'auto-corrects' the 0. to 0 and deletes the decimal point if no number is after it.

Emergency stop: At any time, press any throttle key while Z is not held down will turn this mod off and return to KSP's default control scheme. Note that during orbital descent ("Free Pitch"), pressing a throttle key will behave as normal, but will not disable the mod. To disable the mod during orbital descent requires a double tap of the Z key. The first tap turns off Height Control and goes to Velocity Control, the second tap disable the mod.

Altitude: Be aware that the altitude reported is to the vessel's center of mass and so will report an altitude of a few meters even when you are landed. For confirmation you have landed, the "Altitude" text will change to green "LANDED" text when you are touching the ground.

Soft landing (Velocity Control):

Press Z to maintain your current descent velocity, once near the ground hit Z-X to start hovering. Leave enough height to slow down, this mod can only slow you as fast as your activated engines will allow.

Tilt your vessel to slide horizontally with your desired landing spot.

Press Z-Ctrl to start descending, each press of Ctrl will increase the descent speed by 1m/s.

As you approach touch down, press Z-Shift to decrease your descent speed (1m/s per press) and touchdown at a nice soft 1m/s or 2m/s.

Once landed hit X (without holding down Z) to cut engines and disable this mod.

Soft takeoff (Velocity Control):

Press Z-X to enable the mod and set the desired velocity to zero.

Press Z-Shift to increased your ascent rate by 1m/s per press.

Press Z-X to set your velocity setpoint to zero to enter a hover, or press Z-Ctrl to reduce your ascent speed by 1m/s per press.

Liftoff speed control:

Takeoff as normal, once you reach your desired vertical speed hit Z and that speed will be maintained.

Once clear of the lower atmosphere, hit any throttle key (while Z is not pressed) to disable the mod and continue your ascent as normal.

Note that this mod controls vertical speed only. As you tip over your total speed will increase as your horizontal speed becomes a larger part of your total velocity.

Height Control:

First, the desired height to fly to must be entered. Click the 'Fly To' text box and enter your desired altitude. Only numbers and special keys (arrow keys, backspace, delete, etc.) are valid.

Be aware that while the text box has focus, commands are not issued to KSP. However, pressing any non-number key such as W will cause the text box to lose focus and return control to KSP. It may take two key presses however, one to return focus and a second to issue the command.

Once the desired altitude is entered, click the Auto Height button to engage and your vessel will fly the desired altitude. The mod will compensate for vessel tilt (up to about 30°) so you can control your horizontal speed by tilting your vessel. Pressing a throttle key will disable height control and return you to the default KSP controls. Pressing Z will enter Velocity Control mode with the Velocity Setpoint your current vertical speed.

Height control can be enabled anytime the gray 'Auto Height' button is present. See warning messages below if you do not have this button.

Descent from orbit (Height Control):

When descending from orbit (or from a sufficient height), there is a special "Free Pitch" mode available.

To use, enter the altitude you desire to stop and hover at in the 'Fly To' text box. The auto height button should say "Auto Height (Free)". Click this and the auto height button should change to "Free Pitch". This effectively arms the Height Control mode to take control of the throttle once you are low enough, but does nothing at this height.

Continue to control your ship via the normal KSP keybindings to de-orbit. Note that pressing a throttle key does not disable the mod while in this mode.

When you are 20 seconds away from the height where the Height Control mode needs to take over to hover at the desired altitude, the "Free Pitch" will change to "Thrust Warning", you then have those 20 seconds to return your vessel to pointing straight up so that the Height Control can take control of the throttle to bring you to a stop at your desired altitude.

Height Control Button Warnings:

This button can display several different things:

TWR LOW: This means that 80% throttle, your vessel currently can not accelerate upwards. More engine power is required for Height Control to work. Velocity Control mode can still be engaged.

TWR HIGH: This means that 1% throttle, your vessel currently can not accelerate downwards. This is almost exclusively caused by the presence of Solid Rocket Boosters. Height Control can not engage until the SRBs are expended. Velocity Control mode can still be engaged.

Note that if either TWR HIGH or LOW become true when Height Control mode has been engaged, control will revert to Velocity Control with a setpoint of 0 so the craft will attempt to hover until you can correct the situation.

Auto Height (gray text): Height Control is not currently engaged (although Velocity Control may). Click to activate Height Control mode.

Auto Height (Free) (gray text): Your altitude is high enough that entering Height Control mode will be in the orbital descent "Free Pitch" mode, leaving you with throttle control

Auto Height (Now) (gray text): Your altitude is such that Height Control will take control of the throttle as soon as you enter it.

Auto Height (Thrust) (gray text): Your altitude is such that Height Control will take control of the throttle as soon as you enter it, but you are in the 20 second buffer zone between Free Pitch mode and Normal Height Control mode.

In Auto: Height Control mode has control of the ship and everything is normal. You may pitch the vessel up to 35° off vertical for horizontal speed control and the Height Control mode will automatically adjust your vertical velocity to compensate.

OVER PITCH: (Over Pitch in yellow text.) This is a warning condition that the vessel is greater the 35° off vertical and Height Control may not be able to compensate for that pitch angle. Height Control will still attempt to however and if you return to less then 35° off vertical, Height Control will be able to recover and return your vessel to the desired altitude.

Free Pitch: This is a special condition that is only present during long descents, usually from orbit. When this mode is displayed you have full control of your vessel, including the throttle. During this time, pressing a throttle key controls the throttle and does not disable this mod.

THRUST WARNING: (Thrust Warning in yellow text.) This is a warning condition that the vessel is about to thrust vertically to hold at the desired altitude. When this is displayed, you are leavingFree Pitch mode and you have 20 seconds to return to less then 35° off vertical, otherwise you may overshoot your desired altitude.

Skycrane mode

As of version 1.18, the compensation for adding and removing loads from a skycrane is now handled silently in the background by the mod. When you attach or detach a load from a skycrane, the mod should compensate for the weight different in a very short time (half a second or less) and you can fly as normal from there.

Mod Use (Refer to screen shot above):

Current Vertical Velocity: Shows you current vertical velocity regardless of whether this mod is engaged or not. Positive numbers is upwards velocity, negative numbers downward velocity.

Velocity Setpoint: Has 3 modes. "---.--" is displayed when this mod is not engaged. "123.12" A number displays when the mod is engaged in Velocity Control mode and shows what the current target velocity is. "Auto" displays when Height Control mode is engaged.

Disable Velocity Control: Clicking this button disables this mod (both Vertical Velocity and Height Control modes). This is the same as pressing a throttle key (Shift/L-Ctrl/X) with Z not held down.

Set Vertical Velocity to Zero: Clicking this button enables this mod in Velocity Control mode and sets the Velocity Setpoint to 0 (zero). This is the same as pressing Z-X on the keyboard.

Increase/Decrease Vertical Velocity by 1m/s: Clicking these buttons will increase or decrease the Velocity Setpoint by 1m/s when in Velocity Control mode. If the mod is not in Velocity Control mode (so not engaged or in Height Control mode), the mod will engage Velocity Control mode and use the ship's current velocity as the Velocity Setpoint. This is the same and pressing Z-Shift or Z-LCtrl on the keyboard.

Target and Current Altitude: The current altitude of your ship and the desired target altitude above terrain (not sea level as displayed at the top of the screen) for Height Control Mode.

Height Control Button: The button for Height control mode.

Operating Mode: Shows you which mode the mod is currently in. "Height Control Mode", "Velocity Control Mode" or not engaged ("Control Off"). Click this button to go from Height Control to Velocity Control, and then click again to go from Velocity Control to Control Off.

Direction: Set which direction is up. Click 'Direction' to see the current setting and the Up Down Forward Back Left Right buttons to set the up direction that way relative to the root part's local axis (which can be different then the world axis.) A red arrow will appear showing which direction is now up. This setting saves on a per vessel basis.

Known limitations:

-Jet Engine spooling is not fully accounted for and the craft will bounce before settling if jet engines are the primary source of lift. (No fix possible)

-Does not account for RCS

-Only practical near planets surface

 

Edited by Diazo

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This looks interesting! I will definitely give it a try. I'm sure some will point out that MechJeb's Translatron has this functionality, however.

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Change log:

Version 1.14 (Oct. 12/14): Update in-game keybinding to allow unbinding.

KSP 0.25: Version 1.13 confirmed compatible.

July 19/14 (Version 1.13): Fix UI so settings from other mods can not bleed over and cause my UI settings to go wrong.

Fix RayCast so it returns height to terrain from vessel CoM rather then altitude to sea level.

Fix Orbit Drop mode so it functions again.

July 17/14 (Version 1.12a): KSP 0.24 compatible, no re-download required. Recomplied against KSP 0.24 64 bit as a precaution and updated to ModuleManager 2.2.0 in download.

July 13/14 (Version 1.12): Fix error trap so parts with non-standard colliders no longer cause the mod to lock engines at max.

Redo height control code from scratch to make it more responsive.

July 11/14 (Version 1.11): Revise aerodynamic compensation to reduce the bounce experienced with jet engines. Note due to the way I calculate thrust I will not be able to remove this bounce completely.

Add the ability to select which direction is up. Now VTOL planes can liftoff without requiring a secondary control pod oriented in the up direction.

June 19/14 (Version 1.10): Add compatibility with Davon Throttle Control mod. || Details

Height displayed on mod is now from bottom of vessel to ground, not vessel center of mass.

Version 1.9 (Jun 05/14)

Add support for ModuleEngineFX to support engines using MonoPropellent as fuel.

Version 1.8 (April 2014)

KSP 23.5 Update

Remove CompatibilityChecker component

Version 1.7

Settings window to set in-game everything controlled from the TWR1.cfg file.

Version 1.6 (Feb 09/14)

Set custom increment size for +/- velocity with the TWR1Step value in the TWR1.cfg file. Any number can be entered (0.5 for 0.5m/s increments), but really small increments (0.1 or smaller) may be more accurate then the mod is capable of executing smoothly.

Skycrane mode. Current implementation here. Feedback is requested on how to make this mode better.

Version 1.5.1 (Feb 03/14)

Bugfix: Fixed GUI code so the mod can no longer change other mods text alignment.

Re-download is not required if you are not seeing this bug.

Version 1.5 (February 02/14)

Rewrite Height Control code from scratch, it just works better now.

No changes to how the mod is used, this is all in the back-end.

Most obvious changes will be when dropping from orbit (Free Pitch mode).

Version 1.4 (January 29/14)

Fix bug that could keep the GUI from displaying.

Add support for the GUI to save last known location.

Version 1.3 (January 25/14)

0.23 compatibility and add tweakables support.

Major revision to how Free Pitch mode works.

Incorporate the new Toolbar mod.

Bugfix: Altitude should now never display -1

Version 1.2 (November 09/13)

Tweak altitude hold code to remove overshoot.

Add FREE PITCH and THRUST WARNING modes to Height Control.

Version 1.1 (October 26/13)

Add fly to altitude and hold functionality.

Add on-screen buttons for all functions.

Still 1.0 (Oct 18/13)

0.22 Compatibility confirmed.

No re-download required.

1.0 (Sep 26/13)

-Initial Release

(Original Post replaced with changelog)

Edited by Diazo

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Is it possible (in the future) to control a horizontal craft with vertical engines. This would seem to be very useful for helicopter/VTOL designs.

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This looks interesting! I will definitely give it a try. I'm sure some will point out that MechJeb's Translatron has this functionality, however.

I'm sorry, but WHAT?!? I've checked out the translatron and I don't remember seeing anything even close to this function! And there wasn't anything ing the online manual either, I'm pretty sure.

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I'm sorry, but WHAT?!? I've checked out the translatron and I don't remember seeing anything even close to this function! And there wasn't anything ing the online manual either, I'm pretty sure.

It's what the Keep Vert function does. Set a positive number to go up, an negative number to go down and 0 to hold altitude. There's also the hold HS button to cancel your horizontal speed. One interesting feature is that you can type in a new value without clicking execute.

Set it to -50 for a medium speed descent. While going down you enter -5 then click outside the window. Your controls all work as normal and when you're low enough you click the execute button to lock in the slower descent. Repeat for a -.5 descent rate for landing.

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I'm sorry, but WHAT?!? I've checked out the translatron and I don't remember seeing anything even close to this function! And there wasn't anything ing the online manual either, I'm pretty sure.

It's definitely not as intuitive as this mod looks, but you can simply turn on the SET VERT VELOCITY button (I think that's the button, it's been a while since I've used MechJeb) and it will keep your vertical velocity at the value you specify. I think there's even a checkbox which will kill your horizontal velocity as well, good for those times when you want to switch away from a hovering craft (Mission Kerbpossible, anyone? :P )

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It sounds like an interesting plugin. As mentioned, mechjeb does it, but with a few tweaks, yours could be better.

A couple of suggestions: Would it be possible to have an option to link your descent rate to altitude? The lower you go the slower you drop. Maybe even a descent rate curve similar to what's in the ascent autopilot in MJ.

Mechjeb's ability to kill your horizontal velocity is very handy, but its quite aggressive. Something a bit more gentle with the controls would be nice with the ability to seperatly toggle the sideways drift and front/back motion. Finally, while keyboard commands are probably easier to do, a nice clickable interface would be helpful. I'd like to see buttons for Increase/decrease by 1, increase/decrease by 10 and hold altitude. Perhaps a future release could even have a way to hold a certain horizontal speed or a limiter on your maximum speed.

By the way, the one thing MJ can't do is work on takeoff. If you give it a positive rate and click execute on the ground it will usually just flip over and explode. I think it's because it works from the relative velocity and on the ground there isn't one. It might be possible to make and automated takeoff feature that would rise a few meters and go into a hover.

I guess my point is that in MJ it's one feature among many and it's options are pretty basic. If you wanted to specialize in a full blown vertical controller there's a lot of potential.

"The VertaTron"

Edited by Kerba Fett

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I like this mod.

Maybe you could extend the mod with altitude/height control?

You set the altitude and the mod keeps to that altitude, increasing vertical speed if you're below, and decreasing it if you're above. This way if you are hovering across terrain you could keep the ship at 10 meters above the surface even if the surface is a slope.

Some way to remove all vertical velocity would be nice too.

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I love you. Thanks for putting stuff that should already be in the game in the game, and giving me yet another reason to not install MechJeb. :)

Some way to remove all vertical velocity would be nice too.

Can't this mod already do that? Set vertical velocity to 0 and you're set.

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I don't have Mechjeb and I don't want 90% of the features MechJeb offers.

Me too. I'm not a "MechJeb hater," but I prefer flying by the seat of my pants & doing everything by hand. I stay away from mods that are "cheat-y" - and again, I'm not bashing those who use MechJeb, NASA uses computers like that all the time, after all.

I also don't do suicide landings but rather try to come in at a hyperbolic angle until I can kill my horizontal velocity... this mod would definitely help me with those last few hundred meters. I wouldn't' say your mod is made for the "lazy landers," in fact I think it's really good at helping your fuel efficiency. It's also not cheat-y in that it doesn't help you land on inclined surfaces. When I've get my craft ready to land I will definitely give it a try!

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Can't this mod already do that? Set vertical velocity to 0 and you're set.

Doh... I meant horizontal speed... My brain wasn't working...

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Yes, this mod was born out of the fact that I could not get fine enough control for the last 200 meters to land my sky-cranes with the default controls. I'd tap the throttle key and my throttle would change by twice or three times as much as I wanted. Therefore this mod was born to give me a way to actually control my descent speed rather then bounce up and down wildly on the default analog throttle.

Thanks for the comments everyone, here's what I'm looking at right now:

@Horizontal Speed Control: That was one of the major purposes of this mod, to allow Horizontal Speed control without RCS thrusters.

Get to 100 or 200 meters, hit Z-X to set a vertical speed of 0, which holds your altitude. You can now tilt the ship as desired to control your horizontal speed and this mod will regulate your thrust so that your purely vertical speed stays locked at zero.

Just don't tilt too far, this mod only controls the throttle and once you angle far enough off vertical that max thrust does not give you sufficient upwards force, all this mod can do is set the throttle at max, you will still be descending in that case.

I'm also open to suggestion on how to zero out your horizontal speed without RCS thrusters. Landing a skycrane without RCS is one of the two major reasons this mod exists.

@Mouse Control: This is already planned. I'm actually looking at doing a full on mouse only interface (see the request for a Smartboard interface in the Add On Requests section) and I just have to figure the on-screen buttons out. I also want to overhaul this mod's UI entirely, it is very basic at the moment.

@Takeoff: I was careful to make sure this mod works on takeoff. One of the big purposes I intend to use it for is relocating my mining bases when resources run out (I run both Kethane and Exo-Launchpads).

Select your ship, hit Z to enable the mod, then hit Z-Shift, Shift and your ship will rise nice and slow at 2m/s.

@Altitude Hold: This is something I'm certainly considering. The problem is I'm not sure how to work the background math. Speed is easy as I can tie that directly to thrust. I'll try to hack some equations out. I work in a process automation office so there's PID reference stuff around, I'll probably start there.

@Link Vertical speed to Altitude: Once Altitude Hold works, this is almost trivial to implement. It will almost certainly be released at the same time so as long as I can figure out altitude hold, this feature will appear also.

I'm certainly open to more suggestions, just keep in mind that this mod is intended to give you the fine control needed for landing sky-cranes, I'm not trying to write an auto-pilot here.

D.

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Any chance this could be changed to a toggle? Or even an option to set it to toggle or not?

One suggestion for a toggle button would be scroll lock. Seems to fit the idea :)

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Erm, it is toggle.

Hit Z and your ship will be under velocity control, even when the Z key is released.

It is only when a throttle key is pressed while Z is not held down that the mod disengages.

That way you can hit (and release) Z at 6,000 meters with a 200m/s descent velocity and the mod will maintain 200m/s descent until you press Z again to start fine-tuning your descent speed. (Or press a regular throttle key of course.)

D.

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Sorry, I meant I want a key to toggle how the thrust keys work.

ie, hit the toggle key, and then hit x to zero out vertical velocity, play with ctrl and shift, hit x again and be hovering over the surface, all without touching z after that first hit.

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First, I've added two examples to the first post to clarify how I intend the mod to work.

However, I did think about adding a toggle like you mentioned and deliberately did not.

The reason being, you've overshot your landing zone so you have the vessel angled quite steeply to try and get back, but you tip too far and lose it. You are now descending sideways towards the ground and need max thrust now to avoid crashing. (Or Throttle Cutoff if you tip over past 90° to avoid rocketing into the ground.)

You were fine-tuning your landing zone, so you were maybe as low as 200 meters, you don't have time to figure out if you have this mod toggled on or not. You need to be able to hit Shift and get max thrust right away.

Therefore, if you hit Shift/Ctrl/X with the Z key not held down, they have the default KSP behavior which you are accustomed to when something goes wrong.

The last thing I'm going to program is something that makes crashing more likely, even if it would come up very rarely.

D.

edit: I am aware that the Z key won't work for everyone however, so I did make sure that the player is able to change which key the mod uses. It defaults to Z, but any key will work.

Edited by Diazo

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First, I've added two examples to the first post to clarify how I intend the mod to work.

However, I did think about adding a toggle like you mentioned and deliberately did not.

The reason being, you've overshot your landing zone so you have the vessel angled quite steeply to try and get back, but you tip too far and lose it. You are now descending sideways towards the ground and need max thrust now to avoid crashing. (Or Throttle Cutoff if you tip over past 90° to avoid rocketing into the ground.)

You were fine-tuning your landing zone, so you were maybe as low as 200 meters, you don't have time to figure out if you have this mod toggled on or not. You need to be able to hit Shift and get max thrust right away.

Therefore, if you hit Shift/Ctrl/X with the Z key not held down, they have the default KSP behavior which you are accustomed to when something goes wrong.

The last thing I'm going to program is something that makes crashing more likely, even if it would come up very rarely.

D.

edit: I am aware that the Z key won't work for everyone however, so I did make sure that the player is able to change which key the mod uses. It defaults to Z, but any key will work.

I understand your reasoning and after my first actual landing on Mun (I tested a lot around KSP just to get used to the controls) I must say I did use that emergency thrust to stop a catastrophic situation :)

I must say, too, that it was the most accurate and least nerve-wracking landing I've ever had where I cared about where (to the few meters) I landed. Thanks for making that possible!

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I'd like to try this with a spaceplane to prevent rising too high out of atmosphere by accident. Once you get to your aircraft's maximum altitude, zero out vertical velocity and it'll throttle back if you're about to gain altitude. You'd still suffer from bad piloting (by losing speed), but the consequences would be less severe than the inevitable burnout it prevents.

Though, I'd worry that the lift from wings or general horizontal direction would mess with the plugin's logic. Hopefully, I'll get some time to test this.

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"Some way to remove all vertical velocity would be nice too" ... I find that impacting on the terrain does this very reliably :(

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I'd like to try this with a spaceplane to prevent rising too high out of atmosphere by accident. Once you get to your aircraft's maximum altitude, zero out vertical velocity and it'll throttle back if you're about to gain altitude. You'd still suffer from bad piloting (by losing speed), but the consequences would be less severe than the inevitable burnout it prevents.

Though, I'd worry that the lift from wings or general horizontal direction would mess with the plugin's logic. Hopefully, I'll get some time to test this.

Err, it will be an interesting experiment, but expect wierdness.

The mod assumes you are coming down pretty much vertical for a landing on a rocket/sky-crane type ship.

This means it does not account for lift from wings and assumes all engines point straight down.

In a spaceplane neither of those situations are true.

Still, I never tested it with spaceplanes so it would be interesting to see what it does.

D.

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I know it's not the intended use of this mod but it worked way better than I thought it would.

Below, I test the stock VTOL craft (for basic functionality), a basic jet engine plane, and a turbojet plane:

Javascript is disabled. View full album

The plugin may be tricky to use for this purpose but it does a good job controlling ascent, descent, and level flight of planes using just throttle control. It does require that the plane fly with its nose (navball heading indicator) pitched up by at least 1 degree during level flight. Any aircraft whose nose points directly at the horizon (or lower) during level flight will confuse this plugin.

When piloting, it should be noted that the trim you use on vertical velocity depends on the lift being generated by the wings, so this may vary based on design, altitude, and/or speed; so one trim will not fit all situations. Also, you will not be able to go full throttle during level flight (unless you hit a theoretically perfect angle and can maintain it).

I did not have time to try an SSTO. I suspect it's not as useful since full throttle does not get used when flying level, but I'd still like to see if it could make the last leg of jet engine ascent smoother.

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I'm updating the mod to 0.22 compatible.

It is not attached to a part so the Science system does not affect it.

The mod will be available in all flight scenes in both career and sandbox mode regardless of what has been unlocked in career mode.

D.

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can you make it to work with surface level, not sea level? like magenta laser from Romfarer's mod

i have no idea how hard it can be, but it will be for sure dozen times more useful and convenient

well, just a request or suggestion, all those hover tanks, hover rovers, hover bases, hover everything... they just keep torturing me in my dreams, lasers works, sure, but even simple hover rover begin to look like disco-UFO from 70's :(

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Awesome, Diazo. I've been held back from playing this week due to Real Life but I do intend to continue using this mod. Thanks for working on this.

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