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StTwister

Flight Simulator Physics (Aerodynamics)

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Hi, I'm new to this community, it seems very nice with a lot of helpful people. I'm starting a new flight simulator, mainly based on soaring and gliders. Probably the biggest issue i'll have to deal is the physics engine. I'm not sure where to start this. Do any of you had any experience with this before? Is there any open-source/free library i can use? Due to the fact that the simulator will be based on soaring, the physics engine should be a bit more advanced than in other flight simulator due to the fact that it must also simulate weather effects used in soaring like thermals, ridge lifting or even wave winds, plus turbulences etc. Please point out some helpful resources or advices if possilbe. Thanks, StTwister Edit: Found some nice articles about MS Flight Sim that might help othrs as well: http://www.fsinsider.com/articles/ [Edited by - StTwister on September 9, 2006 4:17:23 PM]

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There is a very popular open source flight sim called X-Plane (I think), that I have even seen used in the military simulation industry.

OOPS: Sorry, it's not OS, but its very modable, I guess. My mistake.

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you will need to decide from where you're going to approach this problem...the flight simulator and X-plane series use different techniques for the aircraft physics...X-planes implements something called blade element theory, so the actual shape of the aircraft affects its performance. On the other hand, flight simulator uses a configuration file for each aircraft where certain parameters are stablished, like mass, center of gravity, maximum speed, stall speed, etc...so you could have a model of a piano and have it flying as an airbus a320 (btw, this is something that has been criticized in the FS series - "garbage in, garbage out").

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Analyzing the actual shape of the aircraft is way too advanced for me. I'll probably go with the second option even though it might not be as good as the first one (provided of course the first one is implemented correctly).

I think I'll do something like aerodynamics engine/class which also receives info from a weather class like air mass density, speed, temperature, pressure etc for a certain location. This way the weather class is completely independent from the aerodynamics class making it easier to make a dynamic weather system that evolves over time.

Do you think this is a good way to go?

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I do think its important to establish an independence between the 2 systems, but I honestly don't know what would be the best way to design this since I've never done a similar project before...maybe someone with a bit more experience in designing physics engines can help you..good luck though

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I have a lot of experience attempting to integrate X-plane into a military simulator (That JFETS CAS sim I mentioned in another thread).

The main problem that I ran into is that we couldn't separate out ONLY the physics engine from X-Plane. Couldn't disable the rendering system and use our own. We ended up writing a plugin that just transmits positions into the network and had another computer act as the cockpit rendering station (it was a requirement to be able to use our own image generator).

Also, the X-Plane plugin documentation is horrid (third party and often incorrect). The X-Plane author makes interface breaking changes very often.

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Quote:
Original post by StTwister
@MrBowl are thermals implemented in SSS?


(Assuming you mean me and not Mr Bowel!) Yes, but you'll have to judge for youself how good they are - I never did any real thermal flying. However, it would be very simple to change the thermal model code (without having to touch anything else) to make it better (or worse :)

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