# Simple Flight Physics using Rigid Bodies...

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Hello, I'm currently in the process of writing a game featuring simple flight physics. Could you guys give me a few hints? The game I have in mind is a arcadish flight/vehicle combat game. I want to have massive air /ground battles on screen. To achieve this I plan on rendering with very low polygon shapes. The graphics will be simple but they can be jazzed up with various effects. For physics I want to simulate flight with rigid body physics using O.D.E. I plan on simply tweaking the life and drag coefficients versus using flight tunnel data. Is this sound? They can be as simple as if trust over come drag then fly, without really worring about angle of attack etc. Any suggestions? Also, I plan on constructing my vehicle's physics models with primitive shapes (spheres, cylinders) versus doing triangle mesh simulation. What I mean by this is I want to bound say a airplane, with a few cylinders as it's rigid body physics model. Is this sound? As long as it looks "okay" I'm fine. I do not need accurate physical simulation. Thanks!

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Thrust, Drag, Lift and Gravity. The basic integration of forces applied to simulate these things could be used for a flight model. In fact, a more complex flight model is just based on a more complex simulation of these forces based on detailed knowledge and understanding of these forces under specific contexts.

Don't forget to consider both linear and angular velocities. This will assist you in developing a six degree of freedom flight model.

You aren't looking to worry about angle of attack. You would only need to do that if you were looking to stall the aircraft so I am guessing your intention is to keep this very very simple. In this case, your plan will do.

You would only need to concern yourself with the actual physical representation of your model for collision with the ground. ODE should handle all of this quite nicely. Your plan should be okay.

Let me know if you need more info...for now I gotta run.

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I'm going to implement some kind of lift and drag as a function of angle of attack. What I mean by this is that given the current "angle of attack" (by AOA I mean the degrees the airplane center vector is above the horizon) the function returns a tweaked lift factor.

Using this lift factor I can then compute lift forces.

As for rotations through space: Say if I want to yaw the aircraft, I apply azimuth force with respect to the plane's orthonomral basis, which should yaw the plane I hope. Same thing goes for elevate and roll. I suppose these forces has to be tweaked.

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