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Guest Robert Sanderson

What happened to Aircraft Design?

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Many moon ago this Aircraft and Panel Design Forum used to be the hotbed of news and advice for building aircraft as well as making panels. Over the last few months (maybe longer) I have noticed that aircraft design topics have dwindled rapidly - most posts are now about panel design and particularly XML coding.I am idly wondering what has caused the swing towards panel discussions. Has the number of aircraft designers dwindled in recent times? Or is it simply that most of the problems with GMax/FSDS design work have now been sorted and require fewer posts?I ask simply out of curiosity - but I must admit that the forum isn't as interesting as it used to be. Is it time for panel designers to have their own forum? :)boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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I too have noticed this...The reason for me no longer asking questions is that I now have little time to model and so I try to stick to stuff I know will work.I wish it was like before...when people used to preview aircraft models...I still check the forums every time im on Avsim....

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Some shots of the VC. The VC is the reason I started this project. The aircraft model is complete and ready to go. I'm working on finishing the aircraft documentation at the moment, then on to a thorough last look at everything for any problems or omissions.I want to say thanks to Avsim and to everyone who contributes to the MSFS Aircraft and Panel Design Forum; it's a great resource and has helped me a great deal with this project.Best regards,Robert http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90175.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90176.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90177.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90178.jpg

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I think I know what has happened to design forums: Many of the people who know something about design have signed non-disclosure agreements that do not permit them to conduct open discussions on a forum like this. There are many start-up companies trying to build models for sale. They offer people deals that sound pretty good but require signing these agreements.I prefer to do freeware just because it is what has kept the interest in this sim going for so many years. I have benefitted from the freeware done by others so now that I have the software, I am doing some more freeware.I was offered an 'opportunity' but turned it down once I read the fine print in the non-disclosure agreement.

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That may well be true for many (most?) payware companys, Tom. I cannot disclose details of Eaglesoft projects, or any specific 'tricks' I may develop for ESDG projects, but my agreement with ESDG does not otherwise limit or place any restrictions on general advice or techniques.Obviously, I have developed some unique ideas both in modeling and gauge programming, and I'm not going to pass those on until the project(s) to which they apply have been released, and the novelty has worn off of 'em... :)At that point, I'll be more than happy to share 'em!Frankly, I'm more inclined to blame the "summer doldrums" for the slowdown in the various design forums, especially since I've seen this exact same phenomenon occur over the past three summers... :)

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******* Christ...that VC is simply incredible! It's so complicated, unbelieveable! You must feel really proud to have made something like that, the last pic looking down at the floor really looks incredible, with all the pipes and stuff:7Keep going at man, it looks amazing!To the other guys, I agree with your points, this is probably a very large reason...

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My thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread so far - some wise words from Tom and Bill.In the meantime my esteemed praise to Robert for his labour of love in recreating AE977. The real aircraft (actually a Sea Hurricane) has recently been restored to flying condition - details can be found at the Hawker Restorations website - http://www.hawker-restorations-ltd.co.uk/AE977.html.boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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Okay here is a simple* tip for gmax AND FSDS users on how to add tiedown ropes to your aircraft. No need for xml code. Also, as an added bonus this technique provides tiedown ropes to the aircraft when it is being used as an AI. ;-)Just keep in mind, the "rope" needs to rotate about the major axis. I guess if you put a sag in the rope, as long as the end points are on the major axis it will look as if the rope is hanging in the breeze. This is due to the prop_still making the last few revs and stopping at a random location. What this means, if you apply this technique to parts that do not have symetery about the axis of rotation (gmax green), you may be surprised with the results. A little experimenting and you will get it.http://www.mtco.com/~rsam/Tie.jpg * from a lifetime in a design environment --- "Simple" solutions are more difficult to "find" then complex solutions.Regards,BobShttp://s95171098.onlinehome.us/junk/aopa.jpgSeems the rage to talk about the "size and speed" of each others computer. Beat this if you can for solving novel/unique problem anywhere in the cosmos. ..Have K&E and know how to use it!

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"In the meantime my esteemed praise to Robert for his labour of love in recreating AE977. The real aircraft (actually a Sea Hurricane) has recently been restored to flying condition - details can be found at the Hawker Restorations website"bones,Thanks for the compliment, and man you've got a sharp eye! I was wondering if anyone would catch that.:-)To say that I've visited that website once or twice would be an understatement! I've archived the literally hundreds of photos they have of nearly every aspect of rebuilding not just one but several Hurricanes, and those photos have helped to add detail to my model that was unavailable from any other source.The exterior model of my aircraft is painted in tribute to the wartime RAF pilot the late Sir Douglas Bader, who managed to do more without legs than most of us accomplish with them. For sheer tenacity, skill and courage (some say cussedness) he was without equal. The VC owes a lot to the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Hurricane documented by John Deakin in one of his Pelican's Perch articles at AvWeb. They managed to incorporate a rather elegant radio and VOR indicator installation into a small panel on the right side of the cockpit, and I borrowed that idea from the photos that accompanied the articles."******* Christ...that VC is simply incredible! It's so complicated, unbelieveable! You must feel really proud to have made something like that, the last pic looking down at the floor really looks incredible, with all the pipes and stuff Keep going at man, it looks amazing!"Thanks for the kind words Andy, I'm glad you like it!:-) It's nearly finished now, should be available soon.BobS,That's a great tip, and I'm going to give it a try in my upcoming Spitfire V project.:-)Best regards everyone,Robert

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I guess i'll post some shots of my work too:P This is my 737-300, which will probably end up being the -200 to -500, and the -100 if i can find details...This is one of two projects, and it's far from complete. A lot of work left, including a whole new wing, new main gear (never even finished these!) new AFT fuse, more poly efficient engines, increased tail details(my favourite part so far, Got some plans for it too) and the horizontal stabilizers are to be remade with better profiles...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90329.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90330.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90331.jpgI hope you like, and any comments tips welcome (even if it sounds mean, they will give me a better model in the end so be nasty to me:DEDIT : Crap, too big, Mods how can i sort it so I can upload the pics again, smaller?

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It looks great Andy. I'm new at this and wouldn't presume to criticize your work even if I saw something wrong, but I don't see anything at all that I could improve on. That wing looks incredible, and I would be intimidated by the task of animating all those parts.By contrast, my aircraft has a plain wing with simple split flaps, and I'm not at all happy with the way they turned out. One thing I learned from this project is you must plan in advance for every feature. For me, that's harder to accomplish than it sounds! Bill those 'details' are spectacular. I hope that one day I can learn to texture half as well."I met Bader many years ago when he was regularly flying around the UK in a Baron. A man of few words but all of them distinct - I'll never forget his first utterance to me.."Get out of the bloody way!" he said.. :)"That made my day!:-lol I reckon he had a right to be a little grouchy, but I'm learning he was a less than pleasant person to interact with to put it mildly.Exactly the kind of guy you want for defense of King and country, with or without legs. Thanks for the insight and the laugh bones.Robert

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>Bill those 'details' are spectacular. I hope that one day I>can learn to texture half as well.Thanks, Robert. Your modelling is looking really nice...It would seem that no one caught on that those are actually 'lights' that work... :)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90482.jpg

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>>"I met Bader many years ago when he was regularly flying>around the UK in a Baron. A man of few words but all of them>distinct - I'll never forget his first utterance to me..>>"Get out of the bloody way!" he said.. :)">>That made my day!:-lol >>I reckon he had a right to be a little grouchy, but I'm>learning he was a less than pleasant person to interact with>to put it mildly.>>Exactly the kind of guy you want for defense of King and>country, with or without legs. Thanks for the insight and the>laugh bones.>>Robert>> Bader has had some tough press in recent years but so have many other famous figures - hero worship isn't PC these days.I met him on a few occasions and began to see why he made friends and enemies in equal amounts. He was totally uncompromising, he couldn't stand incompetence, vacillation or timidity at all. On the other hand he recognised ability in others and if you were good you passed muster. He was a natural leader..I guess you know which side I'm on..boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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"Bader has had some tough press in recent years but so have many other famous figures - hero worship isn't PC these days.I met him on a few occasions and began to see why he made friends and enemies in equal amounts. He was totally uncompromising, he couldn't stand incompetence, vacillation or timidity at all. On the other hand he recognised ability in others and if you were good you passed muster. He was a natural leader..I guess you know which side I'm on.."I have the greatest disdain for the concept of what is 'politically correct'. Smells like fascism to me. I read Reach For The Sky when I was very young, and I have the movie on VHS. I've always been fascinated by his indomitable spirit, and his unparalleled flying skills.So you can count me among those on his side bones.:-)"It would seem that no one caught on that those are actually 'lights' that work..." Emissive Texture Lightmapping!!!Way out of my league.:-hmmm You're the man Bill!:-)That airliner nose is looking good Lionel! :-) Best regards to all,Robert

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>"It would seem that no one caught on that those are actually>'lights' that work..." >>Emissive Texture Lightmapping!!!>>Way out of my league.:-hmmm You're the man Bill!:-)Nice guess, Robert. While "Emissive Texture Lightmapping" does have something to do with it...those are actually gauges... :)You do know that you can place a "gauge" quite literally anywhere on a model, right? :)

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"those are actually gauges..." Ahh... now I see!"You do know that you can place a "gauge" quite literally anywhere on a model, right?"Yes.:-) I have 17 (VcockpitXX) sections in my panel.cfg file. There are gauges left and right and front and bottom, horizontal vertical and angles in-between. Some of the gauges are invisible, to make the VC fully clickable (I'm using FSDS2), like the invisible gauge placed over the throttle for instance, you can grab the lever and move it. Same with prop and mixture levers. I placed gauges over the elevator and rudder trim wheel and knob to 'animate' them, so you see movement when the trim is changing. Everything is clickable, and almost everything is animated.On the exterior model the cockpit has gauges, not an instrument panel bitmap. I've attached an image of the exterior model cockpit at night to illustrate what I mean.I would like to see animated exterior parts that would respond to mouse clicks. For instance, I have a boarding step that extends and retracts with the water rudder keyboard command (Shift+W). It would be nice if you could 'grab' the handhold with the mouse and extend the boarding step. That's the way it's done on the real airplane. Maybe in the next version of Flight simulator!Take care,Robert http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90607.jpg

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>"those are actually gauges..." >Ahh... now I see!>Yes.:-) I have 17 (VcockpitXX) sections in my panel.cfg file.I try to minimize the number of [VcockpitXX] sections, in order to keep the gauge refresh rate high... I've learned to 'pack' the $texture.bmp to use as many of the available pixels as possible. See the pic below for an example.One of the 'neatest tricks' I've discovered (although I'm sure that others have also "discovered" the same thing already!), is that if you are going to use the SAME GAUGE in more than one VC location, you don't actually NEED two gauge entries. Simply map the second instance to use the first location! :) For example, although there are two separate "sealed-beam lights" shown, they are separate "gauges." One is for the cockpit floods (used four times), and the other one is for the cabin overseat lights (used eight times)... :)>I would like to see animated exterior parts that would respond>to mouse clicks.Unfortunately, although gauges may be SEEN on the exterior model, the mouse points won't work... :(Of course, if you are INSIDE the "interior model," you CAN click on stuff that's located on the "outside, provided there's no other polygons in the way..."http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/90608.jpg

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