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Idea

IcemanFBW avatar image
IcemanFBW Posted ·

Open up flight model for customization and/or natively support external flight models

Although MSFS's blade element theory based flight model, in most regards, is regarded as superior to those of other consumer simulators, it is still lacking or incorrect in quite a few areas. Among these, include ground friction/handling, supporting multiple flaps/slats configuration and proper flap auto-retract behavior, finer control over multiple speedbrakes and separate individual speedbrake deflection angles, lift coefficient behavior for slats, complete control over icing effect on aerodynamic model, and so forth.


Furthermore, there are countless configurations presented by unique aircraft which may be outside of the scope of Asobo's work simply due to the amount of time needed to support them - such as supporting 3 separate ailerons per each wing on the A380 (which uses it for load alleviation), supporting multiple vertical stabilizers or horizontal stabilizers on aircraft that use them, supporting unique configurations such as ruddervators or elevons, canards, supersonic flight, etc.


Rather than make issues for each of these unique edge cases, which may just be deferred to the backlog for months or years (and can indefinitely delay aircraft that rely on them), it would be beneficial to either open up the flight model system for 3rd party developers to modify as they see fit, or create a native API in which 3rd party devs can easily incorporate an external flight model while still being able to use blade element theory.

flightmodelaircraftdefault
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StevenPearce avatar image
StevenPearce Posted ·

I'm fairly sure there isn't any blade element theory going on in the flight model. Additionally, your assertion that MSFS's flight model is "regarded as superior to those of other consumer simulators" is simply false. There is a reason NASA, Beta Technologies, Airbus, etc have used that other consumer simulator in the design of real-world aircraft and would never even consider using MSFS for that purpose. It's flight model is unquestionably better. It's important that Adobo are aware of this, because unconcious incompetence doesn't help anyone. You can't fix something if you don't know it's broken.


That little rant aside, I agree with all of your points; the current flight model API is very limited allowing the definition of only a limited subset of aircraft.

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It does use blade element model - take a look through all the equations here: https://docs.flightsimulator.com/html/index.htm#t=Additional_Information%2FFlight_Model_Physics.htm


However, it has a way to go, and I wish it would be prioritized above everything else once the Xbox version is released. That, and being more transparent about new changes and upcoming plans to the flight model - it's probably the one area we don't get much feedback, if at all, from Asobo in our communications.

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Mmm, I was just taking Seb at his word; I remember him saying quite unequivocally when asked about the flight model pre-release "it's not blade element theory"

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And whose word are you taking that Airbus uses X-plane in their design process? NASA may have used it for looking at potential designs for flying drones, etc on other planets, but they don't generally design aircraft.

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ungerik avatar image
ungerik Posted ·

This would also enable custom VTOL designs. Even if MS/Asobo adds an official helicopter flight model, I don't think they will ever provide a generic flight model that can cover all combinations of multirotor and tilting mechanisms used by those creative eVTOL designs popping up everywhere.

This could also open up the FS platform to serious training applications that need tight control over their flight models.

Would simply supporting the already specified "External Sim" SimConnect API be sufficient?

http://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv3/LearningCenter/utilities/simconnect/simconnect.html#ExternalSimOverview

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In addition to the external sim simconnect API, there should be some API to get data for the forces acting on all the 640 surface elements.

Here is the documentation mentioning that:

1624223314012.png


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Krazycolin avatar image
Krazycolin Posted ·

Discussion on which sims flight profiling system is better is not relevant. What IS relevant is that MSFS' system is broken in a lot of ways (as per above).


Having the ability to make our own "sections" on this would be a boon and helpful to all devs... not just 3PD's...

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