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Landing Gear

Having a heck of a time figuring this out. I have had a lot of things blocking me from getting progress done also.

Im going to talk about my issues here in that maybe I can understand better my issue by at least writing about them.

Getting the landing gear to touch the ground (setting up contact points) is a 2 fold issue, and very complex in AF2.

You have the TMC which is the 'start up file' of the plane, which at the top of the file shows the contact points. That contact points works for half a second, then the plane falls onto its 'suspension' points. If you start the sim in Pause mode, your plane will be sitting proper via the contact points in the TMC file 'if' you have it setup right in the TMC contact points.

Then when you unpause, the plane will drop onto its proper suspension points, which are called 'collision hulls' and 'rigid body graphics' (parts) and 'wheel hulls'. In this are also 'connections' called 'joint multi' and also 'joint linear'. (That last one I havent figured out yet, nor the rest really).

So you have sections near the top of the TMD file (the main config that manages the model, flight dynamics, parts and animations, and then sound, in that order). The collisions and hulls are near the top, the graphics parts are lower down, right before sound. Animations must have 2 sections, mirrored. You setup 'servos' for animations near the top, below Dynamics. Then on your graphics (parts) sections, you call the names of the servos in the parts blocks. Sort of like wiring them up in the simulator.

I have tried copying over the landing gear sections from the Extra 330 and also the DR400, and tried adjusting them to work in my own Bullette aircraft. Unsuccessful. Usually she falls through the ground or rockets up in the air. If you have your TMD really screwed up (like mine is now) then the sim crashes. This is usually because you have parts named that are not in the model (like GearLeftMain instead of GearMainLeft, typos, etc). You can look at the TM.log file in MyDocuments/Aerofly.... and scroll to the bottom to see what happened to your plane.

Also, and this is a good tip. If your plane is selected and accidentally saved and its crashing the sim, you can go back to the default Cessna by taking out the string with your planes name from the 'main.mcf' file (open with Notepad ++ or Notepad to edit). Search for your plane, delete that single string. Not the block but the string.

So that is where I am at. Trying to get everything rigged. Not easy.

Understanding about animations needing a counterpart 'servo' block near the top under Dynamics was a big help. That helped me to understand the system a little better.

Now to figure out these contact points.

My next 'target' will be to connect the lower landing gear to the upper landing gear, make collisions for each and the tire, make a multijoint for these, and see if I can get it to sit on the ground. Oh, and the hingedbodygraphics blocks as well. I think I need these or the model doesnt have the parts to sit on. I could be wrong. That might be what was going on early last week with my baby going through the ground.
The good thing is that you will have a large head start over other developers through having worked through all this beforehand and developed a workflow. My impression is that many others are still sitting on the fence about Aerofly, so Kudos for stepping up to the plate!
Thanks Devon,

I have been learning to create the TMD file, writing it over and over and over, trying to get the gear to sit down. A bit of a breakthrough yesterday and the day before. The more I write these, the more I learn.

The workflow should be, get the TMD of the plane that is most similar to yours, then copy that into your planes folder, delete out the graphics section and start a new graphics section (with all your parts in it, the parts list from the 'Build' tm.log, and then start transferring your own parts names into the rigidbody sections and dynamics sections. THEN......... start doing the graphics (parts) and animations. Dont use a bare template. You'll need to transfer over the tons of subsections anyways, so you just grab the entire TMD file from a template 'plane' that is working, and convert that to your new plane.

Its not easy.. But the more I do this, the faster I have become.

Notepad++ is your best friend with these...

Still struggling with the landing gear. Its sitting on the ground now, but leaning (always) to the left for some crazy reason that I cannot figure out.

Next leap will be to get the landing gear oleo's to animate, and then to retract. Then I will jump up on my desk and do a happy dance...
I got her to sit proper.. She was leaning because of a fault in the tm.log from the model export. I made both coordinates for the wheels the same Y axis (vertical in AF2) and its level now.

I got the Oleo to work on the tail gear by lowering the spring settings incrementally until it stopped crashing.

Flaps are now working right. Elevators are now working right. (They had a mishap.. but back to functioning again, though Flaps do not slow the plane down right now for some reason. I need 'something' to tell the plane the flaps are on and to slow down.

Finding brakes setting hasnt occurred yet, but I did find a block of code from one of the planes that caused the brakes to function. The others didnt work; Extra, Pitts, Robin. The Robin has a single main brake, not turning brakes, so that was probably its excuse.
For the past several days, I have tried to just get the main landing gear to fold. The oleo's still werent working on the lower half of the gear. trying to figure out how they fold, trying to understand this one single issue, and the fact that I have spent 30 days on the landing gear alone, and with an issue I had this afternoon again with it, I have decided to fold this project. 30 days is an expensive amount of time to put into this and having learned hardly a thing, I have decided its too expensive and that there is not enough information available on the existing SDK to make planes with.

The settings for things are ellusive and non-existent. There are settings I just found out about today that I didnt know existed. I looked for these in the SDK Wiki. They werent there. Only blank blocks of code. Nothing to show one how to set up their landing gear.

It went overbudget. This is a wonderful simulator. I am saddened that I cannot get a basic plane into it. Hopefully others can. Perhaps a time will come when data will be made available to help people setup their planes. In the mean time, I am going to get back into P3D production.

Wow, thats a real shame after you've come so far. :(

Kind of a whipsaw week for Ipacs, I guess. I purchased PcPilot magazine just to see with my own eyes the Orbx ad announcing Innsbruck for Aerofly (nice!) and in the same week.... this.

I know that you must be very frustrated right now, but maybe in the future you'll feel like continuing. At least I hope so, as I was really looking forward to flying your planes in the sim!