• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

FS2004 [Solved] Animating linked ailerons in a biplane

Hi, my first model and I'm now at the stage to work on animations - for a biplane I've created in gMax (for FS2004). The aircraft features connecting rods between the upper and lower ailerons. It is easy enough to animate ailerons individually (using the default l_aileron_1, l_aileron_2 etc. naming), but:

1. How to link the connecting rods with the ailerons - so that they work at the same time?
2. How to attach control wires to aileron or elevator horns so that the cables animate (ie move) with the animated control surfaces?
Last edited:
I think you will need to use the keyframe versions of the aileron animation tags (L/R_Aileron_Key, with 0 = up, 50 = center, and 100 = down). You can then get fancy and use an IK Solver to combine the two animations, but I've forgotten how to use those (I'm sure there are tutorials online).

The cheating way is to set the pivot point of the rod to the bottom or top of the rod, link the rod to the aileron that is next to the pivot point (that is already keyframe animated), and then animate the rod with enough keyframes so it stays in line with the other aileron.

Hope this helps,
You can then get fancy and use an IK Solver to combine the two animations
OK, thanks for that Tom - that points me in the right direction! Now, I need to do some serious reading...

Regarding the second alternative you mentioned, to "link the rod to the aileron" did you mean using an "Attachment" in the Motion > Assign Controller > Transform Position tool in gMax? Or just visually lining them up and animating both. If the latter, then I guess the connecting rod animation would need to be tweaked - a combination of a straight (z-axis) up-and-down movement and a slight forward y-axis one to match the part-rotation one of the aileron.


No, I meant attaching the rod as a child of the aileron, which becomes its parent. It's the button along the top (third from the left) who's tooltip says Select and Link. If you've never used it before:

1. Select the rod.
2. Click the Select and Link button.
3. Press the H key or click the Select by Name button.
4. Click on the desired aileron part and click Link.
5. Now when the aileron moves the rod will move along with it.

This is the way that most complex animations are created (i.e. various landing gear parts, etc.).
Thanks Tom, I finally worked it out, after a lot of searching and reading, and experimentation. The trick was to learn the importance of how pivots worked in animation and how to mirror parts and animation properly. I had a lot of grief, having to undo the damage done by the Mirror tool - I have now permanently deleted this icon from my tools. What also helped was reading a lot of useful information from archived pages on the Freeflight Design Forum and older pages on the fsdeveloper forum (written by yourself and others).