Reworking Eric Johnson's Airacobra - Page 2
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Thread: Reworking Eric Johnson's Airacobra

  1. #26

    Status Update

    The recent diversion to work on the P-47D-23 was actually very related to working on the flight model for the Airacobra.
    Both have quite similar centers of gravity though quite different conditions.
    The CoG is pretty far aft in the Thunderbolt when it is fully loaded but stability improves as fuel is burned from the aft fuel tank and is pretty good by the time all fuel and ammunition are expended.
    The CoG is slightly further ahead on the Airacobra and moves rearward as stores are expended and the aircraft becomes increasingly unstable.

    The last version of the AIR file I worked on several months ago (which I will call the "Version A") had a few intentional quirks and handled well but had rather conventional behaviour especially at the stall.
    The updated version which I will call "Version B" incorporates some changes gained from experiments with the Thunderbolt and is much less stable and has some strange stall characteristics which seem to logically match some of the characteristics of the Airacobra.
    There are some maneuvers I still cannot reproduce such as the infamous "Tumble".
    There are some handling characteristics such as the very sensitive elevators that I have chosen to ignore in order to make the models more easily flyable in the simulator and I suspect that might also be preventing the Tumble.

    Along with edits to the AIR file, there have been some minor edits to the model.
    In this screenshot, the narrowed interior frame of the canopy can be seen.
    It was modified so that the Virtual Cockpit view would have smaller obstructions.

    - Ivan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P39DEJ_AfterTestFlight.jpg  

  2. #27

    Minor Change in Plans

    My original plan was to change nothing as far as textures and mapping that was not directly related to model changes.
    The main reason was to be able to use existing texture sets on the new model with minimal modifications.
    The second reason was to limit the changes because as with any model that we did not design, there are an endless list of things that can be "improved".
    The third reason is that I simply hate texture mapping and working on new textures.

    There are, however, certain things I just can't tolerate and I came across such a situation.
    Different parts should not map to the same areas of the same texture files.
    When this is done, it becomes impossible to paint one piece with a unique marking without affecting the other pieces which share the same texture; If I paint one wing tip red, I don't want to see a red pattern appear on the tail or some other piece of the aeroplane.

    In this case, the Landing Gear covers mapped to the same areas.
    With the standard Army Air Corps paint schemes, the underside is mostly a single colour, so it is not an obvious problem.
    Stripes and certain camouflage pattern simply could not be done.
    The texture remapping was completed earlier today and I also finished applying a texture to the last piece that I believe needed one: the Control Panel.

    The screenshot shows the new Control Panel. There is no point showing the Landing Gear because the appearance has not changed.

    - Ivan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Airacobra_Instruments.jpg  

  3. #28

    Interior Canopy Frame

    One of the pieces that needs to be added via SCASM is the interior of the Canopy Frame.
    The process I use is to first build it as a single AF99 Component and texture it with an interior colour.
    When it is textured, it will still show all polygons on the outside as is typical with Components marked as "Smooth".
    After it is built, I disassemble with MdlDisAs into SCASM code and flip the polygons outside-in with a program I wrote a couple years ago.
    This process seems to work most of the time but in the past I have had some very strange blow ups.
    These days, I am tending to believe that the blow ups were a result of my malfunctioning Development Computer before it finally died.

    Attached are screenshots showing the appearance at each stage.
    The Reversed "Outside-In" model is quite odd to flip around in the simulator.

    - Ivan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CFrame_Isolated.jpg   CFrame_Flipped.jpg   CFrane_Inside.jpg  

  4. #29

    Airacobra Instrument Panel

    Hello All,

    The Virtual Cockpit and SCASM edits were done not long after the prior post.
    I had not realised that I didn't post any screenshots.

    The first attached image show what an actual cockpit view from the Airacobra looks like.
    To maintain the aspect ratio of the CFS panel, the last two rows of gauges could not be included.

    The second image is a screenshot of my new Airacobra Panel background with gauges.
    Note that the arrangement of gauges in the CFS panel is only meant to give an impression of the actual instrument panel.
    In the actual aircraft, the instrument panel is very narrow but very high and there are controls tucked into various corners of the cockpit. (The Starter is a pedal on the cockpit floor.) There are also instruments that have no equivalent. (Gauges for the propeller reduction gear, etc.)

    The center panel is mostly correct with the exception that the compass is replaced by a clock. There is no point in having both a Compass and a Directional Gyro in CFS.
    The right panel contains engine gauges as on the actual aircraft.
    The left panel is an assortment of gauges that have no other place.

    Improved versions of some gauges are already in the works and I can see quite a few places where the background can be improved.

    - Ivan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P-39Cockpit.jpg   Airacobra_Panel.jpg  

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