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Spaceships and space flight

Postby chris_blues » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:37 pm

Split off from What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3.

Alral wrote in Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:33 pm:Hopefully that falls under "What/where did I fly today"

Image
Image
Image

Commander, we have a ship of unknown configuration on an intercept course! Permission to raise shields?
Image

At least three different means of transportation are present on this screenshot...
Image

:)
What ship is that? A Federation Runabout? In black?
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Reason: Split off from "What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3". Added quote with previous post for context.
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby Alral » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:55 pm

Yep, the Danube runabout from the http://www.seahorsecorral.org/flightgear_aircraft.html.
Not only it is quite a nice ship to fly around, it also has a walker that is capable (with some difficulties) to take a ride on my balloon, since Jeep-derived walkers cannot even mount the gondola...
And indeed some good StarTrek memories...Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
http://www.flightgear.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9312

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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby chris_blues » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:02 pm

Alral wrote in Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:55 pm:Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Make it so! :D

Just downloaded them all. Maybe tonight I can try some running about... :mrgreen:
Thanks for the link!
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby chris_blues » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:41 pm

Well, I had quite some fun with the Runabout:

Synchronous orbit established!
Image

Image
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby Alral » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:22 pm

What is missing from the picture is a couple of Borg cubes...
http://www.flightgear.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9312

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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby chris_blues » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:23 pm

Well, it's not a good day to die... :roll:

Maybe someone has built a Dominion Fighter...
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby Alral » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:30 pm

And we definitely need a Warp implementation...
http://www.flightgear.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9312

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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby chris_blues » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:33 pm

Unfortunately, there's nowhere to go, except farther away from mother earth... I once tried going to the moon with the bluebird. But after more than 400.000 miles I decided that it's just a waste of time... Moon wasn't even getting bigger... It took forever for nothing....

Though the idea of space-travel in FG is not new. I'm confident, that someday it'll become possible. Imagine flying the C172p on Mars! :D
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby chris_blues » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:47 pm

Your force is growing stronger, but much to learn you have, young padavan! :D
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby Fritz » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:09 am

chris_blues wrote in Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:33 pm:Unfortunately, there's nowhere to go, except farther away from mother earth... I once tried going to the moon with the bluebird. But after more than 400.000 miles I decided that it's just a waste of time... Moon wasn't even getting bigger... It took forever for nothing....

Have you tried reaching Venus? ;)

Though the idea of space-travel in FG is not new. I'm confident, that someday it'll become possible. Imagine flying the C172p on Mars! :D

This reminds me of https://what-if.xkcd.com/30/

I'm actually thinking about making a space ship for FG. It will be a long term project, because I've never created a model for FG, and its main purpose will be for me to learn how to make models, instruments and systems. Because there is no outer space in FG, I'll omit the hyperspace drives for the moment, and the focus will be on other systems, atmospheric flight, and landing the thing without making a huge crater. But if some day interstellar space is possible in FG, I won't be sad! :)

But extrasolar planets would need the equivalent of the earth's scenery, and this would have to be created pseudo-randomly because we have no real data. And we would at least need a real Sun in each system, including ours...

But this is getting off-topic. I flew from EDMA to EDMK today... :roll:
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby chris_blues » Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:21 am

Fritz wrote in Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:09 am:
chris_blues wrote in Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:33 pm:...after more than 400.000 miles I decided that it's just a waste of time...

Have you tried reaching Venus? ;)

Actually, I wrote that from the top of my head. Isn't that the distance to the moon (this particular flight was years ago - I think) ? Haven't looked it up... Fact is, I should have reached moon, and went a little further...

[Edit]
Now I've looked it up:
The short answer is, the average distance to the Moon is 384,403 km (238,857 miles).

Well, it was km instead of miles, but not as far off as I just thought I was.
[/Edit]

Fritz wrote in Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:09 am:
Though the idea of space-travel in FG is not new. I'm confident, that someday it'll become possible. Imagine flying the C172p on Mars! :D

This reminds me of https://what-if.xkcd.com/30/

Exactly what I was thinking about! :D

Fritz wrote in Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:09 am:I'm actually thinking about making a space ship for FG. It will be a long term project, because I've never created a model for FG, and its main purpose will be for me to learn how to make models, instruments and systems. Because there is no outer space in FG, I'll omit the hyperspace drives for the moment, and the focus will be on other systems, atmospheric flight, and landing the thing without making a huge crater. But if some day interstellar space is possible in FG, I won't be sad! :)

That sounds beautiful! Go for it!!! (Which one would you like to do?)

Fritz wrote in Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:09 am:But extrasolar planets would need the equivalent of the earth's scenery, and this would have to be created pseudo-randomly because we have no real data. And we would at least need a real Sun in each system, including ours...

There's much data on Mars. Some of the nearer planets have much data as well. Well, other systems are a different story... I'd settle for our system for now. :mrgreen:
[Edit2]
I'd love to see, what our graphical magicians can do with sth like Saturn's rings!
[/Edit2]

I love the idea of FG goes to outer space! Many celestial bodies are already positioned correctly in FG. It's just one more step of making FG more modular. Like when you leave earth's gravity, we switch to a solar coordinate grid. Let earth drift along as some dot on the horizon. Coming into another gravity area, switch to that coordinate system. and so on. The theory isn't that hard. The typing effort is...
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby Fritz » Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:23 am

That sounds beautiful! Go for it!!! (Which one would you like to do?)

Go for it... that's easy to say!

The outer shape will be based on the Oolite Python. Why this one? Because it's my favourite and the ship I'm flying in Oolite. I love the old-fashioned and dangerous looking shape, and because nobody knows how a Python looks in the inside, I have the freedom to design the cockpit like I need it. I'll try to make the FG model old-fashioned in some way, for example using "steam gauges" instead of boring TFT displays and using "modern" displays and computerized systems only where absolutely needed.

The first steps are already done - I've converted the Oolite model to SketchUp, made some sketches of how the landing gear will have to be arranged (the original Python isn't able to land on a surface), and I've "defined" the properties of the necessary science-fiction technology: energy generators, thrusters, and artificial gravitation. The physics will be completely different from Oolite and much more realistic, and starting from "cold and dark" will take some time. Because of the artificial gravitation, the thing will probably fly like a very heavy airship, but without being limited in altitude. It will not need hypersonic speeds and complex aerodynamics to get into space. I'm actually very curious to see how it will behave!

The next steps will be adding the landing gear and the cockpit, because both are missing on the Oolite model. Then I'll start to design the cockpit interior, instruments, and controls. But don't expect anything soon: I think I'll be finished with the alpha version about when I go into retirement... :roll:

(PS: Perhaps a moderator can move the space part to another thread?)
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby chris_blues » Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:29 am

Fritz wrote in Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:23 am:I think I'll be finished with the alpha version about when I go into retirement... :roll:

I hope that's not too far into the future! (If you know what I mean)

Fritz wrote in Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:23 am:(PS: Perhaps a moderator can move the space part to another thread?)

After working on the earthview textures I have to admit, that I'm completely spaced out! All I can think of at this time. Though you're right, this is quite off-topic. :roll:
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby Thorsten » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:19 am

Moon wasn't even getting bigger...


That'd be because like the skydome, it's kept at a constant distance from you.

It should however be easy to extend Earthview to project a moon in front of the skydome moon - which you then can reach :-) You just can't land on it...


and I've "defined" the properties of the necessary science-fiction technology: energy generators, thrusters, and artificial gravitation. The physics will be completely different from Oolite and much more realistic


Well, in case this is to run on JSBSim and you just invent the technology bits and not re-design the physics problem, there's lots of general-purpose coordinate code which exists for the Shuttle which you can utilize out of the box.

For instance, there's the orbital elements computation which converts current state vector to orbital elements, there's the attitude and pointing code which converts body vectors to LVLH, FG world and inertial coordinate systems and gives you for instance inertial yaw/pitch/roll rather than Earth-relative, there's Nasal routines to convert state vectors to orbital elements and back,...

Basically most of the nasty problems have been solved, so you should be able to get a running avionics for operating your ship in Earth orbit and the atmosphere easily.

Let me know if you need some pointers with spaceflight, I suppose I have made most mistakes by now :-)
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Re: What/Where did you fly today? - Part 3

Postby Fritz » Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:27 pm

Thorsten wrote in Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:19 am:
and I've "defined" the properties of the necessary science-fiction technology: energy generators, thrusters, and artificial gravitation. The physics will be completely different from Oolite and much more realistic

Well, in case this is to run on JSBSim and you just invent the technology bits and not re-design the physics problem.

That's what I'm hoping for! I haven't thought too much about it yet, but thrusters will have thrust in a certain direction and measured in kN. Like a jet engine, but without fuel consumption and without any dependencies from speed, air temperature and density. This should be no problem with JSBSim, as far as I've seen. The ship will have well defined dimensions, a mass and a centre of mass, and it will have air resistance. Btw: Has somebody created something like a virtual wind tunnel where you can test 3D models? If not, I'll have to guess reasonable values.

Maneuvering will be done by small thrusters, so again we have no "strange" physics. Antigravity sounds more difficult, but I think I can define it as a vertical thruster with thrust depending on gravity field strength and the angle between the vertical ship axis and the gravity field lines. This is a relatively simple calculation with sine or cosine, so it shouldn't be a problem either - the result is a lifting force in kN. As you say, science-fiction is only hidden inside the technology bits, but the effects are real physics.

For instance, there's the orbital elements computation which converts current state vector to orbital elements, there's the attitude and pointing code which converts body vectors to LVLH, FG world and inertial coordinate systems and gives you for instance inertial yaw/pitch/roll rather than Earth-relative, there's Nasal routines to convert state vectors to orbital elements and back,...

I don't think I'll need orbital calculations at the beginning ,because in reality ;) this ship would just rise out of the atmosphere at a slow speed (compared to orbital velocities), and when the air density is low enough (perhaps in around 200 km altitude?), the hyperspace drive would be engaged. When arriving at a planet, it would jump (or warp?) to a position at about the same altitude, cancel out the gravity and slowly descend into the atmosphere - no heat shield needed. This is what most science-fiction ships seem to do, and this is what an Elite or Oolite ship would do if it could land.

But of course a ship like the one I'm planning could reach orbital speeds, and it could even make voyages to Moon or Mars without hyperspace drives in reasonable time scales. It's big advantage over real space ships is that it isn't limited by fuel quantities and Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation, so it can accelerate for hours and days.

Basically most of the nasty problems have been solved, so you should be able to get a running avionics for operating your ship in Earth orbit and the atmosphere easily. Let me know if you need some pointers with spaceflight, I suppose I have made most mistakes by now :-)

Perhaps I'll get back to you some day, but as I said, this project will probably take months, if not years, because I first have to learn making 3D models, instruments, a FDM, and reasonably complex systems (I like to have a complex start-up procedure!). I'll be happy if I can lift off, fly at aircraft altitudes, and land without damaging something. Getting into orbit will probably the last thing I'll try - the Python is a big heavy freighter, and I don't think it will accelerate at much more than about 1 m/s²... :roll:
Last edited by Fritz on Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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