• Plane Maker Tutorial Part 1

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    To the top of the grey panel, just above where it says "BODY DATA" click on the Top/Bottom tab section which will give you a top, bottom and side view of your new wonder design.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    Note that it's a view of a pointy ended closed cylinder. It's starting to look like it might be the beginnings of something useful.

    We can click on the small squares and move them around vertically and horizontally to get to our required shape. The bottom and top views work as a pair whilst for the side view each dot operates individually. Experiment with clicking and moving your dots until you get something like this. The offset to the top view and lump to the top of the side view is roughly where our cockpit canopy will go.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    If you click back to the "section" panel you will now see something like this. Note that by sliding things around the station positions and smoothness of curvature has changed. You may wish to simply overtype the new values to 5, 10, 15...40 or keep as is. Since we will not need to cut any metal from the drawing save time and keep as it is, at least for now.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    Click on the top left panel cross to go back to the starting panel and you will see the 3D fuselage view as below, yup it is rough. Leave for now. Use the W, D, S, A keys to spin it around and have a good look.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    We are almost at the end of the first stage but before we are allowed to save we need to give it some important information. Click on "standard/author" and fill in the X-Plane name, aircraft author, description. Click on Experimental box and put in something for the "specify manufacturer" box. Click the cross and on the main panel you now want to go into "standard/viewpoint", change the Vne box to 350 which is chosen for the maximum airspeed this design will travel at.

    Click the cross and choose "standard/weight and balance". Let's start with filling in the details as per below.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    I set the total airframe engine weight as 2,000 lbs plus a fuel load of 400 lbs. The maximum weight is 4,000 lb (maybe after adding any bombs, etc.). This value really dictates what engine power/thrust you need to specify later on. For a VTOL thrust needs to be greater than maximum weight while for a conventional plane the thrust may be somewhat less because as the plane accelerates air flow across the wings will start to generate lift.

    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Excellent tutorial Ray. Plane Maker doesn't seem quite as daunting now.

      Roll on part two
    1. CatOnMyLap's Avatar
      CatOnMyLap -
      Thank you very much for this. Nice to have a quick survey with hints at proper order before deeper delving.

      Two issues: XP/PM 11.32r2 on Linux
      CG offsets are negative, which I assume means that I've missed setting the "datum point," but I don't see where/how to set that.
      When I start X-Plane w/ new test plane on ground/runway, the fuselage immediately falls through the scenery and crashes before I can even pause the sim; starting in the air works fine, and I see a slow rotation to a nose dive.

      Finally, is there any way to graphically show/set the CG in the fuselage at this point?

      No worries, I'll figure it out in the morning. Cheers!
    1. CatOnMyLap's Avatar
      CatOnMyLap -
      "Fixed" negative CG: Well, I saved, quit, came back later and I could set positive CG. Don't know if I changed something else that would have affected this, but it's fine now.
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