• Plane Maker Tutorial Part 1

    Now click on the tanks panel. We will have a fuel tank in each wing at about center of gravity (C of G), which we just set to 22.5 feet (mid point on fuselage). These will be laterally offset at 3.5 feet and vertically offset at -1.2 feet below the center line of the fuselage. Note the ratio setting which here is 50/50, obviously less if specifying more than two tanks.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    Click onto X and then choose "File/Save As" and name it. It should go into the Extra Aircraft folder. Here I have named it as tester, all aircraft file need to have .acf suffixes.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    As you change the C of G and tank positions the image moves and will center on the screen to where the C of G is.

    If you now fire up X-Plane and choose "New Flight" you should get the icon below, because X-Plane has found a new .acf file and the question mark is simply because a thumbnail image has not yet been created. Note that the icon name "testit" comes from what was put in for author details, not the file name. We will eventually get to a point where we will be able to generate a worthwhile icon and see a customize button so we can modify fuel loads, failure modes and any weapons.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    So wrapping this session up we have at least built a fuselage and got a file that X-Plane can see, even if without wings it won't do much. If you start it in X-Plane you might see this, if it's standing on end the C of G is wrong.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    At this point I could always plug a jet engine or rocket into it and simulate a whale scraping down a runway. The curvature of this body may even generate some lift. But for now I'll think about Part 2 which is putting the flying surfaces on. I hope this was useful and you enjoyed it and will catch up next time.

    Ray Hill
    Part 2 coming soon...

    More For X-Plane Users

    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.