• Plane Maker Tutorial Part 2

    Plane Maker Tutorial Part 2

    How to Create a Simulated Aeroplane for use in X-Plane

    By Ray Hill

    Flying Surfaces

    So we now restart Plane Maker and open our plane's *.acf file and immediately go into the "standard/wings" menu. You will see a row of tabs; for this design we are only interested in Wing1, Wing2, Horiz Stab, Vert Stab 1 & 2. The default is that all boxes are set to zero. Stay on the Wing 1 tab. Consider the wing design we will go for a low wing monoplane with some sweepback and dihedral. This needs to go near the front of the aeroplane. At this point I will be honest and state that I have already done the full build with flight test and mods plus some very basic artwork and it was about six hours work.

    By clicking on each up/down arrow you can fill in the boxes as per below. Set the semi-length for one wing to 18, its root chord to 12 and tip chord to 4 (if this was zero, you'd get a triangle). Give it a sweep angle of 17 and some dihedral, for stability, of 4 degrees. Bearing in mind that the fuselage was 45 feet and we now have a wing with a 12 foot root chord somewhere near the middle. Set the long arm (distance from zero datum) to 17.4 and the lateral arm from datum to 1.6 (we don't really want any lift surface too far inside the fuselage, unless we are doing a flying wing). Set the vertical arm to -0.5. Set the hash box to 9 which is sort of like defining how many ribs, then tick each section you want to be considered as flap and aileron widths. So, you should now be seeing the progress of your design in the bottom right hand image. You should also see that image of the wing geometry and location changes every time you adjust these values. Use the A, D, W, S keys to rotate and admire your work and more importantly check that it looks right.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    Many aeroplanes have wing tip sections (winglets) that improve aerodynamics, stability and reduce drag. We will put some on because it is a technique that may also be applied to modelling aeroplanes such as the Phantom or those with dog tooth sections such as the Hunter Mark 6 (which I have created as a Black Arrows model in the free download section). A second wing is also of use for building bi-planes, I have not tried one yet, the interplane struts may be tricky, we'll see.

    So do a quick save and then re-open in the Wing 2 tab, filling the boxes as below. Note the high value dihedral angle.

    Plane Maker Tutorial

    To get this interface precise requires detailed decimal point finessing of the long, lateral and vertical arms. Note that the root chord here matches the tip chord of wing one, which is not always the case. The sweep and dihedral setting also affect the three axis arm coordinates.


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