Projects are first defined in Plane Maker, the native program for X-Plane. A flight model needs to
be created here and the flight characteristics and all other parameters set. Unlike other flight
simulators, the flight model itself determine aerodynamic effect, so what is created here gives a
highly accurate flight model.
To expand on the capabilities of Plane Maker it is possible to work "Outside" of it and create
elements to enhance the appearance of what you see on screen. This makes for an enhanced
experience for you by adding such things as animated controls and virtual cockpits. Below are
just a few examples of how some of these elements are incorporated .
click to enlarge
These pictures illustrate the enhanced flight model. The original
3D mesh is first imported into a third party program and a new
improved wire mesh is created that matches the original, only
with the capability to organize the textures you will see on screen
and add very fine details. You will see here that the window
openings are smooth. These are molded and actually have
windows inserted as a separate object. The 'Comanche' logo
and cowl latches are separate parts and placed onto the
fuselage. Note also the wing shape. The airfoil shape itself is
generated from a database so matches the real aircraft very
closely. This gives a highly realistic appearance and adds to the
total flight experience.
Here are a few screen shots during construction. This is where
the parts are created and textures applied. The lower picture is
the B17 cockpit showing the various elements.
click to enlarge
Testing out animation in Bender. This
graphic shows the controls under
construction. This is where the moving
parts are programmed.....