Work in progress:
Compiled version is here if you want to give it a try
Press 2 to posses Hovercraft
E - will turn on “hover” engine and Q will turn it off
WASD - to steer using the prop engine
It’s really hard to steer it, but not because of the simulation but crappy design of the hovercraft itself
This is one of the reasons why I’m working on this project, for me personally its an ability to model some approximation of the behavior of the real machine. That’s why its called Machinery Modelling Toolkit. Where Modelling stand for approximating physical behavior rather than building a detailed 3d mesh.
But I digress, the reason why it steers so bad is because I’m and awful hovercraft designer. I decided not to copy some existing design, like this one
but try to design something simple on my own. First mistake, is that prop engine is too high above the center of mass, this creates a lot of torque from propeller thrust in tight turns and when accelerating. Second mistake is steering using single engine by rotating it, instead of having an airfoil on the tail. The difference is that tail will work even if engine doesn’t provide any thrust, just by deflecting incoming air, when hovercraft is costing, like on a glider for example. But here you need to turn engine and press on throttle, which will add some extra torque that you don’t want.
Anyway, this can be a really nice use-case for adding PID controller to help user with steering.
Feedback is very welcome, sorry for absence of GUI, I’ll try to add it before next build.
EDIT: Forgot to establish context for this post. This is the “machine” for “tutorial” on how to use MMT plugin. This hovercraft is relatively simple and has few components. Math is simple too. Prop engine is a re-usable component from Aerosled, the only custom thing here is a rigged mesh for the hovercraft skirt and an air pressure component which imitates air-cushion effect.