Author Topic: F/A-18 C/D aircraft mod and textures (FSX/P3D)  (Read 184415 times)

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #45 on: April 24, 2015, 07:40:52 am »
What, a GUY? Read the directions??? Noooooooo!!

Seriously though, not your fault. It's what I get for thinking i know what I'm doing. I guess I got cocky, but I do appreciate your help.
One more Q if I may be so bold: I installed the NH version as per every readme I can find. Yeah, NOW I read them. I installed the textures for it also, the v1.7 version, all off of page one of this thread. As  near as I can figure, it's a stand-alone, separate from the FA-18C_FSXBA2014 FLT15.2. Made from it, but separate from it.
Ok, on to the meat of the problem. I have no textures to view! every different one I've tried shows the same thing, preview and in the world, as it were. To wit, just a grey aircraft with no makings, colors, nothing. Great detail, but kinda dull, IMO :) It seems as though it's "seeing" the S texture bmbs, but not the T bmps, if you see what i'm saying. Like CP_F18_1_S.bmp, but none of the _T versions of the same file...
As I read the directions on page one, each zip file is clearly named (thank you!), IE: NH airplane v1.7, NH textures v1.7, and NH alternate FDE and panel gauge v1.7. I unzipped the airplane to the Sim, np, the textures into that folder just created. Left the alternate FDE till I get this texture thing squared away. I even read through the aircraft.cfg file (not being a total tyro at adding textures) and all seems in order, as far as each texture folder name and all the different variation and title lines for each texture go. I do see the different thumbnails on the selection page (the squadron emblems). But no "different" textures once selected.
If it makes any difference, I am using FSX-SE.
Can you tell me what I did wrong? Even a small hint? I know, I keep messing things up, and I really am grateful for all the time you take getting my tail out of the various cracks I keep sticking it in, and feel dumber and dumber for the silly mistakes I make...
Pat☺

hd764jvgd843

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2015, 02:40:59 pm »
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As  near as I can figure, it's a stand-alone, separate from the FA-18C_FSXBA2014 FLT15.2. Made from it, but separate from it.
This is so you can keep the mod side by side with other Hornet versions for easier comparison, that is why I choose a different naming for the mod versions.
The CS version being the exception from the rule, because the path is hardcoded somewhere.

Quote
NH airplane v1.7, NH textures v1.7, and NH alternate FDE and panel gauge v1.7. I unzipped the airplane to the Sim, np, the textures into that folder just created. Left the alternate FDE till I get this texture thing squared away.
I am not quite sure what are you trying to do. What do you exactly mean by the abbreviation FDE?
The corresponding NH textures need to be extracted into the 'NH_FA-18C' folder in order to work. I have checked the downloads and everything seems to be in order, as far as I can tell. In case you want to rename 'NH_FA-18C' folder you will have to rename the path found in each texture.cfg for each texture.

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #47 on: April 24, 2015, 07:50:47 pm »
Quote
What do you exactly mean by the abbreviation FDE?
Y'know, I never thought about it. I know the initials are used to mean "The flight parameters for a particular airplane." in the sim world. Like "Dino just published an update to the F-14 FDE's. He changed the .air and aircraft.cfg to make it fly even more realistically". I thought it was universal, I apologize!. I meant to indicate the airplane_v1.7.2_NH_FA-18C.7z file. Am I wrong in thinking that's just a slightly different set of flight parameters for the airplane_v1.7.0_NH_FA-18C.7z version?
I just found this, in a PDF file on FlightSim:
Quote
Flight Dynamics Editor (FDEditor)
, which is an .air file editor, basically, included in the file Flight Dynamics for Microsoft Flight Simulator.pdf as a reference to what software he used to help write the PDF.

But anyway, I'll keep working. It may be due to FSX-SE being so many folder levels deeper down, in the Steam folder, than a sim normally is. I did extract airplane_v1.7.0_NH_FA-18C.7z into the /D:/Temp/Steam/Steamapps/common/FSX/Simobject/airplanes (note: That's where I installed FSX-SE) folder as directed in the instructions, the effects in FSX/effects, and textures_v1.7.0_FS_FA-18C.7z into the folder thus created in that location. I am presuming (stupid thing to do, I know :) ) that I did it all properly, and I'll finger it out eventually, you wait and see!!
Thanks very much for all the great help so far! Good luck, and I'll keep my eye open (yeah, just one) for the next great update! Great flights to all!
Pat☺

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #48 on: April 29, 2015, 08:16:35 pm »
Just a quickie update: I got the NH Blue Angel #2 texture to work. Just picked a random choice, easy to remember (for me), definitely not having any delusions of grandeur (or is that gender??). I copied everything in the FS version's Blue Angel 2 texture folder, and replaced what was in the NH Blue Angel 2 texture folder. I kept the texture's zip file (textures_v1.7.0_NH_FA-18C.7z) as a back-up, of course. NOW I have at least one airplane with functional textures for the NH version.
No way am I going to spend all my time doing this to every texture, but at least one VMFAT-101 texture will come over, since I used to work for them back when they were a F-4 Phantom squadron on MCAS Yuma. Just for my own enjoyment.
I'm still certain I did something wrong, but I'll keep working on it.
Pat☺

hd764jvgd843

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2015, 09:35:25 pm »
Hi Pat,
I just can't figure why you would have such troubles getting the mod to work under FSX-SE.
Do you have the same issues getting Jimi's 'New FSXBA Hornet' to work (FA-18C_FSXBA2014 FLT15.2) or is the issue just occurring with my mods (CS/FS/NH)?

If it is of any help to you I prepared a single NH mod upload including aircraft and textures, so you have to copy only this single folder into your airplanes folder. Here you go: (link removed)

Please, tell me if it works, so I can remove the link - this is just a testing version I am working on for comparison of flight dynamics.

Peter
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 08:35:52 am by hd764jvgd843 »

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #50 on: April 30, 2015, 01:50:18 am »
SIR! Reporting as ordered! ;D

All textures tested (10 of them) fully operational, preview and "in the world".
You say this isn't an "operational" mod, like 1.7.2, correct? Is there something I can do to make a mix of the two? Like put the non-textural (just for something to call it) .air and aircraft.cfg files in this folder? Or put the textures from the textural folder you just included into the non-textural folder? Move the model folders over, one direction or the other old>new or new>old)?

I don't have the faintest idea where-in lieth the rub, but if I can make 1.7.2 have texture I'll be ecstatic!

To answer your other questions: No, I have no trouble at all with FA-18C_FSXBA2014 FLT15.2, nor do I have any problems with the FS_FA-18C, version 1.7.2. I don't have Combat Sim (CS), so I can't speak to that version, I'm afraid.

I sure do appreciate all the time you are putting into helping one guy, I really do. I know you have much better things to do with it (your time :) ).
Pat☺

hd764jvgd843

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #51 on: April 30, 2015, 09:05:34 am »
Glad to hear that I could help!

If you combine airplane mod and texture pack and update the way I intended, all files and folders should be in the same order as in the single folder you downloaded. If you like you can give it a try. Probably my instructions are somewhat misunderstanding, I will work on that.

File structure will be changed in the coming release, in order to facilitate copying of required files for the FS and CS versions, so do not worry about this one. Most of the changes I did have been reverted back to v1.7.2 so there should not be too many differences, for the time being.

I hope you have not been too much frustrated in your efforts trying to fit it all together in the right order. Currently I am, so I can relate to that, because some of my changes of cp's and flight dynamics did not work as intended and I have to get back to square one in order to find a different approach.

Best regards, Peter
« Last Edit: April 30, 2015, 09:12:14 am by hd764jvgd843 »

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2015, 01:19:55 am »
Nope, no frustration (ok, a teensy bit), except with my inability to figure out where I go wrong :) If something works good for everyone else but not me, in my thinking, it's my fault someplace, and I work it from that angle. I sincerely appreciate the help you've been giving me, and am grateful you spend the time and effort to do so.
I'm sorry I mess up the directions you provide. I honestly thought I was better than this at adding airplanes and their textures to one another, but I'm mostly an FS9 guy. FSX-SE is a bit new to me, and I strongly suspect this is where my mistakes creep up on me.

Ok, as I understand things, I can take and fly the one you just gave me for DL all I like and it's working just fine, yes? If so, then I am more than happy, and will be looking forward to v1.8.0, or whatever it will be :D
BTW: I have Jimmi's Prototype v1.55, for what that's worth, but it has some problems in tight corners and very slow, on-speed AOA problems with sudden jumps of the control positions, causing a jump in the aircraft un-commanded by me. For example, behind the boat, let's say about 5 miles, no wind, gear down, full flaps, and on-speed, on AOA. Fuel about 2.5. Airpseed about 135 or 140 KIAS to hold angels 1.2 to drive to the tip-over point. if I change the throttle even a little bit, the nose will take a jump up or down in response, by about 5 degrees. Other than things like that it's great. I know, this isn't the right place for this but I thought you'd like to see an example.
Thank you very much for all the great work! Keep the updates rollin' in man.
Pat☺

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #53 on: May 09, 2015, 07:16:38 am »
Peter,
Thank you SO much for clarifying the instructions on page 1! NOW I can see what goes where! Did you know until I read them a few minutes ago, I thought the CS initials meant Combat Sim? Show's ya how little I know, compared to how much I thought I knew :D
Thanks again, I appreciate it. If it matters to no one else, it sure made a huge difference for me!
Pat☺

hd764jvgd843

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #54 on: May 09, 2015, 10:04:21 pm »
Upgrade: 1.8.0

Changelog:

Overall:
- Folder structure changed, moved model version qualifiers to the back of folder names
- Moments of inertia changed, in relation to empty weight - better roll authority
- Empty weight CG position moved backwards (-34.2), where it should be
- Sideslip due to bank angle adjusted in conjunction with changed empty weight CG position
- Station + fuel longitudinal position, moved backwards in accordance with empty weight CG
- Gear contact points: overall height lowerd, max compression and more stiff while standing on the ground
- Flaps.N section: added lift/drag/pitch scalars for further fine tuning of flight characteristics
- Wing incidence (at root) and 'overall' wing twist (-3.0) to incidence at wing tip adjusted
- Brake strength slightly increased
- Tailhook length + position adjusted
- Wing aerodynamic center, 1534 table added in order to stabilize/balance airplane in conjunction with pitch auto trim
- Small texture changes throughout the packs: FS, CS and NHs

New Hornet:
- C version Training model added
- D version Clear, Clear_BA, and Training model added, including texture adjustments where appropriate
- C/D versions separated to facilitate texture and panel adjustments
- Various texture improvements, thanks to Ahmenace
- Internal turbine AB effects added
- Small corrections to weapon textures
- Shift+E, 3 will trigger animations (ladder, covers and blocks) now, due to disabled pirouette gauge/pirouette.xml

Note:
Overall these four airplane mods including textures will almost take up to 5 GB of uncompressed disk space.

Have fun!

Peter
« Last Edit: May 09, 2015, 10:50:52 pm by hd764jvgd843 »

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #55 on: May 10, 2015, 12:55:40 am »
Two questions, if i may be so bold:
1) I've been using the AHMenace texture files in place of the originals in the NH and FS FA-18C v1.72 models I downloaded most recently. They are great, too. With one teensy little detail (yeah, I'm a pain, I know): at night, the flaps/gear indicator lites below the secondary EIS (I think it's called) stay on all the time if the panel lites are on. Makes it seem as though the gear and full flaps are down all the time. They work normally in daylight. It's a small point, but I like to cross-check.
2) I am guessing that the Pirouette Gauge in Jimi's FA-18C_FSXBA2014 FLT15.2 is not needed in this version? It seems to work great in all the planes I've seen from Jimi, and I understand why you took it out, but how will affect the way the plane flies when in a tight turn? I've seen the Angels pull than maneuver in their shows, and tried it myself in the aforementioned v15.2, and I think it's a great way to pull a reversal on someone. Besides that, it's just plane fun, no pun intended  ;D
Just curious. You know me. By the by, thank you very much for all the effort you put into this project. This plane just get's better and better, and more fun to fly, and to see. I sure appreciate all the effort you and all the others put into all this.

Pat☺

hd764jvgd843

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #56 on: May 10, 2015, 12:57:53 pm »
Thanks Pat for your kind words, and pointing out these issues.
- I've stumbled over the flaps/gear indicator issue at night, too but have not been able to resolve it yet.
- Another thing that has been bugging me for ages are the formation lights at night, but I have not found a way to make upper ones for daylight transparent, so they will not interfere at night when formation lights are disabled.
- Concerning the disabled/removed pirouette gauge I have not noticed any differences in flight dynamics so far, so you should be able to pull these maneuvers even without the gauge. Please report in case you notice otherwise.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 02:46:55 pm by hd764jvgd843 »

jimi08

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #57 on: May 11, 2015, 02:38:29 pm »
Still working on the pirouette logic.  It has been put on the back burner for now.  According to NATOPS, the logic is triggered when the aircraft is over 25 deg AOA (i think), and stick and rudder input provided in the same direction simultaneously.

Advise a word of caution with adjusting flap drag values.  One of the primary methods I used for adjusting drag values was landing speeds.  Using NATOPS, you should be able to calculate the landing speeds based on aircraft weight.  You should also be able to derive an approx. RPM needed to keep the correct glideslope.  Make sure the flaps and landing gear drag settings jive so that you are able to achieve the correct numbers.

As for MOIs, be care here, the characteristics I placed on the aircraft are based on results derived from the formula listed in the SDK, from characteristics noted while flying an actual F/A-18 simulator used by the Navy/Marine Corps in Miramar, and by noted documentation from the Blue Angels as they mentioned having to constantly "counter roll" the jet to abruptly stop rolling inertia while doing rolling maneuvers.

Almost done with this long underway at sea.  Should be able to get back to work on the jet in about a month.  Can't wait. 

Thanks for continuing to work on this thing Peter.  Much appreciated.

Justin "Jimi" Hendrix
FSX Blue Angels
FSXBA F/A-18C Hornet Latest Download Link: http://www.fsdreamteam.com/forum/index.php/topic,6944.msg117011.html#msg1

PhantomTweak

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #58 on: May 11, 2015, 07:55:14 pm »
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Should be able to get back to work on the jet in about a month.  Can't wait. 
You think YOU can't wait?!?  :)
I can relate, though. Been "over there", and getting home was the best feeling! I am glad you'll be home soon. Take some time to BE home, and only then worry about a hobby. It matters. Did for me anyway.

Quote
Concerning the disabled/removed pirouette gauge I have not noticed any differences in flight dynamics so far, so you should be able to pull these maneuvers even without the gauge. Please report in case you notice otherwise.
I am still trying to make "good" comparisons.  I want a valid comparison, not just "I think that...". I want to be able to point and say "This and that aren't as good, thus-and-so is better." whatever. I am no test pilot by any stretch, but the closer I can duplicate scenarios between the two versions, the more valid it should be. I think.
So I test:)
So far, I've started at 25,000'MSL, 250KIAS, same fuel load, no weight aboard except the pilot and wing-tip missiles, both adjusted in the Fuel & Payload select screen. Why those parameters? Gotta start someplace! What I do is start out in a left bank, about a 2.5G pull. I steepen the bank angle, thus AOA, and the G load while bringing the throttle up to compensate, until I am at full throttle. As far as I can without "blacking out". I hold it at 4.0G almost 90° bank,  full throttle, until it departs. And they both always do, once AOA hits about 35-ish, which I expected. Usually after about 2.5-3 complete circles, and of course, the tighter I pull, the lower the airspeed drops, even in full AB, although the G load remains about constant.
So far, it appears to me that the FSXBA bleeds energy faster below the 200 kIAS point, and thus, departs sooner. I even managed, once, to enter an actual "spin". I used the Spin Recovery switch and got it out. Wound up down at about 7,000'. Scared the heck outta me, honestly, especially when running though my head was the NATOPS warning to eject by 10,000' under these circumstances. Not easy to eject from my easy chair, but for a second, I actually thought about reaching for the handle.  Still not a member of the Martin-Baker club :)
Sorry, got sidetracked.
One question: All I've read about the F/A-18 says that it should be a "feet-on-the-floor" aircraft to fly, meaning it shouldn't need hardly any, if any at all, rudder input during normal flight. I've noticed that to simulate such a condition I need to use the ctrl+shft+U key combo (auto-rudder). I don't normally ever use auto-rudder, and never have, but in this case...
Is this correct on my part, or should I leave it off? IE: Are the turning characteristics inherent to the aircraft's geometry adequate to require little or no rudder input, or can the sim engine not figure out a way to do that? I've noticed that "normal" turns require only a very small rudder input to stay balanced, but Pirouetee-ing requires a lot, either version. Just curious.
Nothing to do with Pirouette, I think, but I am pretty sure I noticed that the NH version (opposed to FSXBA, for brevity. I'm lazy, sue me :) ) tended to drift left when in landing configuration, on-speed/on AOA. Full flaps, hook down about 147kias. No clue for certain that it wasn't my fault though. Perhaps I rolled a teensy bit left and didn't notice, I am not going to swear I didn't.
So far as I can tell.
Anyway, that's my opinion, and only an opinion, so far. I hope it's of some use to y'all.
Pat☺

hd764jvgd843

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Re: FA-18 C/D aircraft mod and texture pack (FSX, CS and NH)
« Reply #59 on: May 12, 2015, 01:14:40 pm »
Thank you all for your suggestions and feedback, much appreciated - it really helps a lot.

Concerning the MOIs, I took the values from the FA-18E which has a much higher empty weight and adjusted these values for an estimated 24700 lbs empty weight of the legacy hornet.
From a physical point of view, as much of the airplane's weight is distributed along the longitudinal axis, it makes sense that the pitch and yaw MOIs have to be within the same magnitude and that the roll MOI should be considerably lower. Thanks to your explanation Jimi, I understand now why these values were adjusted, to achieve the 'counter roll' behaviour, but I would suggest trying to achieve the desired behaviour through easing back on the aileron effectiveness and roll stability instead modifying the fundamental MOI values. I will try to realized a solution for the next update.

Concerning a reference airplane for tuning of flight characteristics, I have always been working with a standard A-A loadout including center tank, for my modding. Its a sort of a compromise considering the different NH loadouts - heavier than the empty loadouts Clean, BA, Training, and lighter than GBU, Mav and Zuni. As my modding started as a port of FSXBA features to the FS and CS versions, I intend to maintain compatibility within the three versions, so they should roughly fly the same based on loadout and configuration. This means working with the given parasite drag scalars due to CS loadout, because there is no way to change them. (parasite_drag_scalars, due to CS Loadout:  A-A: 1.22  A-G: 1.30  Clean/BA: 1.00  Train: 1.06  Max: 1.34)
It would be very helping if we could use these values as a common base for future developments and flight tuning.
Since replicating a real FCS in order to dynamically compensate different weight distributions and its changes over time, due to loadout is out of reach (especially mine), as a working hypothesis, I moved all stations and fuel including pilot and gun CGs around the longitutinal axis to the empty weight CG position (-34.2 ft) as a starting point for balancing and tuning the airplane.

I have to admit that my knowledge and understanding concerning glideslope, RPM, approach speeds on aircraft weight, pitch etc. (NATOPS) is very limited, and I am more than happy for your suggestions and feedback on these subjects. What would really help me right now, if you could share some of your own testing scenarios adjusted for the above mentioned reference airplane, that I could base my tweakings on.
I know that replicating the exact flight behaviour throughout the entire envelope will be very difficult, perhaps impossible to achieve - but every described testing scenario, based on NATOPS, would be one step in the right direction.

Concerning the added drag/lift/pitch scalars for the flap.n sections, I could not resist tempering with them, and that they need to be in jive, as Jimi so elegantly put it, in order to replicate a realistic approach. Currently the bird's touchdown behaviour is questionable, and I will try to fix it with the next update.

FCS Auto_Rudder gauge is enabled by default and as far as I noticed it seems to be working fine because usually no additional rudder input is needed durning normal flight.
I usually use additional manual rudder input, without deactivating auto rudder,  after a half loop in order to quickly spin the aircraft around - some sort of Immelmann maneuver. If you overdue it the bird will temporary spin out of control until you release the controls and it recovers. Pat, as you have mentioned spin recovery knob and Martin Baker ejection seat, do you know working keyboard shortcut combinations to triggere these?

Peter
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 01:35:45 pm by hd764jvgd843 »