Moving Helicopter using physics

Hi guys,

I am trying to get a the movement of a helicopter as it is flying, directing it up, down, left, right, forward back.



How am I best to do this when I have physics rigid body attached to it? Do I need to apply forces, or a central force to lift or move the helicopter?



Cheers

Harmy

It’s depending on how much you want to simulate the underlying natural laws. My idea would be to just have a central force applied along the up-axis of the propeller and steering keys just control the yaw, pitch and roll of the helicopter.



I guess you have to try things out till you find a satisfying physics model for it.

this would be a really fun way to learn physics :D, just keep messing with values until it works, dodkiles has the right idea

Studying how actual helicopters work could help :slight_smile:

Yeah, even a simple model could become pretty hard as “physics” means real, actual physics simulation. Including forces from collisions I assume, since it’s a rigid body.



In order for this to work well you’d indeed have to read about helicopter engineering, and if I remember correctly - most dynamical systems, even with just a few control points, requires you to sove a fairly complex system of DEs (numerically) each tick.

@androlo said:
Yeah, even a simple model could become pretty hard as "physics" means real, actual physics simulation. Including forces from collisions I assume, since it's a rigid body.

In order for this to work well you'd indeed have to read about helicopter engineering, and if I remember correctly - most dynamical systems, even with just a few control points, requires you to sove a fairly complex system of DEs (numerically) each tick.


I've tried for several months to make a hovercraft using forces and control points, I'm no good at math so I finally gave up and just fake it using physics kinematic bodies :) My advice: Ask yourself if you really need physics or just want something that is fun to play. Unless you are trying really hard to make an accurate simulator I'd suggest skip the "controlling it with forces". Most game development is all about smoke and mirrors and faking it 'til it looks good enough :)

I'm currently doing something like: game play is simplified and fake controlling of the vehicle. When it is about to crash (like hitpoints are < 0 or I detect that it is about to hit something hard) I impart a linear velocity in one physics tick and set the rigidbody to kinematic=false and it crashes spectaculary and flips and rolls in a satisifying way :)
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@jmaasing has got it figured out :slight_smile:

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