I just wanted to announce that I have started a little proof-of-concept work that might as well be used in the Panda3D showcase section, some day: The Panda Airlines Flight Simulator (I just came up with the name when Google asked me for a project name - can be improved).
I haven’t used Panda3D in years, but after I got familiar with modelling in Blender (now that it’s become much more user-friendly) I thought it would be time to use my new modelling experience to create some assets and throw them into a simple simulation/game. And the most simple simulation I could think of (next to a boring car racer) was a flight simulator. Actually I wonder, why I couldn’t find any Panda3D flight simulator, yet. I probably underestimate the complexity and amount of work, but I try to keep it simple for now and the current progress convinced me to continue.
The basic idea in a nutshell: Simulate start, flight and landing of a simple aircraft model in a dynamically generated+textured 3D world, using a physics engine to simulate the interaction between speed, weight, lift, drag and momentum.
This demo screenshot is already known to some of you who supported me with the geomipmapping render issue (thank you very much!): The Messerschmitt BF-109 on the Bremen airport runway (texture from Bing maps):
Planned Features (partially optional):
- Realistically textured aircraft model (test model will be improved)
- Automatically generated map (respecting view distance using map zoom level) with textures dynamically loaded from a map provider (Google Maps, Bing, etc.), allowing to fly any place loadable from the provider
- Automatically generated terrain, if suitable height-maps can be acquired from map provider, too
- Real physics oriented (but not necessarily 100% physically correct) flight mechanics:
- wheel collision detection guides the plane on the runway
- airplane parts (fuselage, wings, landing gear, tail) have weight assigned to them and cause drag and lift (in case of wings and tail planes)
- air speed (respecting ground speed and wind speed) is relevant for drag and lift
- air stability depends on the relation between the forces
- airplane in air is controlled by propulsion (rotor speed and angle of attack) and flap tilt angle only
To be extended.