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MSFS Flight Model Bending - The Graf Zeppelin (II)

I was just thinking about this after HPG released their hot air balloon ;)

glad to see it's still moving forward! looking cool....

No it's not dead - however time in my life is very tight at the moment and fiddly blended joins take a lot of time to get looking right. Making progress again now though, very pleased with how the fins now integrated with the hull look

On this day, 86 years ago, the Hindenburg leaves Germany on what would be her last flight, carrying 97 souls onboard.
Hi all, update time, it's not no progress just painfully slow progress, having a 12h+ a day day job has it's disadvantages. Some new parts that I have taken the effort to go all out on the fidelity of, though I'm a one-man band so this is a slow process.


However I have been having some fun experimenting, I think I must've gone mad. Girders in multiple LODs, the later pictures are the girder second from the left though I have done sections in the higher fidelity examples and the whole ship in low LOD framework

High fidelity test section (above), medium fidelity test full outer framework (below)


Of course any finished article would not have anywhere near that number of frames but it's very interesting to see what they look like - that said if I can keep the mesh budget down I may just go ahead and add them. A curious part of this is the gas cells, as upon adding these and calculation of the volume, this comes up very close to the actual number (just under ~1.5% of the actual), shows how tight they were onto the framework of the actual ship.

As to testing in game, that's a grudge match I haven't the headspace to work on that right now, more than likely to be made obselete next year by MSFS 2024
I doubt I'll be anywhere near finished when MSFS24 arrives, life holds much for me at the moment, also it may be worth the wait to see what the airship physics are like for that release (not holding my breath though). Modelling in the meantime is useful therapy, coding a flight model is a stressful and underwhelming experience when nearly every solution has massive compromises that ruin what could've been a wonderful experience. Besides there's a lot to re-learn, for instance my last foray on this project back in april/may was doing some animations - control levers, flight surfaces, engines, ... as well as basic 3d gauges
May as well share more of the progress

Focussing on finishing small parts one at a time soon adds up, doesn't require a tremendous amount of time either, just care and attention, think MSFS24 has given me renewed motivation.

Revisions to the wheels - now in final form, now with the perpendicular folding handle. An optimised ballast board is almost ready for a home in the control car


Control car girder work is ~90% complete, in varnished blue for now for easy viewing of flaws - most will be silver for the finished article. The first of the sliding/folding windows also as placeholder is in for test


Integration is going well, placeholder controls and furniture save on part count when working (these files get big fast with massive amounts of detail). Large amounts of the detail you see here will be stripped soon, as they are the non viewing faces but these are left till the last to ensure proper placement


New single part undercarriage shrowd that I am now very happy with, took long enough -.- , internals girders and struts in the gear here are older placeholders and not the superdetailed variants yet. Looks quite the part on the ship that said, alongside a lot of lower fin work refining curves and adding details like the grab handles, windows and the right hand side door (contrasting colour here for work purposes - skin coloured on the final)


Adding the finer detail to the external hull is nearly done, upper hull and fins are basically done now, all windows are in, the last thing really are the various hatches for ropes/cargo etc, vent holes and waste tank bumps. Guttering I will leave to textures I think for now. Engine pods I am treating as their own project - being detached from the ship has advantages, whilst no new updates today for them, I am progressing with the finer details.

I have also done a little bit of work refining the gas cell shapes, this is also still placeholder as I want them to match the actual total volume of 201K/m3 in the final version - can only get them to 198K/m3 for now. And finally, given the reaction to the last post, some framework, with the placeholder main deck and new undercarriage on the control car for show - interior is further along than that but is on pause whilst I work on the important bits. Keel corridor and jut outs for the main deck bulges not in the framework yet - that is partially done though


Sorry I'm taking an age
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I understand. By the way, when you get to the passenger areas, will you find an artist to recreate Otto Arpke’s work?
Wahhh I swear this is an amazing project here!!!! and with the Physics overhaul announced for FS24, maybe we will have realistic flight dynamics etc :)
Not a lot to update this time, refinements and small changes as I close out some areas, keels windows have been completely redone, now with reduced thickness to the frames and sitting much straighter.


Though this part I couldn't resist showing, I am particularly satisfied with it, ofc I had to have a play with getting it to work 🔦

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