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Author Topic: DGIII alpha release available part 3 (CLOSED)  (Read 14886 times)

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Offline DanSteph

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26 January 2004, 19:41:15
"It make no sense to hold so much time an add-on that have already much more
feature than the previous DGII."

So here is the alpha version of the DGIII

download here:

And here we go for the third thread about the DGIII alpha ;)


Offline DanSteph

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Reply #1 - 26 January 2004, 19:45:16
I finish this part below (one hour max)
and there will be the next release 040126_rev1

So here is an automated "check system display"

This is self explaining, it perfom a check of all the system and tell
you if something is wrong...

Recall: you can type on your real keyboard:
'D' = DISP
number= number entered in the flight computer (not numpad number)

so to fast check your take-off config for example you can type fast  'D71'

This might be REALLY usefull for the 'before landing check' where you are
too busy to click on the panel's keyboard... Just type "D76" on your
real keyboard and the check is performed and rsult displayed.


Offline bgreman

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Reply #2 - 26 January 2004, 21:23:33
For all of you who are debating the nature of DanSteph's DGIII APU, I commented in this thread:

about exactly what sort of thing it does.  

It is NOT a shuttle APU.  It is NOT a fuel cell.  It's essentially a hi-tech steam turbine electricity
generator.  It heats uses gaseous N2 to push hyradzzine into a catalytic heating bed, where it
explosively decomposes into hot gas, which is channeled into a turbine.  The turbine acts as a
magneto, generating current in an inductive loop, and the resulting electrical power is used to
power the DG's systems.  

You can't compare it to the Shuttle's APU, which is a mechanical ENGINE (as in, not an electrical
generator) that uses a similar system to drive a turbine which drives various hydraulic pumps.  The
Shuttle's fuel cells extract electrical energy directly from a redox reaction.

I hope this clears up any ambiguities concerning his APU, how it works, and what it does.


Houston...we've flushed our toilet.

Offline darkvoid

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Reply #3 - 26 January 2004, 21:54:40
DanSteph said:

Strange I make the reentry fine almost all the time starting from iss
scenary and taking 1.20° reentry angle do you start also from iss ?
what is your speed when you start the reentry and what is your Epd ?

Anyway I'm not satisfied with the reentry code yet I'll tune it again.

I was using the "docked at iss" scenario, cleared the station, retrograde until reentry angle was
1.20º then I used auto pilot AOA 40º.

I've tried again and I find to difficult / inaccurate to reentry.The temperature should not rise so
quickly. If I reentry with exactly 1.20º I can, 50% of the times now ,do it safely going only to yellow temperature warnings. But I hoped the ship should me more resistant...

Post Edited (01-26-04 22:09)

Offline DanSteph

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Reply #4 - 26 January 2004, 22:03:04
do you bank ? or you stay level ? (you should not bank with current version)
Do you have "complex flight model" checked in "orbiter launchpad" parameter tab ?
have you full of fuel ?

ADVICE 040126_rev1 is out  see download page :)

I'm going to watch TV (I almost never watch it) I hope there is
NO space related movies ;)
(I work on the DGIII since 8am it's 10pm now)


Christopher Tarana

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Reply #5 - 26 January 2004, 22:05:12

 Geez Dan,  I was just about to say I have no complaints with the lastest version of the glider
and you've already got another one ready on the dock.  :applause:  It's a good thing you
have a good trade-up program! :)  Where's the circuit breaker for the seat adjuster?  I tried
to use that and my chair never moved!  :wonder    :)

 That self-test display will be very handy, especially for the newer pilots.  I'm looking forward
to checking it out.


Offline ENS2018

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Reply #6 - 26 January 2004, 22:16:00
Hey Dan,

I just did a flight from Earth to Moon and landed at Briton Beach Pad 02.  Everything seemed to
work great.

I do have a slight bug that I'm not sure if you can actually fix.  When landed at Briton Beach, the
Life Pack display says you can load fresh O2/N2 from "EXT" source.  Should this instead be from a
docked source, instead of pulling from the atmosphere (there isn't an atmosphere on the moon, of
course).  So instead of pulling from the atmosphere, maybe it could instead simulated having
tubing run to the DGIII (would be the same as when docked to ISS, Mir...ect.)  Was just a thought.

One thing I really liked though was that you can pop the hatch while landed on the moon.  I know,
it's not exactly the brightest thing to do, but it does add a bit of thought to what you're doing in
DGIII.  Needless to say, I did take the opportunity to pop the canopy while there, and was please
to see pressure, temp, and O2 drop dramatically - killing everyone on board.

I'm downloading the new version now, and am looking forward to testing out some of the new
features.  The ship state window will be very helpful.

Good job again, and thanks for all your work.


Offline darkvoid

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Reply #7 - 26 January 2004, 22:18:42

I don't bank, I use "complex flight model" and I was using full fuel load yesterday.
Now I'm using 50% fuel and exactly 1.20º reentry angle and having more success (but I'm still
thinking DGIII should be more resistant)

And Dan go and watch some TV, you need to be relaxed to continue to put up with new  
wonderful gadgets to DGIII. :P

Now I'm going to try the "040126_rev1" version  :)

Offline DanSteph

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Reply #8 - 26 January 2004, 22:30:22
Mhhhh the fuel seem the reason then, I use always 50%
anyway as said I will rework the reentry.

Tony: oooops the canopy was supposed to be locked on moon
do you REALLY want this feature in the next release ? :)



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Reply #9 - 26 January 2004, 22:35:28

The "EXT" source for the fuel, while landed at Brighton Beach, means that there is a "fuel truck"
that comes to refuel the DG3 and resupply the O2/N2 tanks.  This makes sense, since you're
sitting on a landing pad; the fuel and supplies "come in" through a side aperture (like the fuel tank
in your car).  "DOCK" is used when docked at the nose to a station, and initiates resupply through
the nose airlock area.  That part all makes sense :)



  • Guest
Reply #10 - 26 January 2004, 23:42:52
I finally found some BUGS to report! Been looking for these since my first download, but other
people always beaten me to posting them.

If a program is loaded, the system check just brings up the loaded program screen. It displays the
menu fine, but only does the check if no programs are loaded.

When I landed, I was not quite aligned with the runway (this isn't the bug, just my own sloppy
flying). I used the rudder to try and straighten it out, just as the control went to RCS automatically.
The rudders and nosewheel locked in position and I spun out.

Maybe it should go back to atmospheric control when in contact with the ground, as RCS has little,
if any, effect when landed. This would fix the nosewheel problem I described, while allowing RCS in
low speed hover flight.

Also, would it be possible to reset control surface positions when they deactivate, or is that an
Orbiter problem?

Offline Wilko

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Reply #11 - 27 January 2004, 00:59:30
Another niggling little bug...

When you land without gear, the wheels rotating sound still plays. Maybe a more satisfying metal
screeching noise would be appropriate? :) You could probably 'borrow' one from MSFS.

Love the new auto checklists :) reminds me of the EICAS systems on commerical airplanes which
tells you which stuff is still inactive.

Post Edited (01-27-04 01:22)


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Reply #12 - 27 January 2004, 01:08:23
Me again. Just a few friendly suggestions for the config program.

1. I would prefer the Pilot's Age setting to be a textbox. If non-numeric text is entered, just have it
save as the default 34.

2. The skin selector should remove the "DeltaGliderII" from the beginning of any custom skins, and
just display "medical" or "darkblue" or whatever the name is.

Neither of these are major inconveniences, but they would be nice.


  • Guest
Reply #13 - 27 January 2004, 01:30:00
Ok, so how do I UNLOCK the canopy? Tried to open it on the surface of earth, and was told it was


  • Guest
Reply #14 - 27 January 2004, 01:55:15
I noticed that too. Sometimes it starts locked, sometimes it doesn't. (this is in the same scenario,
that starts landed at KSC runway). Using the hover thrusters to take off and land again unlocks
the canopy. I've never noticed it failing to unlock on landing.

Oh, and just one more thing. Sorry to be asking for so much in a free project, but if this wasn't
such an excellent ship I wouldn't care about the small things, there would be too many major
problems in the way.

Some parts of the configuration, like skin and smoke settings, are loaded when the scenario
starts. Others wait until the outer hatch is opened. How hard would it be to make the entire config
load on scenario start? It's a bit annoying for it to say "configuration loaded" whenever I open the
door, or for it to say "pilot's name: John Doe" when I don't.

Offline MattNW

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Reply #15 - 27 January 2004, 02:40:53
DanSteph wrote:

>Tony: oooops the canopy was supposed to be locked on moon
>do you REALLY want this feature in the next release ?


I don't know about Tony but I want to be able to open the cockpit at any time. It's one more thing
to go/do wrong. If you are dumb enough to hit the "Open Canopy" button in vacuume then you
deserve explosive decompression. :) Making it too "fool proof" makes it less exciting in my opinion.
There should be room for mistakes that can bite you if you don't do something correctly.

Also what if the cabin gets invaded by some alien organism. You want to be able to blow that
sucker into orbit. 8)

Haven't encountered any aliens but when the kids were over and the DG still had
the "Decompression" button, I'd sign them in as crew and if they got too obnoxious I'd threaten
em with it. Of course it didn't take them long to experiment with it themselves and find it was only
there for looks. :):)

On my reentries I was using the scenario "Docked to ISS" with no changes to any configuration. I
managed to get down using an angle of 1.20 but it was a real fire breather reentry and I was
hovering just barely below the max temp. I haven't tried checking my descent speed any. It was
just a test of the way I always used to bring it down with the older versions.

You want snow? We just had about 5 inches (12.7cm) yesterday and getting another 4 inches (10.6cm) tomorrow.


I think I remember reading that before but forgot the discussion. Apparently then the current DG
APU is of a much higher efficiency than the one on the shuttle (heck, the present design is 1980s
technology). The reason NASA uses the Fuel Cells for electricity production is because a hydrazine
APU burns through about 3 lbs of hydrazine per hour. Of course a more efficient catalyst bed
design might extend this "fuel economy". Also on the Shuttle it's being used to produce more
horsepower than would concievably be needed to just make electricity.

Post Edited (01-27-04 03:01)


  • Guest
Reply #16 - 27 January 2004, 03:03:05
Ok, some more stuff:

-a gear retracted label in the computer? right now it only has the gear retracting, and gear
extending, but not when it has finished retracting/extending.

-strobe button should be labelled "on" instead of "arm"? after all, you are turning it ON.

-does the side exhaust vent add a spin to the aircraft? I am noticing it when I try to hover. just a

-when trying to extend gear with hydraulic pressure off, you misspelt pressure on the computer

-Now, for some other stuff, namely heating temperatures. it needs some more work im afraid.

Taking a flight around the cape, I decided to compare the heating data to what the Concorde
experienced. According to this page: ( the
maximum nosecone temperature for the Concorde is 127 degrees C. the plane flies between
40,000 and 60,000 feet.

Now here's my test conditions, I made two different flights:

18.4km (60,000 ft), with airspeed of 600m/s (mach 2.0). I get a leading nose temp of 212 degrees,
with 195 for the top, 184 for the "other" top one, and 134 for the wing leading edge. At the same
performance speed and altitude as the Concorde the DGIII overheats by 85 degrees. Assuming of
course the DG does not have any complex futuristic heat removal systems. now 85 degrees may
not be much, but it is still a difference.

Second flight:
11.8 km, 39,000 feet. 579 m/s, mach 2.0. leading nose temp of 351, top of 333 and 244, and wing
315. The concorde of course would not be able to fly that fast at such an altitude, but that is STILL
a 224 degree difference! with the fudge factor, that's 200 degree overheating!

I admit the concorde is a *bit* more streamlined than the DGIII, but surely the DG would not be
heated to such an extent. if the numbers could be made slightly closer to match, this could provide
a bigger error margin on re-entry.

Offline Wilko

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Reply #17 - 27 January 2004, 03:11:03
Didn't someone ask about totally depressurizing the cabin and then you can open all the doors? It
doesn't serve much purpose obviously... but if you were going to implement it you would have
another button near the seat belts sign which said 'EVA suits' or something similar. Once that is
pressed you wait say two minutes for everyone to get into the EVA suits and helmets, then you
can depressurize the entire cabin (another button near the airlock switches). It would take a while
to depressurize safely so the air doesn't escape with a big bang, maybe 5-10 minutes. Again,
theres not much point, maybe the only point to it would be if you land on the moon or other planet
with no atmosphere (or different pressure) and theres no way you could get to whatever base
without getting out and walking...

Actually, another idea flashed into my head (but probably waaaay out of Dan's reach, more
Martin's type of thing). Maybe in a future release, the lunar bases or bases on other planets could
have docking ports... lemme explain. Say at Brighton Beach, where the large cylinder structure is,
you had a similar building next to it with a walkway in between. One is the habitat, the other is a
docking station for ships. If this building had 6 sides, that means 6 different ships can dock there
(lets say two for DG's, two for Shuttle A's, one for PTV's and one for something else). All of the
different ports are at different heights or angles so the ships don't actually have to hover or
anything to dock to them, they just roll across the ground/tarmac. If there is a need for an extra
space, one of the ships can stay on the parking grounds outside and depressurize to let the
occupants get back to the habitat.

One can only wish... :) Might pass that onto Martin

Offline Leemon

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Reply #18 - 27 January 2004, 03:17:45
Hi Dan --

I just flew the January 26th Rev1 model from the Moon to a succesful landing at KSC.

Two things that I noticed:

- during reentry, the ship kept changing from Atmospheric to RCS mode, seemingly at will.  This
kind of freaked me out when I was trying to maintain a bank and lift for my approach.  It switched
back to RCS mode as I was just before the runway threshold as well, which really changed the feel
of the controls.  My screaming like a little girl did little to reassure the passengers.  :)  I personally
liked it better when the DGIII switched to Atmosperic mode and stayed that way through the
duration of the surface flight.

- secondly, after I landed I went into safe mode.  After that, I could not press things within the
cockpit and got an error beep (as expected).  However, I could not do many of the other Orbiter
commands either like time acceleration, etc. and every other key I pressed outside of the ship
caused the same error beep; for example Alt-F4 to exit from Orbiter caused two beeps.  Your safe
mode checking seems to take control and block other Orbiter functions.

Regarding the canopy, I agree that the ship's logic should sense the atmosperic pressure and
prevent it from opening under "less than ideal" conditions.  :)

Thanks again for your time,


Offline ENS2018

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Reply #19 - 27 January 2004, 04:44:03
Ahh, I understand better how it works now.  Thanks.
But - I'm just  wondering here - would it be better implemented if you had to call the fuel try to
refuel O2/N2, like you have to do for the Fuel?  Or maybe it would be simpler (code wise) if you
didn't have to call the fuel truck at Briton Beach.  To me at least this might be a bit more

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about the DGIII at all - there's nothing else I enjoy flying

I hope I'm making sense, this is in my head, but I'm afraid that if I get too much more in depth
with the description, I'll use terminology I don't know.  

I agree with Matt as far as the Canopy goes.  It just adds a bit more "think before you press" to
operating the DGIII.  For example, while at Briton Beach, you have to decompress the airlock and
open the outer hatch to load new passengers.  These kind of operations (for me at least) are
what put DGIII above the rest.  In it you CAN kill yourself, there are things you need to do to
complete basic operations.  So, in answer to your question - yes I would like the canopy unlocked
to remain.  But I'm just one person. :)

On to a short report about a flight I just made with version 040126_rev1.  I resumed my last
mission (on Briton Beach), and took off at 090.  First thing I noticed was the bug 'mgka' reported.  
I got into LEO, and waited for a re-entry window.
First window that came was to Habana, mostly because I wanted to land their and test out the
nosewheel for taxing.  I re-entered with an angle of 1.12 at a distance of 16.75M from the base.
After almost getting fried doing S-Turns, I managed to get within range of the Navigation signals
from Habana.  From their I came in on a standard approach for straight in (ILS approach), and
landed all but uneventfully.  (It wasn't a bug, I just had to fire the hover thrusters suddenly to
keep from hitting the ground short of the runway after I went too far below glideslope - I'm sure I would have had some angry passengers after that 'little' bump ;))

After landing I went back to short final approach to Habana (I had quicksaved there) after altering
the save file to give me full fuel.  For this approach, I did have to use thrusters...and I did crash
too because I weighed too much.  Good job, Dan.

Post Edited (01-27-04 04:47)

Offline MattNW

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Reply #20 - 27 January 2004, 05:25:04
I just tried reentry with this version. Got down safely twice in a row but it was still a rough ride.
Pulled 3 Gs both times. It was exciting though. I had a lot of RCS/Atmosphere mode switching too.
It would switch back and forth at Mach 1.5 for no apparent reason. The part that senses your
speed works OK. I tried from a standing start and it switched to "Atm Mode" at 160 m/s and back
but at other times it cycles back and forth a lot.

On the canopy, why not a compromise. By default the ship senses the atmospheric pressure and if
pressure is above say 10,000 ft it locks the canopy but add an override button next to the canopy
button. It adds a two step process to kill yourself. First you have to override the ship computer
and then you have to open the cockpit. Maybe even a warning on the computer saying "Lock
Override. Atm Pres =0). That way there's no chance of accidentally doing yourself in. If you open
the cockpit on the Moon then it's deliberate.

I also like the idea about the environmental suit warning. If you light the "Env" light in the cabin
and then open the ship to space your passengers are safe. If you forget to turn on the light, well
you will have a lot of explaining to do when you get back to base. Hope your resume is current. :)


  • Guest
Reply #21 - 27 January 2004, 06:00:36
I made it to the moon and landed just fine.  But how the heck do you get back to Earth?

Offline Wilko

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Reply #22 - 27 January 2004, 06:12:52
Even better, MattNW, you could give the canopy switch a clear plastic cover. Many airplanes have
covers for important switches so the pilot doesn't accidentally bump or press one by mistake. So
for the canopy switch, you would press once to open the plastic cover, and once more on the
switch to open the canopy. Once you have finished with the switch, you would press on the plastic cover to  put it back into position.

Post Edited (01-27-04 06:13)

Offline reekchaa

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Reply #23 - 27 January 2004, 06:18:25
That landing IS pretty Darn touchy on Full Fuel. :turning:
I was thinking that since the safe speed varies on weight, it might be nice to hear a robotic female
voice, "Maximum... descent speed... exceeded" whenever you're under 20 meters and sweating
over your keys on manual approach.  Then, of course, it might be nice to hear "Warning ..." as a
precursor to executing a few fatal hatch/door suicide commands, followed by "...Depress __ to

Extra sound events/triggers might require some early pre-architechting for OrbiterSound 3.0, but
since OrbiterSound was voted the most crucial addon Required to play Orbiter, I'd say adding 60 or
more trigger sounds for various conditions in the DGIII wouldn't have 'the competition' too angry
over the added functionability.  
Of course, I may be wrong.  :)

I'll be first to volunteer for searching sound events or recruiting voice talent!

~ the Reekchaa


  • Guest
Reply #24 - 27 January 2004, 06:41:47
About the opening of the door anywhere thing...  how bout just the addition of a guarded  LOCK /
UNLOCK switch? Maybe right click to open switch cover, then, left click on switch to either lock or
unlock the canopy, and then right click the switch cover again to close it? Possible? Would
definately add realism as well as a saftey precaution.