Here are a few quirks that might make your next plane just a bit better.
Don't take anything to seriously, there are many other better people out there, but hopefully they can agree on what I'm about to say.
This will be a list of things, ranging from the most trivial, to the most specific.
Hopefully, this way, anyone could get something from this. If you have anything to add, comment it down below for the others to see.
I think we all know this one, but there are still some people who don't use them. All you have to do is look up the length or any other valuable dimension of your plane, make a foundation, scale a blueprint image, and off you go.
(you can use the Designer Suite Tool, as it is a lot better than the default blueprint viewer.)
Use Overload and Fine Tuner mods
There is a built in fine tuner, but this is just to endorse its use. Your builds will benefit massively. All the way from making small bits, to rotating wings, etc.
Using your Overload mod to make your plane behave normally.
There are a lot of options and properties in the overload of each part. The main ones you should focus on are: Mass scale, Drag scale, disableAircraftCollisions and calculateDrag.
Mass scale can help you make weightless or lighter parts, and it can be used to solve random physics bending problems. (If your part is behaving strangely /bending/ increasing its mass may be the solution)
Drag scale will help you reduce the drag of your plane. The common drag points for a jet fighter range from 1000 to 2500, depending on the plane.
disableAircraftCollisions does just what it says. It disables parts from colliding with eachother, thus preventing damage and smashing noises, and at the same time allowing you to make working landing gear that retracts into the fuselage.
calculateDrag is similar to drag scale, but its just a true or false. Use it to reduce the work load on computers. On parts where you set DragScale to 0, you can eaasily set calculateDrag to false, thus the game doesn't have to calculate the drag of that part.
Proper engine power scaling.
There are multiple ways to scale your engine power correctly. In both of them you have to look up the actual power of the engine. (wiki or sth)
(use the basic power number, not the afterburner one, that one will come into play later)
After that, look at the power output of your in-game engine.
We can see that the desired engine power is 38.7kN, and our engine is producing 15kN. Divide the desired value by the actual one, to get a power multiplier. In this case: 2.58. This means, that we want our engine to be 2.58 times more powerful then what it is now.
Open the overload (xml) menu on the engine part and set the value:
Here you can also see the possibility to change the smoke color along with the smoke size - very useful.
Setting proper drag points.
I see a lot of excellent builds with ridiculous drag points. If you have followed the engine power scaling step, this shouldn't be a problem. There is no other way to get the proper top speed of your plane, other than by having the correct amount of drag points.
First of all, you need to identify the plane's top speed. DO NOT USE THE WIKI NUMBER, that is the all time maximum, achieved on a minimum fuel load and at high alt. There is no plane that goes above 800knots at sea level. You can follow War Thunder's top speeds at sea level, but please do decrease them a bit. Going supersonic at sea level is a very hard thing to do.
Set your Speed indicator to TAS (click on it), level the plane at sea level and you will eventually get your top speed. Manipulate the plane's drag points to get the proper top speed. Note that the top speed is measured on a clean plane with minimal fuel. I recommend you do just that.
Here is a fantastic guide on the basics of making wings.
I'll be focusing on how to make the wing surface.
Make your standard wing, following the basic blueprint shape and size.
After that, scale it down using overload, so that you can hide it into the custom made wing. This will only scale the visual bit, not the functional lifting surface.
Making your wings realistic
If you want your plane to fly realistically, it needs to have the proper wing type, scale and wing loading.
Look up your plane's surface area and set the weight of your plane to a plausible number.
After that, divide the weight of your in-game plane by the actual wing area. That will give you the actual wing loading of the plane at it's desired configuration. Try to perfectly achieve it by editing the size of the wings.
As for choosing the proper wing type, take a look at a brilliant examination of the game's airfoils. Think of your aircraft. Maybe it can hold higher angles of attack, maybe its a bit faster, maybe it can fly at very low speeds,... Anyway, use the proper airfoil.
If you are worried about your plane not having the proper turn rate, don't be. At this point in time, it's very hard to have a plane that turns too hard. My planes usually turn a couple of degrees per second slower than they should be. I'll get into measuring the turn rate at the end of the text, all the way at Dev Console.
Here is a quick demonstration on how to make custom afterburners. You will need to do the same kind of power scaling as on the regular engines. this time, calculate how much thrust the ab provides, and work with that number.
You can do a lot of wonderful things with a rotator. Here is an explanation of its unique overload functions:
DamperMultiplier dampens the movement at the edges of the rotation. Interesting to work with when making control surfaces.
DisableBaseMesh disables the massive default base. of the rotator.
min and max control the movement allowed by the rotator. If you set min to 0, it will not move in the negative direction, only in the positive. This is useful for flaps or landing gear.
Input is the most important one. Take a look at Input guide to get an idea on what you can use to make your plane fly like a fly-by-wire aircraft.
zeroOnDeactivate will reset the rotator to its default position when the activation group is deactivated.
Oh boy, this one sure is something. Paneling is one of the hardest things to do, but it is almost necessary to do if you are making a cockpit or any kind of interior. I feel like I shouldn't really be teaching this elite skill, as I am relatively bad at is, but here are a few pictures to give you an idea as to how to structure your paneling to make it work.
It's all about overlapping and finding the exact rotation, size and position. It takes a lot of time and effort. Don't be discouraged when your paneling doesn't look proper, mine still doesn't.
My personal favourite: Canopy Edges
Most beginner canopies look like this:
Simply by adding a lip at the side of the canopy (as mostly every single plane has), you can turn your disaster of a canopy into something like this:
It isn't a drastic difference, but it does in my opinion show your dedication, attention to detail and the quality of the build. You can easily identify the skill of a builder simply by looking at a commonly found detail like this one.
The final note: Dev console and Presentation
The developer console is one of the most important tools at your disposal. You can monitor the plane's G forces, AoA, rate of turn, etc. But you can also change the Fov of the camera, giving you the ability to take wonderful screenshots.
You can access it by pressing "tilde", a button left of the number 1 on the left upper side of the keyboard. (at least that's how I access it)
Once you have done so, you will see a window appear:
In it, you can type a lot of things.
To change the FOV: //MainCamera>Camera.set_FieldOfView 20
(change 20 to whatever you want, the default is 60)
To display pefrormance: DebugExpression ()
Inside the brackets you can put many functions such as GForce, AngleOfAttack, rate(Heading), rate(Altitude), RollRate,....
as such: DebugExpression (GForce)
Also: RayTracing and Reshade are extremely helpful when taking screenshots.
Here is a guide to installing and using them.
That should be it. Hopefully I made everything somewhat clear, and that I haven't said anything that would be considered wrong.
If you have any other tips or corrections, please comment them.