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  • Writer's pictureKenny Lammers

Aircraft Physics for Unity 2017 Course

I am really excited to announce that I am working on a new course for Unity 2017. Something that I feel hasn't really been very well explained out on the Internets. I have always been very interested in the physics of flight and am currently learning to fly and to get my private pilots license. I have about 3 months into my training and am at 21 hours of flight time. Another month or so and I should be able to do my first solo. I am very excited for this and a bit nervous.

So about a month ago I was sitting in front of my computer one day and thinking about a new project and it dawned on me that I should try to make my own airplane controller. I already had experience flying a plane and had the general idea of the physics involved. So I did as anyone would and fired up google and began to look for some resources about aircraft Physics. To my surprise it was largely a bunch of information on the math behind the physics and I didn't really find anything great on how to set up the flight physics in Unity in particular.

So I thought to myself, why not try to make a really nice flight controller in Unity and make a course about it. This is what I set out to do. If you watched the video above you can see where I am at with it as of the writing of this post. If you haven't watched the video I highly recommend it as it will give you a bit more insight as to what you will learn in the course itself.

So lets talk a bit about what you will learn in this course. The following outlines all the different course sections and what you will get. By the end of the course you will have a complete framework of code that will allow you to setup just about any type of aircraft inside of Unity 3D.

Aircraft Physics:

  • We walk through every individual component that makes an airplane fly. Lift, Drag, Weight, and Thrust. you will get a better understanding of how to manipulate the Unity Rigidbody to do what you want it to do.

Aircraft UI:

  • You will Learn how to set up the UI for the Aircraft and we will walk through how each one is set up using Unity's UI system. We will learn how to create a functioning Altimeter, Tachometer, Throttle, Flap Lever, and Airspeed Indicator

Aircraft Wheels:

  • The Wheel Collider in Unity has always been a bit of a mystery, but in this course we walk through how to get it working for an Aircraft. Since the wheels arent powered wheels we manipulate them to be simply rolling wheels and to manage the suspension.

Aircraft Presets:

  • Once we get all the major systems in place we will walk through how to create some basic editor tools to allow us to set up new Aircraft quickly and efficiently. We will also walk through the process of using scriptable objects to save out presets for our aircraft.

Aircraft Cameras:

  • In the course we will learn how to set up a nice dynamic third person camera controller that is intelligent enough to know when the airplane is close to the ground or is flying. We will also implement a simple camera switching mechanism so we can switch from 3rd person to 1st person views inside the cockpit.

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