(Originally posted on avsim)
I wonder why the Acceleration SDK has so few information on this point while it gives a lot concerning carrier models. So this post might be useful for aircraft developpers but also for medium-skilled users able to edit aircraft config file.
Basically, there are two ways of adding catapult/cable settings to an aircraft :
This is the preferred method and is used by the shipped FA-18. Since they are encoded onto the model, __only_ the original designer or someone who has access to the source can do it.
There are four attach points recognized by FS core:
The names are explicit enough
Animated parts are controlled by the FS variables A:LAUNCHBAR POSITION:1 and TAILHOOK POSITION:1
This method is available for all users and works on all planes. The following lines are used:
[tailhook] tailhook_length=4.5 tailhook_position=-49.0, 0, -2.5
[launch_assistance] launch_bar_pivot=0.90, 0.00, -0.09 launch_bar_lug=0.90, 0.00, -4.09
Note that the [tailhook] section was introduced in FS long before the acceleration pack and therefore some add-on planes may already have one. The coordinates are given in longitudinal,lateral and vertical feet from the datum reference point. For quick testing, you can copy the coordinates corresponding to the nose gear in [contact_points] since they are defined the same way (on a point.X line, the coordinates start at the second number).
However the launch bar will be non-animated, but you still have to deploy it prior to requesting a catapult launch. Of course, it will only works on the acceleration carrier which is available in missions and in free flight as scheduled AI traffic around Hawaii & CONUS and in some third-party add-ons. See also AICarriers2r2 available at my software page.
Another interesting new features of Acceleration carrier ops are the new tailhook/launchbar Marker States. They are useless for end users, but very practical for debugging aircraft models (though the simconnect SDK was not updated with the appropriate informations). For example:
To easily toggle display of marker states, try this little application (requires .net 2.0)