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Formerly Known as "WIP Wednesdays".  Now its probably best to think of this as "When we get chance Wednesday".

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163277.jpg OK, so its snowing in parts of the UK.  And for a change its actually stuck.  Which means this country is in total Chaos.  I don't know what it is about the UK population and snow that they lose the ability to drive, but that's just the way it is here.  So in response to this embarrassing situation, I'm staying in doors for the duration.

Which in turn means I either paint my hallway (which isn't going to happen) or i spend the day trying to work out how to accurately calculate all the necessary config values for a Helicopter in ArmA3 without the proper SDK from RTDynamics.

Love it or hate it the ArmA3 Advanced Flight Model is here to stay.  And once mastered its actually a lot more fun than the basic flight model.  Far more satisfying to prove you have the real skill to fly properly than just fake it?

Before we go any further lets address the aerodynamic representation of the Cow in the room.  What does it mean?  Why is it relevant?

The Answer?  It just made me laugh.  Its the inspiration for writing this article simply because the absurdity of the image gels nicely with my feelings toward generating a practical config for the ArmA3 Advanced flight model.

So for the last year or so I've been banging my head on my desk trying to work it all out and get all my helicopters up and working with it.   This has led to some ...interesting craters on the various A3 Islands.  But hey, its all leading towards progress. 

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

rock-efa.jpgI used to be, I'm going to say, a pretty decent Aerospace Engineer back in the day.  But even way back when I did get my hands dirty in CADDS5 and Catia some of the maths related to Aerodynamics scared the crap out of me.  

This article is not an all out Tutorial.  Not even close.  Lets think of it as the start of discussion.  I'm going to share some things I've found along the way.  If you have a better way to do something, or If I've gotten something wrong.  SHOUT it out and we can all move on and learn together.

For those that don't know much about the flight dynamics of ArmA3 helicopters, this isn't going to make much sense.  For this that do know something about ArmA3 Helicopters this may make some sense...possibly. 


Step 1 - In your quest to lose hair and go gray early in your life.

My best advice is find a class of helo; eg: small, med, heavy and modify these the stock values.  There are some values you can calculate and others that require some mysterious and complicated voodoo incorporated into the RTDynamics SDK that we are not privy too.Simulink-Attitude-Hold-Cropped-Wide-e1314192224119.png

Step 2 - Research, maybe this should come first?

You will need to find some basic facts about your aircraft.

  • Dimensions,
  • engine specs,
  • mass,
  • rotor blade dimensions. 

Other values we are simply going to try and make an educated guess.

Step 3 - The joy of XML

So we've got our XML file open. You are greeted by a wall of text, figures and variables that  are both terrifying and baffling to all concerned. Some of the variables are easy to explain and find.  Others are a little more esoteric and mysterious.


You are going to see long tables of values as shown above with variable names like:

  • SideForceDueToSideslip
  • LiftDueToAoA
  • DragDueToAoA
  • DragDueToSideslip
  • itchingMomentDueToAoA - 
  • YawingMomentDueToSideslip
  • LiftDueToSideslip 

This is a calculated table of values.  My best advice is find a class of helo, small, med, heavy and use the stock values.  These are calculated by a RotorLib Plugin for MATLAB that on licensees have access to.  Since we don't have all the tools we are guessing.

BIS has provided a breakdown of the RotorLIB values as well as some of the formulas to create the values on the BIKI but it still isn't the most accessible read.


I'm not going to repeat everything in that BIKI article.  I dont see the point.  But some things need de-mystifying...and I don't have all the answers but i am willing to share 

We are going to focus and the values we can find online or in manuals or calculate from known values. MOM-diagram.JPG

  • Mass - Obvious really. This is the (I believe) empty weight of the helicopter.  I'm basing this off values seen in the Littlebird and KA60 configs etc
  • MomentsOfInertia - Ixx, Iyy, Izz, All these are unique to your helicopter type.  They will change based on the dimensions and mass of the airframe relative to the "allup" Center Of Gravity (CoG)
  • Engines:
    • emergencyPowerHP
    • maxTorque
  • DriveTrains
    • TorqueLimits emergency
    • Load gearRatio Main Rotor
    • Load gearRatio Tail Rotor








I'm in the process of writing an excel spreadsheet to help calculate all the values we are going to need.  But its a long slog


I seem to go months between blog posts but it does give me time to generate things to talk about so maybe it’s not that bad?

Regular followers will likely have seen my recent social media posts about the Bovington Test Area map we’ve been developing. It seems to have generated a lot of interest and associated demands (more on that later) but since Islands aren’t exactly what I’m known for I thought I’d explain what happened and why.

20200511093608_1.jpgBovington came up one night when MikePheonix and I were talking about testing our respective vehicles.  I’d made a comment about how none of the islands really have the terrain resolution to push the limits of the vehicles and it would be nice to have some sort of dedicated test area. Mike immediately said Bovington.

I blame MikePheonix for the whole damn thing

Now at the time I was considering making another area for pretty much this exact purpose.  But something much larger and I was having problems getting DEM (Digital Elevation Map) data for the areas I wanted (Yes, I am being cagey about that so as not to commit to anything) But amazingly I managed to get 1m resolution maps of Bovington almost immediately. So just as an experiment I put it into L3DT and 24hours later I had the basic map in game and useable.  It wasn’t pretty.  But the data was clean and it was really interesting and fun to drive around so I decided to run with it.  This is where I start to blame MikePheonix for the whole damn thing.


Mike even said publically that if i made the island he would populate it.  Sadly its not worked out quite that way.  Mike is making objects for it.  But the limiter is really the tools.  Terrain Builder is really not collaboration friendly.  There are some community made tools out there that make things easier eg Plopper (Really unfortuate name) but incredibly useful. But again add an extra layer of complexity to learn and adapt your workflow to. I'd love to know how the internal BIS team do it. I know they have a different toolset to the public ArmA tools but I am curious about how they manage and merge the work from several developers worth at the same time on the same maps.



I’ve been tinkering with Islands since ArmA1 days.  And not really produced something I actually felt happy to release but it has been the catalyst to make objects and buildings in the past.

Anyway, enough preamble. Making Bovington may have been a  happy accident. But using terrain build is not a happy experience!! Making the map wasn’t something I had planned and had the first version of the island I got in-game had it not been as much fun to drive around on and muck about we wouldn’t be talking about it now.  The process of develeoping the island past that initial point really wasn’t easy or much fun…


Terrain Builder crashes a lot.

The tv4p files seem to become corrupt with depressingly regularity. The programme refuses to save files without any error boxes or warning. It crashes without explanation and one minute its fine the next it won’t save. But doesnt say why. Or something random happens and you are left wondering what the hell did I do? And the undo button doesnt seem to work. 

But in the long run it will be worth it...maybe...if i dont die of frustration first.  I've had to rebuild from the WRP atleast twice now as the terrain builder files either wont open or save. Its frustrating as hell.  My advice, take lots of backups. 

20200507132536_1.jpgBovington Test Area is a small map. Its 4.096kmx 4.096km. its got a 1m terrain resolution which may seem like overkill but I think its worth it as the terrain is interesting and fun to drive on.  I recently watched Farsight spend nearly 3 hours driving various vehicles around it laughing his ass off most of the time.

From day one, the Bovington map was all about testing the vehicles.  Originally, I had no intention of releasing it to the public.  It was supposed to be for MikePheonix and I to test on. Then a few other people asked for a copy.  And as I started adding things, I watched their interest seeming to grow. And suggestions came in thich and fast. Now I usually don’t respond well when people start with “You need to add X, Y and Z” because 85% of the time its not something I want or think is realistic. Its my project after all.  And if it expands the scope to be something I wont ever use then I dont tend to add it.  But in this instance almost everyone that knew about the side project suggested something that made the idea better.  Or at least I could see the logic in adding it. But suggestions like this, meant I added the 25m and 600m ranges. Including the need for some custom objects too.  Then came the 1200m vehicle firing range in the north east. A late-night conversation with Farsight convinced me to make the map a bit more infantry friendly. Adding in some details and features that could be fun. Puddles and ponds appeared to be something that everyone expected to see and want. So I’ve added them. And it does add to the feel it.

Several people suggested expanding the map to support coastline and full size airbases. I'm sorry but these were immediately dropped. Expanding the map meant reducing the terrain resolution which is the most important part of the map. And entire reason for me continuing with it.  it needs to be rough and random to be able to test vehicles.  Smoothing it out defeats the purpose of the terrain.



Several British groups I know have said they would like to use it as their own home rotation map and made some very specific requests but I’ve said no to almost all of these. So many people want and continue to demand features outside of the things Mike and I want from the map I’ve decided to leave it fairly open so people can add their own compositions in the editor. I think its the best way to make sure it does get finished.

Thanks to many people in this community making Islands in ArmA 3 is relatively easy; there are some really detailed tutorials on how to do it.  But making good, credible, believable islands is gloriously hard to do convincingly.  I take my hat off to the likes of Ivan Buchta of BIS, Blud and others from the community that specialise in this.  It is amazingly hard to make something that feels credible and realistic. By the time you get to play on Bovington I'm hoping it with be believable. But I'm not sure it will be upto the standards of Livonia or some of the other BIS or premium community maps.  But I do hope it will be fun to use.

Rock (in isolation)

May 2020



Starting 2020

I had a bit of a bad few months before xmas. Lot of hospital time :angry:   But I'm getting back on track now. The promised updates are coming along and will escape soon. New stuff is making it ingame together with some new stuff too. #backtobusiness #rksl #arma3 Going to be a fun year ?


Well, its less 'new' but and more a case of here's one I made earlier.  its an older model im just bringing upto a3 spec with new uv map and textures.  

Straight away let me just say its the British Version, the Westland AH-64 Apache. hence the WAH-64.  There's some extra lumps and bumps that other versions don't have.  It will be uprated to the new E-Guardian spec. With the new M-TADS etc. And at first at least I DO NOT plan on doing any other versions.  It may come later but for now I'm focused on British Kit.


WAH64-04-diff.JPG WAH64-03-diff.JPG


NEW - Chinook HC5 and 6

After helping a couple of people try and wrangle the BIS Chinook model into the air for their own mods I decided to give up frustrating myself and just go and make my own.  This is a new model made from genuine Boeing General Assembly drawings.  All the proper dimensions and British lumpy bits.


The plan is to create the HC5 and 6 versions.  The 'normal' version of the modern British Chinook HC2/2A/4 appears as the HC6 and the 'Fat Tank' HC3 appears as the HC5.  All the previous incarnations of the British Chinook have since vanished having been upgraded to provide a standard avionics and cockpit layout across the fleet. I prefer to keep my life simple and don't plan on doing any retro Cold War versions so please don't ask.



Anyway, as usual: "Its done when its done."  Please don't ask for release dates as a poke in the eye tends to offend and I don't enjoy hurting people that often.



NOTE: Straight away let me say they project is a LONG WAY OFF.

The sole reason I'm posting these screenshot is that the BETA was leaked a few weeks back. I've been told today that the model is being offered to at least two UK themed clans/mod teams.  So by posting these pics I'm hoping that the next person that gets offered the model might recognise it as mine.

The model is being offered in MLOD and FBX formats by a German lad, ~20 ish.  Real name is Michael Farkas.  aka "Faust", "Greeba" and "Luftmaan"


One thing to note is the stolen model does not currently have the inflight refueling probe and has absolutely no UV unwrapping done in the cockpits. And a few other bits are also purposely missing. I'd appreciate anyone letting me know if they get offered it and by whom.  








Side project for a friend

 Bonus points for early identification. #rksl #sideproject #wip #Arma3

Da12thmonkey won out yet again and correctly identified it.  its a Sa'ar IV Corvette hull.  Its a custom job for Wld427 and the @ProjectRacs mod.  They will customise it to their needs and eventually I'll release a slightly different version for OPFOR.  The RKSL made RN need something to shoot at.

For a Friend 001.jpg

For a Friend 002.jpg

For a Friend 003.jpg

For a Friend 004.jpg