As we're going to have an inofficial "return trip" for our 2013 races, one where anything goes (any plane, any time, any weather, any style - just whatever looks like fun), I figured we might post some ideas and inspirations here.
I initially wanted to do it in a DC-3, but after doing a bit of research on the C-130, I'm starting to wonder if perhaps it can be done in that. The thing that really pushed me over the edge was the fact that the C-130 actually had done several successful landings on an aircraft carrier!!! If it can do that, it should be able to do our bush landings!
Here's the video of a couple of landings (and here's the back story). Absolutely incredible!
I've done some more research on the C-130, and the following two videos give you a pretty good idea of what the actual performance limits of the J-model are (quite impressive):
So, I've taken the freeware C-130J from Premier Aircraft Design, and tweaked it a bit, to come a bit closer to the performance in the videos. It still breaks occasionally due to overstress, and it tips over to the side a bit too easily, but other than that, I think it's fairly close.
If someone else wants to check it out, and perhaps give some feedback, you can download it from here.
P.S. There were two gauges missing in the original upload (one for lift reserve, one for torque), so if you care about those (they're in the "Performance" panel), please download the file again, and hopefully everything will be complete now.
Yeah, normally you would probably not need those gauges — I just use them when doing some initial performance tests, to see where the plane's limit's lie. But during the actual race, all I use is the HUD.
BTW — I've done some more tweaks to it, and I think this'll probably be the final version (and what I've used in the posted runs). I adjusted the contact points a bit, to make it less "tippy". (You still have to be careful, to be aligned well when coming down, but before it was acting more like a bicycle than a plane... ) The original landing gear was also a bit too sturdy, so I've lowered the crash threshold a bit. Before you could come down REALLY HARD, and it would still be ok, so I've dialed it back to more realistic limits. I've also adjusted the stall speed a bit, as before I had a hard time keeping it flying, even at speeds above 110kts, which is definitely far above the official numbers. (It's hard to get definitive limits; different sources list anything between 100 and 70 knots, so right now can bring it down to just below 90kts, which is probably somewhere in the realistic middle.)