Simanaitis Says

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FLYING THE OISEAU BLEU OF HAPPINESS PART 2

YESTERDAY PART 1 FOCUSED on the actual Farman F.180 Oiseau Bleu (Bluebird) and its Paris/London service in the 1920s and 1930s. In Part 2 today, my GMax modeling of the F.180 brings this bird of happiness flying virtually into the 21st century. 

Which F-180 to Model? I had several versions of the F.180 from which to choose. Some photos show an angular boxy nose; others show a much sleeker shape.

Ungainly F.180s. Image above from pinterest.com. Image below from ebay.com.

I chose the version as portrayed in World Aircraft 1918-1935, by Enzo Angelucci and Paolo Matricardi, Rand McNally, 1976.

Image above from World Aircraft, 1918-1935. Middle image from livejournal.com. Below it, my GMax rendering.

GMax Considerations. The F.180’s wings were straightforward contoured GMax Boxes; its oval fuselage began as a GMax Cylinder with Boolean operations cutting out its windows, doors, and ports. Then a cloned version, slightly downsized with inverted normals, served as the fuselage interior walls. 

By the way, GMax has a Tube shape, with outer and inner surfaces. However, I’ve found tube complexities to be less than amenable to the Boolean operations; thus, the workaround of a cylinder and inverted-normal clone. 

Above, F.180 GMax rendering. Image below from the National Library of France.

Some photos showed different seating, but I was justified in recycling passenger wicker seats from previous projects. 

A Flight Deck Challenge. Boolean operations didn’t work on the multitude of small lightening holes in the flight deck’s control arm or seats. A workaround: manual fabrication of a single hole, followed by multiple clone/paste operations.

Image above from NACA. Below, my GMax rendering.

Other GMax Niceties. The two landing lights in the F.180 nose are GMax-renderable. I could find no document suggesting navigational or strobe lighting, so I omitted such features.

The Oiseau Bleu had doors front and rear, so fabrication of boarding ramps was part of the GMax fun. There’s no explicit GMax/Microsoft Flight Simulator coding for making the ramps appear and disappear on demand. But there is coding for “endcap_wing_fold,” (intended for use with World War II carrier fighters). 

True, the Oiseau Bleu doesn’t have folding wings. But the boarding ramps, GMax-identified as endcaps, magically appear and disappear with a toggle of Shift + F. 

A Lengthy Project. My GMax Oiseau Bleu was begun on June 29, 2020. What with one thing and another, it was completed only a few days ago. I haven’t decided yet on a new GMax project. ds 

© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2020

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