I am still working on Star City, though there was about a week and a half recently when I was too busy at work to crack it open. I'm implementing the piloting sequence, and have gotten far enough with the mechanics that now I can ponder tweaking the logic of the whole thing. Basically:
- The Myasishev 48 glider can be pitched up and down using the control stick. There's also rolling left or right and operating the rudder, but they aren't important -- not yet, anyway. Also, a one-time burst of speed is available by firing the jet engine.
- The glider's angle of attack (the direction it's moving in) will normally match its pitch, but you can't raise that angle above about five degrees below the horizon. That is, it's impossible to gain altitude in the glider.
- If the glider is pitched up above zero degrees, it will lose airspeed.
- If the glider is pitched below zero degrees, it will gain a certain amount of speed corresponding to its pitch. Pitched below 30 degrees it will gain speed continuously.
So in theory, it should be possible to manage the glider's airspeed and altitude and come in for a landing. Well, it would if I had implemented the landing condition yet (though not to worry, I haven't implemented crashing either.) The one item remaining to figure out is stalling -- I believe a good starting rule is that an aircraft will stall if it goes below a certain speed. But once it has stalled, it will gain speed as it drops out of the sky, yet that speed can't be directly turned into control...
Aha... all becomes clear. When the glider stalls, I need to change the angle of attack over time to recognize that it's falling. Then, let's say that once stalled, the angle of attack won't be under your control again until you adjust the pitch to match it. Only at that point, when you've converted the stall into a dive, can you pull out of it again.
Yes, that sounds plausible. I suppose it helps to just talk these things out sometimes.