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Briefing

So, you've learnt how to build a plane in the previous tutorial(). Hopefully you experimented with that design, or even made your own(which I very highly encourage). Now let's loom at a more advanced concept: VTOLS.

The VTOL I'll teach you to make(I call it the Scythe) is quite a popular type of design that's very easy to build and quite flexible. Most smaller VTOLS are like this, but larger ones(500+ blocks) can be a absolute nightmare to build, pilot and especially balance - I reccommend sticking to 10-200 part block designs until you're confident with your abilities.

VTOL guide

Let's start with the fuselage. It can sometimes be better to start with wings, but that's mostly in larger VTOLS. Our fuselage will be 8 blocks(or two beams) long. 

Next, we need lift, so let's put a few rectangular wings and control surfaces on. And a tail, of course, to prevent the craft's turning doing all sorts of weird things. 

This looks sort of rectangular though. If we put a few delta wings on the side, it'll look much smoother - we'll need a pilot seat, too. 

That's the basic parts that are in most planes done. Now what makes VTOLs unique: vertical engines. Now, there are two ways to build VTOLs: first to have a stiff engine that cannot turn(often comes with a forward facing engine) and to have a engine on a motor. The first is typically easier to build, and is therefore commonly used with larger VTOLs. The second(which we'll be using), however, is harder to build but yields much more acceleration and flexibility. 

If you went into flight mode now and turn on the motors(F and R) you'll notice that they spin in opposite directions. Maybe you would proceeded to turn on the engines and think 'This is not right at all' and come back to this page for assistance. 

To stop the motors from spinning like that, we'll need to invert the controls on one. Select the pink/purple screwdriver icon tool and press on the right motor (preferable, but can be the left). Then, click on the box that says R and then press F on your keyboard. Do the same for the box that says F, and of course, press R.

The controls are just about the same as those for the plane we built, except F and R will tilt the engines and angle the thrust.

Now we're pretty much done... but hol up, wait a minute! If you want to build your own VTOLs, there are a few crucial things to know:

  1. The reason our VTOL flew so well is because the centres of lift and mass both lined up with each other and the engine. If the CoM and CoL are offset too much, your engine will essentially act as a very strong control flap that will tip the aircraft forwards or backwards.
  2. VTOLs are much harder to build than normal planes. I recommend you be able to build 100+ block planes before you move on to building VTOLs, and remember to be patient.
  3. Balancing is an absolute nightmare, especially in large VTOLs. When you design your craft, plan ahead and try and keep the CoL and CoM lined up with the engines as well as possible.

Here are a few pictures of VTOLs I've made, just to help you get some inspiration:

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I'll try and upload a video on balancing in future, and probably a tutorial on ridiculously fast planes.

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