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|Landing gear allows a ship to safely land and connect to another ship. When activated, the landing gear will magnetically connect to the surface below them.|
|Fits small ship|
|Fits large ship and station|
|Data Controls:|| [purge] (?)|
Landing Gear allows a ship to lock onto any surface and most objects. Pressing 'P' (default keybinding) will cause any landing gear on the ship in proximity to magically lock onto to the adjacent surface or object below them. Once locked, depending on the size of either body, when one changes motion, the other will move with it (e.g. landing gear moving small debris, to large ships carrying smaller ships).
This allows for several features:
- Large ships can have functional hangar bays for small ships.
- Small ships can dock to the hulls of large ships.
- Ships can "grab" other ships, like a grapple.
- "Tugs" can be made which can haul ship modules such as cargo containers or thrusters for storage or salvaging.
When magnetic locks are disengaged, both ships retain their inertia. It is important to keep this in mind when disconnecting from a ship in motion. For example: when undocking a small ship from a moving carrier, it is generally a good idea to turn off inertial dampeners before unlocking the landing gear.
It is also important to note that ships connected via landing gear have separate inertial states. If one of them accelerates too quickly, the inertia of the second craft can apply enough force to break the lock or destroy the landing gear. For this reason, carriers and other large ships must make sure the docked ships have enough locks engaged to support their mass under acceleration. If not, the carrier must avoid rapidly changing directions.
One option is to use large ship landing gear as a landing pad for smaller ships, and double-lock them (both large ship and small ship engage their landing gear). This has the advantage that large ship landing gear have a longer locking range than small ship landing gear do. If the small ship's landing gear are flush or nearly so, this can result in the large ship gear also grappling the small ship's hull, for added strength.
The landing gear attaches to whatever is directly beneath the pads and is unaffected by objects next to them. This allows landing gear to be recessed into the hull for a more streamlined appearance.
The "foot" of the landing gear has a colored ring around it.
- Yellow - The landing gear is not engaged, but is within range of a suitable surface to attach itself to.
- Blue - The gear is in auto locking mode and will lock as soon as a mass is in range.
- Green - The gear is connected to a surface and secured.
- Black - The gear is not within range of a suitable surface.
An indicator in the HUD informs the player to how many pads are in range and how many are locked.
It can be effective to build an armor skid plate around landing gear as armor blocks are more resilient to impacts. This can allow a small ship to perform a "combat landing" with reduced risk to the landing gear. So long as the landing gear itself is not damaged, the ship will still be able to engage magnetic locks. The damaged armor segments can be repaired later.
When constructing ships designed to be transported by larger ships, keep in mind that the landing gear can be damaged if enough force is applied. Make sure you have enough landing gear installed to handle the mass of your ship if the carrier changes directions rapidly.
Several properties of the landing gear can be adjusted from a ship's control panel.
- There are buttons to turn the landing gear on and off. When it is off, it will disengage the any lock and prevent it being listed "in proximity" in the HUD.
- There are buttons to manually lock or unlock the gear.
- The "Break Force" slider adjusts the strength of the lock. This allows the player to specify a force anywhere from 0kN to ?kN. The landing gear hold its lock when a force of this level or lower is applied.
- The "Autolock" checkbox, when enabled, allows the landing gear to automatically lock when an object comes into proximity.
|Large Steel Tube||4||—||1||—|
Video from the release of the autolock feature and break force slider.
Video from the release of magnetic locks on landing gear.