View Full Version : Lander3D demo adventures

2005-Dec-29, 12:51 PM
In this thread I will post my adventures with the demo of Eagle Lander3D.

It took me some time to get into the program. I did some good landings but I didn't know all options back then.

The adventures start at the moment I found out how to shut off the engine and do the EVA.

My first successful landing was very close to the big crater. I could step up to it in about 10 seconds :). The Eagle was a bit tilted and the descend nozzle was somewhat burried. Too bad I did not take screenshots.

This is my second "successful" landing... Houston, we HAVE a problem :D


BTW I land on manual, using + and - to control the descend rate, and the numpad for pitch, roll and yaw. Are there any other features such as combined thrusters to change your horizontal speed without changing the attitude?

2005-Dec-29, 12:59 PM
I've done it again. Is this a programmed "minor collapse" mode or is there a problem with collision detection?

BTW this time I got a score of 1353. I think my first landings (almost beyond the large crater) were waaaay off the intended landing spot and therefore did not give me a score? EDIT: no I checked it: my first landing was much closer to the original landing site, I just did not get a score screen back then :).


In a new adventure I just crashed on the hill in the center of the crater but as there was little to see I did not make a screenshot. I overshot the crater nicely towards the original spot but failed to control the backwards speed and smashed straight into the hill, after I missed the crater edge by inches :).

2005-Dec-29, 01:14 PM
A VERY good landing this time!


A small critic is that it was kind of a hush-hush landing: ground speed low, altitude low, descend, ground speed increasing => get as fast on the ground as possible. Still the landing was smooth, and I guess any apollo landing was hush-hush work in the final seconds. I landed next to the big crater, far away from the original landing spot but maybe in a more interesting (yet more dangerous) location.

The Eagle has little tilt and the descend nozzle is nicely free.

Now trying to make it to Neil's spot :).

If anyone can inform me on controls (ground speed?) I'm not using now but that do exist (I don't know), I'm interested!

2005-Dec-29, 02:11 PM
The lower the score, the better it seems? (the closer to the landing spot)

This was an 806.

After some hectic approach I got very nice control in the final moments of landing (I did an egg landing :)). The lander nicely touched the ground in a very soft way. And then it tilted and tilted and tilted and settled. Apparently there was a small old crater underneath me. Although the descend nozzle is rather clear and the feet are quite stretched, I don't think Houston will be too happy with this amount of tilt :)


2005-Dec-29, 02:17 PM
I seem to prefer pulling that trick :D


That was so close to a fatal tilt!

I landed close to the original spot, but still a 1200 score. How is the scoring calculated?

2005-Dec-29, 02:27 PM
Is this something that you downloaded from somewhere?

Looks like fun.

2005-Dec-29, 02:29 PM
I'm somewhat getting the hang of it!

Score: 1540. I landed without much pitch, rather soft and very very controlled. I had full control long before touchdown.

I landed close to the real landing point. This shot is taken from the real landing point:


One thing I need to learn is to lign up the horizontal bar of the T with the horizon at touchdown, I'm always touching down at 20 pitch to get a good view :D

2005-Dec-29, 02:30 PM
Is this something that you downloaded from somewhere?

Looks like fun.


Google: "eagle lander 3D". Landing apollo 11 and doing the EVA is freeware. The full version is 25$ but allows you to do all missions, start early in the mission and do the ascent and docking as well. I've got the demo only.

It's snowing! (in real life :))

2005-Dec-29, 02:34 PM
I just got a 1665 in a very good landing. Close to the original spot, controlled, all went really smooth. Except for me missing the button early on and commanding a -25 descend rate :D

2005-Dec-29, 02:35 PM

Google: "eagle lander 3D". Landing apollo 11 and doing the EVA is freeware. The full version is 25$ but allows you to do all missions, start early in the mission and do the ascent and docking as well. I've got the demo only.

It's snowing! (in real life :))

Got it... Thanks.

2005-Dec-29, 02:43 PM
Pfff incorporating lateral control never works for me. I need large swings to control horizontal speed in those cases, plus I need to control roll and pitch attitude for landing :)

Landing works if I keep a straight path and only control pitch, but of course if the sim start with a little roll I'm doomed :)

2005-Dec-29, 03:03 PM
I tried a spectacular spot, with some lateral control. My aim is to once land inside the crater, but it's at a difficult spot requiring major lateral changes.


2005-Dec-29, 03:44 PM
My record is 2237. Very controlled landing, thanks to a minor roll at sim start close to the real landing spot. I'm not too glad with roll and pitch at landing, ut descend speed was 2 m/s and grond speed 4 m/s :).

2005-Dec-29, 03:49 PM
So the flames and that explosion sound I'm getting are bad, right?

2005-Dec-29, 03:53 PM
Yes. So are the craters where you thought you would land. If someone calls "forward", pitch forward :).

Here's my approach to a successful landing (not on the spot, but successful):

(if you want to find out yourself, don't read it!)

*set descend to -16.
*pitch to 0° (horizontal T bar at horizon).
*at 300 ft altitude, set descend to -15
*at 200 altitude set descend to -9 and start pitching up to about 20
*gradually bring descend to -3 at 50 ft.
*bring descend to 0 at 20 ft and brake the forward velocity by pitching up.
*if your fwd velocity gets to less than 10, start bringing pitch to 0 and descend is set to -3 at the same moment
*if the landing light is on, shut down the engine (K). pitch forward as much as possible towards 0.

I found this approach rather fast. Lucky shot I guess :).

2005-Dec-29, 03:58 PM
I'm getting the hang of it. I had about 20° roll offset (left, towards the spot) at sim start, but I could recover and landed nicely within several feet of the original spot. Not that the original spot was my goal; I wanted to land and it happened to be close :)

Score wasn't too high however as roll, pitch and speed weren't too close to zero.

2005-Dec-29, 04:18 PM
I landed very close to the original landing spot. 20 m away is my estimation.


Look at the danger surrounding that landing spot! I landed very close to the real spot, and I was within 1 meter of tumbling into a crater! Good thing I shut off the engine, as it is hanging about 5 cm above the surface now :).

2005-Dec-29, 05:19 PM
Sometimes I get no landing light while I'm close to the ground... too close for the engine to be on. How is altitude measured?

I'm slowly getting there! My landings become less controlled as I'm starting to aim more for one spot.


2005-Dec-29, 05:49 PM
This one went exactly as I wanted it!

I've got the pitch drill rather under control now. However I tend to do different things in the end when I need to split attention.

I got a nice left roll to get closer to the original spot (why did Neil park himself between those craters and not more to the right where there's a plain, and where you would land in the sim if you did not roll? Did he have an offset wrt the sim?).

Anyway I managed to control the roll and to get the craft at 30 ft with pitch 0 and forward speed 5, in the direction of the spot! Hovering!! Only, when fuel got to 1% I decided not to hover further towards the original spot but to land the craft. Which I did a bit too much in a hurry because I feared getting out of fuel, but still the landing was rather nice and got me a 1905 points.


Of course, in the sim you start with a good orbit and an attitude which is correct wrt your movement. To orrect this beast when it's attitude is not lined up to the motion, and moreover the motion is not what you want... virtually impossible :).

2005-Dec-29, 09:56 PM
Not a score record, but certainly the closest landing up to now for me:


I needed to hover over the crater, and indeed also in the sim you've got fuel left for only mere seconds of hovering to arrive where Armstrong put it. I switched off the engine myself with about 7 seconds of fuel left (mental thing: you want to switch it off yourself while you can :)).

2005-Dec-30, 12:47 AM
I try to land from view 4 (window + instruments) without other instrument displays (the ones at the bottom when pressing space). I try to land close to the real spot without the green marker.

My high score (close landing, smooth landing, though the nozzle touches the ground) is 2715. I found out there is no damage from low flyinng nozzle use, I do turn it off at touchdown however.

2005-Dec-30, 01:27 AM
There you go!


"almost" on the spot, and a 2816 scored landing!
I landed it without the green marker on btw :).

I take a different approach wrt Apollo 11: I prefer to hover at 30 ft instead of 100 ft. And as I found no "roll 10° and keep" commando's I have a rather swinging roll / strafe motion. Does anyone know the commands to issue roll angles other than the continuous ones I use?

2005-Dec-30, 10:11 AM
Houston, I think we 've had a problem here...


Could it take off again at such an angle?

2005-Dec-30, 10:15 AM
high score: 2905

2005-Dec-30, 10:21 AM
"Houston, I think we've got a fool here"


I did it! Landed into the crater. It was not my intention to put it on the slope though, and I think it would tip over in real life. My aim is the hill inside the crater, which is about twice the size of the LM footprint :).

(never mind the LM shadow btw :))

2005-Dec-30, 11:15 AM
I haven't looked at this one -- afraid I might get hooked -- but maybe you can add to the challenge. Decades ago we had lunar lander simulator on a supercomputer, lousy green-on-block vector display, but very responsive. Over a few days everyone in the shop got good at landing and landing accurately, so we invented a new competition: landing in minimal time. It required deorbiting and accelerating toward the moon at full power and then inverting at the last possible moment to slow enough to land right below the edge of too hard. As I recall the best times required always utilizing full power. Of course you couldn't use full power all the way because you'd run out of fuel, so it was full on or full off. If done right, the fuel was all gone at landing. That took us a few weeks for everyone to perfect.

Hmm... SCD Supercomputer Gallery (http://www.cisl.ucar.edu/computers/gallery/cdc/6600.jsp)

CDC checkout engineers created computer games such as Baseball, Lunar Lander, and Space Wars, which became incentives for getting the machines operational. These are thought to be the first computer games that used monitors.

2005-Dec-30, 11:43 AM
The full game has a lot more to it: complete missions (starting from docked LO pre lunar landing and up to docking in LO post lunar ascent I think), even a race game.

The demo isn't timed so that's a bit hard to do. But I still need to perfect my soft landings. 3555 is the score given for pilot "Buzz" and I'm still only at 2905 :)

And if I've got the high score, landing on the hill in the crater still is a nice thing. Of course it's located out of orbital plane at sim start :).

2005-Dec-30, 02:12 PM
I remember two "games" from what must be early '70s at what is now Risø National Laboratory, at the time it was a research lab mainly focused on nuclear power research.
They where made using an analog computer (anyone remember those) with a monitor.
One was a lunar landing simulation, the other was a simulation of a nuclear reactor.

2005-Dec-31, 01:57 AM
3604 is my best so far. This update it tricky. On the previous version i averaged about 4000. I cant land at all with the automatic throttle so i switch it all to manual and plonk the LM down that way. From about 100 ft for a decent score i've found you need to have no movement either laterally of forward/back.
You wont get a very good score (2500 or so) for it but its quite possible to land on the raised mound in the centre of the crater.

edit: Manual throttle really bumps up the score this time round 5085 now. its getting rather addictive!

2005-Dec-31, 06:19 AM
I played with this a looooong time ago (in internet years). I could never land with auto throttle.
Once I landed on the edge of a crater and the LEM slowly leaned over and over until it slid off into the crater and crashed.
It might be time to revisit Eagle3D. It looks like it's really improved.

2005-Dec-31, 06:51 AM
this reminds me of another free space sim - orbiter. Great software, uses orbital dynamics (not just game numbers, but real calculations).

2005-Dec-31, 07:31 AM
The second page is much nicer than the first page (dial up modem).

2005-Dec-31, 06:14 PM

Looks like a lotta fun :D

*goes off to download*

2005-Dec-31, 06:25 PM
I hope my laptop can run it... It has had problems running high graphic things...

2005-Dec-31, 06:51 PM
Doesn't work :(

All I get is a blank window(after clicking continue...)

2005-Dec-31, 07:03 PM
I know it needs direct x installed.(version 9 i think but not sure) also try un-ticking the windowed option. Some graphics cards dont like hardware accellerated stuff being windowed.

2005-Dec-31, 07:50 PM
I don't think I have a graphics card, I loaded it on my dads computer and it works fine...

I don't know how to turn on the engines or anything though :(

2005-Dec-31, 08:05 PM
Can someone help- its driving me nuts!!

I don't have a number pad so I changed the keyboard file...
I've so far managed to contoll the yaw etc... but I can't turn on the engines or throttle... I can find no key for that anywere.... What am I doing wrong :(

2005-Dec-31, 08:10 PM
strange - I configured it for joystick control and the throttle doesn't work for me either (on lander 3D)

A warning to anyone who starts orbiter: it can become addictive. You may find yourself wondering where the hours went.

2006-Jan-01, 05:58 AM
download... download... download... yaw... pitch.. download..download..pitch.download downloaddownloaddownloa

2006-Jan-02, 03:37 PM
How do you set it to manual throttle? I command descend rates myself, but I don't think that's manual throttle? That's the way Neil Armstrong did it though IIRC.

I still haven't figured out whether you can command discrete roll angle commands instead of just rolling.

Do you NEED to descend from about 100 ft down to get really high scores, or could you get a high score if you put it down from 20 ft but with no ground velocity?

2006-Jan-02, 04:02 PM
The manual throttle is a switch on the instrument panel. If you press F1 i think theres a key in the list to do it too. A vertical landing from 100ft gives the best scores. Minimise the control inputs for smoother flying helps too. You get points for landing directly below the point you were flying over at 100ft so thats best. My best scores have come by descending the final few feet at less than 3 feet per second and 0.1 or less (whatever units it is) or so movement forwards or back in this part of the landing. The more level the chosen landing point the better too.

I have no idea if you can control discrete roll angles but there isnt any need in the demo to roll or yaw really as the landing is well set up already. (Unless of course you are just having a fly about!)

2006-Jan-02, 04:10 PM
If you want to land on Armstrong's spot you need to roll. ANd if you want to have fun :).

I'll try the 100 ft landings. Is there any pracitcal reason why such landings would be better than hovering at 30 ft and starting the landing from there on?

I find it easier to start from lower, because that way I can quickly descend if ground speed should start to drift and I'm low on fuel already. Ground speed won't have increased too much by the time you hit the ground if you start from 30 ft.

I find it difficult to get the ground speed at 0 and your craft level at the same time, which is needed for the 100 ft landings. But that's the trick of course :).

I'll have some fun with it in the future. I've mastered the 30 ft landings quite well now.

I was wondering about the roll angles because if you start the apollo 11 replay, you see the craft rolling in a rather discrete w, and when I do it using 4 and 6, it is continuous.

Now, is commanding descend rates yourself considered manual throttle or not?

2006-Jan-02, 11:11 PM
I had to relearn thing s with manual throttle, but I got a 3563 score now!

Most times I completely lose it with manual throttle though :). Did the real landings use manual throttle or commanded descend rates inputs into the computer?

Shift-R should be the roll modes (and I think I saw a pulsed roll mode, which is the one we see Neil Armstrong using in the landing demo), but it starts the replay instead of toggling the roll mode... Therefore I kept my landing roll controlled only (to control attitude and ground speed).

Some computer performance tips:

*shadows to "synthetic"
*small number of stars, small star size, NATURAL colors... it gives a huge speed up during loading and an enormous framerate bump!!!

2006-Jan-03, 01:12 AM
From my hazy memory the landings did use the commanded descent rates. (or at least they were planned to) Im not sure if this was turned off at the last moment by Armstrong as he did his bit of crater avoidance.
This program considers commanded descent rates to be auto throttle. You get a bonus for not flying with this on. (Fortunate as i find it far easier turned off)

2006-Jan-03, 11:02 AM
I find it far easier with descend rates turned on :). I use keyboard, maybe a stick with throttle would make it easier.

I'm not talking about stick controls, but with keys only, I think that landing with manual throttle control AND continuous roll would be next to impossible (well, at least not possible to garantee good landings every time :)) as it would be such a workload on the pilot, combined with non-natural controls (keys only for 3D control).

But in 2D (no roll/yaw), it is a nice trick to land the Eagle with manual throttle using keys only. Not that I think it would be easy with stick...

2006-Jan-03, 12:17 PM
How do you fire the manual throttles :(

2006-Jan-03, 01:30 PM
Directly above the fuel remaining gauge and to the left of the thrust gauge is the manual throttle switch. Flicking the switch down switches to manual throttle. (or use the T key) then on your joystick its whatever axis the throttle has been assigned to. Or on keys i think o and i do it.

2006-Jan-03, 05:26 PM
Mickal: regulating the engine when set to manual is done with the [] keys. If commanded descend rates are selected, you use the 2 buttons on the left of backspace. k shuts down the engine. It is not restartable :).