Ferram Aerospace Research v0.13.1

This plugin fixes the aerodynamics for all stock parts, simulating realistic drag values for rocket parts and realistic lift values for wings, as well as granting more control over how aerodynamic control surfaces act.


Ferram Aerospace Research includes aerodynamics fixes that simulate realistic lift and drag, modelling interaction between various aerodynamic parts, effects of Mach Number, and aerodynamic instabilities, making airplane, spaceplane and rocket designs perform more realistically in KSP.

Simple stability augmentation systems are added to make airplane flight easier and assist in controlling unstable aircraft. An editor GUI is included to calculate aerodynamic performance prior to flight.

More information can be found in the KSP Forums thread here:
FAR Thread

A note: If you designed any planes prior to installing this plugin, they will probably need redesigning after installation; the changes in the aerodynamics are sweeping enough to force the change.


Copy EVERYTHING in the GameData folder in the zip over to your GameData folder. You MUST have a copy of ModuleManager.dll (included) in the GameData root for the mod to run properly. The Ships folder includes example crafts to provide assistance acclimating to the new aerodynamics. The Source folder includes the source files for the plugin in C#; they do not need to be copied over for the plugin to function properly.

How to use

Aerodynamic fixes automatically take effect after installation. However, specifying whether control surfaces should act as ailerons, elevators, rudders, flaps or some combination does not occur automatically. You must go into the editor and use the FAR Control Systems GUI to limit their control axes, and any flaps will have to be added to an action group to increase or decrease their deflection to make them function. The same GUI can be used to estimate your plane's aerodynamic performance. In flight, the GUI displays Mach Number and air density, as well as giving access to the Flight Assistance Systems GUI, which is somewhat self-explanatory, and the Flight Data GUI, which provides various aerodynamic parameters in-flight. Help dialogs exist to explain each parameter. More information can be found in the FAR Thread on the KSP Forums.


31 Comments for “Ferram Aerospace Research v0.13.1”

  1. An amazing mod! Make building spaceplanes far more realistic, but makes rockets easier :)

    IvanTehFennec December 1, 2012
  2. Just a note. I made some planes in 0.18 and balanced them perfectly and then i installed this mod… now they don’t fly due to the changed physics.

    I thought this would happen but i just wanted to make you all aware of this.

    Great mod just don’t want to adjust all my planes for them to work again. :)

    Spewson December 3, 2012
  3. I’ve been flying planes with this plugin for hours, nothing too successful, yet, but the most fun I’ve had in KSP yet.

    If you think you’re a KSP master, SSTO with this!

    Tinfoyle December 5, 2012
  4. Oh dear… I thing this mod is well made, but I hate it. To much work to uninstall, so I guess I’m stuck with it ’till next KSP update.

    Menno Lente December 17, 2012
  5. This plugin doesn’t really add much to the aerodynamics of the game. Even the included crafts cannot maintain their stability without serious use of the B.S. FAR tools like pitch and yaw stabilization. In addition the author expects you to overwrite all of the stock parts so that when you find out that this plugin isn’t worth it’s salt you have to go and reinstall KSP to get your vanilla parts back.

    Save yourself the trouble and don’t bother with this one. That is, if you plan on making any spaceplanes, it doesn’t really interfere with rocketry.

    mastere December 18, 2012
  6. Just duplicate any files you are going to overwrite and problem solved.

    ScubaSteve January 18, 2013
  7. Don’t use this. I’ve had several aircraft lose a wing half way through thier takeoff rolls and others that have inexplicably yawed off the side of the runway and broke apart despite full rudder in the opposite direction. Also, I don’t even know where the FAR tools are.

    Ryan January 19, 2013
  8. Ryan:

    It sounds like your planes have their center of lift too far behind the center of mass; with standard tricycle-style landing gear (which I assume you’re using) your plane will lift off of its main gear and be left trying to balance on the single nose gear. This is not a problem with the plugin, instead a minor design problem (which I myself have seen occur). Moving the center of lift forward / center of mass backward should fix the problem.

    Come down to the FAR Thread on the forums and post some pictures and we should be able to figure out the aircraft problem and the GUI errors.

    ferram4 January 20, 2013
  9. I have to say… I am very impressed with this mod. I picked it up after scott manly did a video on it. I do like the aerodynamic fixes, they kept me on ksp for hours. Another impressive thing about this mod are the planes. Some of the best built planes I’ve ever seen! Favorites include the blackbird (SR-71) and the passenger airliner (which i may or may not have stuck a few rockets on :P ). The tools that are included in the VAB and during flight are feature packed. Although the VAB ones don’t make much sense to me they probably are important. However i do like the dampening during flight which kind of reminded me of MechJeb. Overall I do think this is a great mod and I hope that it will keep updated in the future. Also if you are going to install it BACK UP your ksp files. Really!

    alizter January 25, 2013
  10. If i have other mod parts how do i make them also realistic?
    I downloaded Fusty’s Station Parts and i cant get them up becouse i mounted them on top of my rocket and it will break at high speeds.
    can anyone halp me?

    jim January 26, 2013
  11. @Jim:

    Any mod parts (that aren’t wings) will be taken care of automatically; you don’t need to change them. There are instructions for how to handle wings in the FAR Thread on the forums.

    As for problems with launching your rocket, follow the link above to the forums and post a picture of what your rocket and I’ll give it the best diagnosis I can. :)

    ferram4 January 26, 2013
  12. I can’t seem to install this correctly. I’ve tried everything I can think of but when I’m in-game no matter what I’ve tried the whole aerodynamics seems to be broken. The center of lift is in the bottom middle of the assembly floor, the control surfaces don’t work and I can’t get any aircraft to do anything but roll down the runway. What have I done wrong?

    Benjamin Moloney February 5, 2013
  13. Nevermind, I managed to get it to work. Awesome mod.

    Benjamin Moloney February 5, 2013
  14. For some reason i cannot load any of the parts that FAR has given me, i have installed the plugins and the source and the README file.


    NotableEight1 February 15, 2013
  15. Never mind i got it to work…

    NotableEight1 February 15, 2013
  16. anyone able to fine tune a rudder for some reason it seems like no matter what i do ,using a rudder wil cause me to stall when i try to make small changes.I only have the tail as my rudder so i dont think any other Control surfaces are messing with it.

    James Hamell February 18, 2013
  17. A word of warning to everyone: This mod makes rockets about twice as easy as in Vanilla KSP. I just tested this and with this mod I got to orbit about 4 times faster, spent half as much fuel and I didn’t even do very good in picking a trajectory. Using this mod completely breaks the balance in KSP.

    Katu Lobotomia March 30, 2013
  18. Unfortunately it’s true. I dont know about balance for planes, but it screws rockets, it’s really a lot easier to get on orbit. :X

    elkar April 15, 2013
  19. There’s a problem with ASAS, including Avionics Package, on planes. It just spasses out.
    10 out of 10 though Ferram.

    Jack April 15, 2013
  20. One can clearly see the huge amount of work and thought put into this mod. However i think the keyword here is “Research” – its like a total conversion making KSP from a fun space game into a complicted Aerodynamics simulator.

    Once you figure out a few basics it indeed makes aeroplanes behave great and fun to fly around in the lower atmosphere.
    However it completely unbalances every aspect of the game concerning rocketry. Simple stack rockets get into space a lot easier due to reduced drag (in some cases you can get 10x as high with the same rocket. I launched a straight to the moon mission with a single stage stack rocket using this). Others, particulary ones involving wings, like say shuttles become nearly impossibly to get into space or reenter without using the complicated and somewhat cheety stability tools coming with this mod.

    Zhuikin April 21, 2013
  21. This mod is definitely a great addition to KSP. It shows the direction KSP will probably take with aerodynamics when officially implemented, and it improves atmospheric flight immensely.

    @Zhuikin The solution to the unbalancing is not to remove the mod, but to change other aspects of the game, e.g. engine maximum thrust and efficiency. The solution to stability, however, probably relies on improving the mod. Both these problems will probably be solved with the next official update of the game.

    Dylan Ede April 28, 2013
  22. This is awful, everytime i take off its fine, says no stalling, then turn slightly with caps lock fine control, freaking goes into red stall even with the lift right in the mass ball. this mod is horrible. and makes the game way more unrealistic,

    Dark Kerbalnaut May 10, 2013
  23. Now excuse me. i have to uninstall my game and reinstall all my mods

    Dark Kerbalnaut May 10, 2013
  24. Dark Kerbalnaut, that sounds a lot like your plane is unstable; unfortunately, that is what happens to unstable aircraft.

    If your aircraft doesn’t look anything like a real life plane, then it’s probably not going to fly well.

    Further, if it’s designed like a jet fighter (since most jet fighters are unstable for performance reasons and are kept under control by computers) it will also behave the way you have described it.

    If that isn’t the case, then the problem is that you’ve caused the plane to exceed its stall angle (for straight-winged planes it can be as low as 15 degrees) and you’ll have to take a smoother approach to control.

    None of what is happening is unrealistic; you are likely used to stock KSP aerodynamics and are using that as a baseline. The problem is, stock aerodynamics aren’t anywhere near real-life accurate.

    ferram4 May 23, 2013
  25. yes the stock aerodynamics are horrific to a point where rockets are worse with nosecones,
    you’r mod on the other hand is brilliant and should be in the game as default (possibly along with deadly reentry).

    plains not flat spin when designed badly and rockets are way more stable with only the smallest amount of aerodynamics added, thank you, you (well you’r mods) are a gift to the community

    oz searle May 24, 2013
  26. Installing this properly in Mac OS is a huge pain. :(

    I have to copy each updated part.cfg into the destination folders one at a time.

    0Kev June 7, 2013
  27. I love this mod, but as a suggestion could you add realism and have sound delay or volume lower as you get closer to the speed of sound? Maybe even mute it entirely as you pass the speed of sound?

    Searo June 16, 2013
  28. God, this mod is amazing.
    Now it’s possible to glide!
    The devs should hire you.

    Thauã Aguirre July 28, 2013
  29. Seems like a good mod, but there seems to be no way to turn off the Cas tool, and it interferes with flights enough to make most rockets completely unpilotable. Don’t bother getting this if you don’t plan on spending several hours if not days trying to learn how to work the thing, and also if you don’t plan on accepting that it will always try to control your planes and rockets for you.

    thereaverofdarkness August 18, 2013
  30. Very hard all the charts and stuff but I can fianly Stall my planes!!!

    Alwin Kerman September 15, 2013
  31. Aerospace Engineering FOR THE WIN!

    asdfghjkl October 26, 2013
  32. LoL

    John Khian Faurillo November 11, 2013
  33. I was very excited to get this mod installed with Deadly Reentry and a few others and, I have to say, I am super disappointed. Not sure what is going on, but none of my rockets fly right. I’ve even taken a step back and built a simple rocket with 4 fins and a MK1 command module – I can’t make it do anything but go straight up. As soon as I try to go anywhere, the thing just goes all squirrely on me and I completely lose all control. I wish I knew what was going on, because everyone else seems to be giving this great reviews.


    Paul December 6, 2013
  34. ^^^”I’ve even taken a step back and built a simple rocket with 4 fins and a MK1 command module – I can’t make it do anything but go straight up. As soon as I try to go anywhere, the thing just goes all squirrely on me and I completely lose all control. I wish I knew what was going on, because everyone else seems to be giving this great reviews.”

    This mod is hyper-hardmode. I’m gonna give this another go, as I previously gave up like you did, so I know what I’m about to suggest is WAY easier said than done. That said, you have to understand that this mod attempts to “realistically model” the fact that in reality, if an object is travelling through the atmosphere at speeds that are high enough, the airstream becomes just as difficult to manipulate as water is when you swim in a pool. Do deflect to a different direction, you need to seriously strategize in the VAB / SPH design phase on where you put your authority surfaces. Further, I’m told that this plugin allows (requires) you to specify which surfaces respond to which controls, allowing (requiring) you to think about all three axes of authority during design, launch, and ascent.

    Also, know that MechJeb autoascent controls still map to the stock versions of the airdrag model, so running MechJeb in the atmosphere is almost always a no-go. Hope that helps!

    MisterFister December 7, 2013

    antiprotector December 18, 2013
  36. without this mod i just refuse to play KSP… if u build a plane, or rocket on this mod, definitely your plane and ship will be perfect on WITHOUT mod game… :) so gl to you guys…

    4 THE HardCore rocket engineering!!

    antiprotector December 18, 2013
  37. i still play with this mod, thank you!!!! and for others who hate this mod, i say: so uninstall it, and go back to your babymode.

    antiprotector December 20, 2013
  38. I just built a rocket in 30 seconds that achieves orbit with no trouble. Mechjeb happened to handle this one pretty well too, although I have seen MJ struggle badly with rockets that I can fly manually.

    Mk 16 parachute (even if not used, it should help with aerodynamics)
    Command pod Mk 1
    TR-18A decoupler
    FL-T800 fuel tank
    LV-T45 engine
    TR-18A decoupler
    Rockomax adapter
    Rockomax X200-32 fuel
    Rockomax Skipper engine
    I put a few struts from the top decoupler to the Rocko adapter; it’s my habit but I dunno if it was necessary.
    Oh yeah and a couple support gantry tower things.

    Just launch and fly straight up to around 3000m, pitch over 10 degrees or so and hold it there until you get to maybe 12000m. Pitch over a bit more and just burn prograde until you are at your desired altitude. If you pitch over too much too soon, the rocket might flip over.

    This is just to give a simple rocket that will achieve orbit for anyone who is struggling to get any rockets flying. I haven’t learned much about the optimal heights for maneuvers, terminal velocity, etc. so I didn’t mention it here.
    Btw, one reason Mechjeb has trouble launching is that with this mod installed, the numbers that MJ looks at to calculate its drag are all deleted and this mod uses its own. So MJ doesn’t see any drag and doesn’t reduce thrust during launch like it normally would.

    (If the poster above who I was kinda replying to was having trouble specifically with fins or wings, then sorry, I guess none of this applies.)

    r d December 28, 2013
  39. Just wondering if FAR accounts for modded parts. I want to used Novapunch’s fairings but they seem to screw with the lift vector quite a bit and actually do exactly the opposite of the desired effect, instead of the fairings reducing drag at the top of the vehicle it just increases it and I have to put so many fins on the bottom it looks like a shuttlecock lol. Most of the time this just snaps the rocket in half.

    Marius Popescu December 29, 2013
  40. Same problem in KW’s fairing.

    wangww January 3, 2014
  41. If you’re using gigantic fairings for a rocket, then you will end up with the fairings making the rocket unstable. Fairings are not a magical “make everything more stable” type of part; they only have a significant effect if what you’re launching is already aerodynamically hideous.

    If your rocket is snapping in half during launch, it probably means you’re pitching over too aggressively and you need to take a more gentle ascent profile.

    ferram4 January 5, 2014
  42. I actually found out one of the issues, it has to due with how the fairings in Novapunch work, since one of the nodes is left unattached on one side, the drag model makes the lift vector skewed, KW fairings work pretty appropriately.

    Marius Popescu January 8, 2014
  43. This is ‘FAR’ better than the original squad drag calculator. Yes you did see what I did there.

    Ryan De Oliveira January 14, 2014
  44. I wonder how my f-14 would handle with this….

    Avery Ricaldi March 7, 2014
  45. i really like your mod it allright but i dont like it anyway that suck

    donovan newton April 2, 2014
  46. I used to not like this mod until I discovered that not only you need way less delta-v to reach orbit, but also that stupidly overpowered planes can do apos in excess of 2 Mm with only airbreathing engines.

    I… love you so much man.

    Miquel Garcia April 3, 2014
  47. when you take off and go out of the atmosphere, shouldn’t you experience cold?

    Stewit9000 April 7, 2014
  48. Even though this makes SSTOs super easy to make and you don’t need as much delta-v to get into orbit, this makes aerobraking virtually impossible. if you stay on your prograde marker, you go flying into space. If you just let your spacecraft spin, you’ll go crashing into the surface. A bit too much drag for side-on fuel tanks maybe?

    Luke Logan April 16, 2014

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