FlightGear Newsletter August 2020

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August 2020

We would like to emphasize that the monthly newsletter can not live without the contributions of FlightGear users and developers. Everyone with a wiki account (free to register) is welcome to contribute to the newsletter. If you know about any FlightGear related news or projects such as for example updated scenery or aircraft, please do feel invited to add such news to the newsletter.

Development news

See the Help wanted section.

2020.2 LTS release candidates

Release candidates are for the Flightgear 2020.2 LTS are available at download.flightgear.org/builds/rc/. Bugs and issues can be reported by making a ticket on Sourceforge.

Nightly builds are also following the 2020.2 LTS branch. Nightlies will return to following the latest changes, once the large changes are stabilised in the 'next' branch that builds towards the release after 2020.2.

Global OSM2City build

There is ongoing work on the world build of OSM2City (and a terrain build for the continent of Australia) by Merspieler, as well as investigations into the feasibility of distributing the world build of OSM2City using Terrasync by StuartB and the OSM2City team.

New software tools and projects

FGCom-mumble

The last issue mentioned the work on a new mumble based FGCom implementation. The development is discussed in the FGCom-mumble topic on the forum This is a link to the FlightGear forum.. Releases can be downloaded from github.

current state

Mid-august the development reached release 0.4.0 which should propose a first complete draft. Some further testing was conducted and bugs ironed out. Testing was mainly conducted with custom tools, the stock C172p, the C182s and ATC-Pie (dev version has fgcom-mumble support). Also small feature enhancements got implemented and, most importantly, 8.33kHz channel names do now work properly. To make things easier, core documentation was translated to german.

After the previous 0.3.0 release some work has been added, mostly cleaning up some internals; but there is also a very basic HF and UHF radio model now, as well as an implementation of the mumble plugin updater, which will check the github page for new releases and notifies the user if there is one.

To summarize the main features currently working:

  • Simulates a continuous frequency spectrum: tune and use any frequency, regardless where you are
    • Simple HF radio model (line of sight+skywave propagation, range depending on output power)
    • Simple VHF radio model (line of sight, range depending on output power)
    • Simple UHF radio model (line of sight, range depending on output power)
    • 8.33 channel support
  • 910.00 Echotest
  • ATIS recording/playback
  • Landline support
  • RDF support in ATC-Pie

open tasks

To conduct further and broader testing, we probably need to wait for mumble 1.4.0. As this is probably still a long time out, early testing under linux is welcome. Also, i still have no idea if the windows plugin loads, so someone with a windows build environment is most appreciated to compile mumble and try the plugin.

The issue tracker still lists some points, but those are either minor ones or are not implementable at the current time. Nonetheless, please see trough the items, maybe you can lend a hand. Also, some code review is welcome!

trying it out yourself

As mumble 1.4.0 is still in the pipeline, you need a self compiled mumble (and murmur) from the Krzmbrzl:plugin-API branch to test this out. If you additionally want to run the server side bots, you also need lua-mumble. Detailed installation descriptions are laid out in the readmes.

It would be cool if someone with a public server could try to setup that, so i can verify the readmes are correct and we get an online test bed.

In the hangar

Updated aircraft

Diamond DA 40 with G1000

FGUK have created an updated Diamond DA 40 This is a link to a Wikipedia article with the FG1000 glass cockpit. See the forum thread for details and download.

  • ALS Glass and fuselage effects including rain and livery specific levels of reflection.
  • FG1000 glass cockpit.
  • Entire cockpit panel layout updated.
  • MP Passenger option. Optional wheel spats. MP Sound. 12 liveries.
Flight in the Diamond DA40 with the new FG1000 from LIDT to LIPX in Flightgrear 2020.1 by FGUK

FGAddon currently has 2 versions with partial updates by maintainer Helijah (Emmanuel Baranger). Both are currently updated with FG1000 panel options, but do not have updates with ALS glass cockpit and rain etc. yet:

  • YaSim: Diamond DA40 (YaSim): Normal and copilot variants. To switch between FG1000 use in-sim menu > Diamond DA 40 > Panel mode.
  • JSBSim: Diamond DA40 NG VFR (JSBSim): VFR, FG1000 panel, and IFR variants.

Eurocopter EC145

Litzi, StuartC and FGUK have released a GPL update to the EC145 This is a link to a Wikipedia article, version 1.3. The EC145 is a fully glass cockpit helicopter. See the forum thread for more information, screenshots, and download.

How to manually start the EC145 by FGUK. Note the ALS rain effect. The EC145 also features ALS cockpit shadows - which remain the recommended option in the upcoming Compositor: ALS cockpit shadows are extremely fast, can handle tinted glass, and can remain sharp compared to default shadow maps.

Eurocopter EC130 / Airbus Helicopters H130

FGUK have released a GPL update to the EC130 / H130 This is a link to a Wikipedia article in FGAddon fixing bugs, updating FDM/Garmin, adding ALS rotorwash and rain effects etc. B4 and T2 versions. See this page for more information, screenshots and download. The EC130 in FGAddon has not been updated yet.

Starting and flying the FGUK version of the EC130 / H130 by FGUK

AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat

FGUK have released an update for the AW159 Wildcat This is a link to a Wikipedia article. See here for a video from early development in March. See the froum thread for more information, screenshots, and download.

Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche

FGUK have released an update for the RAH-66 Comanche This is a link to a Wikipedia article. The Comanche was a futuristic prototype reconnaissance and light-attack helicopter that never reached production phase due to being deemed too expensive. See here for a video from early development flight testing in February. See the forum thread for more information, screenshots, and download.


Help wanted

Post LTS work

After the 2020.2 release, some work lies ahead to improve the LTS - any help would be greatly appreciated.

This may for example include:

Please get in touch via the developers mailing list to learn more. See Post FlightGear 2020.2 LTS changes for more details.

World Scenery 3.0

The FlightGear project is in the process of exploring how Virtual Planet Builder can be adopted. For details, see: World Scenery 3.0 roadmap

Aerial (drone) photos for Terrain textures

Wanted: good top-down aerial photos to create textures from to use with the procedural Regional Texturing system. Drones This is a link to a Wikipedia article with cameras are ideal. People with access to drones are in a good position to take high-quality photographs.

A particular need as of 2020 is photos of agriculture (farm lands) from different parts of the world.

Good GPLv2 compatible photos suitable for textures are hard to find, and an easy way is for people to take photos of their region. Flightgear's procedural systems can do a lot with less art content, so photo contributions can strongly improve visuals.

See: How to: take photos of terrain for textures. For examples of final textures: see /data/Textures/Terrain. e.g. UK countryside.

You can get in touch via the Scenery forum or the flightgear-devel mailing list

Photos of trees for textures

Wanted: good quality photos of different trees and vegetation from various parts of the world. Flightgear's vegetation system can handle multiple layers of trees and bushes.

Strong shadows should be avoided. Each tree should be against a background of a different colour: sky (preferably) , clouds , or buildings. This allows the tree to be separated from the background in a photo-editor like GIMP.

See: How to: take photos of vegetation. For examples of final textures: see /data/Textures/Trees. e.g. Coniferous.

You can get in touch via the Scenery forum or the flightgear-devel mailing list.

Submissions of default settings for GPUs

Wanted: Reasonable default scenery and graphics settings for different graphics cards, to use with the new GPU profile system. See this forum thread to submit defaults for your GPU.

Submissions of labels for craft

Wanted: Submissions of labels (tags) giving a rough description of aircraft - Metadata tags. A quick read of a craft's Wikipedia page will normally be enough to set labels. This info will be searchable from the launcher GUI. For example, filtering craft by propulsion like single-propeller or 4-engine jet craft, or by a manufacturer like Airbus or Grumman, or by speed like supersonic craft, or craft by era like WW2. A list of tags is here - more can be added if needed. To add tags to craft yourself, the tags are stored in the set-xml file.

A list of FGAddon craft needing tags is here. See this forum thread to submit tags. The flightgear-devel mailing list or the craft's maintainer can also be contacted.

Windows Package Maintainer

The core team needs help from Windows users able to maintain a good working Window build. This process already exists to support our Nightly and Release builds, but we are seeking additional help to keep it in good working order. The ability to compile FG from source and some Windows batch scripting is a required skill. If you are willing and able to take up this role, please reach out to James Turner (mailing list), or get in touch via the forum [1]

  1. https://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=37155

AI

The AI team makes FlightGear more realistic, colorful and lively every month. You can support the important development of Interactive Traffic and contribute at the FlightGear AI subforum This is a link to the FlightGear forum..


Scenery corner

New releases

Argentina

Barta has released areas of Argentina updated with OSM2City data. The latest releases can be found at http://scenery.bartatech.net/. Currently the server contains these areas: Santiago (including Valparaiso), Mendoza, Buenos Aires, complete Rosario area. The other parts only have terrain (no roads, buildings etc). The server will eventually contain all of the sceneries in the southern cone of South America: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay. See the forum thread for details on this project.

The scenery.bartatech.net server can be directly used as a terrasync server. Just use the following in the launcher or .fgfsrc file:

--prop:/sim/terrasync/http-server=http://scenery.bartatech.net/

Fernando de Noronha island, Brazil

Lomar has released a build of Fernando de Noronha island and SFBN airport. The release includes new data sources for terrain, and contains new material definitions and roads. See the forum thread for screenshots and download.

Valdivostock area, Russia

J. Redpath has released a scenery build for the Vadivostock area. See the forum thread for screenshots and github download.

Moscow area, Russia

J. Redpath has released a scenery build for the Moscow area covering 14 tiles. See the forum thread for screenshots and github download.=

Eastern China

J. Redpath has released a scenery build for the eastern portion of China covering the area around ZSAM and ZSNJ airports. See the forum thread for screenshots and github download.

Beijing area, China

J. Redpath has released a scenery build for the area around Beijing covering 15 tiles (see ZBAA airport). See the forum thread for screenshots and github download.




Community news

FlightGear on Youtube


FlightGear on Facebook

Since early December 2010, FlightGear has an official Facebook page. If you have a Facebook account please feel free to join the page.

FlightGear on Instagram

In January 2018 the @flightgear_sim Instagram account was brought back to life. If you've got nice screenshots to be featured, feel free to contact the maintainer This is a link to the FlightGear forum..

FlightGear on FlightSim.com

Flightgear has also a sub-forum on flightsim.com - just like the commercial flightsims. It is an opportunity to showcase what FG can do, get people curious and answer any questions they may have with regard to the software or the project.

Multiplayer events

Contributing

Translators needed

En.gif The FlightGear Wiki still needs help for translating it into various languages. If you are interested in making the FlightGear Wiki multilingual, you can start by looking at Help:Translate.
Fr.gif Le wiki de FlightGear a toujours besoin d'aide pour être traduit en différentes langues. Si vous êtes intéressé par le rendre multilingue, commencez par lire Help:Traduire.
De.gif Das FlightGear Wiki benötigt immer noch Hilfe bei der Übersetzung in verschiedene Sprachen. Wenn Du Interesse daran hast, das FlightGear Wiki mehrsprachig zu machen, dann fang mit dem Help:Übersetzen an.
Nl.gif De FlightGear Wiki kan nog steed hulp gebruiken bij het vertalen van artikelen. Als je interesse hebt om de wiki meertalig te maken, raden we je aan om een kijkje te nemen bij Help:Vertalen.
Es.gif La wiki de FlightGear todavía necesita ayuda para traducirla a varios lenguajes. Si estás interesado en hacer la FlightGear wiki multilingüe, entonces comienza en Help:Traducir.
Cat.gif La wiki de FlightGear encara necessita ajuda per traduir-la a diverses llengües. Si esteu interessat en fer la wiki de FlightGear multilingüe, llavors comenceu a Help:Traduir.
Pt.gif A wiki de FlightGear ainda necessita de ajuda para traduzi-la em vários idiomas. Se estás interessado em tornar a wiki de FlightGear multi-lingual, por favor começa em Help:Traduzir.
Zh.gif FlightGear 百科仍然需要志愿者将其翻译为各种语言。如果你有兴趣让FlightGear百科支持更多语言, 你可以查看 Help:Translate.

FlightGear logos

If you want some graphic elements for your FlightGear-related site (such as a hangar or YouTube channel), please feel free to visit FlightGear logos for a repository of logos. And if you have some art skills, please don't hesitate to contribute with your own design creations.

Screenshots

The FlightGear project always needs screenshots, which show features that were added since the last release. These should be of good quality, especially in content and technical image properties. It is therefore recommended to use the best viable filter settings (anti-aliasing, texture sharpening, etc.). More info at Howto:Make nice screenshots.

Screenshot of the Month

If you want to participate in the screenshot contest , you can submit your candidate to this subforum This is a link to the FlightGear forum.. Be sure to see the first post for participation rules. For purposes of convenience and organization, after all the entries have been submitted, a new forum topic will be started containing all shots in an easy-to-view layout. The voting will then take place there. Once the voting has finished, the best screenshot will be presented in the Newsletter.

Thanks for reading FlightGear Newsletter August 2020!

References