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Es/FlightGear Newsletter March 2011

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Revision as of 12:59, 19 December 2011 by Aepcam (Talk | contribs) (DG-101G)

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Welcome to the FlightGear Newsletter!
Please help us write the next edition!
Enjoy reading the latest edition!

Nos gustaría hacer hincapié en que el boletín mensual no puede vivir sin las contribuciones de los usuarios y desarrolladores de FlightGear. Todo el mundo con una cuenta en el wiki (registrarse es gratuito) puede editar el boletín de noticias y toda contribución es bienvenida. Por tanto si sabes de algún proyecto relacionado con FlightGear, como por ejemplo un escenario o una aeronave actualizada, por favor sientete invitado a añadir este tipo de noticias en el boletín.

Development news

Local Weather v1.0

After more than a year of development work, the Local Weather package has reached its full design functionality as described in A local weather system and is available for download as version 1.0. The package works with Flightgear 2.0.0 and higher, though some extensions (marked with [GIT]) require a more recent binary.

Después de más de un año de trabajo de desarrollo, el paquete de Meteorología ha llegado a su funcionalidad completa del diseño como se describe en Un sistema meteorológico local y está disponible para su descarga como ~ trenk/files/local_weather_fgfsGITv1.0.tgz versión 1.0. El paquete de obras con Flightgear 2.0.0 y superiores, aunque algunas extensiones (marcados con [GIT]) necesita un binario más reciente.

Version 1.0 offers the following features:

  • numerous types of clouds from Cirrus to Cumulonimbus, arranged in realistic patterns and size distributions, visible up to 80 km distance
  • weather phenomena tied to location: rain only underneath clouds, dense clouds obscure sunlight [GIT], convective clouds develop according to terrain
  • spatial interpolation of weather parameters like pressure, temperature, visibility, wind
  • effect volumes controlling short-range turbulence, rain, snow, visibility and shadow [GIT]
  • terrain-dependent modeling of boundary layer winds, gusts and turbulence
  • complete offline weather system involving different airmass types and weather fronts
  • integration of online METAR data [GIT]
  • full support for soaring [GIT], thermals are automatically generated by the convective system
  • optional dynamics: clouds drift in the wind, convective clouds are generated and decay, properties of thermals evolve in time
  • backward compatibility to Flightgear 2.0.0

La versión 1.0 ofrece las siguientes características:

  • Numerosos tipos de nubes cumulonimbus a Cirrus, dispuestos en patrones realistas y distribuciones de tamaño, visible hasta una distancia de 80 km
  • Fenómenos meteorológicos ligados a la localización: la lluvia sólo por debajo de las nubes, densas nubes oscuras la luz del sol [GIT], las nubes convectivas se desarrollan de acuerdo con el terreno
  • Interpolación espacial de los parámetros meteorológicos como presión, temperatura, visibilidad, viento
  • Efecto de control de volumen de corto alcance turbulencias, lluvia, nieve, la visibilidad y la sombra [GIT]
  • Terrenos dependientes de la modelización de los vientos de la capa límite, ráfagas y turbulencias
  • Sistema completo del tiempo en línea que integran los distintos frentes de masa de aire y el clima
  • La integración de datos en línea METAR [GIT]
  • Soporte completo para volar [GIT], las térmicas son generadas automáticamente por el sistema convectivo
  • Dinámica opcional: pasar las nubes en el viento, las nubes convectivas que se generan y la decadencia, las propiedades térmicas de evolucionar en el tiempo
  • Compatibilidad con versiones anteriores a 2.0.0 Flightgear

A feature gallery:

Una galería de programas:


A new glider, the DG-101G from Glaser-Dirks, has been added to Git. It utilizes a JSBSim FDM, tuned with data calculated with XFLR5. This model features winch start, aerotowing, a drag robot, water ballast and livery over MP.

Un nuevo planeador, el DG-101G de Glaser-Dirks, ha sido añadido a Git. Se utiliza un JSBSim FDM, en sintonía con los datos calculados con XFLR5. Este modelo cuenta con empezar a torno, aerotowing, un robot de arrastre, el agua de lastre y librea más de MP.

BK 117

Showing the exterior of the BK117.

Work on the BK117 helicopter has been started. The BK117 is a twin-engined medium utility–transport helicopter, produced in a coproduction between MBB/Eurocopter and Kawasaki. It uses the same rigid rotor system like Bo105, but is larger in size and has more power. It is quite common in the world and very often used by emergency services and law enforcements.

The model features a realistic FlightDynamicModel based and calculated from NASA-reports, a detailed 3d-model with normalmap and reflection shaders, detailed rotor (thanks to Melchior!) and will be dynamically configurable in many variants. It is planned to make it realistic as it can be and good or even better than the Ec130 B4.

Next steps are the interior modeling with a detailed 3d-cockpit. Please follow the process in the forum.

Hawker Tempest

Progress to date on the Tempest.

Work on the Hawker Tempest continues but painfully slowly:

  • Flight Dynamic Model: there is contemporary performance data [1] and detailed dimensions available, but no aerodynamic data. This is what YASim was intended for. However, it turns out that YASim does not like high powered, high performance propellor aircraft. When fed realistic data YASim produces a near supersonic solution. However, testing and tuning over 2 weeks has produced an output which closely matches the published data, even if the input data look somewhat bizarre. The Tempest could approach the compressibilty region in a dive. Its operating handbook specifically limited its performance envelope to avoid this, but it might be a useful future extension to add a bit of transonic drag.
  • Texture: nearly finished, but made more difficult by the decision to put all external textures on one 1024 x 1024 sheet. This has the advantage of making a reflection map easier to produce, but aligning all the camoflage joins is ... a nightmare. Tests have been carried out with .dds, .png, and .rgb files: there seems little to chose between them in appearance terms. An executive decision-making aid will be used later (AKA toss of a coin).
  • 3D Cockpit: largely a rework of the Hawker Hurricane cockpit (as it was in real life). About 50% complete.

Overall, we are looking at three months more work.

Updated aircraft

The elevator control station of the Zeppelin LZ 121 Nordstern.

LZ 121 Nordstern

The Zeppelin LZ 121 Nordstern has been updated with a new gas and ballast control board by Anders.

Concorde TCAS

Chris (papillon81) took care of the Concorde's TCAS and converted it to the new generic system by ThorstenB. The old Concorde-specific one was implemented using Nasal and xml and Thorsten got rid of about 1800 LOC in the process. He also created a new glass instrument (the only one in the Concorde's cockpit), modeled according to some web sources. The new system works with both AI and multiplayer traffic.

Livery database reaches 400

This month the FlightGear livery database welcomed its 400th livery! A big thank you to all those artists that contributed over the past two years. A special thank you is justified for gooneybird, who saw his 150th livery commited this month, making him by far the top-contributer!

If you'd like to help us reach the 500 milestone, please see Howto: Edit a livery and/or the dedicated section of our forum.

Scenery corner

Burj al Arab, with one of the palm islands in the background.

One of world's most famous landmarks, the Taj Mahal in India, is now modeled and included in the scenery database. Dubai also welcomed a new model, the famous hotel Burj al Arab.

Eastern Asia

A bunch of new Asian buildings is added, including:

  • Two International Finance Centre - Hong Kong - China
  • International Commerce Center - Hong Kong - China
  • Shanghai World Finance Center - Shanghai - China
  • Jin Mao Tower - Shanghai - China
  • Oriental Pearl Tower - Shanghai - China
  • Tuntex Sky Tower - Kaohsiung - Taïwan
  • Northeast Asia Trade Tower - Incheon - South Korea
  • 63 Building - Seoul - South Korea
  • N Seoul Tower - Seoul - South Korea

Full scale 747 simulator

As you might know, John Wojnaroski has been working for several years on a full-scale 747 simulator, powered by FlightGear. Recently he published two videos, showing the current status of the sim. Recent developments were focused on a panoramic display.

The projectors are (3) short throw 1200x800 native resolution units, mounted on the ceiling. Each projector is first mechanically aligned using the projector test pattern. Next a warping mesh based on projector location and screen dimensions is created and a test pattern using the mesh is produced by FlightGear. The warping mesh is then adjusted to tune the resultant image thrown on the screen as well as mechanical adjustments. And as a final step the "production" image is adjusted by setting the viewing heading for the side projectors for horizontal alignment and projector internals and mesh recalculations for the vertical as required.

The image warping software is contained in the CameraGroup.cxx based on the OSG code for a spherical panoramic display. Tim Moore adapted the source to run with the FlightGear camera group and I extended it to display a warping mesh for a cylindrical panoramic display. There is a stand alone utility to create a mesh warping file that can be tailored for each projector and is loaded at FG init time.

The edge blending is accomplished using gray scale polygons as textures. Further refinement is required to adjust the gamma function to handle pixel brightness based on RGB color values. The slight image flickering is an artifact of the projector and video camera sync mismatches and not observable by the human eye. The videos don't really capture the immersive quality of the wrap-around screen or sensation of motion.

The FG hosting machine is a quad-core Intel I5 with 4GB memory and three nVidia 9400GT graphics. Running FG on a single core produces a frame rate of 28fps using SDL and around 30fps with glut-3.7 with 3D clouds enabled. A higher frame rate of 60-65fps is possible running three instances of fgfs on each core and using the internal localhost socket; however you lose the ability to sync features such as AI traffic, clouds, or multiplayer aircraft.

More info and pictures about the build process are available at John's website and the FlightGear website.

Airport of the month

KMTN overview.png

Martin State Airport (KMTN) north of Baltimore, Maryland may be the best airport in FlightGear you've never heard of.

Make sure you have the object file downloaded, and if you don't have the Baltimore/Washington custom scenery, head over and download the terrain from statto's FlightGear website. Install this properly and you are set to have a quality VFR flight experience!

To start out do a touch-and-go on runway 31. Start your turn over the pattern near the Anne Arundel Mall (a big asphalt blob in the middle of the farmland), then come in over the handcrafted terrain of the harbor.

For a cross-country flight, fly down Baltimore Harbor toward the well-modeled Baltimore-Washington Int'l Airport, then follow the railway and freeway past College Park. Overfly RFK Stadium and the Washington National Mall before turning and landing at Washington National Airport (KDCA).

The custom models combined with the custom scenery really sets this part of the world apart from the default areas in FlightGear - have a flight over Maryland today!

Community news

FlightGear on YouTube

And finally ...


One of the regular thoughts expressed on the FlightGear forums is "I'd like to contribute but I don't know how to program, and I don't have the time". Unfortunately, there is a common mis-conception that contributing requires programming and lots of free time. In fact, there are a huge range of ways to contribute to the project without needing to write code or spending days working on something.

For ideas on starting to contribute to FlightGear, you may want to check out: Volunteer.

Call for volunteers

  • The OpenRadar project is looking for a new maintainer.
  • The FGFSPM (FlightGear Package Manager) is looking for a new maintainer.