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FlightGear Launch Control

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FlightGear Launch Control
The second (aircraft selection) page of FGRun.
The second (aircraft selection) page of FGRun.
Developed by Bernie Bright, Frederic Bouvier
Initial release 0.3.2 (October 24, 2003)
Latest release 1.5.2 (February 6, 2010)
Written in C++
OS All 32-bit MS Windows (95/98/NT/2000/XP)
All POSIX (Linux/BSD/UNIX-like)
Development status Active (2002-)
License GNU General Public License
Website


FlightGear Launch Control (FGRun) is a graphical frontend for FlightGear, distributed and developed separately at [1] SourceForge. However, it was included in officially distributed binaries for FlightGear, even though it is not technically a part the FlightGear program, like several other frontends (see also FlightGear related projects). FGRun allows one to choose options more easily than with the command line.

The application has two main parts:

  • a wizard to choose common options
  • an advanced section where all options are available for advanced users.

Options chosen are automatically saved in a file and are reused the next time FGRun is started.

For information on compiling this software see Building FlightGear Launch Control.

The wizard

The wizard appears to the user when FGRun is started. The first time, when no path are set, the first page is shown, otherwise, it jumps directly to the second page, but the first one is still accessible by hitting the "Prev" button.

Navigation bar

The bottom of the wizard shows six buttons. From left to right:

  • Defaults : in case of emergency, clear all options and restore initial path set at installation.
  • Load : Load a set of options previously saved.
  • Save as... : Save the current set of options to a file.
  • Prev : go to previous page of the wizard.
  • Next : go to next page of the wizard. This button is replaced by the Run button in the last page, to start FlightGear.
  • Quit : end the wizard ( and terrasync if it was started by fgrun ).
Fgrun-page1.jpg

Page One - Paths

In the first page, the paths needed by FGRun are recalled and can be set. If FGRun was installed with a binary package, either under Windows or Linux, these paths are normally initialized by the installation procedure.

The 'Executable' box is the full path to the FlightGear program. One can choose it directly using the file selection dialog that pops up when the folder button is hit.

The 'FG_ROOT' field is the full path to the FlightGear Base Package (data directory). If this path is wrong, no Aircraft would be displayed and FlightGear won't run.

The 'FG_SCENERY' list is the path list to scenery folders. These folders usually have a 'Terrain', and optionally a 'Objects' , subfolders. One add a new path with the 'Add...' button. Priorities among folders are managed with the up and down arrows.

The 'Airports Cache' field shows the location of the file that stores the airport ids found in the scenery. It is faster to access that file than to scan scenery directories to build the airport list. It is possible to delete that file if things go wrong. That will force a new scan when the third page will be shown.

Hint
If things go wrong and FlightGear cannot start anymore, and you want to start over with a bare installation, remove or rename the file named 'fgrun.prefs' located in the parent directory of the airport cache file. You will have to reenter path by hand, but the silly options you could have entered will be deleted.
Fgrun-page2.jpg

Page Two - Aircraft Selection

The second page, usually the first page seen by users when starting fgrun, is the aircraft selection page. It shows the list of aircrafts found in $FG_ROOT/Aircraft and the model of the selected aircraft, spinning.

Fgrun-page3.jpg

Page Three - Airport Selection

The third page is the Airport and Runway selection box. It only shows the content of the Airport Cache file, that should be the reflect of the content of the scenery folders. If a new scenery has been installed and doesn't show up, or an old scenery has been deleted and airport are still there, click on the 'Refresh' button to rescan the scenery directories. The scan occurs the first time or when the Airport Cache has been deleted.

The airport's list doesn't seem to appear (or ever worse, it dissappears) when the refresh button is pressed. To (re)build this list execute the following line once the FlightGear-data is installed:

zcat /usr/share/FlightGear/Airports/metar.dat.gz > \${HOME}/.fltk/flightgear.org/fgrun/airports.txt
Fgrun-page4.jpg

Page Four - Options and Run

The last page shows common options without the need to go to the Advanced section.

Hint
Usually, people new to FlightGear should stick there and experience a simple flight before going to the advanced section. This way, it will be easier to diagnose problem if, by accident, FlightGear would not start or run. Often problems come from incoherent options choosen, and there is no fool guard beyond this limit. If FG doen't run anyway, it will be time to look at the hardware setup.

The command line is helpful to people wanting to diagnose a problem.

The 'Run' button starts FlightGear with the options shown in the command line box.

Advanced Options

The advanced options dialog can be opened through clicking the 'Advanced' button on the last (fourth) page of the launcher.

Fgrun-wiki-a01.jpg

General

  • FG_SCENERY: Where's your scenery saved on your computer?
  • Control: Which controller do you use?
  • Airport: Your start airport.
  • Runway: Start runway of your airport (see above).
  • Aircraft: Your flying vehicle/aircraft.
  • Language: The language of FlightGear.
Fgrun-wiki-a02.jpg

Features

  • Game Mode: The full screen game mode.
  • Random Objects: Enable random scenery objects.
  • Sound: Enable sound effects like engine sounds.
  • HUD: Enable Heads Up Display (HUD).
  • AI Traffic: Enable AI traffic.
Fgrun-wiki-a03.jpg

Flight Model

Fgrun-wiki-a04.jpg

Freeze

  • Freeze: Start paused'.
Fgrun-wiki-a05.jpg

Initial Position

  • Longitude: What's your longitude?
  • Latitude: What's your latitude?
  • Altitude: What's your altitude?
  • Heading: The aircraft heading degrees magnetic.
  • Airspeed: Your airspeed in knots.
Fgrun-wiki-a06.jpg

Rendering

  • Clouds: Are there any clouds up in the air?
  • 3D Clouds: Are the clouds 3D?
  • Full Screen: Want to play on full screen?
  • Wireframe: Do you wanna see only the wires of the scenery and the aircraft?
  • Visibility: Visibility distance in meters or miles.
  • Bpp: Color depth in Bits per pixel.
  • FOV: Field of View angle.
Fgrun-wiki-a07.jpg

Time

  • Time match local: Synchronisize simulation time with local time.
  • Time of day: What's the time of the day?
Fgrun-wiki-a08.jpg

Network

  • Callsign: your callsign for the network. This is used to recognize other pilots and for tracking your flights.

See: Multiplayer Howto

Fgrun-wiki-a09.jpg

Input/Output

Fgrun-wiki-a10.jpg

Avionics

Fgrun-wiki-a11.jpg

Properties

This is where you could edit or add new parameters. It's same as configuring the Command Line.

See: Command Line Parameters

Fgrun-wiki-a12.jpg

Debugging

  • Log Level: The lower the log level, the less errors you'll see. A higher log level can increase the loading time extremely.
  • Trace Read Properties:
  • Trace Write Properties:
Fgrun-wiki-a13.jpg

Environment

Fgrun-wiki-a14.jpg

Weather

  • Wind Direction: Direction of the wind.
  • Heading: Directon wind is coming from.
  • Speed: Wind speed in knots (kts).
Fgrun-wiki-a15.jpg

Clouds

  • Elevation: How high (in feet) are the clouds?
  • Thickness: How thick (in feet) are the clouds?