Hi fellow wiki editors!

To help newly registered users get more familiar with the wiki (and maybe older users too) there is now a {{Welcome to the wiki}} template. Have a look at it and feel free to add it to new users discussion pages (and perhaps your own).

I have tried to keep the template short, but meaningful. /Johan G

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Welcome to the second edition of the FlightGear Newsletter.
+
{{newsletter}}
  
This is currently a workspace for the current edition, with titles copied from the [[FlightGear Newsletter July 2009]]. Please feel free to add content etc. The aim is to complete this issue by the end of July, and publish it at the start of August.
+
Welcome to the second edition of the FlightGear Newsletter. In this issue, we have a new GA aircraft in the hangar, a report from LinuxTag 2009, a description of a Tornado simulator, and some new custom scenery around Innsbruck, Austria.
  
We're still looking for a permanent (or even a temporary) newsletter editor, so if you'd like to get involved, have a look on the [http://www.flightgear.org/forums/ Forums].
+
The newsletter is still a bit thin on contributions, so if you'd like to contribute, please feel free to log onto the wiki and start editing the next edition [[FlightGear Newsletter September 2009| here]]. We're still looking for a permanent (or even a temporary) newsletter editor, so if you'd like to get involved, have a look on the {{forum link|text=Forums}}.
  
 
==What's New in CVS==
 
==What's New in CVS==
Line 21: Line 21:
 
In conjunction with that FlightGear has had support for a generic ASCII only input-output protocol handler for a number of years now. It is called 'generic' because it allows handling of just about any information in any form by altering  a user modifiable xml configuration file. The functionality has been extended further by the possibility to define an offset and a multiplication factor. This approach might not cover every possible scenario but it will probably be good enough for most cases.
 
In conjunction with that FlightGear has had support for a generic ASCII only input-output protocol handler for a number of years now. It is called 'generic' because it allows handling of just about any information in any form by altering  a user modifiable xml configuration file. The functionality has been extended further by the possibility to define an offset and a multiplication factor. This approach might not cover every possible scenario but it will probably be good enough for most cases.
  
With the help of Anders Gidenstam the generic protocol has recently been extended to also support binary input and output. The data will be tightly acked in a packet that contains the requested data described in the configuration file. Supported types are: boolean values (8-bit), integer values (32-bit), floating point values (32-bit) and double precision floating point values (64-bit). Andes also added the option to support network byte ordering (big-endian) or system native byte-ordering which will save some processing time when only one type of system is used. To make it easier to see how the packet will be handled by FlightGear a utility called generic-protocol-analyze has been created which can be found in FlightGear/utils/xmlgrep. It outputs the data  offset and size along with it's description.
+
With the help of Anders Gidenstam the generic protocol has recently been extended to also support binary input and output. The data will be tightly packed in a packet that contains the requested data described in the configuration file. Supported types are: boolean values (8-bit), integer values (32-bit), floating point values (32-bit) and double precision floating point values (64-bit). Anders also added the option to support network byte ordering (big-endian) or system native byte-ordering which will save some processing time when only one type of system is used. To make it easier to see how the packet will be handled by FlightGear a utility called generic-protocol-analyze has been created which can be found in FlightGear/utils/xmlgrep. It outputs the data  offset and size along with it's description.
  
 
==New Wiki Articles ==
 
==New Wiki Articles ==
 
The wiki provides now a new article for aspiring core developers about extending the built-in Nasal scripting interpreter with custom extension functions: [[Howto:Extending Nasal]].
 
The wiki provides now a new article for aspiring core developers about extending the built-in Nasal scripting interpreter with custom extension functions: [[Howto:Extending Nasal]].
 
The [[Nasal scripting language|Nasal documentation]] itself has been slightly reworked to provide a step by step introduction for users completely new to scripting or programming in general.
 
The [[Nasal scripting language|Nasal documentation]] itself has been slightly reworked to provide a step by step introduction for users completely new to scripting or programming in general.
 
==Contributing==
 
 
Suggestions of how to get involved in the community and help make FG even better.
 
  
 
==In the Hangar==
 
==In the Hangar==
Line 37: Line 33:
  
  
There's a new aircraft in the CVS hangar - the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Pacer PA 22-160 Tri Pacer]. Created by Robert Leda (aka erobo) and Pawel Luchowski, this is a lovely GA aircraft and well worth having a flight in.  
+
There's a new aircraft in the CVS hangar - the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Pacer PA 22-160 Tri Pacer]. Created by Robert Leda (aka erobo) and Pawel Luchowski, this is a lovely GA aircraft and well worth having a flight in. If you enjoy VFR cross-country flying, or even simple IFR, and want to try something different to the Cessna 172, this is the plane for you.
  
The level of detail is very impressive - you must prime to start the engine (making sure the mixture is set), the sound varies depending on whether you've got the window open, and the doors slam shut. All in all, it's a great polished aircraft.
+
The level of detail is very impressive - you must prime to start the engine (making sure the mixture is set), the sound varies depending on whether you've got the window open, and the doors slam shut. All in all, it's a great polished aircraft, and a fine addition to the hangar.
  
The FG CVS hangar now has a very wide range of Piper aircraft, from the simple Cub, through the Cherokee Warrior II, Comanche 250, to the Seneca II. It is worth noting that the Warrior, Comanche and Seneca are all based on airframes flown by FG contributors in real life.
+
The FG hangar now has a very wide range of Piper aircraft, from the simple Cub, through the Cherokee Warrior II, Comanche 250, to the Seneca II. It is worth noting that the Warrior, Comanche and Seneca are all based on airframes flown by FG contributors in real life.
 
+
 
+
==Fly Somewhere New==
+
 
+
Details of interesting flights. Might best be a link to another page on the wiki
+
  
 
==Useful Links==
 
==Useful Links==
  
Either FG related, or useful resources for virtual flying
+
For those wanting to do some dead reckoning, this [http://www.csgnetwork.com/e6bcalc.html CRP5 E6B] online calculator may be of interest. Get your stopwatch, chinagraph pencils, ruler and protractor ready!
  
==And Finally...==
+
There are a whole host of funky aviation converters [http://www.csgnetwork.com/aviationconverters.html here]. Thanks to eeK on the forums for the links.
 
+
Check out the cockpit of an Airbus A380 and have a virtual tour here:
+
[http://www.airbus.com/store/mm_repository/cockpit_airbusA380/flash/cockpit1.htm http://www.airbus.com/store/mm_repository/cockpit_airbusA380/flash/cockpit1.htm]
+
  
 
==LinuxTag 2009==
 
==LinuxTag 2009==
 
[[Image:Linuxtag2009_1.jpg|thumb|200px|A view of the FlightGear stand]]
 
[[Image:Linuxtag2009_1.jpg|thumb|200px|A view of the FlightGear stand]]
The 2009 edition of the LinuxTag has been concluded and the FlightGear hangar was there full of aircraft and pilots ! You could easily spot our stand since it seemed to me the most popular one, the idea to take a free virtual flight coupled with a free flight instructor was like honey for bears. Furthermore the hardware was impressive, 2 flight stations with 3 big monitors each and real controls were worth a try ! You could even track your flight through a projected mapserver on the wall.<br/>. We flew mostly around the [[EDDF|Frankfurt]] area, where a highly detailed airport (still with a high fps rate) was the background of our participants. The favorite aircraft was the [[Piper_PA34-200T_Seneca_II|SenecaII]] as it was perfect to be flown with our equipment. Meanwhile in the forward station was easy to see some [[Eurocopter_Bo105|Eurocopter Bo105]] pilot or [[Grumman_F-14_Tomcat|F-14 Tomcat]] top gun enjoying [[Aircraft_carrier|carrier]] approaches.<br/>
 
 
 
[[Image:Linuxtag2009 terrain before.jpg|thumb|150px|left|Terrain texture (before)]]
 
[[Image:Linuxtag2009 terrain before.jpg|thumb|150px|left|Terrain texture (before)]]
 
[[Image:Linuxtag2009 terrain after.jpg|thumb|150px|left|Terrain texture (linuxtag)]]
 
[[Image:Linuxtag2009 terrain after.jpg|thumb|150px|left|Terrain texture (linuxtag)]]
 
[[Image:Shader sea linuxtag2009.jpg|thumb|150px|right|Sea texture (linuxtag)]]
 
[[Image:Shader sea linuxtag2009.jpg|thumb|150px|right|Sea texture (linuxtag)]]
 +
 +
 +
The 2009 edition of the LinuxTag has been concluded and the FlightGear hangar was there full of aircraft and pilots ! You could easily spot our stand since it seemed to me the most popular one, the idea to take a free virtual flight coupled with a free flight instructor was like honey for bears. Furthermore the hardware was impressive, 2 flight stations with 3 big monitors each and real controls were worth a try ! You could even track your flight through a projected mapserver on the wall.<br/> We flew mostly around the [[EDDF|Frankfurt]] area, where a highly detailed airport (still with a high fps rate) was the background of our participants. The favorite aircraft was the [[Piper_PA34-200T_Seneca_II|SenecaII]] as it was perfect to be flown with our equipment. Meanwhile in the forward station was easy to see some [[Eurocopter_Bo105|Eurocopter Bo105]] pilot or [[Grumman_F-14_Tomcat|F-14 Tomcat]] top gun enjoying [[Aircraft_carrier|carrier]] approaches.<br/>
 +
 
But it was not just all flying and fun. At the stand you could talk to some code and model developers, discussing new features and wishes. There was a developers section too: Till was hacking an earth and sea textures generator to improve our virtual world terrain painting, applying [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shader shaders] instead of fixed photos; early results where really interesting and I hope to see them soon in [[CVS]].
 
But it was not just all flying and fun. At the stand you could talk to some code and model developers, discussing new features and wishes. There was a developers section too: Till was hacking an earth and sea textures generator to improve our virtual world terrain painting, applying [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shader shaders] instead of fixed photos; early results where really interesting and I hope to see them soon in [[CVS]].
  
Line 69: Line 59:
  
 
* [http://brisa.homelinux.net/zenphoto/index.php?album=linuxtag2009 photos from Francesco and Matthias of the stand]
 
* [http://brisa.homelinux.net/zenphoto/index.php?album=linuxtag2009 photos from Francesco and Matthias of the stand]
 
  
 
- Francesco Brisa
 
- Francesco Brisa
  
[[Category:FlightGear Newsletter|2009 8]]
+
==Tornado F3 Simulator==
 +
 
 +
I had the very good fortune to use a genuine Panavia Tornado F3 simulator at RAF Leuchars in Scotland at the start of August.
 +
 
 +
I flew in from the south in my microlight, as part of a fly-in to the base. This was a rather unique event, as the last fly in to the base had been some 15 years before, and the RAF made us very welcome, with talks about their ATC and how to avoid the fast jets that fly near us (top tip - don't be at 250ft AGL - that's where they spend most of their time!).
 +
 
 +
The simulator itself did not have a moving platform, but did use a real cockpit, had a 120 degree field of view display and was used for training by the pilots, including interceptions and weapons training. The short sortie I flew took off from RAF Leuchars (EGQL) up the Firth of Forth, underneath the Forth Bridges, and then landing at Edinburgh (EGPH). The feeling of "being there" was quite remarkable, and it was a real privilege to have the opportunity to use it.
 +
 
 +
One of the things that struck me however, was that there was nothing there that was beyond the capabilities of FlightGear. The graphics were possibly slightly lower in quality (no scenery objects apart from the bridges) and the display technology was using DLP projectors (there's a description [http://ntdd2489.fm.netbenefit.co.uk/recentInstallations/Industry/Simulation/RAF_Leuchars/index.asp here]). The key thing that made the experience so realistic was the wide field of view and the use of real hardware. I was sat in a real Tornado cockpit, the canopy was closed (with warning klaxon), the stick was heavy, and the throttles had to be moved appropriately for reheat or reverse thrust. So, perhaps its time to see if there are any real cockpits available...
 +
 
 +
Of course, none of this is news to the various people who are building fixed base simulators using FG as a software platform. There is a list of the known FG-based projects [http://www.flightgear.org/Projects/ here], and almost certainly plenty more around.
 +
 
 +
-Stuart Buchanan
 +
 
 +
==Innsbruck Gets A Face Lift==
 +
[[Image:Innsbruck_after_003.jpg|thumb|175px|left|screenshot]]
 +
[[Image:Innsbruck_after_006.jpg|thumb|175px|left|screenshot]]
 +
 
 +
Custom scenery for the area in and around Innsbruck, Austria, is now available for downloading. The scenery currently covers a 1x1 degree area containing parts of Austria and Germany, and makes use of accurate data from the [http://www.eea.europa.eu Corine Land Cover], and [http://www.openstreetmap.org Open Street Map] projects. Three airports lie within this area, Innsbruck LOWI towards the south western end in Austria, and EDHR + EDMK on the northern end in Germany. See the forum topic {{forum link|t=5350|text=here}} for more details, pictures, and links to download the scenery.
 +
 
 +
See [http://fgfs.i-net.hu/modules/fgtracker/?FUNCT=FLIGHT&FLIGHTID=973183 here]for a route that will take you on a nice tour around the scenery. The route starts and ends at Innsbruck LOWI, with visits to Lake Walchensee, Tegernsee, and Achensee. I recommend an amphibious plane such as the De Havilland Beaver on floats (--aircraft=dhc2F), so you can make stops at these beautiful alpine lakes and enjoy the view.
 +
 
 +
-Jacob Burbach
 +
 
 +
==And Finally...==
 +
Check out the cockpit of an Airbus A380 and have a virtual tour here:
 +
[http://www.airbus.com/store/mm_repository/cockpit_airbusA380/flash/cockpit1.htm http://www.airbus.com/store/mm_repository/cockpit_airbusA380/flash/cockpit1.htm]
 +
 
 +
[[es:FlightGear Newsletter August 2009]]
 +
 
 +
[[Category:FlightGear Newsletter 2009| 08]]

Latest revision as of 10:55, 13 August 2019

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


Welcome to the second edition of the FlightGear Newsletter. In this issue, we have a new GA aircraft in the hangar, a report from LinuxTag 2009, a description of a Tornado simulator, and some new custom scenery around Innsbruck, Austria.

The newsletter is still a bit thin on contributions, so if you'd like to contribute, please feel free to log onto the wiki and start editing the next edition here. We're still looking for a permanent (or even a temporary) newsletter editor, so if you'd like to get involved, have a look on the Forums This is a link to the FlightGear forum..

What's New in CVS

Configurable Shaders

Tim Moore has committed a significant change to the graphics system that will allow much easier integration of OpenGL shaders within the simulator.

Shaders are small programs that run on your graphics card itself, and allow the simulator to do graphics operations that would otherwise be too computationally expensive. The current FG release (1.9.1) uses shaders for the forests of trees and 3D clouds.

This change represented a lot of work on the infrastructure of the project for long-term benefit. While there aren't any significant graphics changes based on this yet, we can expect a lot in the future, including integration of some nice water effects.

Generic Binary I/O protocol

The input and output code of FlightGear has been very flexible for many years by allowing for communications to (and from) files, serial ports and network sockets just by altering a command-line option.

In conjunction with that FlightGear has had support for a generic ASCII only input-output protocol handler for a number of years now. It is called 'generic' because it allows handling of just about any information in any form by altering a user modifiable xml configuration file. The functionality has been extended further by the possibility to define an offset and a multiplication factor. This approach might not cover every possible scenario but it will probably be good enough for most cases.

With the help of Anders Gidenstam the generic protocol has recently been extended to also support binary input and output. The data will be tightly packed in a packet that contains the requested data described in the configuration file. Supported types are: boolean values (8-bit), integer values (32-bit), floating point values (32-bit) and double precision floating point values (64-bit). Anders also added the option to support network byte ordering (big-endian) or system native byte-ordering which will save some processing time when only one type of system is used. To make it easier to see how the packet will be handled by FlightGear a utility called generic-protocol-analyze has been created which can be found in FlightGear/utils/xmlgrep. It outputs the data offset and size along with it's description.

New Wiki Articles

The wiki provides now a new article for aspiring core developers about extending the built-in Nasal scripting interpreter with custom extension functions: Howto:Extending Nasal. The Nasal documentation itself has been slightly reworked to provide a step by step introduction for users completely new to scripting or programming in general.

In the Hangar

Piper Tri-Pacer Piper Tri-Pacer cockpit


There's a new aircraft in the CVS hangar - the PA 22-160 Tri Pacer. Created by Robert Leda (aka erobo) and Pawel Luchowski, this is a lovely GA aircraft and well worth having a flight in. If you enjoy VFR cross-country flying, or even simple IFR, and want to try something different to the Cessna 172, this is the plane for you.

The level of detail is very impressive - you must prime to start the engine (making sure the mixture is set), the sound varies depending on whether you've got the window open, and the doors slam shut. All in all, it's a great polished aircraft, and a fine addition to the hangar.

The FG hangar now has a very wide range of Piper aircraft, from the simple Cub, through the Cherokee Warrior II, Comanche 250, to the Seneca II. It is worth noting that the Warrior, Comanche and Seneca are all based on airframes flown by FG contributors in real life.

Useful Links

For those wanting to do some dead reckoning, this CRP5 E6B online calculator may be of interest. Get your stopwatch, chinagraph pencils, ruler and protractor ready!

There are a whole host of funky aviation converters here. Thanks to eeK on the forums for the links.

LinuxTag 2009

A view of the FlightGear stand
Terrain texture (before)
Terrain texture (linuxtag)
Sea texture (linuxtag)


The 2009 edition of the LinuxTag has been concluded and the FlightGear hangar was there full of aircraft and pilots ! You could easily spot our stand since it seemed to me the most popular one, the idea to take a free virtual flight coupled with a free flight instructor was like honey for bears. Furthermore the hardware was impressive, 2 flight stations with 3 big monitors each and real controls were worth a try ! You could even track your flight through a projected mapserver on the wall.
We flew mostly around the Frankfurt area, where a highly detailed airport (still with a high fps rate) was the background of our participants. The favorite aircraft was the SenecaII as it was perfect to be flown with our equipment. Meanwhile in the forward station was easy to see some Eurocopter Bo105 pilot or F-14 Tomcat top gun enjoying carrier approaches.

But it was not just all flying and fun. At the stand you could talk to some code and model developers, discussing new features and wishes. There was a developers section too: Till was hacking an earth and sea textures generator to improve our virtual world terrain painting, applying shaders instead of fixed photos; early results where really interesting and I hope to see them soon in CVS.

The FlightGear guys prove themselves very friendly and always spoke in english in my presence. Martin Spott took care to manage an entrance pass for me and kept me informed prior to LinuxTag via Emails. This means you have no excuses to miss the event next year (At least only if you are not afraid of virtually flight !).

- Francesco Brisa

Tornado F3 Simulator

I had the very good fortune to use a genuine Panavia Tornado F3 simulator at RAF Leuchars in Scotland at the start of August.

I flew in from the south in my microlight, as part of a fly-in to the base. This was a rather unique event, as the last fly in to the base had been some 15 years before, and the RAF made us very welcome, with talks about their ATC and how to avoid the fast jets that fly near us (top tip - don't be at 250ft AGL - that's where they spend most of their time!).

The simulator itself did not have a moving platform, but did use a real cockpit, had a 120 degree field of view display and was used for training by the pilots, including interceptions and weapons training. The short sortie I flew took off from RAF Leuchars (EGQL) up the Firth of Forth, underneath the Forth Bridges, and then landing at Edinburgh (EGPH). The feeling of "being there" was quite remarkable, and it was a real privilege to have the opportunity to use it.

One of the things that struck me however, was that there was nothing there that was beyond the capabilities of FlightGear. The graphics were possibly slightly lower in quality (no scenery objects apart from the bridges) and the display technology was using DLP projectors (there's a description here). The key thing that made the experience so realistic was the wide field of view and the use of real hardware. I was sat in a real Tornado cockpit, the canopy was closed (with warning klaxon), the stick was heavy, and the throttles had to be moved appropriately for reheat or reverse thrust. So, perhaps its time to see if there are any real cockpits available...

Of course, none of this is news to the various people who are building fixed base simulators using FG as a software platform. There is a list of the known FG-based projects here, and almost certainly plenty more around.

-Stuart Buchanan

Innsbruck Gets A Face Lift

screenshot
screenshot

Custom scenery for the area in and around Innsbruck, Austria, is now available for downloading. The scenery currently covers a 1x1 degree area containing parts of Austria and Germany, and makes use of accurate data from the Corine Land Cover, and Open Street Map projects. Three airports lie within this area, Innsbruck LOWI towards the south western end in Austria, and EDHR + EDMK on the northern end in Germany. See the forum topic here This is a link to the FlightGear forum. for more details, pictures, and links to download the scenery.

See herefor a route that will take you on a nice tour around the scenery. The route starts and ends at Innsbruck LOWI, with visits to Lake Walchensee, Tegernsee, and Achensee. I recommend an amphibious plane such as the De Havilland Beaver on floats (--aircraft=dhc2F), so you can make stops at these beautiful alpine lakes and enjoy the view.

-Jacob Burbach

And Finally...

Check out the cockpit of an Airbus A380 and have a virtual tour here: http://www.airbus.com/store/mm_repository/cockpit_airbusA380/flash/cockpit1.htm