Difference between revisions of "FlightGear Newsletter August 2014"

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{| width="100%" |
 
| valign="top" width="33%" |
 
| valign="top" width="33%" |
{{Newsletter-cover-item|3.2 Released}}<br/><br/>
+
{{Newsletter-cover-item|FlightGear 3.2 delayed}}<br/><br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-header|Development news}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-header|Development news}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-item|FGCamera 1.0 Released}}<br />
 
{{Newsletter-cover-item|FGCamera 1.0 Released}}<br />
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{{Newsletter-cover-item|Yongphulla Domestic Airport - VQ10}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-item|Yongphulla Domestic Airport - VQ10}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-header|Other}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-header|Other}}<br/>
 +
{{Newsletter-cover-item|FG logo proposal by Cossack90}}
 
| valign="top" width="33%" |
 
| valign="top" width="33%" |
 
{{Newsletter-cover-header|In the hangar}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-header|In the hangar}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-item|Beechcraft B1900D template}}<br/>
 
{{Newsletter-cover-item|Beechcraft B1900D template}}<br/>
{{Newsletter-cover-header|Multiplayer events}}<br/>
+
{{Newsletter-cover-item|Eurofighter EF2000}}<br/>
 +
{{Newsletter-cover-item|Piper Archer CX}}
 
|}
 
|}
 
</div>
 
</div>
==3.2 Released==
+
==FlightGear 3.2 delayed==
The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce that the long awaited v3.2 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator has been released on <!--Add date--> INSERT FINAL RELEASE DATE HERE. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Highlights in this release include ...  
+
[[File:FlightGear 3.2 delayed.png|right|400px]]
 +
Normally we would have a release by now. Unfortunately we encountered a serious bug in the effect system, leading to an unstable or - in some configurations - even completely unusable simulator. This leaves us no other option than postponing the release until the bug is fixed. At this moment we cannot give a firm estimated time of arrival, but we expect to have the bug fixed later this month. We apologize for testing your patience; we think it is worth it though!
  
Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.  
+
Follow us on [http://facebook.com/FlightGear Facebook], [http://google.com/+flightgear Google+] or [http://twitter.com/flightgearsim Twitter] to get a notification when FlightGear 3.2 has arrived.
  
FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multi-player environment, detailed sky modelling, a flexible and open aircraft modelling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.
+
== Feedback required: DDS textures in FlightGear ==
 +
We are looking for feedback about possibly adopting DDS textures in FlightGear:
  
Download FlightGear v3.2 for free from [http://www.flightgear.org FlightGear.org]
+
* dds is a compressed format, hence the download size of the FG base package may be decreased
 +
* compressed dds can be directly used by many graphics cards, reducing also GPU memory consumption
 +
* dds stores all texture resolution levels, i.e. no lower resolution levels have to be generated when the texture is used, hence it loads much faster into memory
 +
* the resolution levels ('mipmaps') can be customized, allowing for some interesting effects at no performance cost
  
FlightGear - Fly Free!
+
Practically all commercial simulations use dds for these reasons.
''Read more at: [[Next Changelog|Version 3.2 Changelog]]''
+
 
 +
However, the dds compression algorithm is patented, which means that it is not readily available for OpenSource graphics drivers used by Linux distributions. Dependent on the specific hardware, this may or may not be a problem (modern graphics cards typically do not need the driver to process dds, for older graphics cards there are non-patented workarounds available which decompress the dds on the software level). The development team is concerned about making the Flightgear experience pleasant for all users, hence we would like to gather feedback how many users would be affected by a change in practice.
 +
 
 +
If there are no problems reported, FG will change defaults to textures in dds format with the 3.4 release, and then phase out the use of png textures.
 +
Continue reading at [[DDS Textures in FlightGear]]...
  
 
==Development news==
 
==Development news==
 
===FGCamera 1.0 Released===
 
===FGCamera 1.0 Released===
{{#ev:youtube|DMZB7QXpR9I|250|right|FGCamera v1.0 in action}}
+
{{#ev:youtube|DMZB7QXpR9I|400|right|FGCamera v1.0 in action}}
FGCamera v1.0 is available to download. Features of current version:
+
[[FGCamera]] v1.0 is available to download. Features of the current version:
 
* 4 camera types:
 
* 4 camera types:
 
** Virtual cockpit,
 
** Virtual cockpit,
Line 39: Line 50:
 
* Arbitrary number of preset views;
 
* Arbitrary number of preset views;
 
* Smooth/discrete transition between the views of the same camera type.
 
* Smooth/discrete transition between the views of the same camera type.
 +
* Graphical user interface to create and manage camera views, as illustrated on the images below.
  
v1.0 has graphical user interface to create and manage camera views:
+
Read more at the updated [[FGCamera|FGCamera wiki article]].
  
 
<gallery widths=200px heights=200px>
 
<gallery widths=200px heights=200px>
Line 47: Line 59:
 
Fgcamera camera settings dialog.jpg|Settings for currently selected camera
 
Fgcamera camera settings dialog.jpg|Settings for currently selected camera
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
Read more at updated [http://wiki.flightgear.org/FGCamera FGCamera wiki article].
 
  
 
==Scenery corner==
 
==Scenery corner==
 
===Yongphulla Domestic Airport - VQ10===
 
===Yongphulla Domestic Airport - VQ10===
High mountains, deep valleys, strong winds and sometimes the rain may appear as something like snow. You are at the bhutanese '''[[Yongphulla Airport|Yongphula Domestic Airport]]''' (VQ10) at a height of 2573 metres. After [[Paro Airport|Paro]], also this airport has been improved. Besides the Terminal and Apron, shared models and other little things have now been added. [[TerraSync]] has it all! Have a nice flight in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
+
High mountains, deep valleys, strong winds and sometimes the rain looks something like snow. You are at the Bhutanese '''[[Yongphulla Airport|Yongphula Domestic Airport]]''' (VQ10) at an altitude of 2573 metres. After [[Paro Airport|Paro]], this airport has been improved. Besides the Terminal and Apron, shared models and other little things have now been added. [[TerraSync]] has it all! Have a nice flight in the Kingdom of Bhutan.
 
<gallery mode=packed heights=240px>
 
<gallery mode=packed heights=240px>
 
VQ10 Yongphula Airport.jpg|Yonghula Airport
 
VQ10 Yongphula Airport.jpg|Yonghula Airport
Line 57: Line 68:
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
  
==In the Hangar==
+
==In the hangar==
 
===Beechcraft B1900D template===
 
===Beechcraft B1900D template===
A new template for the [http://wiki.flightgear.org/Beechcraft_B1900D B1900D] is available in the [http://liveries.flightgear.org/paintkits.php Paintkits] section of the [http://liveries.flightgear.org/ flightgear liveries database website]. The template comes in svg format (best used with [http://www.inkscape.org inkscape]) features:
+
[[File:B1900d template.jpg|thumb|270px|B1900D paintkit]]
 +
A new template for the [[Beechcraft B1900D]] is available in the [http://liveries.flightgear.org/paintkits.php Paintkits] section of the [http://liveries.flightgear.org/ FlightGear livery database]. The template comes in svg format (best used with [http://www.inkscape.org Inkscape]) and features:
 
* full rivets, panel lines and stencils details in vector format
 
* full rivets, panel lines and stencils details in vector format
 
* ambient occlusion layer
 
* ambient occlusion layer
 
* dirt layer
 
* dirt layer
Some B1900d liveries made with this template are available to download in the [http://liveries.flightgear.org/aircraft.php?limit=25&display=2&page=0&id=21 flightgear liveries database website]
+
Some B1900d liveries made with this template are available to download in [http://liveries.flightgear.org/aircraft.php?limit=25&display=2&page=0&id=21 the database]
  
 
===Eurofighter EF2000===
 
===Eurofighter EF2000===
{{#ev:youtube|_MaxljfrPBY||right|A brief in-cockpit demo of the EF2000's FCS}}
+
{{#ev:youtube|_MaxljfrPBY|270|right|A brief in-cockpit demo of the EF2000's FCS}}
A big milestone has been achieved in the ongoing development of the EF2000, which FGUK's Algernon has been project managing since branching from the Eurofighter Typhoon project some years back: finally, a completely computerised Flight Control System which can simulate its real-life counterpart, with surface control fully autonomous and with an autopilot-based processor interpreting pilot input and commanding the system to fly its maximum performance envelope to obey, but not exceed safety or design limits. While a lot of these features are not yet implemented, we have established a working practice for the core system which allows extra elements to be introduced simply and effectively.  
+
A big milestone has been achieved in the ongoing development of the EF2000, which I (Algernon) has been managing since its branching from the main Eurofighter Typhoon project some years back: finally, after a lot of fiddling, a completely computerised Flight Control System (FCS) has been implemented which can simulate its real-life counterpart, with fully autonomous surface control and with an autopilot-based processor interpreting pilot input and commanding the system to fly its maximum performance envelope to obey, but not exceed, safety or design limits. While a lot of these features are not yet implemented, we have established a working practice for the core system which allows extra elements to be introduced simply and effectively. I have heard it said that FG is incapable of simulating such systems, and I hope here we have proved otherwise, and, a bit self-indulgently, that maybe this will be the first truly fly-by-wire aircraft in FlightGear! (I am of course prepared to stand corrected there...)
 +
 
 +
Particular thanks for this objective go to StuartC, who designed the basis of the FDM, and Tomaskom, whose help in fields where I am not much of a master (like mathematics) has been invaluable. Many updates are planned for the EF2000, including a whole new custom paintjob with many liveries, and it is hoped a final, V2.0 release may be available in the later part of the year. You can also get hold of a pre-release copy if you visit the [http://fguk.eu/index.php/forum/index FGUK Forum] and register your interest, for testing purposes - your feedback will be appreciated. Pre-releases will probably not be available until at least September 2014.
 +
 
 +
Other points being addressed in the V2.0 release of the Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 are:
 +
 
 +
* New modular Nasal approach and many new scripts. Upgraded to Eno audio management.
 +
* New UV map for N-SCOT, leading to sexy new textures and liveries and hopefully a paintkit too
 +
* Improvements to helmet-mounted display and HUD for improved navigation, target acquisition and weapons management
 +
* Disintegration, explosion, real damage and real maintenance
 +
* External lighting redesigned
 +
* Experimental and deprecated code bumph removed
 +
 
 +
===Piper Archer CX===
 +
A new aircraft is now available for testing: the semi-fictional [[Piper Archer CX]] single-engine trainer aircraft. While based mostly on the real life Piper Archer TX and LX, it features an analog cockpit such as seen in the Piper Archer II/III. It's completely Rembrandt-ready and features a highly detailed interior and exterior, along with a realistic electrical system. If you'd like, download the [http://zlsa.github.io/pa28-181/ beta build] and test it; report any inaccuracies to the [http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?t=23962 forum thread] dedicated to it. Note that the aircraft uses a highly-detailed model and is not suitable for lower-end hardware. It's being actively developed by ZLSA, and the exterior will be textured as soon as most modeling/simulation inaccuracies have been resolved.
 +
 
 +
Currently, all exterior control surfaces are modeled and animated; details can be added once I find decent reference images of the Piper Archer TX/LX. The interior features detailed 3d instruments, all modeled to fit the cockpit, and the realistic electrical system uses Rembrandt-compatible lights. If you find any inaccuracies or flaws, do not hesitate to report it on the [http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?t=23962 forum thread]; I highly appreciate any criticism as it will help improve the final product.
 +
 
 +
If there are enough requests, the creation of a TX/LX glass cockpit version will be considered.
 +
 
 +
<gallery mode=packed heights=240px>
 +
Piper_Archer_CX_with_ALS_in_flight.png|Exterior view of the Archer CX
 +
Piper_Archer_CX_cockpit_view_with_Rembrandt.png|Cockpit view of the Archer CX
 +
</gallery>
 +
 
 +
== Other ==
 +
=== FG logo proposal by Cossack90 ===
 +
Cossack90 proudly presents a proposal for a new FlightGear logo. I hope you like it, comments are welcomed at [http://forum.flightgear.org/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=23956 the forum].
  
I have heard it said that FG is incapable of simluating such systems - I hope here we have proved otherwise, and indeed that maybe this will be the first truly fly-by-wire aircraft in FlightGear!
+
[[File:Logo proposal by Cossack90.png|270px|FG logo proposal by Cossack90 aka UR-AOK]]
  
Particular thanks for this milestone go to StuartC, who designed the basis of the FDM, and Tomaskom, whose help in fields where I am not much of a master (like mathematics) has been invaluable. Many updates are planned for the EF2000, including a whole new custom paintjob with many liveries, and it is hoped a final, V2.0 release may be available in the later part of the year. You can also get hold of a pre-release copy if you visit the [http://fguk.eu/index.php/forum/index FGUK Forum] and register your interest, for testing purposes - your feedback will be appreciated. Pre-releases will probably not be available until at least September 2014.
+
[[Category:FlightGear Newsletter|2014 08]]

Latest revision as of 12:04, 22 February 2015

Magagazine.png
Enjoy reading the latest edition!
Please help us write the coming edition!
August 2014

FlightGear 3.2 delayed

Development news
FGCamera 1.0 Released

Scenery corner
Yongphulla Domestic Airport - VQ10
Other
FG logo proposal by Cossack90

In the hangar
Beechcraft B1900D template
Eurofighter EF2000
Piper Archer CX

FlightGear 3.2 delayed

FlightGear 3.2 delayed.png

Normally we would have a release by now. Unfortunately we encountered a serious bug in the effect system, leading to an unstable or - in some configurations - even completely unusable simulator. This leaves us no other option than postponing the release until the bug is fixed. At this moment we cannot give a firm estimated time of arrival, but we expect to have the bug fixed later this month. We apologize for testing your patience; we think it is worth it though!

Follow us on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter to get a notification when FlightGear 3.2 has arrived.

Feedback required: DDS textures in FlightGear

We are looking for feedback about possibly adopting DDS textures in FlightGear:

  • dds is a compressed format, hence the download size of the FG base package may be decreased
  • compressed dds can be directly used by many graphics cards, reducing also GPU memory consumption
  • dds stores all texture resolution levels, i.e. no lower resolution levels have to be generated when the texture is used, hence it loads much faster into memory
  • the resolution levels ('mipmaps') can be customized, allowing for some interesting effects at no performance cost

Practically all commercial simulations use dds for these reasons.

However, the dds compression algorithm is patented, which means that it is not readily available for OpenSource graphics drivers used by Linux distributions. Dependent on the specific hardware, this may or may not be a problem (modern graphics cards typically do not need the driver to process dds, for older graphics cards there are non-patented workarounds available which decompress the dds on the software level). The development team is concerned about making the Flightgear experience pleasant for all users, hence we would like to gather feedback how many users would be affected by a change in practice.

If there are no problems reported, FG will change defaults to textures in dds format with the 3.4 release, and then phase out the use of png textures. Continue reading at DDS Textures in FlightGear...

Development news

FGCamera 1.0 Released

FGCamera v1.0 in action

FGCamera v1.0 is available to download. Features of the current version:

  • 4 camera types:
    • Virtual cockpit,
    • Aircraft (look-at),
    • Aircraft (look-from),
    • World (look-from);
  • Arbitrary number of preset views;
  • Smooth/discrete transition between the views of the same camera type.
  • Graphical user interface to create and manage camera views, as illustrated on the images below.

Read more at the updated FGCamera wiki article.

Scenery corner

Yongphulla Domestic Airport - VQ10

High mountains, deep valleys, strong winds and sometimes the rain looks something like snow. You are at the Bhutanese Yongphula Domestic Airport (VQ10) at an altitude of 2573 metres. After Paro, this airport has been improved. Besides the Terminal and Apron, shared models and other little things have now been added. TerraSync has it all! Have a nice flight in the Kingdom of Bhutan.

In the hangar

Beechcraft B1900D template

B1900D paintkit

A new template for the Beechcraft B1900D is available in the Paintkits section of the FlightGear livery database. The template comes in svg format (best used with Inkscape) and features:

  • full rivets, panel lines and stencils details in vector format
  • ambient occlusion layer
  • dirt layer

Some B1900d liveries made with this template are available to download in the database

Eurofighter EF2000

A brief in-cockpit demo of the EF2000's FCS

A big milestone has been achieved in the ongoing development of the EF2000, which I (Algernon) has been managing since its branching from the main Eurofighter Typhoon project some years back: finally, after a lot of fiddling, a completely computerised Flight Control System (FCS) has been implemented which can simulate its real-life counterpart, with fully autonomous surface control and with an autopilot-based processor interpreting pilot input and commanding the system to fly its maximum performance envelope to obey, but not exceed, safety or design limits. While a lot of these features are not yet implemented, we have established a working practice for the core system which allows extra elements to be introduced simply and effectively. I have heard it said that FG is incapable of simulating such systems, and I hope here we have proved otherwise, and, a bit self-indulgently, that maybe this will be the first truly fly-by-wire aircraft in FlightGear! (I am of course prepared to stand corrected there...)

Particular thanks for this objective go to StuartC, who designed the basis of the FDM, and Tomaskom, whose help in fields where I am not much of a master (like mathematics) has been invaluable. Many updates are planned for the EF2000, including a whole new custom paintjob with many liveries, and it is hoped a final, V2.0 release may be available in the later part of the year. You can also get hold of a pre-release copy if you visit the FGUK Forum and register your interest, for testing purposes - your feedback will be appreciated. Pre-releases will probably not be available until at least September 2014.

Other points being addressed in the V2.0 release of the Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 are:

  • New modular Nasal approach and many new scripts. Upgraded to Eno audio management.
  • New UV map for N-SCOT, leading to sexy new textures and liveries and hopefully a paintkit too
  • Improvements to helmet-mounted display and HUD for improved navigation, target acquisition and weapons management
  • Disintegration, explosion, real damage and real maintenance
  • External lighting redesigned
  • Experimental and deprecated code bumph removed

Piper Archer CX

A new aircraft is now available for testing: the semi-fictional Piper Archer CX single-engine trainer aircraft. While based mostly on the real life Piper Archer TX and LX, it features an analog cockpit such as seen in the Piper Archer II/III. It's completely Rembrandt-ready and features a highly detailed interior and exterior, along with a realistic electrical system. If you'd like, download the beta build and test it; report any inaccuracies to the forum thread dedicated to it. Note that the aircraft uses a highly-detailed model and is not suitable for lower-end hardware. It's being actively developed by ZLSA, and the exterior will be textured as soon as most modeling/simulation inaccuracies have been resolved.

Currently, all exterior control surfaces are modeled and animated; details can be added once I find decent reference images of the Piper Archer TX/LX. The interior features detailed 3d instruments, all modeled to fit the cockpit, and the realistic electrical system uses Rembrandt-compatible lights. If you find any inaccuracies or flaws, do not hesitate to report it on the forum thread; I highly appreciate any criticism as it will help improve the final product.

If there are enough requests, the creation of a TX/LX glass cockpit version will be considered.

Other

FG logo proposal by Cossack90

Cossack90 proudly presents a proposal for a new FlightGear logo. I hope you like it, comments are welcomed at the forum.

FG logo proposal by Cossack90 aka UR-AOK