FlightGear Newsletter May 2011
- 1 Development news
- 2 Nasal for newbies
- 3 New software tools and projects
- 4 FlightGear addons and mods
- 5 In the hangar
- 6 Scenery corner
- 7 Aircraft of the month
- 8 Airport of the month
- 9 Screenshot of the month
- 10 Suggested flights
- 11 Aircraft reviews
- 12 Wiki updates
- 13 Community news
- 14 Useful links
- 15 And finally ...
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) can edit the newsletter and every contribution is welcome. So if you know about any FlightGear related projects such as for example updated scenery or aircraft, please do feel invited to add such news to the newsletter.
New plan for a FlightGear release
Good news: finally, a new FlightGear is planned again. We're aiming to release FlightGear 2.4.0 in mid August 2011.
Several people now agreed to restart working on a new release and a new release plan for more regular releases was prepared. We're now aiming to have two releases per year - one in mid February and one in mid August.
The current development branch will be used the base for a new release - which will be versioned as 2.4.0. Original plans to release FlightGear 2.2.0 in February got stalled when a number of involved developers became too busy/blocked with RL commitments. A 2.2.0 source branch had already been created, but was now abandoned, since it hadn't been maintained for several months. FG2.2.0 will not be announced officially, and no installers/binaries/downloads will be prepared - though the last snapshot of 2.2.0 sources remain available in the source repository.
Preparations for the next release (FG 2.4.0) have already started. The release process will involve a phase of two month for beta testing, starting on June 17th. During this phase several release candidates (complete FlightGear installers) will be provided for testing. Our existing build automation (Hudson) has already been prepared to provide regular installers for Mac and Windows - as well as binaries for certain Linux distros. And of course - sources are available for any supported platform.
For more details see here.
Nasal for newbies
New software tools and projects
FlightGear addons and mods
In the hangar
More work has continued on developing an Airbus A340-600 for FlightGear. The aircraft has been given a new lease of life with a new JSBsim FDM which replicates better the size and control of such a large bird, and there is much more work on it to come. The model itself is looking very attractive with a newly modelled fuselage from British user Simon (MOJO), and some nice new reflection coding, lights and external models. It has a 3D cockpit which is currently identical to that of the A320-family in FlightGear (by Skyop and Ampere), as an A340 cockpit is being built from scratch by Skyop himself; This doesn't spoil it as they share 99% of similarities in real life. The aircraft was the first in FlightGear to incorporate aircraft operation equipment, and Cabin announcements; back in 2009.. and now these have been improved with new recordings by the author (Liam, if you're wondering who's voice that is), and work is continuing to make the aircraft one of the most enjoyable heavy metal birds to fly in FlightGear simulator. Thanks to all the users who have helped this slow moving project progress. If you are wondering where you can download this new version.. check out the Aircraft section in the FlightGear forums, where there is a special topic dedicated to it.
SeoulSeoul is an impressive city where modern buildings with amazing design are mixed with the Korean traditional architecture of old buildings. Here are the buildings added this month:
- Modern buildings
- Dongbu Finance Building
- GT Tower East
- S-Trenue Tower
- SK T-tower
- Jongno Tower
- Seoul World Cup Stadium
- Old buildings
- Gyeonghoeru Pavillon
- National Assembly Building
In addition to that, about 150 generic buildings have been added in Yeouido island, one of Seoul's main business districts. It should be available in Terrasync very soon.
Aircraft of the month
Airport of the month
Screenshot of the month
New aircraft articles
type=new count=10 categoryRoot=Aircraft
type=hot count=5 categoryRoot=FlightGear Newsletter
FlightGear was presented at LinuxTag in Berlin. The FlightGear crew consisted of David Glowsky, Holger Wirtz, Mathias Froehlich, Thorsten Brehm, Torsten Dreyer and Martin Spott.
Our booth worked like a magnet to visitors - thanks to our two flight-simulator setups. A small flight-simulator with 3 TFT displays and standard joystick/pedal controls and a large and impressive setup with 10 (ten!) TFT displays and a custom instrument panel. We certainly had more displays in use than any other booth :-). Photos on what was going on at our booth are available here.
Unfortunately, one of our five graphics cards in the big setup failed on Wednesday. What has happened? It overheated when it's fan blocked. Ironically, the fan had sucked in a warranty sticker which somehow had peeled off... So, is that covered by warranty? Or is "warranty void if removed"? ;-)
Aside from the sheer number of screens, Torstens's home-glued "Poor Man's Procedure Trainer" was blessed with compliments - and it really deserves this recognition.
People really enjoyed flying at our sims - and we surely attracted some future FlightGear pilots. A few of them were so enthusiastic that they seemed to keep orbiting around our booth all day - waiting for another chance to fly the large sim. :)
When more experienced visitors were flying at our booth, we used our netbooks to secretly telnet into the sim - and cause trouble by triggering specific failures. Flights were hampered by failing instruments, stalled engines or stuck gear (or any combination for really hard cases). Eventually, everyone was properly challenged! ;-) Kudos go to Martin Spott for safely landing a combined single-engine, stuck-gear and full instrument failure emergency in dense fog. He found his way back to the airport anyway. How did he manage? Unfortunately we forgot to fail the DME - and displayed distance obviously was enough information for his navigation...
Finally, we'd like to express a warm "thank you" to those private and commercial sponsors who made this year's booth setup possible by donating money and/or equipment and giving trust into our promise to do "the right thing" with these donations:
- Local FlightGear-enthusiasts and -developers who had been buying a set of six 24" displays from their private budget in the run-up to one of the former LinuxTag exhibitions.
- Thomas Krenn AG who have been donating an extremely powerful workstation for use in development and on exhibitions - including four graphics cards - which would have been completely unaffordable from our private budgets.
- Various FlightGear-enthusiasts and -developers from all over the world who've been donating private money via our PayPal-account at "email@example.com", which eventually led to ....
- the occasion of buying another five 24" displays at an advantageous price thanks to the subsidy of Baastrup GmbH.
- Finally, Science + Computing AG contributed to the affair by - guess, what - paying the insurance for all this equipment at the booth :).
FlightGear on youtube
- Heiko created a very nice video of a BK-117 flight around the very nice place of Innsbruck, Austria.
FlightGear on Flickr
New tutorials and screencasts
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.