FlightGear Newsletter November 2010

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


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.


FlightGear events

Call for volunteers

The OpenRadar project is looking for a new maintainer.

The TerraGear GUI project is looking for programmers to help create a GUI frontend for TerraGear [1].

Development news

Anders Gidenstam has continued to develop Walkview which opens up all sorts of exciting possibilites. Here is a short video of Walkview being used to give a different perspective on starting the Sopwith Camel [2]. In addition to the rectangular plane that we have had for some time, we can now define the area in which we can "walk" as a line, polyline, or circle.

We use the new definitions in Multi Player Carrier Carl Vinson to move around the Goofer's deck while we are goofing, or to seek a more advantageous view from PriFly, or to inspect the Flight deck as the Flight Deck Officer [3].

Meanwhile, in other news, Tim Moore has fixed the condition tag in the Material Animation. We can combine these two facilites to generate some more interesting views - [4]. Alexis Bory has said that he will see if he can produce some more models with which to populate the hangar. Let's hope he finds something!

In an effort to improve the cities in Flightgear, Daniel Strawn (aka "Intel-Qube") has modeled a simple "one size fits all" city. Affectionately codenamed "ICEJAW;" the city, still in development, features tangible helipads to land on, billboards, and snow cover for heavy snow-fall. [5]

Demonstration of ICEJAW depicting buildings with and without snow cover.

Shader requests

We have added a new page to the wiki titled Shader requests. This is intended to provide a place for people to post ideas related to new shaders for use in FlightGear. But this is also meant to be place for aspiring shader developers to find interesting ideas for new shaders. In the past, these ideas were often spread over many different places, such as forum or mailing list discussions, and often ended up getting hidden rather quickly. So if you have ideas related to improving existing shaders or creating completely new ones, please add your ideas to the Shader requests page. And if you are aware of any ongoing shader development efforts, please also add those there. Consequently, if you want to get started creating shaders for FlightGear, please make sure to check out this page.

Known problems

Though working perfectly for years, the "live weather" feature in FlightGear 1.9.x and 2.0 is now broken. Unfortunately, the FlightGear code of past releases contains minor problem which so far remained undetected and without effect. Since early November, probably caused by a server upgrade at the weather services, the FlightGear weather requests are now being rejected due to this problem. To revive live weather you have the following options:

  • As a workaround, configure a proxy-server on the fgfs command-line. Relaying the request through a proxy solves the issue (see forum topic).
  • Experts being able to patch and recompile FlightGear may try to apply a patch (also see forum).
  • Developers can use FlightGear's latest developer version from GIT, which already contains the required bugfix.
  • Otherwise please stick with manual weather configuration and wait for the next FlightGear release (won't be too long).

Nasal for newbies

New software tools and projects

FlightGear addons and mods

In the hangar

New aircraft

Updated aircraft

The ZF Navy free balloon with the envelope shader enabled.

ZF Navy free balloon

The ZF Navy free balloon has been updated with a custom shader effect that changes the shape of the balloon envelope according to its gas content.

IAR 80

The IAR 80 beta has seen some updates, with new features added in the eyecandy department, as well as some refining of the Nasal code and a revamped FDM.

Liveries

Scenery corner

Looking for new airports to visit? Try a Dublin (EIDW) to Aalesund (ENSD) flight! These two airports, along with Sandane airport in Anda, Norway (ENVA), have recently had models added to the database to make them a more interesting place to fly.

Jack Mermod has released the first of many NASA Interactive Launch Complexes. This first release is based on the Launch Complex 5 and the Mercury Redstone 3 Launch.
Mercury Redstone 3 Rocket ready for launch.
For now, you can download the scenery here. The model should be in terrasync soon.

Detailed land cover data for Vermont has been added to the map server. This state in the northeast United States will be a part of the next world scenery release.

Work continues on hand-created, detailed land cover data for northern Switzerland. Photos of landmark buildings or airport buildings in Switzerland would be welcome as we try to model this beautiful country.

Airports

TerraGear-CS

Over the past year, some effort has expended into investigations, experiments, tests (bug-reports, ....) for replacing the current polygon processing in TerraGear by the use of GRASS GIS. The GRASS toolbox provides almost all the features we need for reliable polygon cleaning, clipping and the like. Those (early) parts of the toolchain which have proven to be rather stable are available here.

Aircraft of the month

Airport of the month

Mike (aka D-Sky1) is busy again: This time he is working on VTBD (New Bangkok International Airport, Thailand) as the architecture of the airport buildings is very beautiful. It will sure take some time but a first glance at the work in progress is already possible. Discuss the progress with us in the forum: http://www.flightgear.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10075 After the airport is finished, placed and available, AI traffic will follow (mainly Thai Airways).

Bangkok Int'l Airport - work in progress.


AI traffic arrives at RPLL (Manila, Philippines): Mike created a comprehensive list of AI traffic of Cebu Pacific Airlines. Soon available via GIT, Cebu Pacific Airlines will provide domestic and international flights to the most important destinations. AI for the second big carrier of the Philippines (Philippine Airways) will follow later.

Screenshot of the month

Suggested flights

Aircraft reviews

Wiki updates

New articles

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New aircraft articles

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Most popular newsletters

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Community news

FlightGear on youtube

Sealbhach has made an excellent video showcasing the great scenery at LOWI.

New tutorials and screencasts

Forum news

Multiplayer

Virtual airlines

Useful links

And finally ...

Contributing

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.

Reminder: Google's Summer of Code 2011

We would like to remind all readers that the FlightGear project is planning to participate in GSoC 2011. However, doing that really requires a fair amount of work, planning and organizing. This is not something that can be done by a single person. It really needs a coordinated team effort, or otherwise FlightGear won't be able to apply/participate at all.

So all users are invited to help us progress further with our preparations for GSoC 2011. If you have any questions or other feedback, please use the forum to get in touch.

Did you know

-You can play ATC in the multilayer server by downloading the ATC aircraft?