Red Griffin ATC
Red Griffin ATC - Speaking Air Traffic Controller addon for FlightGear
|Developed by||Antonello Biancalana (Red Griffin, IK0TOJ)|
|Initial release||January 5, 2020|
|Latest release||1.4.0 May 16, 2020|
|Development status||Active (2019-)|
|License||GNU General Public License v3|
Red Griffin ATC is a speaking Air Traffic Controller addon for FlightGear.
- 1 Features
- 2 How to install Red Griffin ATC
- 3 Running Red Griffin ATC Addon from Command Line
- 4 Running Red Griffin ATC Addon from the Launcher
- 5 How to Use Red Griffin ATC
- 6 The Main Dialog
- 7 Red Griffin ATC Keys and Commands
- 8 Settings
- 9 Demonstration Flight and Tutorial
- 10 Red Griffin ATC videos
- 11 Special Thanks
- 12 Note
- 13 Related content
- 14 External links
- Support for ground, take off, visual approach, ILS and landing operations
- Speech synthesis of messages through native FlightGear speech synthesizer
- ATC can be operated both with mouse and keyboard
- Independent dialog window or popup window operation modes
- Determination of proper take-off and landing runways according to wind direction and airport settings
- Status monitor for both ground and flying modes (ground speed, current position, runway alignment, runway approaching)
- Determination of approaching routes and patterns according to position and route manager
- Automatic control and warning in case of incorrect procedure
- Radio station type check according to ATC request
- Automated ATC callback messages according to procedure
- Dedicated window with available radios
- Automatic selection of ATC requests according to aircraft status and position
- Information about the current airport
- Information about the tuned communication radio
- Support for CTR (Controlled Traffic Region)
- When flying in an approved CTR, ATC will check your correct altitude and warns in case the aircraft is flying too low or towards terrain, such as hills or mountains. ATC may also require the pilot to change altitude according to heading and area.
- When flying in an approved CTR, the pilot can request to the ATC to change its current flight level with dedicated buttons
- When flying in an approved CTR, in case the aircraft is about to leave the CTR range, ATC will inform the pilot about the neighboring CTR and gives information about the corresponding radio in order to request transition approval to the new zone.
- Displayed information according to flight/approach/lading modes
- Buttons for aborting approach, ILS and landing procedures
- And a lot more
How to install Red Griffin ATC
- Download Red Griffin ATC package from the sourceforge repository.
- You will automatically get either a .zip or .tar.gz file depending on your system
- Unpack the archive with a proper command (zip or tar) or utility in a convenient place of your disk
- It will be created a directory named RedGriffinATC containing the addon
Running Red Griffin ATC Addon from Command Line
- Start fgfs including --addon=<your_local_path>/RedGriffinATC option in the command line
Running Red Griffin ATC Addon from the Launcher
- Start FlightGear launcher
- Click "Add-ons" button
- Scroll down to "Add-on Module folders" section
- Click "Add +" button
- Select "RedGriffinATC" directory from the path where you unpacked the distribution file
- The add-on will be added to the list of installed addons. Make sure it is enabled and the corresponding "check-box" is checked.
- Start FlightGear by clicking the "Fly!" button
How to Use Red Griffin ATC
Red Griffin ATC can be operated both with the mouse and the keyboard. You will find a new item "Red Griffin ATC" in FlightGear's menu from which you can open and close the main dialog window as well as get help about keyboard commands and information about the addon. You can open or close the main dialog window by pressing the backslash key. You can also show the "popup dialog" by pressing "Ctrl + Backslash" key sequence.
The Main Dialog
Red Griffin ATC can be operated with the mouse through its main dialog window in which are shown information about the current flight, radios, approaching and landing instructions.
The dialog is divided in three main areas:
- Top area: information about the current airport, altitude, speed, approaching and landing instruction, current CTR, radio station in use
- Middle area: Requests to the ATC, Radio list
- Bottom area: CTR requests, Flight level requests, Abort requests, Radio list, Dialog close
The top area of the dialog is divided in three sub areas: white (top), blue (middle), yellow (bottom).
The white area changes according the flight status. During ground operations and when the aircraft is flying over an airport area, in this part are shown airport information, aircraft speed and altitude according to the status of the flight.
During the flight and in case the aircraft is not flying over an airport, in this part are shown flight information such as altitude, AGL, heading and speed. When the aircraft is approaching an airport for landing (both visual and ILS) in this area are shown the course and distance to both the pattern point and final point (see picture above) as well as the landing runway.
When the aircraft is on the final course to landing, here are shown the approaching runway, distance to the runway, AGL and a "correction bar". This bar shows the correction in relation to the center of the runway: the shorter the more the aircraft is near the runway horizontal path. For example, a bar like this one [===>] means the aircraft should heavily correct the course to the right, while a bar like [=>] means the aircraft need to slightly turn to right in order to be in the correct path, [ok] means the aircraft is aligned to the center of the runway. In case the correction needs a left turn, the bar is shown as [<===] or [<=].
The blue area is reserved to CTR information (Controlled Traffic Region) such as name of the airport controlling the CTR, controlled area range in nautical miles, distance and course to the center of CTR, frequency of the corresponding radio. In this area is also reported the aircraft status in relation to the CTR: "inside", "approved" or "flying to". "Inside" means the aircraft is flying inside the CTR but has not been approved by the ATC; "approved" means the aircraft is flying inside the CTR and has been granted transition permission by the ATC; "flying to" means the aircraft is outside the CTR but it is flying towards the controlled area.
The yellow area is reserved to the radio information and status, such as COM radio in use, radio station name and type, frequency, distance and course to the station, readability quality from 1 to 5.
The middle area is divided in two parts. In the left side are found the operational buttons with the requests to be transmitted to the ATC, in the right side is found the list of the available radios provided and operated by the currently tuned airport.
The left side provides a maximum of four buttons, each corresponding to a specific request and depending on the aircraft position and status. In the top part can also be found a "R" button (Repeat) to be used for requesting the ATC to repeat the last message.
The right side is used to tune and select a specific radio from the ones currently available and operated by the tuned airport. Each entry is actually a button to be used for tuning the COM in use to the corresponding radio station.
The bottom area of the dialog is reserved to CTR, flight level requests, abort operation, radio list and dialog closing. The Leftmost button is used to request the CTR transition to the ATC, while the three buttons in the center are used for requesting a new flight level to the ATC. During the approach, ILS and landing operations, these three buttons are replaced by the "abort" button used to cancel the current operation. The "radio" button shows a list of the radio stations available in the current airport, while the "close" button dismiss the dialog. The dialog can be reopened by pressing the backslash key or by using the menu.
Red Griffin ATC Keys and Commands
|\||Open or close dialog|
|Ctrl+\||Show popup dialog|
|Ctrl+4||Send message 1 to ATC|
|Ctrl+5||Send message 2 to ATC|
|Ctrl+6||Send message 3 to ATC|
|Ctrl+7||Send message 4 to ATC|
|Ctrl+9||Repeat last ATC message|
|Ctrl+0||Request CTR transition|
|Ctrl+⇧ Shift+4||Request Flight Level 1|
|Ctrl+⇧ Shift+5||Request Flight Level 2|
|Ctrl+⇧ Shift+6||Request Flight Level 3|
|Ctrl+⇧ Shift+0||Abort Approach/ILS/Landing|
Red Griffin ATC can be configured by using the settings dialog in which it is possible to set how the ATC will provide information to the pilot as well as how the pilot will interact with the ATC.
To open the settings dialog select the corresponding function in "Red Griffin ATC" menu.
The changes done in the settings dialog are immediate and are effective as soon as the dialog is closed. The settings dialog allows to change the following options and therefore affecting the operational mode of the Red Griffin ATC addon:
- Dialog Position (possible values: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right) - Sets the initial position of the main dialog relative to the screen or window.
- Call sign - Pilot call sign or aircraft registration code. It defaults to /sim/multiplay/callsign property. This value is copied both to /sim/multiplay/callsign and /sim/user/callsign properties.
- Call sign usage (possible values: Complete, Last three letters, First and last two letters) - Defines how the ATC will use the pilot's call sign in all communications. Please note whenever a radio is tuned for the first time, the pilot will always provide the call sign in complete form in the very first contact to the radio station.
- Include manufacturer (possible values: Yes, No) - Defines whether the name of the aircraft manufacturer is to be used during the communication with the ATC.
- Pilot request (possible values: Disabled, Voice only, Text only, Voice and text) - Defines how the pilot requests to the ATC are to be shown, spoken or disabled. Text modes will show a popup message with the pilot request to be transmitted to the ATC, Voice modes will activate the speech synthesis for the requests by using /sim/sound/voices/pilot property and will therefore use the voice assigned by FlightGear for that specific purpose.
- Pilot response (possible values: Disabled, Voice only, Text only, Voice and text) - Same as "Pilot request" but referring to the confirmation responses and message used by the pilot to acknowledge the ATC operations and instructions.
- ATC message (possible values: Voice only, Text only, Voice and text) - Defines how the ATC messages to the pilot are to be shown or spoken. Text modes will show a popup message with the ATC message, Voice modes will activate the speech synthesis for the messages by using /sim/sound/voices/atc, /sim/sound/voices/approach and /sim/sound/voices/ground properties according to the radio station type and will therefore use the voice assigned by FlightGear for that specific purpose.
- QNH reported in (possible values: hPa, inHg, hPa and inHg) - Sets the unit of measure used by the ATC to report the QNH value (atmospheric pressure) to the pilot for the proper altimeter setting: hectopascal (hPa), inches of mercury (inHg) or both.
- Reset button - Resets all the setting options to their default value.
- Close button - Close the settings dialog and permanently save the options to the file $FG_HOME/Export/RedGriffinATC-config.xml
Demonstration Flight and Tutorial
Examples and Tutorials About Specific Procedures
- Initial Operations and Setup
- Terrain Alert
- Flight Information
- Altitude Check (1)
- Altitude Check (2)
- Leaving and Entering CTR (1)
- Leaving and Entering CTR (2)
- Leaving and Entering CTR (3)
- CTR Assigning a New Altitude (1)
- CTR Assigning a New Altitude (2)
- Flight Level Change (1)
- Flight Level Change (2)
- Flight Level Change (3)
- Flying Over an Airport Area
- Request ILS Procedure (1)
- Request ILS Procedure (2)
- Abort ILS Procedure
- ILS Established
- Request Visual Approach
- Reaching Pattern Point
- Reaching Final Approach Point
- Abort Landing
Red Griffin ATC videos
Assisted Visual Approach and Landing
Operating the ATC with Keyboard Only
Procedure Control, Warning and Approach Routes
Altitude, Terrain Control, Flight Level Change
Special thanks and my gratitude to the FlightGear community for the valuable help and for providing very useful information about ATC phraseology, procedures and communication, in particular to those participating to .
Red Griffin ATC has been developed and written by Antonello Biancalana (Red Griffin, IK0TOJ) in Nasal language and it has been tested in FlightGear 2019.1.1, 2019.1.2, 2020.2.0 git and 2020.3.0 git, specifically in my Fedora Linux FC32. I understand there can be bugs or the ATC procedures may be formally incorrect. On this regard, any feedback, suggestion, criticism and hint on how to improve this addon are warmly welcome. You are kindly invited to contribute with your ideas and feedback by posting in the forum thread.
I am not a pilot and I do not have a plane pilot license, I have never been in a real aircraft's cabin and all the times I have been in a real airplane I did it as a passenger. All of my "plane pilot" experience is only as a "virtual and simulated pilot", a hobby I started in 1982 and the very first flight simulator I used was subLOGIC's FS1 Flight Simulator by Bruce Artwick running on an Apple II.
It was not my computer though as at that time I owned a Commodore VIC20 and, alas, the only "flight simulators" available for it were Ron Wanttaja's IFR Flight Simulator and Anirog's Flight Path 737. The big step forward was Flight Simulator II for Commodore 64 in 1984 and featuring a Piper PA-28-181 Archer II. The giant step forward was in 1987 when it was released the Commodore Amiga version (one of the most amazing and very best, revolutionary, exceptional computer of all times) which featured three aircrafts: Cessna 182RG, Gates Learjet 25G and Sopwith Camel.
I therefore have no ATC procedures experience (what I know is from what I read in specialized books only) and I understand the procedures used in this addon may result incorrect to real pilots. I am more than glad to get any feedback about ATC procedures from experienced pilots and anyone knowing this subject in order to improve this addon.
Red Griffin ATC © 2019-2020 Antonello Biancalana, Red Griffin, IK0TOJ (for those who wonder about this code, it is my HAM call sign)
- FlightGear Newsletter April 2020 mentioning Red Griffin ATC in "New software tools and projects" section