FlightGear Newsletter May 2022
We would like to emphasize that the monthly newsletter cannot live without the contributions of FlightGear users and developers. Everyone with a wiki account (free to register) is welcome to contribute to the newsletter. If you know about any FlightGear related news or projects such as for example updated scenery or aircraft, please do feel invited to add such news to the newsletter.
The new Visual Editor makes editing the wiki as simple as using a Word-processor, and even easier than using the forum as you don't even need to know the syntax for a url. Just hit the 'edit' link and start.
World Scenery 3.0
One of the major issues with the WS30 rendering is reducing the blockiness of the landclass texture. This is particularly apparent around the coastlines, where there is a very clear separation from water and land. For some time Stuart has been trying to find a way to overlay openstreetmap coastline vector data, but without much success. Scott recently provided the idea of writing the vector data to a higher resolution texture, and then mixing that with the landclass texture. Some changes where pushed with a simple implementation of his idea. In this case the overlay texture is 2048x2048 for each WS30 LoD tile. So approximately 1m resolution. The texture is built at runtime from the existing WS30 data extracted from openstreetmap. The texture uses a couple of channels to indicate a possible beach shelving into water, and a shader mixes this and applies some noise to vary how much of a beach is actually shown
Apart from improving the general quality, there are some interesting further areas of development if anyone is interested:
- The shader could be used to show more/less beach depending on the tide....
- This technique should be used for water bodies such as lakes, which currently suffer the same blockiness problem. There is waterbody information in osm that is much better than what we are generating in the landclass texture at 25m resolution.
- This might be an interesting alternative for rivers, as it could be used to render sand-banks etc.
Related Software tools and projects
AeromatiC++ has been updated to version 3.3.20 in the JSBSim repository. The most important changes are in the propeller code which now generates tables which get quite close to published numbers. Propeller configurations generated by AeromatiC++ are now finally usable with convidence. Another notable update is that configuration files which are entered in metric units will now use metric units in the configuration files too. A smaller change is the option to put the aerodynamics section into a separate file by specifying --split as a command line option, and adding --fgfs as a command line option generates a rudimentary FlightGear -set file.
In the hangar
Development of the Fokker 50 model has started again. Almost 90% of the 3d mesh has been reworked, the cockpit has been updated, the lighting panel is now functional and the Fokker 60 and Fokker F27 mk100 Friendship have been added to the package. The FDM has also undergone some changes, all liveries are now high resolution and the livery system was updated to have separate liveries for the Fokker F27, Fokker 50 and Fokker 60 and an added dirtmap which can be controlled using the configuration dialog and which is set at a random level at startup.
Post LTS work
After the 2020.2 release, some work lies ahead to improve the LTS and to help us pave the way for migrating to the OpenGL Core profile - any help would be greatly appreciated.
This may for example include:
- Switching to the OpenGL Core profile:
- Checking that aircraft work with the LTS and documenting any major problems
- Include ffmpeg libraries in Windows and Mac builds, to enable built-in video encoding.
- Cppunit effort and FlightGear Headless (see Testing)
- Deboosting FlightGear
World Scenery 3.0
Aerial (drone) photos for Terrain textures
Wanted: good top-down aerial photos to create textures from to use with the procedural Regional Texturing system. with cameras are ideal. People with access to drones are in a good position to take high-quality photographs.
A particular need as of 2020 is photos of agriculture (farm lands) from different parts of the world.
Good GPLv2 compatible photos suitable for textures are hard to find, and an easy way is for people to take photos of their region. Flightgear's procedural systems can do a lot with less art content, so photo contributions can strongly improve visuals.
Photos of trees for textures
Wanted: good quality photos of different trees and vegetation from various parts of the world. Flightgear's vegetation system can handle multiple layers of trees and bushes.
Strong shadows should be avoided. Each tree should be against a background of a different colour: sky (preferably) , clouds , or buildings. This allows the tree to be separated from the background in a photo-editor like GIMP.
Submissions of labels for craft
Wanted: Submissions of labels (tags) giving a rough description of aircraft - Metadata tags. A quick read of a craft's Wikipedia page will normally be enough to set labels. This info will be searchable from the launcher GUI. For example, filtering craft by propulsion like single-propeller or 4-engine jet craft, or by a manufacturer like Airbus or Grumman, or by speed like supersonic craft, or craft by era like WW2. A list of tags is here - more can be added if needed. To add tags to craft yourself, the tags are stored in the set-xml file.
Windows Package Maintainer
The core team needs help from Windows users able to maintain a good working Windows build. This process already exists to support our Nightly and Release builds, but we are seeking additional help to keep it in good working order. The ability to compile FG from source and some Windows batch scripting is a required skill. If you are willing and able to take up this role, please reach out to James Turner (mailing list), or get in touch via the forum 
FlightGear on Facebook
Since early December 2010, FlightGear has an official Facebook page. If you have a Facebook account please feel free to join the page.
FlightGear on Instagram
In January 2018 the @flightgear_sim Instagram account was brought back to life. If you've got nice screenshots to be featured, feel free to .
FlightGear on FlightSim.com
FlightGear has also a sub-forum on flightsim.com - just like the commercial flight sims. It is an opportunity to showcase what FG can do, get people curious and answer any questions they may have with regard to the software or the project.
|The FlightGear Wiki still needs help for translating it into various languages. If you are interested in making the FlightGear Wiki multilingual, you can start by looking at Help:Translate.|
|Le wiki de FlightGear a toujours besoin d'aide pour être traduit en différentes langues. Si vous êtes intéressé par le rendre multilingue, commencez par lire Help:Traduire.|
|Das FlightGear Wiki benötigt immer noch Hilfe bei der Übersetzung in verschiedene Sprachen. Wenn Du Interesse daran hast, das FlightGear Wiki mehrsprachig zu machen, dann fang mit dem Help:Übersetzen an.|
|De FlightGear Wiki kan nog steed hulp gebruiken bij het vertalen van artikelen. Als je interesse hebt om de wiki meertalig te maken, raden we je aan om een kijkje te nemen bij Help:Vertalen.|
|La wiki de FlightGear todavía necesita ayuda para traducirla a varios lenguajes. Si estás interesado en hacer la FlightGear wiki multilingüe, entonces comienza en Help:Traducir.|
|La wiki de FlightGear encara necessita ajuda per traduir-la a diverses llengües. Si esteu interessat en fer la wiki de FlightGear multilingüe, llavors comenceu a Help:Traduir.|
|A wiki de FlightGear ainda necessita de ajuda para traduzi-la em vários idiomas. Se estás interessado em tornar a wiki de FlightGear multi-lingual, por favor começa em Help:Traduzir.|
|FlightGear 百科仍然需要志愿者将其翻译为各种语言。如果你有兴趣让FlightGear百科支持更多语言, 你可以查看 Help:Translate.|
If you want some graphic elements for your FlightGear-related site (such as a hangar or YouTube channel), please feel free to visit FlightGear logos for a repository of logos. And if you have some art skills, please don't hesitate to contribute with your own design creations.
The FlightGear project always needs screenshots, which show features that were added since the last release. These should be of good quality, especially in content and technical image properties. It is therefore recommended to use the best viable filter settings (anti-aliasing, texture sharpening, etc.). More info at Howto:Make nice screenshots.
Screenshot of the Month
If you want to participate in the screenshot contest, you can submit your candidate to the . Be sure to see the first post for participation rules. For purposes of convenience and organization, at the end of the month or after 20 entries have been submitted, a new forum topic will be started containing all shots in an easy-to-view layout. The voting will then take place there.
Thanks for reading FlightGear Newsletter May 2022!