FlightGear Newsletter January 2010
This is the draft of the next edition of the FlightGear Newsletter. Please feel free to edit and add your contribution.
The October edition of the newsletter has seen over 11.000 views in just three months!
What's new in CVS
In the hangar
For over a year, realistically (meaning: they exist, have existed, or will exist on the corresponding aircraft with the corresponding airline) FlightGear liveries have been available from this website. Due to the increasing amount of visitors and liveries, the website has moved to a new server, resulting in much faster downloads. The server switch was a good oppurtunity to re-design the website and its internal structure. It used to be a simple list, now it is as a fully functional database, improving the use and maintainablity significantly. The database can be searched by aircraft, airline or author.
Everyone is free to upload his/her liveries, which can be done through this page.
Boeing 767-300 near its primary release
See Boeing 767-300 for the main article about this subject.
For a while the 767-300 has been a slow moving project, due to Isaías V. Preste temporarily leaving the forum and all FlightGear works. Liam has yet continued on from where Prestes left off, given a complete overhall to the old FDM, added plenty of new features and started animations. Thanks to the whole FlightGear community for providing some nice liveries, sounds, and other assistance to questions, With luck it should be submitted to CVS before the next release of FlightGear, with some new features not yet seen on many other Aircraft in FlightGear. This is a truly promising project!
Boeing 737-100 updates
See Boeing 737-100 for the main article about this subject.
Since October we have had the 737-100 by helijah in CVS. The aircraft has now been further improved. Mike (aka D-SKY1) is building the autopilot, updating the 3D models, and the following changes were implemented:
- FDM refined
- Working instruments in front panel
- Doors (front and back) open with the keys D and Shift-D
- Front door also extends stairs
- Detailed overhead panel (not yet wired)
- Detailed pedestal (not yet wired)
- Autopilot incl. ILS approach (partly wired) (actual screenshot of the glareshield)
- Several liveries available via menu:
- Swiss Air
- Air France
- Kuwait Airways
- Boeing Prototype-Livery
The Airport of Manila, Philippines (RPLL) has been improved. Besides Terminals 1 and 2, Terminal 3 has now been added. The Tower has also been redesigned to more accurately reflect the original. Many shared models on the ground have been added and as always all buildings are [[Howto:|illuminated]] at night and ambient occlusion has been added to all new textures.
San Francisco International Airport
See San Francisco International Airport for the main article about this subject.
With the upcoming release in mind, FlightGear's main airport has been populated with more buildings than ever before. Dock your plane at one of the many gates, follow the airtrain as it moves from station to station, land your helicopter in the famous parkingarea hole or simply enjoy the visuals on final. In addition to this, the terrain has been refined, especially the bay area. These changes will be available with the next scenery release.
On 4 January 2010, the 900th article was added to the wiki! Back in May 2009, the 700th article was welcomed, which means an average of 1 article is created each day. A big "thank you" to all those who helped to extend and improve the wiki over the past years!
Virtual Airline News
FGComGui, an interface to FGCOM
FGCOM is an external program which works hands in hands with FlightGear to provide radio communication, in particular for multiplayer users. The feedback on various forums and IRC shows that a lot of people, who are not specially at ease with command line usage, find it difficult to setup and launch FGCom. This is where a new little piece of code comes to rescue.
Tuxklok created FGComGui, a simple graphical user interace front end to fgcom, which aims on making FGCOM easy and friendly in use.
The FGComGui is currently developed and tested under Windows and Linux environments, but it seems a Mac version is to be expected.
Once installed, the FGComGui does just what you would expect. Using your mouse and a few clicks, you can drive FGCOM painless, from initial setup, testing, to normal usage. You can even set a few options with nice menus, notably the audio volumes and the port used to talk to fgcom.
FgcomGui docks as a tray icon (see the screenshot on the left), making it possible to monitor its status while flying, and easily stop it or restart it if needed.
So if you feel FGCOM is a bit difficult to use from command line, or you are just willing an easier FG pilot life, do not wait anymore and try it! Installation is described on the author's Google Code page, but it can be worth mentionning that so far the linux build is only optimized for Ubuntu users. Other distribution users can take a look at this forum for some hints about how to build in their environment.
Hopefully this will be a step towards a more generalized use of radio communications in networked flight, which are a great improvement for simulation realism.