FlightGear Newsletter May 2010
First, 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.
In the hangar
The Sukhoi-Gulfstream S21 is being developed by xsaint and should be out by late May. More information here.
Gijs has been updating "The Queen of the Skies" with overhead panel backlighting, an (this time stable) autopilot making one of the best jets in FlightGear even better. In the meantime, effort has been put into the cockpit shell and a 3D model of the upper deck. You can now walk through the cabin, open the animated lavatory doors and nock on the 747's flightdeck door.
Local weather system update
The local weather system by thorsten has been updated to version 0.61. This is a bugfix release. More details in the forum.
Forums Ravaged By Flame Wars
Despite new cyber-armour used to secure the forums, such as intense moderation, a series of flame wars ravaged the airline section of the forums. Enquiries into who is behind the attacks are being held; users such as Flamer provoked flame war threads. "we believe these members to be phoney," stated a member. "they are probably masks for other users". User identification is a grey area for moderators, but moderators such as Stuart pledged to apprehend the convict.
Europe very active
The scenery development for Europe (like LIME in Italy; EGKK in Britain; EDDF in Germany and others) has been very active. Europe is currently one of the most detailed scenery areas in FlightGear. Further on in this newsletter you can read about the latest addition: London Gatwick.
EGKK: Probably the best detailed airport in FlightGear
London Gatwick has been completely modeled at a high level of detail for FlightGear. The airport was modeled by Don Lavelle (karla) in Blender and consists of over 40 detailed buildings, features and facilities. The main terminals - north and south - have been accurately detailed with their different style piers and stock jetways. The airport is based on UK CAA 2009 charts and includes the novel passenger air bridge which was re-engineered to clear 747-height tail fins. Many peripheral facilities are also included in this highly detailed airport such as the cargo and maintenance areas and open air car parks which were given a semi-3D effect. Small details such as railings, columns, antennae and rotating radar add to the realistic atmosphere of the scenery. Frame rates will obviously be affected by the wealth of detail but it is expected that pilots will utilize this airport for arrivals, taxiing and departure of commercial aircraft and not for low passes in jet fighters...
TaxiDraw was employed to update the existing AI taxiways in the current parking.xml file and should give a reasonably realistic feature for AI traffic. It is intended to improve the various aspects of taxiways in the near future.
A useful readme file has been included and also three .stg files to help the user load Gatwick to the level of detail required.
So, the UK now has a fully modeled major airport and it is now open to international FG flights - welcome to the UK via London Gatwick!
Latest images are hosted on http://www.donlavelle.net/flightgear/flightgear18.html
Planned release date: Friday 14th May.
Aircraft Review: DC-6B
The DC-6B was one of the world's first long-range commercial aircraft. It served under a variety of operators, and served as Air Force One during the 1950's. It's reliability and toughness has kept examples of it in service today.
Now, about the FlightGear model.
Aesthetically speaking, this model is great! The model is highly detailed in various places, and it has an accurate, well made 3D cockpit All the (old-fashioned) gauges work perfectly, and they look good as well. The control column and rudder pedals are animated too. My only gripe about the model is the lack of a throttle quadrant.
The DC-6 flies nicely, too. It isn't too responsive, and isn't too sluggish either. I cannot comment too much about the flying characteristics, however, as (sadly) I've never flown a DC-6 in my life.
The DC-6 sounds nice as well. From starting to cruising, the engines on this bird are music to any piston engine fan's ears.
My only complaints about this model are minor, such as the lack of flap and landing gear sounds. Or the lack of seats and/or cargo in the cabin of the DC-6.
Review by Armchair Ace
From the community
FlightGear on YouTube
- A very, very nice video showcasing some of FlightGear's features has been uploaded by "TheMasterofmod". It covers lots of features, including a carrier takeoff, Los Angeles International Airport some formation flights and lots more!
Watch the FlightGear PlayList for a collection of all (somewhat) quality FlightGear videos ever uploaded to YouTube.