FlightGear Newsletter November 2009
This is the draft of the next edition of the FlightGear Newsletter. Please feel free to edit and add your contribution.
What's new in CVS
shader support for Objects
Tim Moore added now support for shaders on objects. This means we can have stunning effects like chrome effect, fresnel shaders etc on aircrafts in a near future.
In the hangar
The Airbus A340-600 is the longest civil airliner in the world, built by Airbus Industries of France. It has just started early development by Liam. Currently it has been modelled, Mapped, given a basic YASim FDM, has an autostart feature and livery selection dialog, and lots of other features. Yet it is to be Animated suitably before a BETA release is confirmed, which will be before Christmas, to help provide feedback for improvements. For more information on this recent but rapidly improving project, click here to access the A340-600 page, where you can access more information on this promising looking airliner.
The boeing 767-300 is still under development by Liam and Prestes, and is currently undergoing animation by asdf. The airliner is starting to look brilliant thanks to the original model by veteran modeler from the 3DWarehouse, WilliamT, and with its new default livery by Liam (Thomsonfly.com), it certainly is starting to look beautiful. Since this snapshot was taken, there have been many significant improvements still. Preste also wants to create the whole 767 family from this model (767-200/ER 767-300/ER 767-400/ER 767F) These will be mostly based around the original 767-300 model, by editing the specifications and detail of the planes to give them the correct FDM and accuracy, shape and length. The freight version will be modelled by removing the cut windows and modifying other specifications for the plane. Animation should be fairly replicate for all of the models and creating the whole group should be a fairly rewarding project. As always, help is welcome from all who are interested- but it is certainly well gaining progress.
Boeing 737-300 news
The 3d-cockpit has started now and the first half of the mainpanel was added to CVS. The progress is quite visible:  The mainpanel will be finished in the next days, so the Overheadpanel and the Centerstand can follow. Also the fdm was changed a bit, so it matches much more to the real perfomance datas like Vr, B2 Vref etc. It needs still work, as the pointmasses will be corrected soon to match the real locations based on free available real balance and weight sheets. Also the behavior of the speedbrakes and flightspoiler will be changed in the next days, so it comes more and more to the real behavior. Help on programmming is always welcome, especially on the flightdirector, as this has be written completly new!
Cessna C172p news
The C172p is the Default aircraft in FGFS. Though the aircraft has been updated last year for 1.9.1 there was still a lot of things left. Thanks to Dave Perry, the aircraft has now the right position in the air and on ground, also all the instruments are now lit. Stuart has added some tutorials and will improve the 3d-panel further. That's teamwork, that's FlightGear!
Airport Layouts in the Scenery Database
As many readers will know, Martin Spott and Ralf Gerlich maintain the World Custom Scenery Project, which generates the FlightGear scenery. However, the airport layout information (in apt.dat) was shared with X-Plane and maintained separately by Robin Peel. X-Plane has now moved to a new format that FG cannot currently use, and Robin is no-longer accepting layout updates in the old format (as supported by TaxiDraw). This makes including updated runway layouts in our scenery difficult.
To resolve this, Martin is now including airport layouts as part of the custom scenery. This is great news, as many of the smaller airports around the world do not have accurate taxiways, and updating the layout using TaxiDraw is straightforward.
If you have an updated layout to submit, please contact Martin Spott via the Forums or email. Note that the same restrictions on only using GPL-compatible data to generate the layouts applies - so tracing the layout on Google Earth/Maps isn't allowed.
Gijs de Rooy has redrawn the airport layouts for some of the Netherlands' most prominent airports, including Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (EHAM), Lelystad Airport (EHLE) and Volkel Air Base (EHVK). Taxiways and tarmacs are now correctly placed and up to date. A significant improvement over the previous airport layout is the use of shoulders (concrete borders around taxiways), just as you would encounter at the real airports. The groundnetworks for these airports have been updated or created as well.
We will write a (short) report about the event and add some pictures.
Virtual Airline News
UK Flight Experience Bursaries
The Royal Aero Club Trust is a UK charity that, amongst other things, provides annual bursaries for flight simulator enthusiasts to gain their first experience of real flying. The bursaries are open to UK residents aged 16 to 21. This is a really great opportunity to try flying for real (and for free). Details can be found here, and the closing date is 31st March 2010.