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mgh

Airport and Navigation aids

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Hi all,As we all know, our beloved Flight Simulator software oscillates between a true simulator and a photo-realistic world full of eye candies. The debated whether which approach is to follow is a non-ending one. However, I believe that to be named 'simulator', some requirements needs to be achieved. One of them is about navigation aids and airports.We have seen in recent previews that FSX will have around 24,000 airports which is roughly what FS9 and FS2002 had (22,000 for FS2002). It is also my understanding that most of the navaids will remain the same.I must admit that I am surprised of the abscence of improvement in this domain. In roughly 6 years, very little new things have been added even though many could have ben and in my yes should have been.Indeed, according to some sources I have, there are roughly 36,000 public airfields in the world. (plus private ones). Therefore, still 12,000 are missing which accounts for one third of all the public airfiels. And these are not only private airstrips. I can assure you that some real general aviation airports (and not only very small and tiny ones) are still missing in FS9.The next thing is navigation aids. We have ILS, Marker, NDB and VOR. I believe there are also VORTAC and TACAN even though I am not sure. But nagation aids is not restricted to that. There are some other systems that are and are still widely used such as the LORAN-C and to a lesser extent the OMEGA. Loran is for instance of the utmost usefullness for crossing the North Pacific and North Atlantic without any GPS. Will these navigation aids be one day implemented in Flight Simulator?Greetings,CedricAnd thank you for giving us hindsight about what we can expect from FSX by the way.
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No one interested by LORAN for trans Atlantic crossing. I am surprised... You're all GPS guys?Cheers!CJ
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I can only speak for myself in this regard and being 'only' an intermediate user, I find the quantity of airports are fine for me.There is a little town, not too far from here (Padborg-12km) that has a small airfield with a non operating tower which is already included with FS9. That signifies to me attention to detail which I think is great as I had not expected it until I 'checked it out' for myself.Can you give me some examples of some larger airfields or even airports of those 12000 which aren't included?I'm curious to see where in the world they'd be and perhaps why they were left out?Meigs still exists in FS9 (thankfully) although I know that the real airport has been shut down and will perhaps someday be converted into a park.(Which is sad as I've come to associate FS startup at Meigs field.)Of the navigation aids, I cannot fairly comment as I don't know these systems, but I consider myself 'modern' and therefore use the GPS. However I can empathise with people like yourself, that wish these to be included to raise the 'realism bar' of FS.Are some of these systems obsolete?
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VORTAC are there in FS2004, only they're VOR only because FS2004 doesn't include TACAN capability (VORTAC is a combined VOR/TACAN station).TACAN being a military-only system and FS a purely (as designed) civilian simulator that's hardly surprising.LORAN is no longer in active use AFAIK (having been replaced by GPS) so that too won't be there.Same for the long range NDBs used for longrange flights in the 1920s and '30s by PanAm and BOAC flying boats.Same for sextants and shooting stars.The airport mix is plenty. A few are missing but those ARE small and largely private fields for which no public data is available.If you don't have information about a field you can't put it in ;)
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Are you kidding?LORAN is still is use. Last week I flew on a PA28 Warrior II and I did use the LORAN-C to navigate around Atlanta... Its coverage extends from the Beirings Strait between Russia and Alaska to Ireland and does cover the entire USA.Sure it is still in use, simply because it is a redundant system to the GPS. Imagine four or five sats in the same plan from the GPS constellation failing. Airliners could no more be able/allowed to cross the Atlantic...So obviously there must be a backup system... And most of all it is a lot cheaper to operate than GPS since you do not have to launch and monitor 24 sats...I cannot be sure, but I can imagine some classic DC8, 707, 747, DC10 or L1011 still not equipped with GPS that must still rely on Loran-C to cross the Atlantic. (in addition to an INS since OMEGA is no more used)You are right for Vortac. However a general aviation planes should not be able to receive a TACAN signal..Etrepagny LFFY in France is not modelled. It is public airport with a 700ft runway (LFFY). Saint Valery (900 ft runway) and Yvetot are not modelled either. All of them are not further than 50km from my hometown. These airfields are open to general public aviation and the information for them is available at the SIA website (official aviation maps for France).I am also sure that a lot of airports are missing in Vanuatu. I cannot give you the exact OACI code because I don't know them. But some major airports (On Ambrym for instance) of the country with daily commercial services are missing. And obviously there are information about them somewhere since there are scheduled service to these airports.In any case, there are still roughly 12,000 public airport missings. (not taking into account private airfields ala Travolta..) so there is room to improve... :-)Cheers,CJ
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[i]"I cannot be sure, but I can imagine some classic DC8, 707, 747, DC10 or L1011 still not equipped with GPS that must still rely on Loran-C to cross the Atlantic. (in addition to an INS since OMEGA is no more used)"[/i][b]Now, no offense intended[/b], BUT, If you cannot be sure, then perhaps you should not make the comment you did. Such older aircraft would use INS, not LORAN. When LORAN was used to jump the "pond", it was not some Northstar unit in the panel, it looked more like an oscilloscope with the navigator having to interpret it. Besides, these days, they could stick a Garmin GPS in the panel. Heck, if it were legal, they could slap a Garmin 396 on the yoke.Sorry, but LORAN is not used for trans-Atlantic flights these days. Those classic airliners you speak about would be using INS at the very least, and would have been doing so since the 1960s. A DC-10 or L-1011 using LORAN??? Are YOU kidding? They never used it! They would have had redundancy via the required 3 INS units.I flew a Lufthansa Boeing 707 simulator several years ago, and even it was equipped with INS. I flew Trans-Atlantic on 707s through the 1960s and 1970s, and those planes had INS.I notice that you did not mention Doppler.;-)The fact that some GA aircraft may still use LORAN is irrelevant, because if you ever used LORAN, you would find it it not much different than using GPS. In fact, every GA aircraft I have seen that has a LORAN in the panel, also has a portable GPS, often attached to the yoke. Why? Because a certified GPS panel installation is not cheap, and starts at around $10,000.I realize that in some countries GPS is not trusted, but I am not going to debate that point with you.I should know, I had an RNAV (that's a manufacturer, not a form of navigation) LORAN (actually two different units over the years) in my Cherokee 235, and now have a Garmin GNS430 in my Piper Dakota. Aside from the more advanced features and color moving map of the Garmin, operation was somewhat similar. It would be a total waste of time for MS to model LORAN. You acquire the satellites, or you acquire the ground stations, it's essentially the same thing. From an operational standpoint, I could simulate a LORAN based on the default GPS, and you would not know the difference, aside from those areas where you cannot receive the ground stations with LORAN. So, there is no point in MS trying to simulate it.Regards,Lou
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Thanks for your feedback.Hmm, I never presumed that FS9 would leave out public airports.Especially in a big country such as France compared to 'little' Denmark.Well, the good news is though, that these airfields are probably something to look forward to with future editions of FS.Imagine if ALL the airfields in the world were included, where would the fun of "new airports added" be? ;)
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Hi there "CJ" as far as a civil aircraft is concerned there is no difference between a vortac and a VORDME when we civil types tune in a Vortac we get the DME info from the tacan and the bering info from the VOR portion while a military aircraft gets both from the Tacan portion of the co-located transmitters. Hope this helps to clear things up a little. Cheers Dan Martin.
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As for the comment you did: I said I was not sure because there are more than what 10,000? 20,000? airliners and more than 60,000? GA planes in the world and I have not checked the cockpit of every single one.In any case, if that is simple to model by a FS team, I am right to wonder why it is not done...in FS. We have a DC-3 with a Garmin GPS... In the historical version of FS9, it would have been more appropriate to equip it with a LORAN or LORAN-C receiver.Anyway, I think that some Northwest aircraft still have Loran but I can be wrong. Whether they are biggies or small DC-9 I can't tell anymore. Anyway, the truth of the matter is that the Loran is still used and available widely. And it will still be available for a long time as a good alternative to the GPS (low frequency vs high frequency, ground based vs satellite based). Maybe the US will keep it running untill the new Galileo is available as a backup to GPS?As for sticking a GPS, well handheld GPS are not legal for IFR navigation, so you have to go to the full new installation of a GPS receiver inside the cokpit.Finally sure they have INS. I never said the opposite and on the contrary I believe every aircraft still have them and i would be very pleased that MS add some INS instruments (and not only the SHIFT Z....). But are you sure those airliners did not also have LORAN receivers? I thought that for NAT tracks you were obliged to have two different type of primary long range navigation systems in order to check for the error of the instruments. Remember that an INS is fine but it integrate twice your assumed accelerations. So errors keep on aggregating along your way... And because the GPS went accepted for civil airliners only recently (90's?), I don't know what they were using during the 60's, 70's and 80's as a backup for INS. Loran, Omega?In any case, the more the better. We have flocks of birds flying in FSX. Why not having the 21 Loran emitters as well as a nice Loran receiver that would simulate the Loran to its actual accuracy: accurate when near those emitting stations, less accurate when far away.And a good INS would be great too. I remember Staffan used to have a nice INS gauge modelled for his DC-10 panel. However, I have not seen any new one for freeware panels. One directly from FS would be really great!Regards,CJedit: And the aircraft I flew was Loran equipped but not GPS (fixed or handheld) equipped.. :-)
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ah, so now you want something exclusive to the US?C-47s would not use LORAN even in the 1940s, they'd use sextants and shoot the stars. That is they'd do that on the few occasions they wouldn't have NDB navigation to rely on or were incapable of DF'ing a public broadcast station.Maybe Microsoft should incorporate every single public radio transmitter in the world so you could do that?Just a "small fix" after all...
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Hey, INS are not US restricted... where does that comes from??And if you're speaking about Loran, first you're partly incorrect since LORAN signal can be received even in Ireland and Canada and then what is your point? As far as I know, LORAN coverage does not extend to Australia. That's all..I don't really like your attitude...you seem to despise every single bit I write. I am pointing out some stuff that are missing. You're free not to share my views but not to try to poke fun at me as if everything I say was stupid.If I tell you that LORAN stations are not decommissionned yet (and probably won't be in the near future), it is simply because they are not decommissionned yet. Maybe you don't use it, but I use it and I guess some other people use it.No they shouldn't add any radio transmitters that broadcast simply because not all of them are on official aviation maps.However, there are many more official airports with official information and official Visual Approach Charts that are not included. So you might be lucky to have nearly all of them in the US, but that is not the case for some other country. And because I fly everywhere in the FS world, I just would like MS to model all the general aviation ***public*** airfield. I simply don't understand why MS stick with that magic number of 24,000 airports.Regards,CJEdit; Hopefully C47 and DC-6 did not stopped flying in the 40's... There are still C47 in service. And once Loran was fully available, I doubt they continued shouting the stars...
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>I don't really like your attitude...you seem to despise every>single bit I write. I am pointing out some stuff that are>missing. You're free not to share my views but not to try to>poke fun at me as if everything I say was stupid.LOL, don't worry Minos, he has that same attitude with everyone in every post. :-lol Marco
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>And a good INS would be great too. I remember Staffan used to>have a nice INS gauge modelled for his DC-10 panel. However, I>have not seen any new one for freeware panels. One directly>from FS would be really great!>>Regards,>CJ>>edit: And the aircraft I flew was Loran equipped but not GPS>(fixed or handheld) equipped.. :-)Delco Carousel INS free for MSFS 9: [url="http://www.simufly.com/ins/"]http://www.simufly.com/ins/[/url]used in older 747, dc-10, a300....
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>Loran is for instance of the utmost usefullness for crossing>the North Pacific and North Atlantic without any GPS. Does it make sense to anyone, to me it does not. Any pilot who can afford crossing the Atlantic in his aircraft would surely afford to purchase a portable GPS for $500, he would not be relying on obsolete technology. And in 99.9% of cases he would actually be flying with a panel mounted IFR certified GPS receiver. Sorry, I don't think it makes sense to demand that MS simulates technology that may be used today by 0.0001% of pilots who fancy flying in "retro-equipped" aircraft. These days even DC-3s still in operation tend to have state of the art GPS equipment unless their use is restricted to local VFR only.Michael J.[url="http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpg"]http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpg[/url][url="http://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg"]http://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg[/url]
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Portable GPS (handheld) is not an accepted instrument for navigation..In what is it obsolete? Let's hear your technology point... Furthermore, it is more accurate in urban environment than GPS (of course of little utility for aviation...but do not burry it until it is dead..) But I would like to hear your point about absolete...I tend to believe it will bring some interesting points that my avionics classes have not shown me till now...Piper Warrior II, a retro aircraft? OK, it is not a G1000 equipped C172, but it is not a Piper Cub too...Also thanks for pointing me a nice INS station. You made my day!Cheers,Cedric
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