AVSIM Commercial Utility Review

Super Traffic Board V2.1

Product Information

Publishers: Flying W Simulations

Description: Flight display utility.

Download Size:
4.25 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX
Reviewed by: Jason McKee AVSIM Staff Reviewer - February 24, 2009

Introduction

Traffic boards are something that almost everyone is familiar with. Every time you get to the airport, you are looking for the familiar traffic board so you can see when you are departing or when the mother-in-law is arriving. In Flight Simulator, they display the information on the AI traffic you have installed and until recently, that was all they did. Flying W’s Super Traffic Board does this and more.

Installation and Documentation

Installation follows the tried and true point and click method. Once you have downloaded the file, double click on it and follow the prompts. It installs the program in a separate folder and sets up the shortcuts for you.

The manual is a 72 page PDF affair, covering everything from the installation, to the more advanced features, as well as some tips and tricks for using the traffic board. The manual provides all the details in detail, and also includes the changes between the latest version and the previous versions highlighted. The readme is also included.

The installer puts all the shortcuts in the start menu to make it easy to open the manuals or the programs.

Using Super Traffic Board.

Super Traffic Board can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. If you just want to watch your traffic come and go and let the program sort out problems, so be it, it will do that for you. But on the other hand, if you want to fully control the advanced features of the program and fiddle with your traffic, the program will suit this trait as well.

Super Traffic Board can be left to its own devices and most users will use the program this way as it allows you to see what traffic is coming and going, watch a particular aircraft through the viewing controls, and just generally become a virtual plane spotter. Before using Super Traffic Board, you must have flight simulator running, otherwise it will not connect and display flight information.

You can set the board to display arrivals and departures for all incoming and outgoing flights. You can also change the font size, background color, and add airport logos that are displayed on the top of the board.

If you have airline logos installed these will also be displayed. A note on logos, as this is a commercial product and you cannot distribute copywrite information (logos) with a commercial product, you have to find your own source of logos, or create your own. The manual explains how to do this and supplies a source for logos as well.

There are two modes for viewing AI; Pilot mode and Spotter mode. Pilot Mode assumes that you are in an aircraft and that you will be moving. What this does is delete the cancelled and diverted flights as Flight Simulator has deleted these flights and you cannot view them.

In Spotter Mode, it assumes that you will not be moving and as such cancellations and diversions are shown on the board, even though you cannot see them. This all adds to the realism of the board, rather than just deleting the flights of the board.

Follow AI

Follow AI is similar to the Shadow AI command. It handles the way you follow the AI in a slightly different way. It uses the same sort of control in that it takes over your aircraft. This ensures that the AI aircraft isn’t selected if it gets too far away from your aircraft. This allows you to follow an aircraft all over the world.

In this mode, Super Traffic Board will check to see if you have crash detection turned on. If you do, it will activate slew mode to deactivate crash detection. One problem I found with this method is that if you do not have all your controls centered, your view will spin like mad around the aircraft you are viewing.

Chase Mode

The chase mode of Super Traffic Board places your aircraft near the AI aircraft that you have selected. This allows you to follow or chase the AI aircraft, But make sure you have selected an aircraft that can keep up. The micro light doesn’t chase 747’s too well. I could not get this mode to work properly for me no matter what aircraft I selected. I kept getting crashes and resets from flight simulator. It didn’t matter if I turned off crash detection or not. I'm not sure whether it is something in my configuration or something else.

Slewing AI Aircraft & Deleting AI Aircraft.

Through Super Traffic Board, you can slew AI aircraft. This can be handy if you need to move an aircraft from a taxiway or move it out of a parking spot if it has got stuck. There are some limitations to the slew command and these apply to arriving and departing aircraft.

A runway will be closed to all other traffic if the departing aircraft has not been handed off from tower control to the next ATC and is put into slew. This also occurs if the arriving aircraft has been cleared to land but has not cleared the runway and it is put it to slew mode.

You can also delete AI aircraft. This is handy if the AI aircraft is causing a bottle neck or otherwise disrupting the flow of traffic. It does exactly that, deletes the AI aircraft. I prefer this method to slewing the aircraft.

Move To Stand.

The Move Aircraft to Stand command does exactly what it says, it moves the AI aircraft to a gate or stand and finishes the flight. You can only use this command when the aircraft is within 10 nm of the arrival airport and can be used while the aircraft is in the air or on the ground.

Optimize Traffic

Super Traffic Board allows you to optimize the traffic by using two options; Optimize by volume, and Optimize by role. Optimize by volume works in a similar way to the sliders in FSX, in that you select a percentage of traffic to display. The optimize by role works slightly differently and allows you to select how you want to optimize (delete) the traffic.

You can delete flights after they depart. These are deleted when a certain amount of time has passed after they take off and deletes taxing aircraft at the selected airport. You can delete traffic at other airports by deleting flights on the ground and deleting airborne aircraft.

Flight Control

The Super Traffic Board flight control is a built in feature the automatically monitors the traffic information being sent from flight simulator. This has been designed to keep the traffic flowing as smoothly as possible. It does this by controlling minimum separations, go around's, and releasing aircraft that are stuck on the ramp or stands and by rescuing aircraft that are deleted by flight simulator.

Super Traffic Board does this by moving to the stand any aircraft that is too close to another on approach. In Flight Simulator, this would normally invoke a go around. You can set the point this would happen by using the settings in Super Traffic Board.

Go around's are handled by allowing the aircraft two go around's. If it hasn’t landed after two go around's, it is automatically moved to the stand. Aircraft that get stuck during taxi are normally deleted if they haven’t moved after a set time.

Super Traffic Board moves them to a parking spot if they are deleted by Flight Simulator. For reasons that are still not fully understanded, aircraft are sometimes stuck in the parking spot. If Super Traffic Board cannot rescue the aircraft, it is deleted to free up the parking spot for another aircraft.

Summary / Closing Remarks

Test System

AMD Phenom 9850 Quad Core
4Gig 1033 Ram
Gigabyte 9600GT 1Gig PCI-e Video Card
Saitek Pro Yoke and 2 Throttle quadrants
Windows XP SP3

Flying Time:
5 hours

I found this a good little program to use. It did cause some interesting behavior when using some of the view commands, such as the Slew Command. If the controls are not centered exactly, you get the wild view movements.

It works without a fuss and in reality you do not notice the program doing anything, but it is constantly monitoring and adjusting traffic in the background and as an added bonus, you can keep an eye on what is happening traffic-wise. You can also become a virtual plane spotter.

Overall, I recommend this program if you want an easy to use and unobtrusive traffic board and control program.

Disclaimer: I have used the screenshots included with super traffic board pack, as I lost all of my screenshots when my hard drive crashed, so they are copywrited to Flying W Simulations.

 

What I Like About Super Traffic Board

  • Easy to use without getting into complex adjustments
  • A lot of adjustment available to customize what it does and doesn’t do
  • Easy to read traffic board
  • Great view options to watch your traffic and follow them

 

What I Don't Like About Super Traffic Board

  • Issues with viewing issues when using slew commands
  • No logos included (not a developer problem), I found it hard to find all airline logos.

 

Printing

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Super Traffic Board

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