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Guest Scott Campbell

Another Lost Feature

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A few days ago, David Lee mentioned a couple of features of FS4 that are now gone. Is this another?? I recall a version in which you could preset a flight to end with a display of the plane's vertical and forward speeds upon landing, during the last few seconds of flight, nicely plotted and with the actual vertical speed upon touchdown indicated below the plot. Now...it seems the Flight Analysis choice under "options" gives the plot in tiny form, but no vertical touchdown rate. What's tantalizing is that if you go into the online help at that point, there is reference to a "landing analysis" that does give that rate, but alas, I can't find it anywhere! Am I missing something, or did MS scrub that neat little feature at the last minute, leaving the help tidbit to frustrate us. I will grant that the reconstruction of the plane's trajectory viewed from above (under "flight analysis")can provide a lot of fun after an ILS practice run. Has anyone found the "landing analysis"??Dick

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>Remember is FS2000, if you tuned an ATIS or AWOS for a >distant field, the signal would come in weak and scratchy? >I wonder why that didn't carry over to FS2002... that was a >cool effect.>Greg Moffatt Atmospheric noise, etc. could be added to all radio signals. It depends on transmitter and AC elevation, transmitter power, and distance from the transmitter. FS never added noise to the VOR reception but did add simple nose to the ATIS in FS2K. In real AC it is a fact of life, one can tell when his VOR is getting near the reception limit by just listening to the noise pick up. The needle also becomes erratic. It would be easy if MSFS people understood a little of VHF radio propagation. I doubt they do, thus I don't expect to see this. Basically, one has to know the Line of Sight for VHF radio signals: 1.3 (Ht^2 + Hr^2)^1/2 gives a good estimate of this distance in statute miles. Transmitter height is near zero ft for VOR's, etc, Receiver Height, Hr may be 10,000 ft. Thus, Line of Sight distance would be nearly 1.3 * SQRT (10,000) = 130 statute miles at 10,000 ft AGL. 115 nm. Past that, the signal drops rapidly and noise increases. Poorly shielded spark plug wires increase the nose, thus decrease the reception distance. One can often hear ignition noise in small AC when the signal is weak. I remember VOR's dropping out at about 50 nm when 5000 ft above the ground. Clearly before the LOS distance was reached; our club Cherokee had too much ignition noise. Mountains, etc. complicate matters, but as I've shown, it's easy to program for flat terrain if one knows what he is doing. ;) For that matter, knife edge refraction over ridges, etc. isn't that hard to account for either, FS terrain should have enough resolution to model such effects also. Low Frequency beacons are quite different, their frequencies tend to follow the earth and drop in power in a different way than VHF.-RAF

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Hi Ron,Yeah, the height's almost negligible in the equation, though -- no need to complicate it. Just the inverse-square-distance thing. You could probably even make it simpler than that and still get the right effect in the sim. I'm sure they know enough about it; it's probably in the works. I don't think we can expect FS2004 to take mountains into account, though. We'd definately lose a lot of frames/sec. The VHF was already done, though! (Edit: I'm meaning the COM radios here)All the best,Greghttp://www3.sympatico.ca/gregory.moffatt/sig1.jpg

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As long as we are talking about stuff in the old versions we liked. About the only thing I liked in FS 2000 was the panel lighting. It was much more realistic FS 2002. The bright pink kills your night vision. Maybe they took it out to save frame rates. Maybe the soft glow will return in 04DAVID C. FREEMANCONTINENTAL VIRTUAL AIRLINESHouston

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>Hi Ron, >>Yeah, the height's almost negligible in the equation, though >-- no need to complicate it. Just the >inverse-square-distance thing. Inverse square distance isn't the problem, it's when the horizon obscures the radio horizon. At that point the signal strengh starts decreasing rapidly. That decrease is also well known. Since D (nm) = 1.15 SQRT (Ht^2 + Hr^2) one might think he could set: D=1.15 Hr (AC height). However, some VOR's are on mountains, so Ht is also significant in some cases. Anyway, the VOR elevation is in the bgl files. > You could probably even make >it simpler than that and still get the right effect in the >sim. The idea would be to start with a simple coding that was an improvement over what exists. Then, try to add more subtle effects, depending on time to release. Save code that wasn't ready for release for the next version. One could even add things like 'Sporatic E' ionization, which greatly increases the range of TV and AC VHF signals. But, not very often. Such code takes little overhead and makes things more interesting when one runs into them. However, they also confuse novices, so would best be added only in FS200X.cfg by someone who will expect special effects. ;) I'm sure they know enough about it; it's probably in >the works. I don't think we can expect FS2004 to take >mountains into account, though. We'd definately lose a lot >of frames/sec. >Greg I think FS2002 already does some ray tracing for light. VHF radio waves would require much less CPU power, resolution is much less at 120 MHz. And, things change much more slowly. --------------- I've also thought of how WX could be modeled better from a limited number of known reporting stations. One thing would be to slowly merge WX from different stations, depending on their distance. So it didn't change suddenly. However, fronts add another problem. They should also be able to be figured out to some degree from the reporting station data. Especially if more than one hourly update was available. There is no need to calculate this stuff rapidly, it could run in a background thread that slowly set up more realistic weather changes before one got to them. Ron

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I wonder if curvature of the Earth isn't in there already in some form. Often I can't receive an NDB or VOR while on the ground -- and shortly after takeoff I can. I don't know the specific numbers, but it's probably about 15 feet of elevation at 10 miles, so it really comes into effect close to the ground. Interesting stuff anyways... Lots of room for improvement in future versions!Best regards,Greghttp://www3.sympatico.ca/gregory.moffatt/sig1.jpg

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Greg et al,That was really cool. Also now I don't get ATIS for airports I add, which I did in 2K, and there's no AWOS/Advisory for the Unicom freq airports. It's listed in the ATC window, but there's nothing played. :-hmmmOh yes, and I ALWAYS have the controller and AI pilot be the same person, and I have the 10-voice set installed.Plus, ATIS gives ridiculous active runways, usually only the one AI is using, forgetting any other, even ones better suited for the wind. 2K gave the longest runway in the wind. No more.It seems as if in adding ATC, the ATIS and radio effects have gotten really poor.Also changed was the flat clouds would always point towards me, rotating as I passed, in 2K. Okay, it was hokey, but now they are always pointing in the direction of flight, and have this horrible flat wall thing when looking out the side. As far as I'm concerned the weather is much worse in 2K2.One other thing I really miss is the ability to set nav, autopilot, and radio settings from the menu.This isn't a missing feature, it's an added problem feature. What are they thinking putting the "Radios" section in the aircraft.cfg file instead of the panel.cfg file? This means I have to edit EVERY aircraft.cfg I assign this panel to. Why is there a "Radios" section at all? :-hmmm :-hmmm

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Fly on Vatsim and get rid of that crappy FS2002 ATC and ATIS ;-))

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Oh I already have. I use Radar Contact. ;-)

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