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adamant365

Modifying FS9 Approach Procedures

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Hello All,Is it possible in FS9 to modify the default ATC approaches in FS9 so that I have more options for transitions, etc, when being given an initial approach clearance? Basically, I want to have the option to add "transitions" to act like the end of a STAR and be on a more fluid approach rather than the default FS9's method of vectoring me all over the place starting about 75-100 nm out on the approach. I would like to be able to select a transition from the FS9 ATC menu (that I create) and fly more realistic approaches. Thanks in advance for any help. Adam

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Hello All,Is it possible in FS9 to modify the default ATC approaches in FS9 so that I have more options for transitions, etc, when being given an initial approach clearance? Basically, I want to have the option to add "transitions" to act like the end of a STAR and be on a more fluid approach rather than the default FS9's method of vectoring me all over the place starting about 75-100 nm out on the approach. I would like to be able to select a transition from the FS9 ATC menu (that I create) and fly more realistic approaches. Thanks in advance for any help. Adam
Yes it is possible. However for FS9 I think the only way you could do this is by writing the necessary XML code to describe the transitions and compile that using BglComp. For FSX the about to be released version 1.40 of Airport Design Editor has a graphical designer for approaches. We are looking at creating an FS9 version of ADE now that development of FS has been stopped by ACES.

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Yes it is possible. However for FS9 I think the only way you could do this is by writing the necessary XML code to describe the transitions and compile that using BglComp. For FSX the about to be released version 1.40 of Airport Design Editor has a graphical designer for approaches. We are looking at creating an FS9 version of ADE now that development of FS has been stopped by ACES.
Just to make sure I understand the issue and that would be something I have been wanting to do, we will soon be able to modify the route ATC makes us follow to do our approach? For example, I live in Montreal, and when coming from Toronto for example, it makes me fly over CYMX which is not at all the route planes really follow before doing a 180 and lining up with runway 24R. See in the image I attached. in RED = what FS9 or FSX makes us do. In BLUE = actual plane path. I see them all the time descending, doing the 180 and during their final approach. I would love to modify the path the sim makes us take.Thanks!Marc

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This is just FANTASTIC news that many simmers have been waiting for years. How far have you guys moved in development of FS2004 ADE approach GUI interface? Do you have any release timeframe in mind?Again, thanks a lot for your input and dedication.

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Just to make sure I understand the issue and that would be something I have been wanting to do, we will soon be able to modify the route ATC makes us follow to do our approach? For example, I live in Montreal, and when coming from Toronto for example, it makes me fly over CYMX which is not at all the route planes really follow before doing a 180 and lining up with runway 24R. See in the image I attached. in RED = what FS9 or FSX makes us do. In BLUE = actual plane path. I see them all the time descending, doing the 180 and during their final approach. I would love to modify the path the sim makes us take.Thanks!Marc
The route which aircraft take when landing is controlled by approach code. You can modify this code by changing the XML instructions that are used to define the 'legs' used to make up the approach. So your understanding is correct. However writing and modifying approach code is not very easy to do especially where you have only the code to work with. We have made it (we hope) a bit easier by providing a GPS like display of the approach which changes as you modify it. However this is only available for FSX at the moment.

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This is just FANTASTIC news that many simmers have been waiting for years. How far have you guys moved in development of FS2004 ADE approach GUI interface? Do you have any release timeframe in mind?Again, thanks a lot for your input and dedication.
The 'engine' that sits beneath ADE has always had the capability to work with FS9 as well as FSX. At the moment we have implemented it only as far as reading FS9 files. All compilation is done for FSX. No changes are needed to the Approach Mode interface or how it works. what we do need to do is ensure that we can compile correctly using the FS9 compiler. This, of course, goes further than approaches since there are a number of capabilities in FSX that do not exist in FS9.As to time frame it is certainly on the development plan. I don't like to promise time scales since they are always wrong and things can get in the way. However if everything went as we might hope (and the fat lady sings when asked) we are probably looking at a couple of months.

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In this situation I see that the real charts for CYUL have a DME arc transition from waypoint DUDSO and this could be added tot he FS9 approach data, so it could be selected in the GPS/ATC. In this case, ATC normally would clear direct to DUDSO at 3000 ft. If you want to fly that whole "blue" route, you could create a "non-real" transition that included the STAR such as CEDAR 7. It wouldn't be correct (a STAR is not an approach) but I think it would work. (I've never tried to include STAR waypoints in an approach transition.)scott s..

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Wow, I thought for sure I was going to get a response along the lines of "you can only edit the xml code." Now to hear that there is a GUI utility in the works to do this for me in FS9 is great news. Thanks for that. Now, in the meantime, what files do I have to modify and where do I find them?? I have already done a good deal of work adding waypoints (intersections, really) to FS9 when I find the default FS9 navdata to be insufficient, especially with the newer RNAV STARs and SIDs becoming more common at large airports. So, I know how to modify the code in notepad, rename as .xml and compile. I just have no clue which files in the FS9 directory contain the airports/approaches. Any help in this regard would be much appreciated. Thanks and I definately look forward to being able to modify the highly unrealistic FS9 approaches.Adam

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Wow, I thought for sure I was going to get a response along the lines of "you can only edit the xml code." Now to hear that there is a GUI utility in the works to do this for me in FS9 is great news. Thanks for that. Now, in the meantime, what files do I have to modify and where do I find them?? I have already done a good deal of work adding waypoints (intersections, really) to FS9 when I find the default FS9 navdata to be insufficient, especially with the newer RNAV STARs and SIDs becoming more common at large airports. So, I know how to modify the code in notepad, rename as .xml and compile. I just have no clue which files in the FS9 directory contain the airports/approaches. Any help in this regard would be much appreciated. Thanks and I definately look forward to being able to modify the highly unrealistic FS9 approaches.Adam
Approach code is contained inside the airport information in a bgl file. To do it by hand you would need to decompile the bgl file that contains the airport using something like NewBglAnalyze or Bgl2Xml GUI. Extract all the xml code from the airport and move it into a new file in notepad or an XML Editor. Then all the code related to elements other than approaches needs removing. An Airport Delete Record then needs to be added with deleteAllApproaches set to true. Scott or Jim Vile are much better than me at explaining all this however

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Approach code is contained inside the airport information in a bgl file. To do it by hand you would need to decompile the bgl file that contains the airport using something like NewBglAnalyze or Bgl2Xml GUI. Extract all the xml code from the airport and move it into a new file in notepad or an XML Editor. Then all the code related to elements other than approaches needs removing. An Airport Delete Record then needs to be added with deleteAllApproaches set to true. Scott or Jim Vile are much better than me at explaining all this however
I agree, this is great news! I've stuck with FS9 with sliders all to right and see no reason to switch to FSX at the moment. A GUI for modifying transitions and approaches would be superb - a dream come true for many flight simmers! Am happy to beta test when the time comes. John

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Right now ADE is an FSX only tool. If you have FSX and install and use ADE, you will probably get insights on approach building that would carry over into FS9, even if you have to code the xml by hand.scott s..

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The 'engine' that sits beneath ADE has always had the capability to work with FS9 as well as FSX. At the moment we have implemented it only as far as reading FS9 files. All compilation is done for FSX. No changes are needed to the Approach Mode interface or how it works. what we do need to do is ensure that we can compile correctly using the FS9 compiler. This, of course, goes further than approaches since there are a number of capabilities in FSX that do not exist in FS9.As to time frame it is certainly on the development plan. I don't like to promise time scales since they are always wrong and things can get in the way. However if everything went as we might hope (and the fat lady sings when asked) we are probably looking at a couple of months.
You guys simply the last warriors of dying breed of high quality freeware developers. My hat is off (if I had one :( )Kinda curious if it would be possible to implement multi-curved RNAV approches

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Right now ADE is an FSX only tool. If you have FSX and install and use ADE, you will probably get insights on approach building that would carry over into FS9, even if you have to code the xml by hand.scott s..
Hmm...xml coding is tricky. I've done a little of it for AI approaches using Jim Vile's ideas but it's a year or more now. Those kind of skills die rapidly when they aren't used so to start again would mean another steep learning curve. Problem is I'm already on one steep learning curve trying to re-learn SBuilder. :(

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Hi,this discussion got mine attention so last night I started doing some BGL decompiling and adding new approach to Zagreb Int'l, Croatia (LDZA/ZAG). Default LDZA has ILS 05 and ILS 23 approaches already programmed. ILS 23 approach via VOR ZAG transition is already programmed, but ILS 05 approach usually goes over PIS NDB and is not available in the sim so in a bad weather when ILS 05 is active ATC gives mi one good roller coaster drive around area before giving me clearance to intercept the localizer.Anyway I studied some Jim Viles files/posts and added ILS 05 approach with NDB PIS transition and the approach is available in FS GPS. However, when I fly ATC first gives me vectros to final approach, and when I want to ask for ILS05 with PIS transition I do not see this option in ATC window.Any thoughts on this? So new approach is visible and selectable in GPS unit but it's not selectable when communicating wtih ATC.EDIT: Problem solved! :(

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Hi,this discussion got mine attention so last night I started doing some BGL decompiling and adding new approach to Zagreb Int'l, Croatia (LDZA/ZAG). Default LDZA has ILS 05 and ILS 23 approaches already programmed. ILS 23 approach via VOR ZAG transition is already programmed, but ILS 05 approach usually goes over PIS NDB and is not available in the sim so in a bad weather when ILS 05 is active ATC gives mi one good roller coaster drive around area before giving me clearance to intercept the localizer.Anyway I studied some Jim Viles files/posts and added ILS 05 approach with NDB PIS transition and the approach is available in FS GPS. However, when I fly ATC first gives me vectros to final approach, and when I want to ask for ILS05 with PIS transition I do not see this option in ATC window.Any thoughts on this? So new approach is visible and selectable in GPS unit but it's not selectable when communicating wtih ATC.EDIT: Problem solved! :(
Come on! Share it with us! :(

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Come on! Share it with us! :(
It is a simple procedure to add a new transition to an existing approach. First of all you have to find .BGL file associated with default/stock FS9 airport. For example Zagreb Pleso Int'l ZAG/LDZA data is written among some other airports data in AP951250.bgl which is stored in FS9/scenery/Eurw folder.Using NewBglAnalyze tool I decompiled this BGL into editable .txt (or .xml file). Then within this decompiled file you have to find section of code which is associated with your airport (since the file is big "search" or "find" options within text editor are helpful).Then within airport code you have to locate section of code where approaches are coded. First I studied how this approaches are written and then I added new transition to one of existing approaches in a similar way other default/stock approaches were coded.Anyway the problem was that I made a typo and even though my modified .xml file was passing compilation (which is done using BglComp tool of FS9 SDK) I didn't have an option to ask ATC for transition approach once I was flying in the sim. After correcting that typo and compiling again problem was solved and now for LDZA I can ask for ILS 05 approach via PIS NDB and it is working great.So basically I modified certain AP******.blg file in order to get a new approach. This will not do the thing if you use modified AFCAD airport which has higher priority than default/stock airport and if within this modified airports AFCAD .bgl file code is option deleteAllApproaches set to true (deleteAllApproaches="TRUE"). In that case you won't have any of default/stock airports approaches available in the sim. However if you use modified AFCAD file and mentioned option of deleteAllApproaches is set to false (deleteAllApproaches="FALSE") you get an airport with newer and better AFCAD and desired parking spots/gates, taxiways etc. like in the real world and with all default approaches from default/stock airpot which you can edit in a way I just described above.Also please note, it is very important to make backups of original files before editing.Best wishes,Dubravko :(

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FS9 and FSX ATC will honor a ILS Transition that you add but it must start at a VOR, NDB or WAYPOINT (pink GPS color). Many Transitions start at a TERMINAL_WAYPOINT for the GPS, RNAV VOR approaches and ATC honors these as well. I made sure that Jon included in ADEX (FSX version) all the approaches that you have seen in some of my airports and the exotic approaches I wrote for FlyTampa, 9Dragons and others. As mentioned above we are bringing the entire approach GPS interface into the newer ADE9 (FS9 version) so all those LDA's IGS curved AI Plane approaches, curved RNAV's, DME ARC's etc. can be designed using a line draw method that Jon has written the code for. This method does not require any XML hand coding and is very smart in what types of legs can be used for all the different type approaches you make.dubravko points out that a Transition is nothing more then an extension to the default vectors to final. The FS9 Approach database is based on a point in time of April 2002 and is way behind the curve. FSX is much closer to a more current set of approaches and Transitions. ADEX and ADE9 have a import approach feature that allows taking a FSX approach including all Navaids and import into FS9 which brings it up to a much closer point in time. When I did the approach code for ImagineSims FS9 KIAD I used ADEX approach database and imported it into FS9. This brought KIAD and its new runway up to date so I did not have to spend a lot of time setting waypoints for the SID and STAR arrivals.We do have to keep in mind that Approach ATC in FS9 and FSX is normally a radius of 60 NM's so STAR arrivals are placed into the Flightplan and the Approach Transitions that ATC honor are placed into the Airport records. Using this code method so ATC works properly Scott and I keep Jon very busy in testing every possible type approach that a airport designer can add.For those that do not want to spend time adding proper approaches to FS9 Jon has coded a special area that automactically adds a ILS approach and missed approach to any runway so ATC recognizes the approach and keeps the runway open in IMC weather. This also gives all the AI Planes a hard code set of approach values and helps eliminate all those planes you see rolling along the ground toward a runway. Also keep in mind that the approach utililty is just the tip of the iceberg in ADE9 and it also has many of the same features its big brother ADEX has.I have 2 sticky post on approaches at the following links. For the most part these post will also apply to FS9. One of the post also includes how to make a AI Plane fly a curved approach which is the foundation I used for the Kai Tak IGS 13 approach I wrote for all the scenery designers. http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13751http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14074jim

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It is a simple procedure to add a new transition to an existing approach. First of all you have to find .BGL file associated with default/stock FS9 airport. For example Zagreb Pleso Int'l ZAG/LDZA data is written among some other airports data in AP951250.bgl which is stored in FS9/scenery/Eurw folder........Dubravko :(
Thanks a bunch! :(

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