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BobKK47

Sloped runways?

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I'm wondering if MS Flight will accurately depict runways that, in real life, have different elevations at various points along the runway, either at the ends or at points in-between. IOW, the runway will follow the terrain of the land, as in reality. I understand that X-plane has incorporated this feature.Anyone have any knowledge of this? Thanks.

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I'm wondering if MS Flight will accurately depict runways that, in real life, have different elevations at various points along the runway, either at the ends or at points in-between. IOW, the runway will follow the terrain of the land, as in reality. I understand that X-plane has incorporated this feature.Anyone have any knowledge of this? Thanks.
No one knows yet and those that do know aren't at liberty to say.We'll just have to wait and see. My guess would probably be no that slopped runways wont de depicted in the stock form of the sime, however in the after market it could probably be done on a case by case basis from 3PDs like Aerosoft did with Lukla or FlyTampa with the Grenadines package.

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I think you'll find that almost all runways have a deviation somewhere in their length. I know that Gary Summons was considering it for FSX but apparantly it leads to AI aircraft problems. So, can't be done. We live in hope though :(

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Guest veeray

Sloped runways and multiple elevations at airports would definitely be cool. Currently there are some "hacks" out there that do this, but they're not 100% reliable. If you fall through a level you most likely have to reset your flight.

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Just where is Microsoft going to get the infromation from to provide this? At best the published information is threshold elevation and gradient with no intermediate information. The local terrain would have to adjusted to match the runway and then blended in to the surrounding terrain. How many extra sales will be generated if this feature is included compared with the cost of implementing it?

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Just where is Microsoft going to get the infromation from to provide this? At best the published information is threshold elevation and gradient with no intermediate information. The local terrain would have to adjusted to match the runway and then blended in to the surrounding terrain. How many extra sales will be generated if this feature is included compared with the cost of implementing it?
Perhaps all Microsoft has to do is to allow for an easier implementation of sloped runways. That way they could still leave the runways flat in Flight, but others could easily change that for sloped runways without having to resort to workarounds.Regards, Mike Mann

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Guest veeray

Actually the data is already there... Microsoft went out of their way to flatten it in the first place, probably to make textured runways easier to implement. Currently in FSX you can make a layer on top of what's already there, but if you fall through the seams FSX loses track of which layer you are suppose to be on. If they could fix those two things it should be easy for any developer to make there runways more realistic. Some of the newer terminal buildings actually have two levels one for aircraft and one specifically for service vehicles. Another is places that have roadways going under the taxiways, I think O'hare is actually like that.

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Actually the data is already there... Microsoft went out of their way to flatten it in the first place, probably to make textured runways easier to implement. Currently in FSX you can make a layer on top of what's already there, but if you fall through the seams FSX loses track of which layer you are suppose to be on. If they could fix those two things it should be easy for any developer to make there runways more realistic. Some of the newer terminal buildings actually have two levels one for aircraft and one specifically for service vehicles. Another is places that have roadways going under the taxiways, I think O'hare is actually like that.
The relevant data isn't there. For example at Heatrhrow (EGLL) the published airport reference height is 83 ft. Although the runways are nominally level, the published threshold heights are:09L 79 ft09R 75 ft27L 77 ft27R 78 ftThat's 5 levels and EGLL has only 2 runways. Also taxiways and crossing runways need to be adjusted to avoid discontinuities where they meet sloping runways. The situation becomes even more complex if the slope isn't uniform, bearing in mind that this level of detail isn't even published.It would be a lot of work for Microsoft for the benefit of the few.

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Guest veeray

The information is in the DEM model that surrounds the airport already. Not in the charts but the satellite data.

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The information is in the DEM model that surrounds the airport already. Not in the charts but the satellite data.
I'm not sure that the resolution or accuracy of the default DEM is good enough for this.

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I'm not sure that the resolution or accuracy of the default DEM is good enough for this.
For the default DEM true, better/safer to just flatten.But it would be nice if Flight allowed developers to turn off airport flattening when they are supplying a custom 'hires' DEM for the tile covered by the airport.

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Agreed. It should be possible, at least per scenario. Default flattened, and addons, if developer choosed to hassle with that, possible.

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I hope it will be more easier to make sloped runways, with AI trafic, and crossed taxyway. I think it must be not very difficult if each node (for taxys and runways) have an elevation data. The terrain just have to stick those elevations.For AI trafic, the planes have to be more I.I have made some slopped runway fox FsX, using Gmax ( example : http://marcoh.gratisim.fr/stbarth.html) but the result is that there is no AI traffic and it's very long to make it.SB_capture_5.jpg

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That's very impressive modelling. But Microsoft isn't going top go to that level of detail. I must admit I'd forgotten the probklems of getting AI aircraft to use such a runway.

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I don't really care about sloped runways. I prefer them flat anyway, although I would like the terrain immediately to the side of certain runways to have more realistic elevation changes. A good example would be Manchester International in the UK. Runway 05R/23L has grass banks on either side, and also a major drop down near the mid point on both sides where the River Bollin passes through a tunnel underneath the runway.

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Slopping runways must be possible. It has been available in Xplane 9 and maybe even earlier versions. I only have Xplane 9, so thats all I can comment on. the runways simply follow the terrain contour. crossing runways arent a problem, because they cross the terrain at the same point. the only difficulty is that sometimes the terrain contour isn't so accurate, so you end up with a step rather than a slope! Take off is easy one way, but watch the step coming the other way! There is an option to make the runways flat if you prefer, or if those runways cause issues. My problem with Xplane is that there aren't the tools out there to correct the terrain contours easily, so it is difficult to correct those steps at your favourite airport. The amount / smoothness of slope then depends on the level of your terrain complexity. I realise that MS may do things differently, but it can be done, even at complex airports. You dont even need to know the exact details of thresholds etc. there are some great challenges out there, where the slope does add to gameplay. Aerosoft have a number of titles that are developed expressly because their slope creates the challenge. It would be nice though if the sim could support slopping runways without needing third parties to make the product, as there are a number of runways in places like Papua New Guinea that are hugely challenging, but will never get the third party add on treatment. Tapini is an example. In FSX, the airport exists, but instead of being sloped like it is in reality, the airport juts out into the valley like a diving board over a pool. I do hope that MS could do it, as it does add yet another dimension. Just a thought.

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Marcoh,I never really seemed to care about sloped runways until I saw your screenshot and it is quite apparent how realistic it makes the sim look and I would also say there is a whole lot more depth now that I see it the way you have presented it. Dare I ask how much work is involved to slope a runway?Very nice shot.

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Slopping runways must be possible.
Of course they're possible! In fact, they have been done already for years...However, they aren't available for AI aircraft, as the algorithim for AI a/c doesn't permit true ground detection by the tires, but instead follows a very simple, elevation based level line...It is this limitation that blocks "sloped runways" from being implemented on a global basis!

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Of course they're possible! In fact, they have been done already for years...However, they aren't available for AI aircraft, as the algorithim for AI a/c doesn't permit true ground detection by the tires, but instead follows a very simple, elevation based level line...It is this limitation that blocks "sloped runways" from being implemented on a global basis!
A programmer I am not, so this is all theoretical. Would it be possible for AI to have a pre-determined touchdown point at a fixed elevation for the runways, and then just follow the elevation of the runway for the rollout? I don't know anything about the AI SDKs, so I don't know if the Z axis figures in at all for a/c on the ground, so I thought I'd just toss this out there.

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In principle anything's possible but at a cost. Microsoft will have set a budget and the developers will have to work within that. Are sloping runways the best use of the budget compared with all the other featutes that have appeared on wish lists?

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In order to do sloped runways properly (In addition to the AI issue) you need a greater resolution mesh. Else you end up with runways that are more like a ski jump, like in X-Plane. For now sloped runways are just a gimmick.

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In principle anything's possible but at a cost. Microsoft will have set a budget and the developers will have to work within that. Are sloping runways the best use of the budget compared with all the other featutes that have appeared on wish lists?
It's also a case of computing cost- rendering an object along a basic 'flat' vector is fairly simple and so doesn't require many calculations to do. Making an object read the terrain multiple times and offset itself from it requires a fair amount of processing power.....power that may be best used in other places.

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It may not have to be extremely accurate, but I really hope that they will at least implement a basic sloped runway preset... I will try to explain.Batting%20Eyelashes.gifWe all know that X-plane has sloped runways, but since most major airports have a 'relatively' flat runway, only about a foot or two elevation difference between the opposite ends of the runway... I think the MS Flight Dev team should at least attempt to create a bumpy runway, and also instead of following the exact contours of the terrain near the airport... why not make it simple :If its sloped down, make a dozen or so different models (or what ever method that will be in flight for the runways) classed on the severity of the slope, if its a 1-3ft difference in elevation then that will be (I guess) the first class... one found in major airports. The next class will be at smaller airports, depending on the data of the terrain nearby... say my local airport, that has a dip of about 3 feet in the centre of the runway, similar to the St. Barths picture a few posts before me. And My guess is that most airports in that size has a similar dip. I don't know exactly where I'm going with this, it is 4am... but you get the idea? It doesn't have to follow the data precisely (causing 'steps' in few cases in X-plane I imagine) , instead rather, do a 'curved line of best fit' like you do in mathematics... smoothing out the data and getting rid of outliers before rendering the runway. mellow.gifI don't know if this is the best way to do it, but that's my thoughts, I know I'm not great at explaining my view, but I hope you understood a little blush.gif Jamie ♥

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Guest simmer9304

Sloped runways are totally possible! As long as you know the right ways to work around it the AI will take off and land on a sloped runway all day. At North Plains 1OR4 the runway is sloped and has multiple bumps but AI will still recognise it, the only hitch is that AI cannot use sloped taxiways. However this really depends on what you define a runway as... If you mean a sloped ground poly, then no AI won't use that. But using methods that mimic a ground poly but aren't a 3D model at all... then AI will use sloped taxiways.I haven't fully tested any of this, this is just from my own experience designing airfields.

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I just don't understand why its so hard for the AI to be able to land on a sloped runway dry.gif I mean, it will either just help them slow down, or speed them up... cant the AI calculate the right amount of thrust and everything on its own? I just don't see the problem unsure.gif As long as it touches down at the correct elevation, and the right point on the runway... I just don't understand the problem huh.gif

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