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Jimmy RFR

10.50 Static Aircraft - Thumbs Up

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With all the posts lately that seem to have such a negative spin on X-Plane, I thought I'd share something from the newest release that I'm really liking, especially for small GA fields: The new static aircraft display.

 

If the airport you're at is newly configured with a decent amount of appropriate parking, the option in Settings/Rendering Options to "draw parked aircraft at airports" looks like it loads up the parking spots about 1/2 full of static aircraft. Combine that with one or two AI aircraft, and all of a sudden, even a little GA strip can look like a busy place, without having a ton of AI headed for the runway like a herd of cattle.

 

The feature listens to the options used within WED quite well - a developer can configure heli parking, and only helicopters will spawn there, and appropriately sized aircraft will spawn in appropriately sized spots. Static aircraft simply doesn't spawn anywhere that you pick as a start, or where AI spawns.

 

Anyhow, I've been pretty pleased with it, and am busy redoing my Gateway submissions to include the new features.

 

On a side note, the ability to specify within WED an airport as 'always flatten' is also a pretty nice feature. The only thing that could of landed on the below airport with sloped runways on but not flattened was a helicopter. Even with HD Mesh, it resembled a rollercoaster. :wink:

 

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Cool I haven't noticed

 

I like static planes too

 

There's some things I'm not certain about regarding the feature - I haven't tested, but it's possible that you haven't noticed yet because the sim is set to only place static aircraft at airports that have been compiled with the new version of WED, and therefore have the proper sizing info in place on parking spots. Which would kind of make sense, since you are able to restrict spots based on both type and size. Older airports wouldn't have this info, and if the sim placed static aircraft that was airline-sized in small GA prop spots, people would likely get upset.  :smile:

 

Since user made airports designed for 10.50 with the new version of WED aren't going to be included until 10.51, you won't see any new user made airports in the sim yet.

 

I think that a lot of people are going to underestimate this feature. With a fleshed out library of static aircraft, it will go a long way to make airports seem 'alive' without the overhead associated with AI. While I enjoyed watching AI come and go on occasion in FSX, I never thought it was worth the performance hit and so I pretty near always had it turned off. Orbx airports always compensated for this by having a collection of static GA on their small fields, but the ability to have the sim toss a certain amount in random parking spots seems so much more lifelike and dynamic - that same field I took the pic at, shows two static 172's, one static helicopter, and I had one B58 active as AI. On the previous reload, there was a single B58 and a helicopter parked there.

 

Now the trick is going to be trying to figure out what I need to do to extend the library. I have a few low poly GA models all ready for painting Canadian registrations on, and I'm eager to figure out how to implement them.

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Overall one of the biggest advantages of XP compared to FSX / P3D is the pretty up-2-date World airport database. It is completely different in FSX/P3D's World and you would have to spend a fortune to get to the same level.

 

I also like the static aircraft now planted at most of those airports.

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Indeed, when testing some scenery I was working on I noticed Wellington NZWN airport teeming with life and static aircraft. It's a great change and it's going to be great as users update other airports over time

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How do you get AI in XP anyway?  

 

From the menu bar - Aircraft > Aircraft & Situations, choose the second tab which reads "Other Aircraft". On that tab you can choose # of aircraft, keeping in mind that '01' amount of aircraft is just you. As you increase that number, the sim will visibly load each aircraft. To change which aircraft shows up, click on the square to the left of the aircraft name. When you exit that window, AI will appear either parked and ready for immediate taxi, or they will be in the general area in-flight.

 

 

 

Overall one of the biggest advantages of XP compared to FSX / P3D is the pretty up-2-date World airport database. It is completely different in FSX/P3D's World and you would have to spend a fortune to get to the same level.

 

To be fair, the Gateway airports, at best, are much like the FTXG freeware airports but with less variety in terms of library objects. It also can be rather hit-or-miss in terms of the quality of Gateway submissions, some of them are excellent, some are less so. Regardless, I still love the purpose of them - the idea that you can have a decent looking airport with an accurate layout that is installed with the sim is a great feature.

 

I spend far too much time working on my submissions, but I take comfort in knowing that anyone flying to them is hopefully going to have a good experience. That, and I know that I can fly in my home province pretty near anywhere and have somewhere to land that I'm happy with. :smile:

 

One of my personal biggest wishes for XP is that they expand the default libraries a bit more - I would love it if there were some hangars sized in between the small and mediums, for example. More objects would make gateway airports even better. I know I could use freeware libraries and submit elsewhere, but I think it's important that the base sim have more than just 'flat' airports.

 

CYZH Slave Lake, with industrial areas

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CYPA Prince Albert

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CYXH Medicine Hat, with remaining WWII era BCATP taxiways & foundations

ENYR0Zu.jpg

 

CER3 Drayton Valley

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I've also noted that by hijacking my own thread to talk about Gateway airports, I've definitely confirmed that the new 10.50 static aircraft do NOT show at airports unless the airport has been rebuilt / recompiled to take advantage of the new feature. None those above airports have been fixed yet, and none of them show anything other than the static aircraft that I may of placed by hand.

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I spend far too much time working on my submissions, but I take comfort in knowing that anyone flying to them is hopefully going to have a good experience.

 

And we thank you very much for it :P . Although the buildings might be generic, it's great to land at something that somewhat resembles the real airport and is recognisable. The airport gateway has been a great success and I hope LR use such a crowd-sourcing approach in the future for scenery (landmarks come to mind)

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And we thank you very much for it :P . Although the buildings might be generic, it's great to land at something that somewhat resembles the real airport and is recognisable. The airport gateway has been a great success and I hope LR use such a crowd-sourcing approach in the future for scenery (landmarks come to mind)

That would be a major step, but it's not that easy. You' can't build landmarks out of lego bricks. But a curated database with a polygon count limit for example, should be possible.

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I think moderating building submissions would be a must. Some buildings I've seen on places like 3D warehouse have far too many triangles to be useful in the sim, and some sort of limitation would have to be put into place to prevent too complex models being submitted and killing the sim.

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I think moderating building submissions would be a must. Some buildings I've seen on places like 3D warehouse have far too many triangles to be useful in the sim, and some sort of limitation would have to be put into place to prevent too complex models being submitted and killing the sim.

 

I also think some sort of crowd-sourced model for landmarks would be superb, and a limitation on triangles would be a good way of ensuring that performance killing objects don't creep into the sim.  I think there would need to be another limit, or perhaps a density setting available to the user, for example, because there would certainly be areas where there could be a potential for a *lot* of unique buildings or landmarks, and even with a limit on model complexity, an area could quickly become a performance sink.

 

But the bigger issue I think would be something else entirely:

 

There would be no possible way to moderate the submitted 3D models and textures to ensure that the submitted works were indeed usable, and not stolen or breaking some sort of copyright. It's one thing to have those issues on a separately downloaded freeware item, that can be taken down by a hosting server if questions or issues arise. But if those sort of issues crept into the release version of the sim itself, then not only would it possibly open LR up to maybe potential litigation, but each instance that did arise would also necessitate an update of the sim as they pulled those offending objects out. Sadly, I think that would be a nightmare to manage.

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The static aircraft impress me yet again...

 

Working on a Gateway airport in B.C., a private strip run by a helicopter company. Fixed wing is limited to one small apron only, the rest of the airport is helicopter-centric. Being able to place helicopter-only parking spots, and have them fill up with static helicopters, is quite nice. This feature only needs larger a larger static aircraft library to be really amazing. Wouldn't of been able to do this previous to 10.50.

 

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As much as I am looking forward to X-Plane 11, I kinda hope that they stretch X-Plane 10's airport updates at least for the next year; WED 1.50 is still in beta and they currently aren't yet accepting user submissions made with this version. It would pretty disappointing to have this really useful feature be released at the end of X-Plane 10's version run.  

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As much as I am looking forward to X-Plane 11, I kinda hope that they stretch X-Plane 10's airport updates at least for the next year; WED 1.50 is still in beta and they currently aren't yet accepting user submissions made with this version. It would pretty disappointing to have this really useful feature be released at the end of X-Plane 10's version run.  

 

Yes, I hope so as well. I know that they are aiming for a 10.51 release to include a round of airports updated with the new version of WED once it goes final, but I do hope they have another round or two down the road as well.

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