Woozie

[GUIDE] ] GSX & PMDG ground vehicles – how to mix & match

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Here’s a quick guide explaining how to run GSX and PMDG’s ground vehicles side by side with all its glory, quirks and limitations.

This will give you GSX’ fully animated ULD/pallet and catering loading, including realistic vehicle and container logos based on airline/airport, while retaining PMDG’s additional vehicles like cabin services, maintenance van and any extra cargo loaders which won’t be possible when running GSX exclusively as it still only supports a maximum of two catering trucks and two cargo loaders.

This will see the Queen being surrounded by an appropriate number of servants, exactly how it should be ;)

S4av9EF.jpg

First things first:

  1. Update GSX to the most recent major version (1.9.9.11 or newer) as this will prevent GSX from removing any PMDG ground vehicles and it adds the PMDG 747v3 to its internal database to provide some basic compatibility.
  2. Put my customized GSX Aircraft files into the respective folder as per included readme.txt. More details at the bottom of this post.

 

Although the most recent GSX update adds the PMDG 747 variants to its internal database, galley services (catering) are still being done through doors 1R and 5R, which isn’t very realistic on a B744 as there’s usually no galley in the tail section. I customized the GSX profile to ensure catering is being loaded through 1R and 2R. The AFT galleys will actually be supplied through door 4L on the opposite side. This door will still be serviced by a PMDG vehicle as GSX doesn’t allow more than two catering trucks. I also disabled door 5L to prevent GSX to place stairs at this door, as PMDG uses 5L for the cabin services truck (cleaners). Please note that this only hides the door for GSX, it will still be fully functional in the sim. I also disabled door checks for 1L in case of single jetway boarding.

Also, please be aware that the aircraft diagram in the GSX -> Customize Aircraft menu won’t reflect the changes visually, its just a static image, so it will still show the 2nd catering door as being at the back. Just ignore this, the coordinates and open/close checks are set for Door 2R.

 

Now we just need to hide some of the PDMG vehicles as they will be replaced by their GSX counterparts:

Go to the FMC menu -> PMDG SETUP -> SIMULATION -> Page 10/10 and set the following:

GROUND SERVICE OBJECTS = SHOW SELECTED

GROUND SERVICE OBJECTS -> SELECT TO SHOW

Then hide the following objects:

FWD GALLEY

MID GALLEY

FWD CARGO

AFT CARGO

STAIRS 1L*

STAIRS 2L*

STAIRS 5L

(* if parking stand has a jetway)

Note: You could also hide the PMDG fuel truck and use the GSX truck instead. This will give you the choice between GSX traditional tanker-truck and PMDGs more modern, large airport hydrant-dispenser-truck. However, there’s a catch when using the GSX truck with AUTO GROUND OPS, which I will explain further below

 

Now after everything is set up, let’s look into the actual turnaround process. You can either go for manual ground ops which gives you full manual control over timings for PMDG ground vehicles and door handling or you opt for AUTO GROUND OPS for realistic turnaround sequencing with little flexibility. In order to activate AUTO GROUND OPS just hit LSK3 on the GROUND OPERATIONS page to cycle through the available turnaround lengths (short, long and custom). For this guide I use the short turnaround time of 60 minutes.  

For a single leg flight or first flight of the day (no de-boarding):

First check your fuel load. A 747 will usually have more than 30’000lbs (~16’000 kgs) remaining fuel, as landing with anything below can cause the fuel pumps to overheat. However, for most long haul flights, the airplane will be pre-fueled already before the turnaround starts, close to the actual plan fuel. Once dispatch has calculated the final fuel numbers, the refueler will just add the remaining amount to match the OFP numbers. As AUTO GROUND OPS uses realistic fuel flow values, it’s important to ensure that refueling doesn’t take too long (incl hook up time) as you might run out of time on a 1 hour turnaround, this will be indicated by a warning message on the FMC. If in doubt just make sure you add enough fuel before starting the turnaround timer.

Now start AUTO GROUND OPS by selecting a turnaround time with LSK3 key, this should start the countdown timer. I won’t be going too much into detail about the timing, just play around and get a feeling for it. If you want more details about typical and realistic 747 turnaround timing, please refer to the official 747 Airport Planning document from Boeing. The timings PMDG used for auto ground services appear to be identical to the timeline diagram shown in this document. (Chapter 5.0 Terminal Servicing / PDF Page 120 or Document page 114)

http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/commercial/airports/acaps/747_4.pdf

BTW; the document mentions a boarding rate of 25 PAX per minute and 40 PAX per minute for de-boarding. Make sure you adjust your GSX settings accordingly

After 4 minutes, Doors R1 and R2 will open which will start the catering resupply. Make sure you call GSX’ catering early enough to ensure that the trucks are in position when the doors are opening at T-4min.

Note about GSX fueling: Should you opt to use GSX progressive, simulated fueling, you need to be aware that you won’t be able to start catering before fueling has been completed due to a GSX limitation. This could throw the entire timing off, that’s why I suggest to use PMDG refueling as this will allow you start boarding while refueling is still ongoing, just make sure you keep that fasten seatbelt sign off until refueling is completed to comply with real world procedures.

The rest of the turnaround sequence is more or less self-explanatory. Keep in mind that you can override door control, so you can close certain doors earlier than AUTO GROUND OPS would normally do.

For a multi-leg flight:

I advise to complete GSX de-boarding phase before you start a new turnaround timer, otherwise AUTO GROUND OPS will start catering before de-boarding is completed. Not a big deal if you don’t mind open doors without anything attached to it ;) Once de-boarding is completed just follow the single leg procedure outlined above.

 

Free tip of the day (especially interesting for the freight-dogs among us):

By default, GSX will use the ground handlers logo for the cargo ULDs. On airports with dedicated (non-airline) ground handling this looks a bit strange as you might load Lufthansa ULD’s at departure and unload Menzies ULD’s at your destination. If you add the following line to the respective livery section of your aircraft.cfg, GSX will always use the airline logo for containers (or whatever valid 3 letter ICAO code you put in)

atc_parkingcodes=XXX     (replace XXX with the 3 letter ICAO code of your airline)

So lets say you add ‘CPA’ as parkingcode for your Cathay Pacific livery and park your plane at VHHH, this would give you ground handling by ‘Hongkong Airport Services’ (HAS), catering by ‘Cathay Pacific Catering’ and the containers will bear the Cathay Pacific logo, just as in real life.

 

I might be doing a quick time-lapse video showing a 60 min turnaround using both types of vehicles. Hope I’ll be able to complete it sometime this weekend.

Note: I’ve attached two GSX aircraft config files, one for the 747-400 and one for the 747-400F. The PAX version will have the 2nd catering truck moved to door R2 (from R5) as described above and the freighter version will enable the main/side cargo door for GSX Hi-Loader including proper door checks for. This means that FWD cargo and Side/Main cargo will be served by GSX while AFT cargo is being done by PDMG vehicle. Make sure you change the show/hide config in your FMC accordingly.

Download GSX configs

I’ll add config files for all the other variants later.

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Nice work and thank you for sharing lars.

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Thanks David! Currently recovering from a leg injury, so got some spare time ;)

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Hi,

Thank you Lars for this. Just an observation, in my case the path for the customized aircraft is this: C:\Users\name\AppData\Roaming\Virtuali\Airplanes

 

Thanks again.

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12 minutes ago, abdelsa said:

Hi,

Thank you Lars for this. Just an observation, in my case the path for the customized aircraft is this: C:\Users\name\AppData\Roaming\Virtuali\Airplanes

 

Thanks again.

Thanks for the pointing this out AR! Looks like my memory failed me :)

I changed the readme accordingly. 

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Following on from Lars post, a small program I found called 'where-are-my-aircraft' is a static object manager that allows you to get to any object,including all aircraft in FSX,SE,and P3D. I have always wanted to be able to display my aircraft, rather than hide them away. This little program allows you to populate an entire airport with any object in your flight sim. To save VAS for example, you can tell it to display the PMDG A/C as an object or AI in any repaint you have. And, it remembers where you left them. It's main purpose is for you to park your aircraft in an airport. I have my base airport with all my purchased addon aircraft and some stock as well as any AI displayed. And using the supplied default vehicle, you can explore any airport and when you approach any of your aircraft, it allows you to jump in and fly as usual. The manual summarises the program as:

WAMA keeps a database of all the places and aircraft types, saved manually or automatically
– All these aircraft are displayed in the simulator airport of your choice
– You can view all positions in Google Earth
– You can choose to fly an aircraft through the WAMA dialog or directly in the simulator by walking or
driving up to the plane
– To save memory, you can exchange the parked aircraft models for different ones, for example light-weight
AI models
– To initially build up the database, you can import your saved flights.

It is worth a look at, and for 6 euro, an absolute bargain.

http://secure.simmarket.com/lorby-si-where-are-my-aircraft-wama_fsx-p3d.phtml 

 

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Glad you guys like it, i'll provide GSX files for all other 747 variants tonight, just need to quickly test them before release.

 

@por930 Geoff, thanks for the tip, didn't know WAMA can be used for all kind of simobjects and not just aircraft

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4 hours ago, Woozie said:

Glad you guys like it, i'll provide GSX files for all other 747 variants tonight, just need to quickly test them before release.

 

@por930 Geoff, thanks for the tip, didn't know WAMA can be used for all kind of simobjects and not just aircraft

Hi Lars,

Yes, apparently, WAMA used to be just aircraft only. But the developer has upgraded the versions a few times to include most of the static objects as well. So, you can now place most any objects that can be found in the simobjects structure, anywhere, including boats if you wish. 

I like it that I can go to my home airport and see all my addons are parked as a low vas object, and at present, I am doing a round the world trip and where ever I stop, Wama remembers where and in what aircraft.

Lars, that was great work you did with the GSX/PMDG 747. It is the support services that bring flight sim alive at the airports. I look forward to seeing the video you create. Some times I am guilty of not flying, but wandering about the airports looking at the ground services.  I can sit for hours just watching GSX operations.

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I’ve added the remaining 744 variants and fixed some small things (added missing traffic cones, GSX fuel truck is now attaching to the left wing, same as PMDG fuel truck)

Note: All freighter variants (F/BCF/ERF/M) have FWD and MAIN/SIDE cargo fed by GSX. If anyone prefers to have FWD/AFT cargo done by GSX, let me know.

Just re-download the zip in the OP and overwrite existing files

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19 hours ago, por930 said:

Lars, that was great work you did with the GSX/PMDG 747. It is the support services that bring flight sim alive at the airports. I look forward to seeing the video you create. Some times I am guilty of not flying, but wandering about the airports looking at the ground services.  I can sit for hours just watching GSX operations.

Thanks, glad you like it! I love to watch ground handling too. I few weeks ago i was facing a nasty issue where P3D was constantly crashing while taxiing for takeoff....as you can imagine, i got to watch GSX at work a lot due to all the restarts *g*

The video isnt done yet unfortunately. Since the last NVIDIA update, Shadowplay is causing me issues. I cant record any P3D stuff currently as it doesnt seem to recognize that i'm running a game. I'll try to reinstall the whole geforce experience package 

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As GSX v2.2.x now supports a third cargo vehicle, i updated the files accordingly. Kudos to @Captain Kevin for helping with the bulk cargo door check!

Features:

SIDE/FWD/AFT or FWD/AFT/BULK configs, depending on 747 variant (configs for all 7 variants)

PAX Types:

2 Cargo Loaders & 1 Belt Loader (GSX 2.2.x required)
Catering through 1R and 2R (instead of 1R and 5R) like real life 747 catering
Door 4L disabled as used by PMDG cabin services
Doorcheck for 1L linked to 2L (for single jetway boarding)

Freighter Types:

3 Cargo Loaders MAIN / FWD / AFT (GSX 2.2.x required)

The M-Variant offers both configs, check readme for details. For anything else, refer to OP

Download

Note: Dont forget to hide the respective PMDG ground vehicles (see OP for details)

Note 2: I noticed a typo in my OP. The correct aircraft.cfg entry for Airline logo ULD loading should read atc_parking_codes=XXX and not atc_parkingcodes=XXX

 

 

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