DrHotwing1

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Greetings Flight Simulator Enthusiasts,

Greetings from IPACS, I'm Jeff (aka drhotwing1), i'm an IPACS development team member, and i'm here to share with you a blog that was put together over on the official Aerofly FS2 Flight Simulator forum in an effort to show our user base that there is a lot going on behind the scenes over at the IPACS headquarters. Most of you know that it takes time and a lot of dedication to make a flight simulator, especially if the team developing the flight simulator is a small one. 

I'll be breaking down the walls of the headquarters to give everyone a birds eye view of what's happening behind the scenes during the development of Aerofly FS2. There is a lot going on, and sometimes you get so caught up in the actual work you tend to forget about those users out there just looking for some simple updates, especially when updates are infrequent due to the complexities of the process. 

So, with that said, I would like to get everyone here on this wonderful AVSIM forum caught up a bit. I will post here as much as I can moving forward (and I hope that the moderator on here can pin this thread for me :))   I hope that you check back often. 

 

Regards, 

Jeff- IPACS Team Member 

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Following on the newly released ORBX scenery; as many of you don't know, in order to make ORBX scenery to work well within Aerofly a lot of work had to be done internally with the core of the engine to accommodate this. This workings set the team back a bit. This is why you haven't seen much progress in terms of core updates.

With this out of the way now, more focus on the GeoConvert tool and the much anticipated Dash 8 Q400 aircraft has been resumed. As I pointed out prior, the Q400 is now in internal testing and we are working out the bugs and issues to get this aircraft released to the public. This may take a little bit of time still but it will not be much longer of a wait for this release.

 

The GeoConvert tool; another project that is almost ready to be released within the next couple of days (if not sooner). We are now performing our final tests on the final release candidate. Be sure to check out the tutorial and information related to this new tool on our official Wiki (https://www.aerofly.com/aerofly_fs_2/dokuwiki/)

 

 

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The upcoming release of the GeoConvert tool may be released as a part of an updated SDK package. This SDK package may be split into two downloads to cut down on having one long download due to the growing size of the SDK package.

 

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Work has continued internally on the ATC (Air Traffic Control) feature that will be added to Aerofly FS 2 in a future update. ATC programming is a very complex process and a lot more work has to be done on this feature before it's released. I will provide more information on this feature as it becomes available.

 

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You can now define a custom user folder by adding your location to the field: <[string8][extra_user_folder][]> located within the main.mcf file. The location can be defined by placing it within the brackets of the command and saved.

For defining a custom scenery location the location must contain the sub-folder “scenery”. This will give you the ability to place your custom scenery in a location other than the documents folder located on the root drive. This will allow for Aerofly FS2 to scan for any image files in that location.

 

You can basically define any new hard drive location between the [] brackets. You can also add any subfolder that is inside of your user\documents\Aerofly folder into this new location and Aerofly FS2 will scan that location for scenery, aircraft repaints, etc.

This will allow for users with smaller root drives (where your documents folder resides) to place their scenery, airports, repaint etc. to a different hard drive.

 

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There is still a little bit of work left to be done on the Dash 8 Q400 before it's released. So please be a little bit more patient with us while more improvements are being added.

The turbine engine physics have been tweaked so that they respond even more realistically. In doing this, the FADEC systems need to be adjusted a bit.

The updated autopilot is working very well at this point and may be released prior to the Q400, but this hasn't been decided yet.

Engine on/off has been added but still needs a little bit more work.

So, there is a 30,000 foot view of the progress to date.

I can tell you this, the overall realistic quality of this aircraft will surely make this your favorite when released. It's very impressive 

 

That's all I have for you at this time. Be sure to check back soon for more internal progress updates.

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Bugs on a windshield

For any of you experiencing problems with shimmering buildings, particularly in VR, this issue is being acknowledged and addressed. I can't tell you how long a fix will take but rest easy knowing that this will not go by the waste side. This is a complex problem and is being worked on in parallel with a lot of other items coming your way.

 

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Hi Jeff, great to see you here at Avsim and thanks for the updates

Looking forward to trying out the Dash8

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For those of you that missed Rodeo's "coffee talk" post; Rodeo visits the IPACS headquarters regularly and was there to catch Jarrad Marshall from ORBX working on the debut ORBX sceneries (LOWI and Meigs Field) with IPACS boss's Torsten Hans and Marc Borchers. Below is a photo of the threesome hard at work from left to right; Marc, Jarrad, and Torsten.

20170309_IMG_3210sm

Also, to put a face behind the posts, here's a photo of, well, me, Jeff (aka drhotwing1).

photo1

Be sure to check back often for more behind the scenes information and maybe more photos of your favorite flight simulator development team.

 

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Hey Jeff, Thanks for stopping in. Good to finally have an Official presence!

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In anticipation for the upcoming Geoconvert tool I added the tutorial made by our friend "Rodeo" to the Wiki to show you how to make scenery derived from USGS imagery and data. The tutorial can be found here: https://www.aerofly.com/aerofly_fs_2/dokuwiki/doku.php/sdk:scenery_creation2

Please keep in mind that this tutorial may be changed or improved, and a more advanced version of it will be added as well for those interested. 

 

The tool will be released soon as a part of an updated SDK.   

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Greetings Aerofly FS2 Flight Simulator Community,

We are pleased to inform you that the new geoconvert tool has been released to the public. There is also a new download section added to the forum; this new section is called (created enough) “Downloads”, and is available to all registered Aerofly forum users. 

New download section

You will notice that this new section will make it easier to find published downloads moving forward.

Simply locate your selection, click on it, and click on the download box to the right.

You will also notice that the SDK has been broken up into separate downloads to make it easier if you just need a portion of the package. You will also notice some additional repaint kits for you as a bonus.

The geoconvert tool is located within the “SDK Tools” package.

Be sure to check out our official Wiki: https://www.aerofly.com/aerofly_fs_2/dokuwiki/ to find detailed instructions on how to use this new scenery creation tool.

Happy Geoconverting ! 

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A simpler step-by-step instructional will be published to the official Wiki shortly for those having trouble understanding the geoconvert tool tutorial. But for now, here are some core steps to make things a bit easier. Note: you will still need to reference the existing tutorial for further details of each of these steps.

 

1) obtain your FSET files (you will only need the image files and inf files for the tool)

2) place the image files and inf files into the 'input_aerial_images' folder (disregard all other files produced by FSET, you don't need them). Do NOT rename any of the files made by FSET.

3) use the inf2tfw application; point to the 'input_aerial_images' folder where you have the image and inf files located.

4) make your TMC file: Use the sample as a grid for your project, make your levels (example: levels 9-14), use the long/lat coordinates shown within the FSET tool, this gives you the corner coordinates needed for the TMC file. You must convert the coordinates by following the wiki here (going to the conversion site shown), only use the coordinates left of the decimal and the next 2 after the decimal (example: -118.36). Note: the same lines you have for your first level you can copy/paste for all levels thereafter.

5) either run the tool by using command line or you can make a batch file to do this step. Either way works the same and is simple to do.

6) when the tool completes, make a folder for the resulting files custom for your project and place it into the your 'Documents\Aerofly FS 2\scenery\images' folder

7) run Aerofly and locate your new scenery on the map

choose an elevation you wish to start at (or make an airport file for starting points), ENJOY your new scenery.

I hope you have success.

If the tool crashes;

for now, make sure that you have enough memory for your project and make sure that nothing else is running that takes up resources.

There may be a bug that was somehow missed that crashes the tool but we tested this a lot with no issues at all. If there is a bug, it will be certainly worked on.

Note: if the tool completes with no files, your TMC file likely has an error in it. The most common one is using more than 2 numbers after the decimal point for your coordinates.

 

I hope this helps a little bit.

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This was a busy weekend tending to the overwhelming amount of users trying the newly released Geoconvert tool. This was very unexpected but very much appreciated. Already users are successfully making custom scenery and flying over it, while others are still asking questions and receiving assistance. With any newly released tool, it takes some time to get everything working properly.

Due to this overwhelming response, we have already made updates to the geoconvert tool tutorials and have also added an easy to understand step-by-step guide on the official Aerofly FS2 Wiki to help get you started. We will continue to be mindful of user feedback and further modify the tutorials and maybe even the tool itself accordingly.

Also, we want to see your screenshots!

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As we continue to keep things flowing in a positive fashion, further improvements will be coming to the downloads section of the official Aerofly FS2 forum. We are currently using a forum thread to share user created content, well that's going to change for the better. We will be moving the user created aircraft liveries over to the downloads section shortly. This will allow for a preview of the livery to be seen before opening the package, and an easier way to find what you are looking for.

So, be sure to head on over to the Aerofly Community Downloads section and grab some free user submitted liveries for your favorite aircraft. Fly in style!

Be sure to check back often to fine more behind the scenes information on IPACS and Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator; your favorite flight simulator

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