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ATTN: MESH SCENERY EXPERTS - Need help!

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Guest rwooton

Hi all.I downloaded the FSGenesis mesh for all of the US, and it's really fantastic - however, now I have a new problem I can't figure out.It seems now that most of my airports are on plateaus! One side is at ground level, and the other three sides rise up to high plateau that really looks cheezy. Heaven help me with the ones that have flatten switches, cause that only makes it bigger and more rediculous looking. I don't mind so much the tiny little airports I never fly into, but the big ones like KLAS really suck now.I've tried writing to FSGenesis before about their landclass sceneries, but never got the courtesy of response, so I'm not even going to try that again. Does anyone know how to fix this so I don't have those plateaus?Thanks a lot!Rick Wooton

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I'm surprised you didn't get a response. I've found FSG to be very responsive. You might try the forum on the web site.As far as the plateaus, that is a problem as long as MS requires a flat airport, when the actual airport is tilted or otherwise not flat, like KLAS. The only fix that I can envision is to use tilted flattens to extend the airport out, making the transition to true elevation more gradual. Maybe an alternative is to manipulate a DEM in the airport area to reduce the slopes.scott s..

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Guest rwooton

Thanks.I had a feeling that was it - but I was hoping there was a fix.Rick

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Guest CowlFlapsOpen

HI Rick. As others indicate, this apparently is normal and unfortunate (indeed, like you, I really dislike KLAS now). The surprising thing is that no one seems to have hit upon any solution to solve it. I'm not interested in fixing the whole world--just a few select airports I use frequently (including KLAS). Even Justin, the Zeus of the mesh world, in a reply to one of my posts, said in effect there is nothing that can be done. I'm no expert, but this surprises me. Many folks say the problem is non-sloping runways but in many cases (take a look at KMRY for example) the dropoff around airports is 100 feet or more on all sides. The gap due to flattening a sloping runway can only be responsible for 10 or so feet of that. Tolerable. The balance must be due to a mispecified airport altitude relative to Justin's mesh. Even if it is unrealistic, I could accept bringing a large block of area surrounding the airport (say radius 5nm) up 75-100 to airport elevation to give a less disturbing visual effect. I thought perhaps flattens could do this, but folks much wiser than i say no.

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Hi rickI am no mesh expert but I have made my own mesh and messed with the data a bit in the past. What the others said is pretty much it...there is really only so much you can do about the "airports on plateaus" problem with hi-res mesh. The problem is that you can't have the tilted rwys in FS as of right now. (And, based on what I've heard from the MSFT, FSX won't have tilted runways, either).So as a designer, you're stuck into either:1) moving your airport to an unrealistic altitude, or2) adjusting your mesh (also unrealistic.)It's DEFINITELY a limitation of the sim as far as I know. And regarding FSGenesis support, I have found them to be outstanding, at least whenever I have posted a question on their support forum.Something I was thinking of doing at MROC was to eliminate the runway as it is, and actually insert an aerial photo of the runway onto the high-res mesh. But then, that would make the runway behave strangely in fs...as FS would think you were "off-road" and crash detection would be handled accordingly...so there is no easy solution that I know of.I'll take the plateaus, as I can't live without the high-res mesh. (!)Rhett

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KMRY is a tough airport. The main rwy goes from 257 - 155 ft. Here is a composite. The base is the USGS topo. Overlayed is the default flatten and UTUSA roads in yellow. Then the FAA airport chart, finally the DAFIF runways in red. Note that on the west end, the flatten extends out too far. On the east end, the topography is fairly steep. The AFCAD is at 254 ft, so the west end is going to be a problem regardless.Unfortunately, the only way to remove that extra western flatten area is to edit the default FL915180.bgl file.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/141597.jpgscott s..

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You'll need to do more than just remove the airport to fix the problem.There is a solution to the problem, but it requires work. You need to edit each airport, remove the offending flattens, and several other (simple) steps. It is not hard, depending on the airport, it can take from an hour to several hours to fix an airport. I compiled information from several sources (Holger and many others) on how to do it at http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...?TID=14884&PN=1.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com/FC_StartJava.html] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)

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Hi Scott,nice visual explanation - that's always much more helpful than just words.However, it IS possible to adjust the default flattens without editing or removing the FS9*.bgl files. LWM3 sloped polygons will override those default files and they can be used to rebuild slopes of almost any shape. SBuilder is a very handy tool for making these LWM3 polys.It takes a bit of trial and error to avoid interfering with the AFCAD's infrastructure of the airfield because the LWM3 height points aren't all that easy to control. It usually helps to complete the LWM3 placement by adding another LWM3 flatten (at higher priority) on top of the existing airfield flatten, which will keep those sections horizontal that need to be flat. In any case, as you and others have pointed out it does take quite a bit of effort to fix up just one airport so this will have to be a community effort rather than a lone "fighter's" project.Cheers, Holger

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Guest CowlFlapsOpen

Great stuff guys. I'll take a look at the links. It is a shame that this is so complicated but I take heart that folks like Holger and Justin find it difficult too. I have tremendous respect for them -- it doesn't bother me as much that a mere mortal like myself would be completely overwhelmed! I can live with the plateaus as long as great scenery keeps coming out. I like the suggestions that perhaps the community as a whole should tackle the problem, airport by airport. cheers

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I, too, have found FSGenesis support to be outstanding. But they have clearly stated they will not support the freeware mesh that was released, which I think is reasonable. Plus, the airports on plateaus have nothing to do with the mesh, anyway, at least not in my experience. Has to do with incorrect airport position and/or altitude reference in the flattens and airport definitions. Which in most, if not all, cases has to do with the FAA and other databases from with MS got its data. I have always found FS's airports to exactly match Airnav and other databases I have searched.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com/FC_StartJava.html] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)

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Hi Holger,Thanks for the info on the LWM3 polys. I did not know they override default flattens. I'll have to check them out. There's a little airport near me in NH (KAFN) that's got quite a sloped runway that would be cool to practice the technique on. Taking off downhill is quite an experience because soon after the runway ends the slope goes up again quite sharply and it has seemed (to an inexperienced pilot anyway (me)) a little hairy getting over those trees on the other end at times.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com/FC_StartJava.html] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)

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So which airport elevation data is correct? The SRTM data? Or the data from the FAA/Airnav? Neither?Rhett

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The problem was discussed in the FSX forum a few weeks ago, as it relates to FSX. In short based on everything I have seen and read I think we'll see the same problem in FSX, because it looks like it's still using flattens.Rhett

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The FAA/Airnav data is most often the incorrect data when it comes to airports. SRTM data has its errors, but airports are typically in relatively flat, unobstructed areas that SRTM data has fewer problems with. The FAA (and therefore AirNav) depend on the airport operators to provide the altitude and location data for smaller airports, and quite often those data submissions are fairly inaccurate. A quick pass through NASA Worldwind or Google Earth will confirm this. For instance, 8B1 Hawthorne-Feather is cut into the side of a hill in FS because its location is off by quite a distance. But FS's data matches that of AirNav.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com/FC_StartJava.html] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)

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