Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
AdvResGrpDev

Announcing Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC

Recommended Posts

Hi fellow Aeroflyers,

“Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC” is set to be released this coming Saturday, November 9 and will be initially available for download and purchase at the product’s website (still under construction).

The product leverages the exceptional air traffic control implementation of Radar Contact v4 by providing a bridge between it and Aerofly FS 2 (AFS2).

Before touching on product highlights, it must be mentioned that the foundation of the development of this product is threefold: user experience, performance and stability. The product has been developed using commercial software development industry best practices and extensively tested. The product is designed to make intelligent use of hardware capabilities, both CPU and GPU. You will experience zero effect on performance (i.e., FPS). Worth noting is that the rendering of the Radar Contact menu within the AFS2 screen is measured in microseconds (not milliseconds).

Some feature highlights:

·       Radar Contact’s “menu” is displayed within the AFS2 window using OpenGL or Vulkan by default but can also be displayed in a secondary popup window if desired. Display of Radar Contact’s menu can also be disabled altogether.

·       The size and color of the text is configurable.

·       The screen location of the text is also configurable and can be positioned at one of the four corners of the screen (upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right). This allows for view of the Radar Contact menu without obscuring the instrument panel or the window view.

·       For ATIS and enroute weather reports, metar data is downloaded periodically from one of over 11000 weather reporting stations. The weather download period is configurable with a default period of 15 minutes. Weather download can be disabled if desired.

·       While complete control of weather is not possible at this time due to limitations of the IPACS SDK interface, Visibility can be controlled.

·       As depiction of visibility is highly subjective, it is highly configurable for fine tuning to the user’s preferences. Visibility control can also be disabled if desired.

·       Radar Contact is limited to interaction using only the keyboard. Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC eliminates this limitation by providing complete support for ATC interaction using flight controller buttons (joysticks, yokes, etc.). If the controller is supported by AFS2, it will be supported for interacting with ATC.

·       Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC includes extensive, category-based logging facilities for troubleshooting in the event of unexpected behavior. When enabled, a log file will be created that can then be emailed to product support for evaluation.

·       Support will be provided via email through a dedicated email address, here on IPACS’ forum and the “usual suspect” flight sim enthusiast sites like Avsim (which also has a dedicated Radar Contact forum).

·       Try before you buy! A seven-day trial period is available if desired. Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with Radar Contact or air traffic control in general. Download the product and request a license prior to purchase. A license enabling the trial period will be sent via email reply.

·       Once purchased, two permanent licenses can be requested allowing for use, for example, on a desktop computer and a laptop.

The purchase price is $29.95 US. All product enhancements will be freely downloadable as they become available. The first planned enhancement is support for VR.

If you’re interested in adding air traffic control to your Aerofly FS 2 experience, I highly recommend visiting the Radar Contact website to familiarize yourself of its capabilities. By far, the majority of challenges experienced by my test team were related to getting Radar Contact up and running.

Questions and comments are most welcome. I encourage my test team to share their experiences with the product.

  • Like 4
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Selected excerpts from an 8 page mini review of the new ATC program for Aerofly FS 2.

// ----------------------------------------------------------- //

A few months ago a programmer in Denver decided to explore the possibility of writing the necessary code to enable Aerofly FS 2 users to have a working ATC program effectively making the glue that keeps AFS2 and RCv4 talking to each other.  The result is a fully functioning, feature rich ATC program. But, it turns out to be so much more than that. The new custom configuration screen has several tabs and uses sliders for the interface and for making your personal choices.

The General tab on the RCv4 screen is where you select your plane information and options. The Voices tab is where you select and customize your choices of Pilot, CoPilot, Controllers and Chatter pilot’s voices.

This user friendly AFS2 RC ATC Configuration program allows you to place the RC Menu at your choice of locations on your screen (I prefer upper left) along with the color and size of font. You can have the menu shift downward to avoid overwriting the Flight Info Panel with a simple check mark in the box.  You can also elect to have a small popup box with the active menu if you are one of those purists that do not want anything foreign on their screen.

Unfortunately, this initial version is not VR friendly, but, there is hope on the horizon. A popup window is being evaluated to enable VR users to select requests and reply key codes from a menu.  More to come on this as it develops. 

This customized AFS2 RC ATC also introduces some weather and visibility controls for your flying in FS 2. You will all be familiar with ATIS and METARs soon.  You tailor how much and how often the weather affects your flying with selections using this configuration program.

Now this is no simple tweak of the existing “weather”, as such, provided by AFS2. What we now have are near-real world weather adjustments using your local METAR as the guide.  I actually didn’t think this was possible and I sure didn’t expect such astounding results. I’m talking about adjusting the weather based on the local relative humidity, precipitation, cloud cover at various levels, snow, wind direction and speed, reported visibility and such.

Just using the default settings for weather adjustments yesterday – a cool and drizzling rainy day with fog with reduced visibility – I was stunned at the appearance of my plane sitting on the ramp of my local airport.

I immediately set up a standard approach for the active runway using nothing more than the yellow airplane icon and voila (wa-lah locally), it is so foggy that I am instantly on instruments and it appears to be below minimums.  I know for sure this has never happened to me while flying AFS2, but, as I levelled off for a missed approach I caught just a glimpse of the running rabbit approach lights.  Sure enough, this changes everything.  I cheated a little, and tapped the V key a couple of times for an almost legal landing. Amazing improvement folks.

I think these innovative weather tweaks alone would be enough for anyone to add this AFS2 RC ATC to their flight sim, but the “voices in the sky” is what this is supposed to be about.

Another significant new feature is the ease of key mapping the RCv4 menu keys to your Flight Sticks/HOTAS controllers.  This was no easy feat, and is unique to the AFS2 ATC, but this makes communicating with ATC while flying so realistic and simple for those with yokes and flight sticks. It effectively adds the Push to Talk button to my yoke.

I use a right hand thumb button for my Acknowledge transmission and a left thumb push button for my Acknowledge and Execute transmission. This falls under that “this changes everything” as far a moving from totally quiet skies to flying with purpose and direction.

 

// ----------------------------------------------------------//

 

A ton of variables have been built into the system over the years, but its unpredictability is one of the strong points.  I truly enjoy some of the gentle chiding.  You will learn to change your altitude first and heading second when given both at the same time.  Otherwise, the controllers will be on your back about being at the wrong altitude before you have time to initiate the change.

Your purchase provides some short and concise “Get Started” documentation intended to get you up and flying in AFS2 quickly.  You will also find some handy recommended settings for your initial configuration.

Remember, all flight sims use the same sky, the same real world airports, and the same ATC procedures.

// -------------------------------------------------------------- //

A CoPilot feature is included in the design and can be very useful should you wish to step away for a break, lunch, or whatever.  Your copilot will respond to controller instructions and fly the airplane in your absence, or while you are observing.  You choose to give him the radios, the plane, or both. He can never take-off or land though. He is only available during mid-flight.

Another nice feature that works with or without the copilot is “Pause at a distance”.  This is a distance from your destination that you choose to pause the flight. This is especially nice for long flights where you can start the flight, maybe get to TOC, turn over the comms and controls to your copilot then go watch TV or go to bed.  The next morning after coffee or tea, you can pick up the flight at that point and fly the approach and landing.

// ----------------------------------------------------------- //

You can read my “entire thoughts” over at the https://flight-sim.org site.

https://flight-sim.org/filebase/index.php?entry/597-mini-review-for-new-aerofly-fs2-rc-atc-program/


 

 

Fly_jets_125_zpsexevar1y.jpg

When Pigs Fly . Ray Marshall . Latest Avsim Gold Star Award reviews (click on link below)

. Realair v2 Piston Duke . . Flight1 B200 Super King Air . Flight1 GTN 650/750 Avionics

http://tinyurl.com/lzrh6k7. http://tinyurl.com/p44x9rf . http://tinyurl.com/kq9ufex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And yes, ATC is finally here for Aerofly FS 2!.

Thanks to Karl, we all have now the possibility to hear departure, ground, tower, enroute and initial and final approach controllers for our flights like in the real world. This was a long-time requested feature for AFS2. We can also be able to hear the "chatter", as other pilots are also requesting clearance, ground operations and vectors during their flights, so no more the feeling of being alone in the AFS2 skies.

Apart from what is already been said by the other members of the beta team, AFS2 RC ATC also provides some kind of control over the visibility part of the weather, that increases very much the realism of the simulation. Everybody should try it.

Make sure you download the manual of Radar Contact v4, something you can do right now if you wish to start getting used to this interesting program (and necessary to make all this to work together). Keep the manual at hand to better know the capabilities of this ATC app. Once you get accustomed with Radar Contact you'll find it's very intuitive, reliable and complete. As Karl mentioned, the initial setup of Radar Contact is the most challenging part of the overall task, so please read carefully the instructions that will be provided in that regard. The rest is really quite easy.

You'll also need to have at hand a good external flight planner, in order to fill your IFR flight plans, that will be essentially followed by AFS2 RC ATC and of course, your controllers from the departing to the destination airports. We used during the beta testing phase a neat, very capable and surprisingly freeware flight planner available on the net called "Little Navmap" (users of P3D and XP surely already know and have used or are using it). If you haven't downloaded it yet you could do it now to start getting familiar with it, and make sure you also download its manual, even if the program is very intuitive.

A final word: Once you have ATC running with AFS2, you'll see you'll never do a serious flight again without using AFS2 RC ATC!.

Cheers, Ed

  • Like 1

Ed Patino

P3Dv4.5 hf2 - Win 10 Home x64 // Rig: Corsair Graphite 760T Full Tower - ASUS MBoard Maximus XI Hero Z390 - CPU Intel i7-8086k 6-cores - 32GB RAM - MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX1080Ti 11GB - 3 x SSD x 1TB Crucial/Samsung + 1 x SSD 2TB Crucial + 1 HDD Seagate 2TB + 1 HDD External Seagate 2TB - Monitor LG 29UC97C UWHD Curved - PSU Corsair RM1000x - VR Oculus Rift // P3Dv4.5 hf2 & Aerofly FS 2 - Win 10 Home x64 - Gaming Laptop CUK ASUS Strix - CPU Intel i7-8750H - 32GB RAM - Nvidia RTX 2070 - 2TB SSD - 2TB HDD // Thrustmaster FCS & MS XBOX Controllers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Aeroflyers:

The ATC solution for Aerofly FS 2 has been released earlier today. Everyone can find a demo or a full version of the product at its new and very nice website:

http://www.afs2rcatc.com/

Good flights!.

Cheers, Ed


Ed Patino

P3Dv4.5 hf2 - Win 10 Home x64 // Rig: Corsair Graphite 760T Full Tower - ASUS MBoard Maximus XI Hero Z390 - CPU Intel i7-8086k 6-cores - 32GB RAM - MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX1080Ti 11GB - 3 x SSD x 1TB Crucial/Samsung + 1 x SSD 2TB Crucial + 1 HDD Seagate 2TB + 1 HDD External Seagate 2TB - Monitor LG 29UC97C UWHD Curved - PSU Corsair RM1000x - VR Oculus Rift // P3Dv4.5 hf2 & Aerofly FS 2 - Win 10 Home x64 - Gaming Laptop CUK ASUS Strix - CPU Intel i7-8750H - 32GB RAM - Nvidia RTX 2070 - 2TB SSD - 2TB HDD // Thrustmaster FCS & MS XBOX Controllers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually there is a free 7 day trial period available with no restrictions.  Better than a demo.


 

 

Fly_jets_125_zpsexevar1y.jpg

When Pigs Fly . Ray Marshall . Latest Avsim Gold Star Award reviews (click on link below)

. Realair v2 Piston Duke . . Flight1 B200 Super King Air . Flight1 GTN 650/750 Avionics

http://tinyurl.com/lzrh6k7. http://tinyurl.com/p44x9rf . http://tinyurl.com/kq9ufex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/4/2019 at 9:06 PM, AdvResGrpDev said:

Hi fellow Aeroflyers,

“Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC” is set to be released this coming Saturday, November 9 and will be initially available for download and purchase at the product’s website (still under construction).

..............

Hi,

Very interesting project. I know RC4 well (using it almost every day with P3D).

Now I have a question, in what order do you build a flight plan? From AFS2, then copied by hand into Little Nav Map to make it readable by RC4?

...or do you have another approach? I found nothing about this procedure in the downloadable PDFs on your site...

Thank you and Regards,

Richard


Richard Portier

MAXIMUS VI FORMULA|Intel® Core i7-4770K Oc@4.50GHz x8|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080ti|M16GB DDR3|Windows10 Pro 64|P3Dv5|AFS2|TrackIr5|Saitek ProFlight Yoke + Quadrant + Rudder Pedal|Thrustmaster Warthog A10|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Flamingpie said:

- the addon brings cumbersome FSX-like download and install routines into the up to now simple AFS2 world: you need three programs with their own downloads, keys, etc. and complicated install routines which require manual work arounds (like creating folders in the root of 😄 and skipping steps) to get things done

Oh, that's sad. Hoped for Plug and Play.

Edited by torium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, torium said:

Oh, that's sad. Hoped for Plug and Play.

Nope. And even if you have installed everything you'll find things still aren't exactly plug and play, like setting up a flight plan (for RC alone, not even AFS2). Here is a snippet from what you have to do (taken from a post on the IPACS forum from someone who can't get it done). Clearly not as easy as setting up a plan in AFS2 itself.

19296-pasted-from-clipboard-png

Great thing is though that you get a 7 day trial so you can try it all yourself before spending money on it.

Edited by Reader

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Flamingpie,

Thanks very much for the feedback.

I’d be the first to admit that installing Radar Contact is less straightforward than it could be. Also, I don’t disagree that installing two products, each with their own licensing, is less than ideal. I do have opportunities to improve the user experience on both fronts.

I have a few questions if you wouldn't mind expanding on your comments.

"- the addon brings cumbersome FSX-like download and install routines into the up to now simple AFS2 world: you need three programs with their own downloads, keys, etc. and complicated install routines which require manual work arounds (like creating folders in the root of 😄 and skipping steps) to get things done"

What is it you found cumbersome about downloading and installing Aerofly FS2 RC ATC?

Are you referring to Radar Contact's key generator as the third program?

Installing Radar Contact to the root of C: is not required.  It's just a suggested location as Radar Contact is not required to be run as administrator when installed outside of protected folders.  Can you be more specific with regard to "manual workarounds?"

Are you referring to not needing to install FSUIPC as "skipping steps?"

Thanks again for your feedback.

Regards,

AdvResGrpDev (developer of Aerofly FS2 RC ATC)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, DrumsArt said:

Hi,

Very interesting project. I know RC4 well (using it almost every day with P3D).

Now I have a question, in what order do you build a flight plan? From AFS2, then copied by hand into Little Nav Map to make it readable by RC4?

...or do you have another approach? I found nothing about this procedure in the downloadable PDFs on your site...

Thank you and Regards,

Richard

Hi Richard,

You can use any flight planner that can create flight plans compatible with FSX or P3D.  I use Little Navmap to generate the compatible flight plan in conjunction with SkyVector and/or FlightAware for real-world routes plus SIDs and STARs.  There's also Online Flight Planner.

I've received feedback about incorporating Aerofly FS2's simple flight planning with Radar Contact (this actually came up during beta testing).  Based on this feedback, I have some ideas of how this might be accomplished.  I'll share more as I move forward.

I'd appreciate your ideas as well.  Thanks very much.

Regards,

AdvResGrpDev (developer of Aerofly FS2 RC ATC)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AdvResGrpDev said:

I've received feedback about incorporating Aerofly FS2's simple flight planning with Radar Contact (this actually came up during beta testing).  Based on this feedback, I have some ideas of how this might be accomplished.  I'll share more as I move forward.

Yes, please. Sounds great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Flamingpie,

Your points are well taken.  I can see how the number steps, programs and my abundance of documentation might seem daunting.

As mentioned, I have opportunities to improve the current install process.  Your comments are enough to convince me that moving forward with streamlining the install process is absolutely necessary.  I won't be able to do anything about Radar Contact's licensing; it is what it is.

I'm a fan of Steam and have purchased my sims (outside of P3D) and most add-on DLC (except for example, Orbx scenery and Active Sky), as well as non sim-related titles there.  You are correct, Steam's ease of use installing and keeping products updated can't be beat.  I do plan to offer Aerofly FS2 RC ATC through Steam in the near future.  Stay tuned.

As for flight planning, Online Flight Planner, is a good choice without any installation.  Also as mentioned in my post to Richard, supporting AFS2's integrated flight planner is being evaluated for the best approach.  Your input is welcome.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Regards,

AdvResGrpDev (developer of Aerofly FS2 RC ATC)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/11/2019 at 2:14 PM, AdvResGrpDev said:

Hi Richard,

You can use any flight planner that can create flight plans compatible with FSX or P3D.  I use Little Navmap to generate the compatible flight plan in conjunction with SkyVector and/or FlightAware for real-world routes plus SIDs and STARs.  There's also Online Flight Planner.

I've received feedback about incorporating Aerofly FS2's simple flight planning with Radar Contact (this actually came up during beta testing).  Based on this feedback, I have some ideas of how this might be accomplished.  I'll share more as I move forward.

I'd appreciate your ideas as well.  Thanks very much.

Regards,

AdvResGrpDev (developer of Aerofly FS2 RC ATC)

 

Hi,

I probably misspoke. I do not specifically want to create an FP from the AFS2 flight planner.

What I would like to understand is how I can follow in AFS2 an FP that I created with Little Nav Map that is a little complex, for example:
KLGA to KOPF: LAURN J222 RBV J191 HUBBS J193 KATZN J79 CHS J121 CRG J53 BRIKL

This flight plan includes many waypoints. As you know, with RC4 you have to go through all WPts, RC4 checks each passage at each WPts.

Not to mention FMS, which is non-existent in AFS2. My question is how can I track such an FP in AFS2 (for example with the Lear), where are the reference points in AFS2, does the FP appear on the AFS2 map? (many questions in one, sorry) :laugh:

Thank you,

Richard.


Richard Portier

MAXIMUS VI FORMULA|Intel® Core i7-4770K Oc@4.50GHz x8|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080ti|M16GB DDR3|Windows10 Pro 64|P3Dv5|AFS2|TrackIr5|Saitek ProFlight Yoke + Quadrant + Rudder Pedal|Thrustmaster Warthog A10|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, DrumsArt said:

Not to mention FMS, which is non-existent in AFS2. My question is how can I track such an FP in AFS2 (for example with the Lear), where are the reference points in AFS2, does the FP appear on the AFS2 map?

Actually, AFS2 does have an FMS in which you can enter the flightplan you posted. I only fly the Q400 though and I am not sure if the Lear has the FMS (EDIT Just checked, it has.). A few planes have it. You can enter a plan in the FMS itself, exactly like in the real world. (In fact, that's probably easier to do than by using the AFS2 planner).

The FP doesn't appear on the AFS2 map unless you program the plan yourself (as described above). You can't load the plan you create for RC into AFS2. If you enter the plan into the FMS it will also appear on the map though. If you want to track the plan (using AP or not) you will have to plan that flight in AFS2 somehow.

Edited by Reader

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, DrumsArt said:

Hi,

I probably misspoke. I do not specifically want to create an FP from the AFS2 flight planner.

What I would like to understand is how I can follow in AFS2 an FP that I created with Little Nav Map that is a little complex, for example:
KLGA to KOPF: LAURN J222 RBV J191 HUBBS J193 KATZN J79 CHS J121 CRG J53 BRIKL

This flight plan includes many waypoints. As you know, with RC4 you have to go through all WPts, RC4 checks each passage at each WPts.

Not to mention FMS, which is non-existent in AFS2. My question is how can I track such an FP in AFS2 (for example with the Lear), where are the reference points in AFS2, does the FP appear on the AFS2 map? (many questions in one, sorry) :laugh:

Thank you,

Richard.

Hi Richard,

All Flamingpie's points are correct.

I went ahead and did a bit of testing to see how closely I could match up your flight plan in AFS2.  It worked very well.  My initial intent was to use only the VOR waypoints for simplicity but ended up adding a number of the intersections as well.  (Not an awesome process but not too bad.)

Due to time constraints, I only flew to PALMM (on J191).

The weather at the time was

KLGA 121751Z 31021G29KT 10SM FEW023 BKN049 OVC060 03/M03 A2990 RMK AO2 PK WND 31029/1751 SLP124 60002 T00281033 10139 20022 51033
KOPF 121753Z 25009KT 10SM FEW055 29/17 A2994 RMK AO2 SLP138 T02940172 10306 20217 58019

so I selected 31 for departure and 27R for arrival.  Up to PALMM, I was able to use the FMS without issue.  I suspect the remainder of the flight would have tracked just fine until hand-off to arrival (~30 - 40 miles from FAF) - HDG mode from there.

Here's the plan I created in Little Navmap:

KLGA to KOPF plan

And in AFS2:

KLGA-KOPF image

Let me know how you make out or if you have more questions.

Regards,

Karl

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Tom Allensworth,
    Founder of AVSIM Online


  • Flight Simulation's Premier Resource!

    AVSIM is a free service to the flight simulation community. AVSIM is staffed completely by volunteers and all funds donated to AVSIM go directly back to supporting the community. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. Thank you for your support!

    Click here for more information and to see all donations year to date.
  • Donation Goals

    AVSIM's 2020 Fundraising Goal

    Donate to our annual general fundraising goal. This donation keeps our doors open and providing you service 24 x 7 x 365. Your donation here helps to pay our bandwidth costs, emergency funding, and other general costs that crop up from time to time. We reset this goal every new year for the following year's goal.


    22%
    $5,600.00 of $25,000.00 Donate Now
×
×
  • Create New...