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Lord Farringdon

Can I add airline codes to FSX parking spots?

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Hi Guys and Girls(if there are any out there?). I am adding some WOAI packages to FSX as well as porting over most of my FS2004 AI traffic packages using TTools. Now I have all this wonderful AI traffic the problem is where to park it! The Auckland airport default is okay but.....well...let's just say there is a lot more to do to make it right!Of course, we are all experiencing this problem and I guess no solution will arise until Lee Swordy's twin brother arrives on the scene with an AFCAD type tool to create parking spaces and connecting taxiways amongst other things. I know that posts in this forum have mentioned ingenious ways of manually creating parking spots and connecting taxiways, but personally, I'd be happy to accept the inaccuracies in gate and ramp locations, numbers etc (for a little while at least) until an AFCAD tool comes along, if I could just get all these brightly coloured aluminimum tubes to at least go to the right terminals. It is as 'unreal as it gets' when an international Air Vanuatu B737 flight arrives at an Air New Zealand B737 domestic terminal gate! I figured if I could just find the FSX file that contains the NZAA airport data, decompile it to an XML, edit it to add airline codes and recompile....I'd have Mr Vanuatu fronting up to NZ Customs like he should do!. Using information in the SDK and Winfried Orthmann's 'NewBglAnalyze'from his FS9toFSX,I have tried to decompile the scenery file AP994450.bgl (which I think..hope.. contains the NZAA airport data) but keep getting the Microsoft 'we are sorry for the inconvienence..send us a report' error followed by shutdown of the NewBglAnalyze program. The NewBglAnalyze program works fine decompiling FS2004 BGL's but I suspect this is not the right tool for decompiling these FSX scenery files? Others have been manually editing parking spaces and taxiway links and I assumed they had been accessing FSX scenery BGL's to do this but using what tool? Sorry for the long winded problem especially since there is probably a very simple answer. (Note: I will not accept reload FS2004 as that simple answer:))Regards Terry

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Mate I hear your pain. I love FSX and have moved over all my AI traffic, but until a get a decent airport editor, its just unrealistic. Having a REX Turboprop land and park at the international termininal in Sydney next to a BA 747 is painful. I've looked into modifying the airport codes in their XML format but it confused the #### outa me. I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait for Lee Swordy the Second....ANYBODY WITH ANY KNEWS ABOUT AN AIRPORT EDITOR??Cheers,Kale

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The simple answer is that you can use AFCAD with FSX.I have done it to many airports now, to add and rearrange parking spots.KSTL is the biggest airport I've done. Why don't you see it in the uploads file library? Because I have more work to do on KSTL.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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First - the world grid system is the same in FSX as in FS2004.The FS9 file for grid 9445 is AP994450.bgl in the Scenery]Ocenscenery folder.The FSX file for that grid is APX94450.bgl in the Scenery1105Scenery folder - and NZAA is in that file.NewBglAnalyze is for decompiling FS2004 files only - and will choke if you give it a FSX scenery file.BglAnalyzeX is for decompiling FSX files.You will also need BglComp.exe from the FSX SDK to compile your modified airport file.Drag and drop the APX94450.bgl file onto BglAnalyzeX - which will create an XML file.Open the file with a text editor like Notepad, or a XML editor like Cooktop.Search for the NZAA code - and delete everything from the line above the Airport ident to the line under bglcomp.xsd in the header - this puts NZAA at the top of your file - Save as a new nameNZAA_AFX_????.xml - is the standard being used for FSX airport modification files. Much cleaner and easier to use than having AF2 at the start of each file. Where the ???? is - you can put infomation to help you identify anything special about the file.Personally I list the scenery (i.e. Default) and the author of the file and version.NZAA_AFX_Default_RJF_v1.xml is how I would name the file.You will want to search and find the code /Airport to reach the end of the NZAA code. Delete everything after that line and down the the /FSData code at the end of the file. Save again.At this point we need to discuss the Delete statements which AFCAD places in the files it edits / creates.These cause about 50% of the problems with using AFCAD in FSX. The other half of hte problem is things which FSX uses which AFCAD does not know exist - like jetways, fuel trucks and their paths, airport fences, blast fences, taxiway signs.Since adding a parking code changes the properties of the parking node - and also by association changes the entire taxiway network -you will have to make the default airport taxiway network, runway and parking spots not be present.You do this by adding some lines under the airport header. Now cleanup the file - delete the following sections:TowerStart TypeComm TypeApronsBoundaryFenceJetwayApproach typeApronEdgeLightsTaxiwaySignServicesWaypointThose will all be used from the original file with your modified file - just like AFCAD worked in FS2004.Do NOT delete:RunwayTaxiwayPointTaxiwayParkingTaxiNameTaxiwayPathThese are the ones you really need to replace the elements in the DeleteAll statement.

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You want to add to the TaxiwayParking properties:Now a couple things which AFCAD messes up:TaxiwayParking index="33" type="FUEL"This is a 16M parking spot which shows up as the "Fuel Box". The scenery object of the fuel station is not associated with this parking spot. Also the trigger effect box which causes the aircraft to refuel is not associates with this parking spot. It is simply placed in the same location. The code for those is usually in the OB file.

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>>Another trick we are using is to run AFCAD with FSUIPC linking>it to FSX - and placing objects in the AFCAD - moving>taxiways, etc.>>We then decompile the AFCAD and merge the items modified in>AFCAD from it's XML file with the necessary items form the FSX>decompile to create a combination XML file which can be>compiled.>>Terry, RF gives a good post. That is pretty much how I am doing it. Using AFCAD as a GUI to make changes. Then a lot of decomping, tweaking, recomping.The tools I am presently using are:BGLXML by Alessandro AntoniniAFCAD by Lee SwordyBGLCOMP by MicrosoftI also use GoogleEarth often to get an idea of real-world appearances and orientation.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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I've no doubt that doing all that will allow you to modify your airports, but just looking at it makes me dizzy. I'll happily wait for some kind programmer to make an airport editor for us not so computer savvy people.As Mace says, "lots of decompiling, tweaking and recomping" .....havn't quite got the time....Still, if it works for you guys, all the better.

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Like most things on computers - it sounds a lot harder than it really is when you do it.I'm certainly not a programmer or expert despite working in the IT industry for 20 years - just ask my boss :-).Once you work through a couple - thing start to clear up quickly.And I use the same advice I give people when they start working with AFCAD - start with small airports where your changes are easy to observe and the impact easy to observe.

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Thank you very much Rhett and Reggie for your replies and in particular Reggie for your comprehensive 'this is how it's done' response. That took you some time to put together when you might just as easily pointed me to the development sites and left me to it. I really appreciate your effort. As we await some specific FSX tools, I know I will not be the only one to benefit from this thread.In the meantime I have used bglanalyzex to decompile the NZAA scenery file and voila...the light turned on!! Hope you guys don't mind a few questions now and then as I go through the rest of the process:) Regards Terry

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>I've no doubt that doing all that will allow you to modify>your airports, but just looking at it makes me dizzy. I'll>happily wait for some kind programmer to make an airport>editor for us not so computer savvy people.>I agree, enabling an AFCAD-style program that could directly load and save FSX bgl's would be nice.>As Mace says, "lots of decompiling, tweaking and recomping">.....havn't quite got the time....>It's fast and easy once you do it a few times. Edit in AFCAD, decompile that bgl, recompile that bgl, you're done.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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Here's another very brief basic walkthrough (I am tired):Tonight I was adding parking to MNCI (Corn Island, Nicaragua).I started AFCAD and made the airport just like we did in the old days.Save that, and we get AF2_MNCI.bgl.In a DOS box, I type the command: BGLXML AF2_MNCI.BGLNow I have an xml file called af2_mnci.xml.I rename this xml file fsx_mnci.xml.I recompile: BGLCOMP fsx_mnci.xmlThe resulting file is fsx_MNCI.bgl. I'm done.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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Rhett,Can you tell me if this procedure works for airports that have terminals and jetways etc? I've tried to mess around with YMML Melbourne Australia but found that all the parking spots are messed up (a/c parking in terminals etc). How does one fix this? Also, with FSX, are the jetways a fixed part of the scenery or does FSX put jetways wereever gates are located?Cheers,Kael

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>Rhett,>>Can you tell me if this procedure works for airports that have>terminals and jetways etc? I've tried to mess around with YMML>Melbourne Australia but found that all the parking spots are>messed up (a/c parking in terminals etc). How does one fix>this? Also, with FSX, are the jetways a fixed part of the>scenery or does FSX put jetways wereever gates are located?>To your last question: It appears in my limited testing that FSX does not automatically put jetways wherever gates are located. If I recall, when working on KSTL, I added some parking spots, and they did NOT automatically get jetways associated with them. I had to manually place the jetway object in the appropriate places.That was one thing I was doing, when I paused working on KSTL for FSX. I need to get back into that, because it's 90% complete...Regarding messing up the parking...I did not change any of the terminal buildings at KSTL, nor any of the default jetways. I found the terminal buildings to be nearly 100% accurate positionally to the real world.Now, since I did add parking spots, and move some around to make room for more (to match the real world, of course) that meant that some of the default jetways, all of which I have kept, were in the wrong places. THAT was the issue I was working out back in December, and I found it very tedious to manually move the jetways. A gui to do that would be super...In your case of YMML that is probably what you are running into. Be careful with the DeleteAirport command, make sure you don't delete too much of the default data...but of course, if the default data is not accurate, then you'll have no choice, assuming you want a accurate-to-real-world YMML.Yep, a GUI that is even more comprehensive (i.e. allows for jetway positioning, etc.) than AFCAD would be nice, no question about it.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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I'll find some code to demonstrate later, FSX not on this computer.But,The Jetways are Scenery Objects and FS identifies the model to display when a scenery file calls a lengthy code identifyier called a GUID. The model may be in the individual scenery file - as with most addon scenery, or in a common folder - with common objects like jetways.The XML file needs a code statement which identifies the GUID to be used. (Currently only one GUID is a moving jetway - I'm sure someone is going to build more in the coming months)That statement also has to identify the parking spot to which the jetway is 'attached' - this is why you cannot change the parking spot designation and number - those have to be unique for the airport. You can actually end up with jetways on one end of the terminal reacting to aircraft in a parking spot on the other end of the terminal building.The TaxiwayParking statement creating the parking spot has a geographic location (lat/long) and a heading (degrees true) for spot.The jetway statement also has a geographic location (lat/long) for the center of the model object and a heading (degrees true) for the orientation of the jetway.The positions and heading of the parking spot and the jetway will not be the same. Placing them close enough and in proper relationship takes some work but once you do a few - you'll get the relationship.

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Okay - found some code - now remember this has to be in the same XML file as the parking, taxiways, etc.You can add a jetway, but if you want to move or change anything about a defautl jetway - you have to include a delete statement for the jetways - and have all the jetways for the airport in your XML file. The library object part needs to stay the same for all jetways.

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Thanks for the replies guys,Reggie, I was messing around with old airport sceneries and running into all sorts of trouble. I appreciate all your help, but after messing around with it for a few hours, think I'll wait for some kind soul to build a scenery editor... Anybody have any ideas who if anybody is working on it and how far off it may be?Cheers,Kael

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Working on it - yes there are people - check www.fsdeveloper.com Time frame - I don't know - we've learned so much more since Lee Swordy released AFCAD, and how much needs to be changed to make AFCAD fully compatible with FS2004.They don't want to repeat the same errors / issues with the FSX tool.I'm not complaining about Lee's work. It is fantastic. But he did not have the SDK, everything he did was trying to figure out what all the hex codes in the .BGL files meant and how to make changes.I'm sure if he had the SDK, AFCAD would be much different, not allow anywhere near the errors it allows us to put into airports, and be fully compliant with FS2004 standards.

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