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Guest JeffPreston

FSX Pilot Evaluation System

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Gentleman (..and ladies)!I have developed an Add-On to FSX (or perhaps prior version that make use of SimConnect -- I'm not sure). This FSX Passenger project was intended to satisfy my need to have a purpose behind turning on the Seatbelt sign. Like you, I love the authentic "bing!" and the authority bestowed upon me in telling 120 people to sit down simulatneously; whether real or imagined -- who cares, it's a simulator. From there, it quickly turned into other "proofs of concept". "If I can do that, can I do THIS.." and on and on and now, I'm curious if anyone else would have any interest in this. Has this been done before? Surely it has. FSPassengers. Alas, as of late, there is still no version available for FSX. I would have bought FS Passengers YESTERDAY had it a) supported FSX and :( Didn't require that you have a business degree. I just wanted to fly and I wanted to have an artifically 'intelligent' monitoring system that monitored how I flew and compared that with industry accepted (and regulated) commerical vertical rates of climb and bank which took into account passenger comfort. I didn't want to manage a company and calculate the cost of fuel and load capacity and all that.This does exactly that with a few other odds and ends that I find entirely cool. Like, the interface with Google Maps. In real-time, it updates using 3 different windows. A street level view, a regional map view and satellite view -- and in most cases, the lat./long. coordinates that flight simulator feeds to Google Maps places me on actual runways, taxi ways, gates and parking in the real-world. Sometimes, like at Detroit Metro, the 22L runway is actually in the middle of I94, but who cares.. it's a simulator and FSX is close -- REAL close (see screenshot below). I found myself flying around downtown Dallas and sure enough, on the real world satellite image, I'm flying past some large skyscraper in the game and on the satellite image -- there it is! It was a partial moment. Passenger Comfort is a mood-monitoring progress bar. They dislike things like vertical rates of climb greater than 3200 or bank rates greater than 25 degrees right or left. I didn't have a switch to turn all electronic devices off, so the seatbelt light serves both functions. If you sit around on the taxi way with the seatbelt light lit or fly too long with it lit (effectively negating the purpose of in-flight electronic entertainment), the passengers get antsy, irrirated and so on. I also implemented a scoring system. Talk about flying by the seat of my pants -- I made it all up based loosely on my understanding of real world flight. Go greater than 30 knots on a taxi way and you're docked points. Speeds greater than 250 kts below 10,000 feet and you're docked points. Taxi without proper lighting, you're losing points. Ground movement without the seatbelt light and you're docked. Land without lights and you're docked. At the end of the game (and throughout really), you can check your score. Real-world pilots in our midst, how much of this is true? Is there a speed limit below 10k? Wasn't that in some simulator version? I remember being hollered at by ATC for that. Didn't I..? I can't remember. There is a reason why I don't fly privately or commerically and remain safely (for everyone) in the digital realm -- I wouldn't pass the drug test, so with that said, any assistance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.I did do some research. The Federal Aviation site is http://www.faa.org if you're interested. I read the first few sets of mandates and said, "Yep, this is the FAA site" and promptly closed down the browser window. So, maybe you can help me condense reams of paper into the information I'd like to make it more authentic.Fees and applicable taxes -- Guys, this is free and will always be free as all my projects are. This is to avoid the maddness that is those other threads that have developers drawn and quartered and the remains burned at the stake. In fact, I view it mainly as open source and I thoroughly enjoy it. If you don't, I'm very sorry but I just don't care. I just want the most authentic evaluation of my flight performance as possible, giving me a reason to taxi at less than 30 kts. (is that real?). I wanted to be graded on my performance with a scoring system and also have the real-world tie in with Google Maps. Is any other developer doing that? I don't know, I just like to code and I like Flight Simulators and the spawn of that romance is this little application. I'm going to have this available for download soon, once I work out one or two more kinks or add something else that someone may think of, or correct my calculations based on feedback here. Like the speed limits, and taxi speeds and comfortable rates of climb (with passenger eustachian tube consideration) or just get a general feel for the reaction/interest in something such as this. So with that, give me some feedback. Are you interested? Would you run an application like this? Oh, oh. Almost forgot. This is a stand-alone app that you run along side FSX and is programmed in the .NET environs. I have dual montiors so FSX is running on one and the other has this app where I can monitor my score, passenger comfort levels; look at the real world view of my location and the like. Screen: http://www.imagealtered.com/fsInterested in this? Contact me: moonwitch@imagealtered.comDo you know of any application that does all of this already? Point my in their direction. I'll buy it. P.S. I had audible screaming for awhile. That's right. Bank too far or pitch too far and someone screams, or maybe a gasp or a yelp or squeal. I took that out though. I can put it back though! Let me know!

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One word: awesome.Two words: awesome, awesome.Three words ... oh, well, you get the point.What a great idea. I for one have always been saddended by the whole "if you landed you're a good pilot" scoring system in Flight Simulator.Hogwash. Landing doesn't even begin to make you a good pilot. Landing is kind of like ... um ... a prerequisite.Not sickening your passengers or blowing their eardrums out descending at 5000 fps ... now that's the kind of feedback I, not having a pilot's licens, would like to get.FASTER, PLEASE

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MoonWitchIm lickin my chops here and cant wait to see the program. Is today too soon?Don

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That sound cool. If you can have sound could this be adapted for GA pilots? You could have an instructor in the spare seat all the time #### about your rates of climb, decent, rates of turn, ability at landing, ability to maintain straight and level flight, ability to pull off a coordinated turn. I would use that as I'm not really into the heavy metal a talking cargo. Be good at the end to see the overal score and give the sim more direction as you try to better it.Just my ramblings,Gemma

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This looks like it would be a very useful tool indeed! I liked FSPassenger, but didn't pay much attention to the non-flying stuff (including meals, etc)I would like very much to be able to track the vertical rate at touchdown and, if possible, a measure of where I landed on the runway (relative to touchdown markers or threshold, and relative to centerline and relative to heading at nose-gear down).I agree that landing is pre-requisite, but to land on-target, on centerline and with a comfortable vertical rate is a challenge in wind, etc.You used to be able to track landing analysis in FS98?, but we lost it somewhere along the way.Thanks for the efforts for our hobby.BillKBDL

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>P.S. I had audible screaming for awhile. That's right. Bank>too far or pitch too far and someone screams, or maybe a gasp>or a yelp or squeal. I took that out though. I can put it>back though! Let me know! >>Ha ha ha! That's rich.I think you should put it back in. Maybe give the user the option of turning it off or on.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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Moonwitch, I'm surprised you haven't had more responses than this... perhaps people have just missed it.I used to love using FS Passengers. While I didn't get involved the cost of food etc I did enjoy seeing how many passengers had boarded, what my rating was for the flight and so forth. News on that project being ported to FSX is disappointingly scarce......so it's wonderful news you're working on something similar which looks good, seems to have interesting funcionality and - get this - will be free of charge! Just doesn't happen in 2007.Looking forward to the release.

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What a great idea, I like it. Be careful you don't get too prescriptive about what is a "good" flight. Have a think about whether you want to write a passenger simulator (so to speak) or a pilot performance monitor. The two would be very different.The passenger simulator could give you feedback on what the passengers think about the flight. Don't forget passengers can only feel G forces, they have no idea about angle of bank or rates of climb (I'm a bus driver in the real world and have climbed at >6000ft/min and not received any comments from the, usually very precious, cabin crew as it was done very smoothly, on further questioning they didn't notice anything at all. Likewise in a descent - we actually got the aircraft to overtake the cabin on the way down, they still didn't notice). Passengers tolerate G force much more when the seatbelt sign is on ... but leave it on for too long and they'll all need the loo and get very agitated. I like this idea as, much like Theme Park or Rollercoaster Tycoon, you could chart passengers current feelings/thoughts (Happy, sad, bored, nervous, scared, need the loo, going to be sick, sleeping) as the flight progresses. The quality of the landing/departure plays a part and so could taxiing. If you were really brave you could give them an ETA in flight and then see how close you are at making it (or even declare a schedule before you go and see if you make it on time). Pax announcements could be made to keep them updated, passengers that think they know whats going on are much more relaxed than those left in the dark. I'm getting bogged down in detail now but I hope you get the picture.The Pilot Performance monitor is much more difficult. A good pilot isn't necessarily the one who obeys all the rules and regulations verbatim and lands smoothly. Airmanship is much harder to define and detect by a computer. A smooth landing 3000ft past the touchdown point is infinitely worse than a firmer arrival at the correct point ... and if the runway's wet it's really quite a good idea to make it firm. 250kts below 10,000 is a cute American thing, the rest of the world isn't anywhere near as strict about it (airspace is regulated differently), some places (even in Western Europe) have other speed/alt restrictions (off the top of my head I can recall 270 below FL70, 290 below FL90 and 270 below FL98). If it's not busy they will often remove that constraint from you anyway (in Europe). It's not uncommon for us to maintain 300kts+ until well into a few thousand feet, then slow down before intercepting the ILS (somehow we're still always late though...). For this to work well I think it's a much bigger and more complex job.These are just my thoughts, it's your project I'm merely giving you some input as I think you're on to something good here. I like the idea of a Pax Simulator, that's something I could enjoy playing with.Take care,Ian

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Moonwitch:>> Do you know of any application that does all of this already? Point my in their direction. I'll buy it. As Geofa's reply mentioned, FSFlyingSchool, our new add-on for FSX and FS2004, has a lot to offer in this area. The demo is a free download from our site http://www.fsflyingschool.com/Have fun!Ian:Our add-on is, amongst other things, first and foremost a pilot performance monitor and the demo is free.All the best -Jeff

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I've tried out the fsflyingschool demo (I downloaded it last night, but it is also on the cover disk of this months PC Pilot) in FSX so I saw this morning when it arrived.It really is exactly what I was looking for, almost exactly as I described in my earlier post excellent! I was pleasantly suprised how some aspects of my flying 'passed the test' and somewhat embarassed by those that certainly didn't. A bit more testing and I will buy the full version for sure.Moonwitch, continue you with your add-on, it should be a huge success, I hadn't realised how much an add-on like this improves the immersion factor and I think your screaming passengers would be very welcome!

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