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MickBz

FSX flight planners - a run in 2008?

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Happy new year to all!There seems to be much interest in flight planners and moving maps these days. I have been experimenting in this arena for several months. My early results can be seen here:http://picasaweb.google.com/rich.lucas.maps/FSXFlightPlannerThe software utilizes the new GPU-accelerated vector technology in Windows Presentation Foundation.I am trying to gauge interest and determine if this should evolve beyond a fun personal project. A beta candidate is probably several weeks away. Your honest feedback is appreciated.Best Regards,Rich Lucas

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Well, the screenshots sure look promising! :)

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Wow, sure does look clean. I would definitely keep working on this.

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As much as I hate "Me, Too!" posts, this one is that rare exception.Me, Too!!Keep at it, it looks promising!I volunteer to Beta test! :DMark

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Hi Rich,Happy New Year to you too.I am trying to gauge interest...You should have no problem enticing others to use this piece of art. Since FSNav is history, this could easily take its place. The shots you've shown hold a great deal of potential.Best of luck and please continue its development. Regards,Jim Karn

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Can't wait Rich. Looks very professional. It's not like there's no opening for you.

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Rich,Those shots look fantastic, like actual low altitude aviation charts. Please keep working on this project! I would love to get my hands on this planner.Dave :-wave

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I've got to say "Me Too" - since I've also been working on a flight planner! There sure is going to be a glut! :-lol http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/182714.jpg(sorry I don't have a gallery of images, since the UI is not so polished yet, and this one is zoomed out, scaled down and cropped as part of a flight screenshot sequence)My planner, "VFP - VFR Flight Planner" concentrates on VFR aspects of simming, which is under-represented IMHO, and is best suited for VFR flights of ;)CheersTim Arnot

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This has some serious potential. FSNav has some very handy features, are you planning on incorperating any on them, or is this just a basic planner?

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This looks very interesting. Please continue to work on it. By the way, might it be possible to run it while in FSX? That is, hit a function key to get a map/tracking view, just like FSNAV allowed?Thanks,Jim

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Thanks Tim.That looks very good too. It is great to see others are stepping up given the recent interest.The vector quality in WPF is really worth the effort (compared to GDI+). You will not be sorry. However, I think there is a catch. To get acceptable performance, I really had to dig down into the low-level WPF functions. These include heavy use of StreamGeometry, overriding OnRender(), GlyphRun objects, and freezing any objects (Brushes, Pen's, etc.) that can be frozen. Higher level WPF objects, even FormattedText can really eat up CPU.Getting SimConnect to work from WPF in C#.NET can also be a little tricky, as all the examples in the SDK assume Windows Forms. Fortunately I solved that one a while ago: http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...ing_type=searchGood luck with your project and WPF!Regards,Rich

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<Right now I am considering a freeware basic version. This would generate FSX flight plans and provide moving map via SimConnect.As usual, the moving map feature would be ideal for a second computer. Unless you have a quad core machine, I would hesitate to cut into FPS by running along side FSX on the same CPU.Once I understand the ongoing interest and support issues, I could potentially expand to an upgrade version that supports advanced planning features, SIDs, STARs, and 3rd party navigation data. Fairly easy to implement, but somewhat harder to maintain.Much depends on what the other projects are providing as we get down the road in '08. If the features are well covered in other offerings, I would be sensitive about "watering down" a small space where other add-on developers are trying to make an honest living; some full-time.Best Regards,Rich

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Thanks to Simconnect, there is much potential. There are three possibilities.1. Second computer. Already working, no CPU/FPS impact on FSX machine.2. Along side FSX in separate process. Also possible, but need to study the impact on frame rates and smooth task switching.3. Inside the FSX process. Very nice to have as this would allow tight integration with an aircraft's panel. WPF inside FSX process requires some further study. My hat is off to Bill Leaming and other gauge programmers who can do #3 so well.Regards,Rich

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As a huge fan of FS Navigator, there were six features that made this program outstanding for me, especially in casual flying. I always thought Aces should include it's features in their "top down" view. That would really help the novice or more casual user.1. It ran on a second monitor.2. Could fly to a chosen point, by then automatically engaging autopilot.3. Could move aircraft to a new point, thus speeding up flight time to a destination.4. ILS outgoing "scope" ranges were visible on map, and one could then drag appropriate radio frequencies to radios without manually entering them.5. Right click-drag to get miles to the airport was very nice too.6. The ability to darken the second monitor map for night flying, was very nice as it really reduced the light "wash over". Bob (Las Cruces, NM)

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Being able to create a flight plan and share itCreating your own SIDS and STARSThe list goes on :-)

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>Happy new year to all!>>There seems to be much interest in flight planners and moving>maps these days. I have been experimenting in this arena for>several months. My early results can be seen here:>>http://picasaweb.google.com/rich.lucas.maps/FSXFlightPlanner>>The software utilizes the new GPU-accelerated vector>technology in Windows Presentation Foundation.>>I am trying to gauge interest and determine if this should>evolve beyond a fun personal project. A beta candidate is>probably several weeks away. Your honest feedback is>appreciated.>>Best Regards,>Rich Lucas>Please explain your statement "The software utilizes the new GPU-accelerated vector technology in Windows Presentation Foundation."

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My favourite features of FSNav were the drag and drop flightplan creation, direct export to FS and the F9 hotkey to the MMD. Cheers and thanks all for their efforts,Chris Porter:-outtaPerthWestern Australia

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I paid for FSNav years ago and was rather disappointed that it will end with FS9. The market seems to be wide open at this time. Plus we all know that the FSX planner is far too basic. Check what other planners do, such as FSNav, Copilot, FSCommander and SFP. I suggest that you keep the interface as simple and as intuitive as possible (right click menus, drag and drop, toolbar, menus). The three possibilities of using Simconnect should all be implemented. I especially like number 3 where I can switch to the planner in full screen while the sim continues to run--kind of like looking at a map while flying a real airplane.It is good you are looking into low level programming and offloading the vectors to the GPU. You will have competition in 2008, but I like your look (especially the geographical features). Ultimately I believe it was the "look and feel" of FSNav (especially the map) which made it successful and that is an area you can work on with an organized beta team. Good luck!Ben

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Rich, I like the combination of clean lines and subtle colors in your screenshots.

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WHat i am after is a map that utilises FSX textures and terrain dat to use for VFR flying, that can just be dragged around with the mouse so that you have to work out your own position visually insted of FSX doing it for you, the gps does that anyway. But its good anyhow.

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>I've got to say "Me Too" - since I've also been working on a>flight planner! There sure is going to be a glut! :-lol >>http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/182714.jpg>>(sorry I don't have a gallery of images, since the UI is not>so polished yet, and this one is zoomed out, scaled down and>cropped as part of a flight screenshot sequence)>>My planner, "VFP - VFR Flight Planner" concentrates on VFR>aspects of simming, which is under-represented IMHO, and is>best suited for VFR flights of <1000nm (no SIDs/STARs etc, but>it does have towns, cities, roads etc).>>I've taken a temporary break from forward development,>interestingly enough, to bring it into WPF (it's currently a>GDI+ app), mainly as a result of needing to learn WPF! But,>again, I'm several weeks from user testing.>>Anyhow, I wish you good luck with your project - I think>you've got something there, but then, I think I have too! ;)>>Cheers>Tim Arnot>WOW a VFR planner, a dream comes true to me!

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The software makes heavy use of vector graphics to achieve clean lines and curves at all zoom levels. The terrain elevation coloring currently uses raster imaging with different data sets for the various zoom levels.A brief comparison of the two methods can be found here:http://www.logodesignworks.com/blog/vector...hics-differenceWindows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a graphical subsystem. It is pre-installed on Windows Vista. XP users get WPF by installing the .NET 3.0 framework. WPF is based on DirectX under the hood. If you have a DX9 or DX10 graphics card, WPF will offload most of the image rendering to the graphics processor. This allows rendering of complex visuals while maintaining reasonable frame rates.

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