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I Digitized some sections from a model aircraft kit to surface within CATIA v5 today during lunch. CATIA is known throughout the Design industry for its first surface CLASS A capabilities. Boeing, Airbus, DaimlerChrysler and many privately owned shops use this CADCAM package. I exported the model from CATIA to an .STL file (Solid Modeled), as its DXF export is primarily 2D. I then found a utility called STLUTIL that would convert this to a .DXF. I loaded the file into FSDS and what do you know! Now all I have to do is call some buddies in Germany to send me the native CATIA files and export them directly into FSDS or GMAX. Then I don't think anybody can tell me the shape of the nose is wrong, Cas

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Most manufacturers, of course, keep their official full-spec designs as trade secrets. But I wonder...do you think there are any out-of-production aircraft for which good 3d-CAD files are available? And would manufacturers part with those?I guess one problem is that anything old enough to be obsolete (ie, no longer needs to be a secret) was probably build before the days of 3d CAD programs like CATIA.Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just take the original files, run them through GMax or FSDS, animate them, texture them, and go? Still not an automatic process, but it would sure cut down development time. Heck, now that SAAB is no longer making civil aircraft, maybe I could get them to send me some Saab 2000 files...hehehe.Matt

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