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Guest JR Morgan

Elevated Helipad Appears On Terrain "Hill"

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Hi all, someone suggested I might find an answer in this specific forum, so here goes.. Just about done with an oilrig for FS2K2 but I'm having a problem...the elevated helipad (invisible runway added with Airport) creates a bug; the first time you load the scenery, it looks as if the entire oilrig is sitting atop an elevated "hill" of water. If I reload the scenery library it makes the water surface flat again, but I can't leave this uncorrected as it's custom scenery for a VA. I've tinkered with the Area16 commands but I'm not very familiar with how to edit raw Scasm code. Tried the usual setup with a flatten area underneath etc.. but the problem remains.Anyone have the fix for this? Maybe a manual edit of the scasm file? What would be perfect is if someone could post the syntax for an elevated/hardened surface area with all the numbers filled in, I could just alter it for my Lat/Long...there's an example in the Scasm help files but I couldn't determine what some of the numbers should be. That's secondary though, the real issue is the "hill" that FS creates under the elevated surface..it's going to make the scenery totally unusable if I can't fix it.Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated; I've been doing scenery for a long time now, but I'm a little over my head on this one!Thanks,Dan MorandMgr/Helicopter Div.Timberwolf Aviation VA

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Hi Dan,I would not use an invisible runway, because it has an inherent flatten behaviour. I have seen people using invisible runways instead of a Flatten() commands.Here is the code to create a BGL with a flat /and landable square (edge=100 meters) at the altitude of 35 meters:Header( 1 N40:30:00.00 N39:30:00.00 W039:30:00.00 W040:30:00.00 )LatRange( N39:30:00.00 N40:30:00.00 )GRP( N40:00:00.00 W040:00:00.00 )Area16NFlatten( 35.000d 50 50 ; vertex at 50 meters North and 50 meters East of GRPd -100 0 ; vertex at -100 meters North and 0 meters East of prevoius oned 0 -100 ;d 100 0)End16This code will bring the water up to 35 meters, which I think is the problem you describe! The invisible runway would result in a similar effect.What you can do is to harden a polygon! Firstly you place a 3D polygon with a proper texture at the altitude of 35 meters. Then you add a Set Elevation inside one Area16() block.Header( 1 N40:30:00.00 N39:30:00.00 W039:30:00.00 W040:30:00.00 )LatRange( N39:30:00.00 N40:30:00.00 )GRP( N40:00:00.00 W040:00:00.00 )Area( d 0 0 )PerspectiveCall( :pcall )Jump( : )...EndAArea16( g 5 5 )RefPoint( abs : 1 d 0 0 V1= 100 V2= 100 E= 0 )SenseBorder( : )50 5050 -50-50 -50-50 50)SetElevation( 35 )End16I hope this helps, Luis

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Hi Dan and Luis...I've abandoned usage of Area16 and Invisible Rwys for creation of hardened elevated surfaces (as in helipads) in FS2002 because of problems encountered when flying out-of and returning-to the LOD area(s) containing the scenery being created. The attached macro seems reliable to overcome that condition:

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Hi Dan.In addition to Luis' suggestion, there is an alternative.You can create a zero-height, flat-roofed, Advanced Building at the desired elevation. It will be fully landable as long as the helicopter has it's crash detection turned on. All the Advanced Buildings in FS2002 are landable ( they can be spotted as usually having a red flashing light on them... or turn off autogen to spot them ).These can be easily created with Airport. JR Morgan and I tested these zero-height Advanced Buildings a few months back. Neither of us considered the use of crash-detection a drawback, as heli-pilots should probably be using this anyways:http://forums.avsim.com/dcboard.php?az=sho...e=&topic_page=1============Hi JR! I see we're cross posting. :)Dick

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Thanks for the responses and advice on this - frankly, it's driving me nuts. The whole project's been at a standstill while I try to correct this (and of course I want it ready for release when the new FS ships this summer.)You all were kind enough to provide alot of useful information, and I'm sure something here's going to do it. If I can't fix it on my own, maybe one of you would like to take a shot at altering the code if I post it here? That would be educational, 'cause Scasm is not excatly the easiest thing to pick up Thanks again.

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Hi Dan. If I were you I'd try the api macro I attached to the reply message I sent. It does all the work for you. It can be used as-is in apt26 or probably any of the scenery design programs out there that creates AdvBldgs. The following technique would be typical to usage in Apt26:1. Copy the previously attached 'adjustable helipad api macro' to your Apt26API directory (or the directory containing all your api macros in whatever design program you use).2. Delete any flatten areas and invisible rwys you've previously created under your oil rig.3. In the Apt26 workspace, place your mouse cursor at the geographic location of the center of your elevated helipad on your oil rig and Right-click to produce the drop-down menu and select 'Create 3D object on that menu.5. In the resulting window, tick (click-on) the 'User API' button, then click the 'Select Button' and browse to the api macro and double-click it. This calls the api macro into the create window.6. In the 'Create Window', just fill in the values needed for %5, %6, %7 and %11. Note that the %4 value defaults to 1.00 in the create window, however, it can be changed if desired in that window.SUMMARY: The macro should place a ZERO HEIGHT AdvBldg directly under the helipad surface. This AdvBldg will not be visible because it's of ZERO HEIGHT. It's effect is that any flat surface you create above the AdvBldg will be hardened and Heli Landable. The MSL altitude of the landable surface will be the value in meters that was entered in the %11 box of the create window. The size dimensions of the helipad surface will be the value entered in the %6 parameter box. The %7 parameter (half the value of %6) assists in drawing the helipad bitmap, placing corner strobe lights and border lights.As I mostly fly the Helis in the sim, I've found this macro to be a quick/easy assist in creating helipads in FS2002. Because of FS2002's way of drawing the terrain mesh as various LOD areas are approached, the Invisible Runway with the flatten area beneath it seems to cause anomolies similar to the the 'mountains of water' you've experienced. So far, the technique this macro uses seems to eliminate that problem as long as 'Detect Crash' is activated in FS2002.Hang in there J.RPS: Hi Dick -- I haven't been monitoring this forum too much in the last few weeks. 'Found a new Hobby Toy, that of RC model Micro-Mini helicopters. If you remember how hard the FS98 Heli was to fly, well, the mini RC helis are at least 50 times harder --- but sure lotsa fun. :-rotor

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Hi Dan. Good advice from JR. Try the macro, and see how it works ( it will ).PS: Hi JR -- Your new hobby sounds fun! I had a recent shock. I had to return to work after an 8 month furlough. :( But for now, I'm off in a couple of days, on a two week honeymoon! :-jumpy :-jumpy :-jumpy So I won't be posting as much, and not at all after Thursday for 2 weeks.Dick

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Dick...Well of all things. Having to return to W__K after so long off is a bona-fide Bummer......HOWEVER, Congratulations on the upcoming Honeymoon. Hope you enjoy it and also whan the Honeymooon is over :-). We just had our 50th. anniversary this last September. 'Looks like it may last awhile.Again, Congrats and All The Best... :-beerchug J.R

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Thanks for the step-by-step guys, it's just what was needed. I've since tried the advanced building approach which seems to have worked, then failed for no reason while compiling, then worked again. Go figure Now that I have the macro to work with, life should be alot easier!(Just an opinion, but you'd be amazed how many people won't bother to run through the steps for you in "other" forums when you run into a problem like this that needs a little explanation...now I wish I'd started using Avsim months ago...)

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Just my 2 cents worth, the way I create helipads for Oil rigs is...1)At desired location and height in Airport, use the "create Helipad" function and make it about 30mX30m (or however big you fancy).. if your oil rig landing pad already has a "H" pad texture, then you can make the hardened helipad transparent... to save hastle, I use a texture that is totaly transparent.2)Create a second hardened helipad ("create Helipad") at sea level and make it big.. I use 200mX200m, and make this transparent.That's it, you may need to tweak the position of the upper helipad, by checking it's position in FS (before you add the transparent texture).If you like you can drop me an E-mail if you have any problems. I look forward to seeing you rigs!CheersAlunBTW, this is the way both Steve Chase and I make helipads... and we've not had problems with it!

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A good idea, which I did attempt but ran into two issues..1)For whatever reason, any helipad macro I call up through the Airport interface makes the pad surface 100x100 feet, no matter what size I specify. Strange. I do have the latest builds of Airport & Scasm. 2)I haven't quite mastered the art of creating a new texture that's completely transparent yet. You'd think with paint shop pro I'd have figured that one out already Suggestions?

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Hi!Just sent an E-mail that should resolve those issues!CheersAlun

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Just noticed this thread. Having been experimenting with making above ground landable surfaces in Easy Object Designer, which uses a SenseBorder method similar to the above I'm curious if this method suffers from the problems I've heard of with leaving an area and comming back to it. (I've been experimenting with making what would amount to a very simple landable bridge that you can also fly under, having verified to myself that advanced buildings are also landable by planes, if you can find one long enough.) I've managed to make a working surface, but the macro needs editing because when I scaled it up in FSSC, the surface's height didn't scale up. (It's dimensions did, and the visible polys did. I ended up landing on an invisible surface.)"Let me help you out. You're cleared to taxi any way you can to any runway you see."

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Hi Eric.. This method using the Adjustable, Elevatable helipad macro does not suffer from the leaving/returning syndrome, which is often caused by placing flatten areas and/or Invisible runways at altitudes inconsistent with the MS terrain mesh. I think the 'sense border' technique you refer-to is part of the old Area16 SetElevation routine which is not reliable in FS2002 to always maintain the elevated hardened surface; -- 'seems to start out OK but often 'hiccups' itself out of being hardened/landable. It works fine in the MS sims previous to FS2002.I think you can use this macro as a stand-alone elevated landable surface by treating it as a seperate scenery object (not part of your bridge). Just go ahead and build, scale and install your bridge with the scenery prog you're using and then install this macro to create the elevated/landable surface. I've not used FSSC, however, it surely must have the capability of allowing you to adjust the %1 (Lat), %2 (Lon), %5 (Heading), %6 (In this case the length and width of the landable surface), %7 (half the value of %6) and %11 (Elevation or MSL altitude of the landable surface). The 'Scale' setting affects only the size of the landable surface, however, you should not need to change it from '1.00' unless you want some weird size because the value of %6 and %7 pretty much controls it's size. If you don't want the bitmap, strobes and edge lights (edge lights not visible during daylight), you can 'comment-out' those areas of the macro's SCASM code.'Hope this helps you get your bridge hardened. Report-back if you need further help...J.RPS: BTW, it's fun to land/take-off, etc using the Harrier Jet, using about a 50 meter long AdvBldg :-ufo2 .

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