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Guest sapper42

Landable Helipad

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Hi, Happy New Year all!Been monitoring all the posts on the new SDK and playing around with the XML stuff. One strange little thing I've noticed.There are 2 rigs - gen_rig01 and gen_rig02. The second is one of those objects that won't appear but gen_rig01 (GUID 4a5ceec84f2a9e27f12ee7a40f0c856c) works fine.In experiments when I placed it on land, the helipad was landable.However, as soon as I placed it on water it wasn't!Any idea why that should be? Seems to defeat the object a bit:D

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Gday mate,I have placed 20 Rigs via the instructions in the new SDK in 1 BGL file all hard the hard surface and all were on water. i even added an Aircraft carrier and that was allso hard surface.the GUID i used is < c545a29e11d2e2ec1000849c2ae60c5a > , have you tried that one ? Darn now i cant remember if thats the Carrier or the Container hull. do you have the GUID handy for the Rig that doesnt work ?rgds Jeff

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Hi JeffYeah gen_rig02 is GUID 5c55111b4e1b5620af15409073f620a2. I agree that the carrier works fine on water and stays landable.The GUID you give is for the VEH_water_eastcoastcarrier1 and all the ships I've tried so far except for the carrier give a building crash at any speed if you try to land on any part of them. But I haven't yet tried em all.

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I cant even get Rig #2 to show, could be that its area specific maybe as it didnt display in Australia. ill test further tonightrgds Jeff

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Hi RollerBall.I don't think gen_rig02 is even in FS9. The list MS gave us wasn't right.I think you have found a bug in the coding for the helipad on gen_rig01.If they can get the carrier's pad to work, why wouldn't the oil rig's pad work over water? Very strange.We might be able to get it to work by biasing the rig's refpoint over some land, but that would give you a range of +/- 32767 meters ( I think ). Another option might be to put an LWM land poly under the rig ( ... maybe just to cover it's refpoint ). In the ocean, it would still appear as water, as the landclass would be #100.It seems like a lot of nonsense to me. I had hoped we could make a Gmax pad with the new MakeMDL and stick or attachpt it anywhere, but we'll have to see.Dick

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Now theres a Thought Dick ! maybe Rig #2 isnt in FS9, that would explain me flying sround for an hour looking for it lol.rgds Jeff

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Hi all.Bad news about gen_rig01.The helipad has a lat-long bounds. I can place it in the Gulf of Mexico, and the oil rig's pad is fine. I place it on land ( or ocean ) in Africa, and it's no good, even though the object displays fine.It would need more testing, but I think the problem is with the object... but not absolutely sure.Dick

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Thanks for that DickThis whole business of bounds is becoming a heck of a nuisance. MS could do us all a great service if they went back to this SDK, corrected all of the code errors it contains, took all of the objects out of the spreadsheet that don't apply to FS9 and looked at the rest to see which they should make 'unbounded' general objects.After all, they have all the info and I can't see why this should take one guy more than a coupla days at most.They haven't done us too many favours so far.Should I hold my breath?:(

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If ive nothing better to do this weekend, i might find time to have a go at working my way through the GUID list and if itll show up in Australia ( besides Sydney scenery ) then it should with luck show up anywhere. One line of thought tho ref the miscreant OilRig, one wonders if the advanced building Hard Surface method would apply for a hard surface as i have noticed that when i placed an FSDS object at the same co ords as an FS9 object, the FS9 object totally overwrote the FSDS object and one would pressume the same would apply for a scasm coded object such as a macro or advanced building. I had a Custom Rig at the same Lat Lon as an FS9 Rig with the FS9 Rig placed with new SDK and the Custom Rig wasnt there.Jeff

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Hi Guys.Sorry about the plain text, but I wanted to show the XML code.This will make a simple airport, designate a helipad, and place the scenery object ( oil rig ).===========================<?xml version="1.0"?>==============================I don't think the helipad element is needed, and that just seems to draw the "H" and a circle.The rig now has an ID ( RU01 ), and you can use the go airport menu to get there, and view it from the "tower".This is probably the best way to do helipads in FS9 ( if your reading this J. R. ).To move this around, you'll need to give new lat's and long's, and give it an appropriate ID and other airport info.If the code is separated into 2 XML files ( one for scenery and one for the airport ), AFCAD2 should be able to read the airport.Dick

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6:59 PM 12/30/2003Hi Dick..Thanks for the Aardvark code. Yes, I would agree that where possible for FS9, we would be better off not using helipad hardening techniques derived from AdvBldg or SCASM techniques when and if XML hardening is available. The Oil Rig's hardened pad is a good example of a handy, pre-hardened pad. In testing an XML Helipad at Aardvark, I discovered I could not code the pad to allow hardly any offsets and it is not hardened. When trying to place it higher than approx 12 meters MSL, it would not appear and it seems to have some visibility problems anywhere you put it -- so at this point I think the XML pad exemplified in the SDK doc needs lots of (MS) work. The syntax is wrong for helipad color options because presently, per error reports, although recommended in the SDK, no red, green or blue color-mix code is allowed.It's starting to look to me like the elevated hard surfaces in XML objects are strictly a characteristic of each object itself. Surprisingly, the small square building on top of the Oil Rig's center structure is hardened and heli landable.Here's the code where I inserted the Helipad into your Aardvark macro:======================================<?xml version="1.0"?>Here a a couple of pics showing the hardened superstructure shack and the XML pad at about sea level under the rig:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/55428.jpg

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Hi J.R.Happy new year!I think the XML helipad code is basically "eye-candy". It's too bad MS didn't give us more room to place our own textured polys. I don't think they show up in the GOTO as a runway unless they are declared as runways. AFCADing a complex airport might show us some coding tricks in the defaults.I'm not real thrilled about every object ( and poly ) being required as a library object in FS9! And this will be a setback to 3rd party ( non-Gmax ) users until the new MakeMDL code is understood... so there will still be a use for the older SCASM/BGLC based code for a while. FS10 will probably force a change. Eventually, I'd hope to attach a reliable hardened area to a thin Gmax pad library object in FS9 code... then we can put it wherever we'd like. Maybe we could even use a transparent texture for that object, making that pad invisible. Until then, we have XML and our pre-FS9 advanced buildings.I'm sure there will be the usual arguments over the XML "helipad runway" ( it's square, it's too big, it's not attached to the object.... ). But the XML runway is hard as a rock and allows it to be seen in the map and accessed via the GOTO Airport menu.Dick

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Hi all.I've been trying to place XML runways... and I don't have the success I had placing them on the oilrig! They just didn't want to harden!The trick is that the airport sets the elevation... not the runway. Each "pad' would need to have it's own Airport ( and ID ).Dick

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This seems to be all becoming a bit problematic.I've now been playing with the carriers. First thing I find is if you change the scale to anything other than 1.0 they lose their hardness. Can live with that although it would have been nice to be able to make em a bit bigger (they're hardly super-carriers!).I then decided to use AFCAD2 to place a runway on one of them with a bit of adjacent parking.Don't seem to be able to make the runway invisible. Setting the texture to unknown makes it appear as grass.Also most seriously the sea slopes up steeply from sea level to the level of the carrier deck. (Also, take a look at Meigs - the sea does the same there and presumably it will do wherever you have sea adjacent to an airport/runway facility).I'm gonna have a go with Dick's suggestion of placing an airport and runway on top of a carrier using XML coding - but what's the bet the sea will still do exactly the same.It would appear that there are some quite serious problems with this new approach of combining facilities and visible elements in the one file. So far I don't much like it! :-(http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/56137.jpg

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It looks like what's happening is the runway and parking spots are adding their flattening polygons to the terrain engine and these are being stiched in to the terrain (water in this case). This is a change from FS8 where you needed to add a surface explicitly. Now it's done automatically. Obvisouly the facilities schema was not meant to be applied in this way!

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:( Ah - so how is it meant to be used then? If Meigs has the same problem (which it has - check it out) that would seem to suggest that there is no obvious solution I would have thought, or surely the MS scenery designers would have applied it.Trouble is we're being pushed into a situation where there will be only a single design tool available - and that seems to have some amazing shortcomings from the look of this thread.Any ideas - am I being too pessimistic?

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HiYes, probably much too pessimistic. We haven't seen the full story and the full tool set yet. Hang on for a while before you go getting depressed - there's more to come.Airport runways have never been the way to place landable surfaces on aircraft carriers etc. anyway - you need hardened elevated platforms for that and they will doubtless come in the MakeMDL SDK similar to hardened surfaces in the previous BGL code.If you can't wait, build your stuff with the older tools - it will work fine for the time being and hardened elevated platforms are no problem at all.Hope this cheers you up!Gerrish

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Hi Gerrish. Thanks for that.I agree with what you say about landable platforms. Actually the carriers at scale 1.0 are fully landable so that isn't the problem. But if you want to start experimenting with AI you have to get into AFCAD2 - and that's when the problems begin with these unwanted side effects that were previously totally avoidable when the system files were separate.Hopefully it's early days yet and the mists may begin to clear as and when MS get their act together.Hmmmm - a first maybe:-)

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Here's an XML helipad I made:<?xml version="1.0"?>This is a NEW airport, as the airport elevation will control the height of the helipad. The helipad section is just the eyecandy ( for the most part ). The runway section is the actual helipad surface. The Runwaystart is for the GoTo Airport menu.This bgl will make an entry in the Airporty menu right after Rockford Illinois' KRFD.I haven't looked for the effect on water... but I made some pads on oilrigs that were over water with no effect on them at all.Dick

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Hi Dick,As I mentioned in reply to Gerrish's post, I think the problem arises when you try to open the airport up for AI. Then of course you need parking and for that you have to use AFCAD which I think automatically and probably unavoidably stitches the levels together.I haven't had a chance yet to experiment with creating a new airport with runway on a carrier using your XML approach and then modifying that with AFCAD to add parking and apron taxiways. That should confirm it one way or the other I reckon.Either way I'd have to leave it to you guys to explain the theory :D Roger

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Just quickly placed a runway with Tower and start location on a carrier. Surface unknown seems to be invisible (see carrier deck in day and night light). Everything seems to be fine. Object (heli) positioned correctly with shadow and surface is hard.See no reason why when I find out how to do parking and taxi links in XML that they should complicate things. So coding not AFCAD looks like the way to go in situations like this at the moment.

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gday guysIm going to try Dicks Last code later this week when time permits for the helipad and see if it will work with a custom made rig that the advanced building code works on.Ill post screenshots and results as soon as i have them.best regards Jeff

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Ok i couldnt wait !!!Here are the results of my test useing Dicks Code.1st shot is of code at location off a working rig using Advanced building code with bitumen surface.2nd shot is same code with transparentA test was done with surface as water and you end up in the drink as it removes the hardening.3rd shot is same code as 2nd shot with small pad size , note we still get the White circle and H ( pity )4th shot is the working rig without the advanced building code but with new XML code.it works !!!! rock solid and allso shows in GPS and Airport Goto.previous hard pad had AFD file from afcad 2004 but one would allways start in the drink and not on the Pad, new XML code has fixed this.Notice there is no H or Circle as this is a fluke as it is sitting just under the pad texture.Thanks Dick and J.R. again for your wisdom and efforts, tho we could all have done it with time, you both made the effort 1st. I for one have again added to my knowledgebase thanks to your efforts.Dicks Code edited to suit!**CODE**<?xml version="1.0"?>***CODE***Best rgds Jeff

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Hi Jeff.The structure is eyecandy. To make an invisible pad with minimal code:========================================<?xml version="1.0"?>========================================If all your pads are the same altitude, you can add more runways and runwaystarts to the code. That way you don't add unnecessary airport entries to the airport menu and the map. The Airport-alt controls the hardened altitude... which is a shame because if each runway had it's own hardened altitude we could have dozens of pads, with dozens of altitudes, with one Airport ID.A tower view can also be added to the Airport code.Dick

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Again your a life saver Dick.Id just lost my HDD and had to do a total wipe and the one folder i forgot to recover was my XML Notes !!!!All i haveto do now is redo all my darn source code LOL, pity we still cant decompile the new BGL files as it would save a mountain of time haha.Oh well, such is life :0)again many thanks for your efforts.rgds Jeff

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