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Flightplans with smal a/cs to short fields and more...

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Hi all. My first post on this forum. Well during the weekend I started working with TTools and Afcad. I'm mostly interrested in creating small aircraft traffic to some real and some fictive smalltown airports I designed and, coming soon, to some water landing bush sceneries (hopefully!). In my first attempt I tried a 2hre VFR sched. from Jean-Lesage (CYQB -Quebec - controled) and CSR3 (Victoriaville - 4000' asphalt - uncontroled) about 60 miles south-west. So I had to use Afcad to create an overlay airport for the later. I added CSR3 to airport.txt before recompiling. I made f.p. for the C-172-182S, Pa-180 and Beach Baron. Every one went fine and worked as expected.Next, I attempted to do the same on a fictive 2000' dirt rway (naturaly not present in ICAO listing) located about 8 m south-east CSR3. After creating an Afcad overlay as per its Help file 'Creating a New Airport From Scratch' instructions and adding it to FS, I tried some VFR flightplans from/to CYQB and CSR3. But then things didn't worked at all as wished. From CYQB, only the C-172 could land and park correctly. The PA-180 came in short and crashed itself before reaching the rway. The 182S came in too long and rooled off the opposite end to crash itself against a little hill and the 182RG, coming too long too, crashed itself onto the runway at about 2/3 of the rway. The Baron? Well it came in long and pulled out back from where it came (I think). Can't remember if it had its gear down though.Funnier even, those fp I made between CSR3 and this place I named CHST (I also inserted it as an ICAO into the airport.txt file cause without it the recompiler outputs and error of not finding it, something I haven't seen documented in either Afcad or Ttools help files). Sorry for this long apparty, so in these fps between CSR3 and CHST, at both ends, the a/cs would depart as expected but, in both instances, they wouldn't fly to their destination but would carry a short flight in their respective areas and land back to their respective departure airports. Humm...My first problem was to solve the crashing of some of the a/c because they where either too high or too low on the approach at CHST. I then decided to make the fps IFR but at the same time, through Afcad, I inserted an ILS localizer and Glidepath to this rway thinking it would assure a proper approach to it. Did I realy need to put the ILS and GP in there or would making only the fps IFR sufficient? I donno. I haven't experiment it, yet, with IFR fps only. But one thing is shure, as it stands now, this has produced a clear improvement of the situation.Now all acs come on the right path at the right hight to land at CHST. The 172 carry on doing right, the PA-180 makes it to the rway and lands (roughly though!!) and goes to the parking lot. The same with the 182S, rough landing and off to the parking. The 182RG comes in good but still crashes itself onto the runway, though at an earlier stage :-) at about 1/4 of rway lenght (probably an hill behaved a/c as mentionned by Lee Swordy in its instruction manual that would need a .air file modification as he also proposes). The Baron does come in correctly but still overshoots and returns back (I think, I haven't checked). Would lessening the angle of the approach slope permit a 182RG "safe" landing? Donno, haven't tried it either... yet.But even better yet, having made the fps IFR, a/cs now complete their task between CSR3 and CHST. Yahoo! :-)I hope these comments will be of some help to RichB whose post "I give up!! AI aircraft cannot land at some airports" preceeds this one.WA96 is also a short 2400' gravel strip. So I would propose him to make shure his fps are all IFR and if this isn't enough, to install a localizer (at the other end of the rway he wants to land to) and a GP near its treshold as I did. Hopefully this would cure the problems as it seams it has for me.But wait! I'm not finished as of yet. I still do have some concerns of my own ;-)Monday I tried to create an fp for a floatplane, the Cessna amphibian, not to name it, between CYQB and Lac St-Ferdinand, a lake at approx 60m S-W of CYQB and 20m E of CSR3 just by St-Ferdinand (CSH5) apt a 2000' dirt strip present in FS. I named my, again fictive place, CLSF for "Canada Lake St-Ferdinand" -- Hey! My imagination has no limits :-) But whatever the place, it dosen't matter.OK, did the overlay making shure to choose the water runway (3500' long) and a parking spot on water in Afcad. Made a 2hre IFR fp between CYQB and CLSF. In CYQB the a/c is there on time departs on schedule, head off to CLSF makes its approach normaly but then overshoots the strip to return back (I presume). On the other site, at CLSF, prior to departure time, the a/c is also there well positionned on its parking spot but instead of floating on the water, she sits on it with her gear down. At departure time, she starts the engine and eventualy ROLLS ( a 21st century remake of JC's feat!!) to the start position, departs (still rolling) and comes to a stop after maybe a 100' run and stays there for ever and ever and ever after. Now I'M stucked :-( Is anyone aware why the a/c is sitting rather than floating on the water. Is it an a/c hill-behave, a lack of information from me so she dosen't know she's now hatching over boose, sorry, water?Does someone knows an FS waterstrip I could import in Afcad to investigate its bgl through Afcad and hopefully find what it has mine hasen't?Has someone succeeded to produce a working floatplane fp or is someome aware that someone has? If yes, name it! ;-)I try to iron out these bugs so I could supply a solution to a friend who's presently developping a bush scenery and would like to add some trafic onto it. But he is now plagued with mounting a new system that gives him some problems. Eventualy the a/c would be a Beaver.Thanks for reading and to all infos or solution you could propose to the floatplane scenario.Hugo

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I don't know about floatplanes, although other have posted that they have had success with it. Check the earlier posts for "floatplane" or similar.I believe that the IFR flight plans are sufficient, and you didn't need to add an ILS.Even so, some aircraft clearly don't like some airports (even in the default FS), and terrain just before the runway may be part of it (like a big hill or something similar).Hope this helps,-- Tom GibsonCalifornia Classic Propliners: http://members.aol.com/tgfltsim/index.htmlAlcoHauler Locomotive Page: http://members.aol.com/alcohauler/home/alcohaul.htmlFreeflight Design Shop: http://www.freeflightdesign.com/ San Diego Model RR Museum: http://www.sdmodelrailroadm.com/Drop by! ___x_x_(")_x_x___

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Thanks Tom for your reply. As you suggested, I did a search on floatplane and other alike. I haven't found any mentionning success in this particular field but maybe I haven't found them all. Last March 8th Joe, posted on the same subject where he mentionned having the same problem with the amphibian rolling wheels down on top of the water. I'll try to contact him to see if he found a solution although I'm looking much more for using the Beaver.As far as just declaring the fp IFR would be sufficient without having the need to put up and ILS I think I would agree with you on this. I'll remove them from my overlay to check it it makes a difference. I'll reported later on this week on this aspect.Meanwhile if anyone is aware of any successfull attempt in the making of floatplane fps, I'd realy appreciate you post infos about them on this thread. Again tks alot Tom and any other who could come and give me a hand on this.Hugo

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Hey Hugo,Thanks for your info, I also have an interest in populating small fields so I really want to get WA96 up and running and then when I have all the secrets to creating succesful AI landings I will move on to other small airports. Actually WA96 has a lake at the end of the strip so I built a float plane plane base there, of course they don't land there either, I have the same problem as far as the floatplanes "riding" on the water instead of floating. I also noticed that pure floatplanes (ie. no wheels) sit on top of the water with only the bottom of the float touching the water. I did notice yesterday that one of my floatplanes was actually sitting properly in the water, I'll check the config file and see what is different about this plane.

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Hi Rich!You've got a great news for me there. I remain on standby for the floatplane ident. :-).Tom mentionned that the IFR fp should be sufficient and that the localizer may not be required. I kinda agreed with him. So today I delete the ILS and glide slope in the overlay. The 172 did all right so did the PA-180 but the 182S crashed herself onto the rway and so did the 182RG. I reinstalled the localizer and now the 182S does ok (but still rough) and the 182RG still crashes itself onto the runway but with no localizer she has, at least, the grace to disappear on the spot. With the loc set she just crashes, fumbles and stays there, blocking the traffic. Not only is she ill-behave but can proove to be ill-mannered as well. Geezz...I haven't try the Baron. So a set of "rules" for landing small bird to "short" runway seem to emerge in my mind.A- Flightplans should be IFRB- Installing a localizer seams to increase the types of a/cs that can use the strip without having adverse effects on those that could do without.C- For the moment I can't say if a glide slope is of any help.The addon apt I used for the tests (CHST) is kind of carved (flatten) into an hilly area at 18/36 heading. The general terrain lenghtwise kinda look like this.ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 2000'Runway oooooooooooo /ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo __S_________________________N_ /<--- up slopeoooooooooooooooooooooooooo /ooooooooooooooooooooooooo / <-- down slope(sorry this won't accept series of space as legetimate caracters) As Tom mentionned, it seams the topographical environment may have an effect on aicraft behavior forcing her to overshoot for example. Possibly the lake at the end of the WA96 strip has the same effect as an hill. So why not giving it a trial by adding a localizer and possibly a G/S . You ain't got nothing to loose and to be true, I'm very optimistic.Presently I only did my test on rwy 36 with stock a/cs. I will be looking at other addons like the Cub the Champion and the like. Naturaly I need have them to land from both ends, so will probably add a localizer for runway 18 as well.Now, it may seems somewhat of an overkill to add 2 localizers to a 2000' dirt rway but if it is what it takes to get a diversified traffic well, so be it. In any case these localizers can't be access from the airplane one flies. Must say I'm kind of surprized of that!For the floatplanes, which is my main concern presently, I did add a localizer there too (CLSF fictive). Now the the Amphibian does the round trip no sweat but still perform her JC's act as she still rools on the surface of the lake. Again the localizer seams to be of some help, as before, either VFR or IFR, she wouldn't move or very little once on the water strip or overshooted it after a seamingly "correct" approach.In Afcad I lowered the strip and area hight by 2 feet and did the same in Airport.txt (maybe I shouldn't change the later..)Anyhow at parking site she was still on top of her things but when she got to the water strip itself, she fainted for a second and did dip her floats in the float. Most probably she felt the northern waters too cold for her taste and hopped back to her feet... aaahr... wheels. Can't fool an old monkey for long I guess ;-) Anyway she manage to take off to get herself back on solid ground at CYQB. Next thing I had in mind was to see if I couldn't trickle the contact points to lower her a bit on her a... Naturaly if it could be done, a side effect would be she would look rather disgracefull when landing on a concrete strip and ladies don't like to look disgracefull in public. I'm pretty shure she would then throw us some other bad tricks she has in her luggage compartment (purse!!) . But, eventualy this is for being applied to a float only bird like the Beaver that would only caress the surface of cold northern water (and love it..) both sides.But as of now I've never tackle the inners of an aicraft so it may take me some time to put her down. But time I have. And a lot for free over that ;-).Otherwise I red a few threads on the subject. In one, someone mentionned that floats only a/c moving on top of water would emit dust as if it was on a solid terrain. To that someone else replyed that he could probably change the dust or smoke or wathever effect for one of spray that would show a more appropiate sight a least. That makes sense for me.Finaly Joe did reply me saying he had put his project aside for the time beeing.Well Rich and all, that's where things stand for the moment. I hope, Rich, a bit of this will of some help in your quest of putting some life to your hometown strip and that, you will eventualy you will find the bird that seemed to behave in your scenery. This would be a heck of a good step in the right direction :7Hugo

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the a/cs would depart as expected but, in both >instances, they wouldn't fly to their destination but would >carry a short flight in their respective areas and land back >to their respective departure airports. Humm... My own experiments with a/c flying between smaller 'activated' airports has revealed that they must be at least 18nm apart, and that altitude should not exceed 2,000' AGL.>I inserted an ILS localizer and Glidepath to this rway thinking it >would assure a proper approach to it.I'm surprised that you noticed any difference, since the localizer and GS that AFCAD creates are only used to create the display in the GPS (and FSNav or NAV3.1 after rescanning the .bgl files). You need to use a scenery program (such as FS Architect) to create the actual localizer and GS. >Is anyone aware why the a/c is sitting rather than floating >on the water.FS treats water as if it were a hard surface in the AI engine, because TTools doesn't provide the complete information needed. The only time I've had any success whatever with floatplanes as AI to water runways has been using the Traffic Database Builder (from the SDK), because in that program, you can specify what type of runway any particular a/c can use, and then AI will take that into account when compiling the traffic.bgl.On a separate issue that you raised concerning a/c landing short or long, experimenting with the elevation parameter in AFCAD can adjust the descent angles of the various a/c you are using. Eventually, you will discover a 'magic' height that will allow most of the a/c to land properly.

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Hi again Rich and all.Well, as far as I can say, I think I have got something to insure a diversified and a rather well behave way of having traffic of small birds to small airstrip. By small airstrip I mean any that would possibly be 1500' long on the low side to let say 4000' on the high one. Over 4000', it is less of a problem althoug, I think, some of the things I gathered could be a of use under certain circumstances.As I was still in the process of learning for myself how this could be acheived, I tought I might as well make 2 hits with a single throw and decided to carry out experimenting using WA96(Leisurland Airpark, Washington st) as a target. So if anything could come out of it, well Rich would be first hand informed that it can realy be acheive at his airstrip. I can understand the frustration he must have gone through. I almost threw the towel as well at one point.The experimentation led me to observe 2 key factors that should be common to any small airstrip AI traffic attempt. They may not be formaly needed in all case (altough I think most of them will profit) but they won't have any adverse effects other than making the path somewhat longer, hence the time longer as well for an a/c to reach the other apt.1- The flightplans shall be made IFR. Shurely not the shortest way between 2 points but one that will assure the completion of the roundtrip from airport A to B to A even if those airports are at walking distance from oneanother. Something often VFR fps won't permit.2- One should install, through Afcad, one localizer at each end of the rway. This will increase the type of a/c that will make it, in a single part or will not overshoot the strip when they get there.That's all there is to it. Otherwise some little tweeking will have to be made here and there to insure the proper conduct of the fights, back and forth, under any weather conditions.To explain some of these tweekings, I will use the WA96 trial to show some of the adjustments I had to make.First I made an overly for the strip that includes 2 parkings a taxiway and a couple of exits from the runway and inserted the 2 localizers. The taxiways lies along the west side the rway and, in FS, it appears the a/cs are rolling on the grass to their the parkings. I have no special scenery to represent them and, anyway, these are not needed for experimenting.With Ttools I then made IFR fps from different apts of the region. KPWT, that's about 7nm south east, KSEA (Seatle-Tacoma), ~ 20 nm to the east and WN00 (Kimshan Range) about 15 nm North. I used the 182S for the trial. Of all these fps, only one seamed to work, the one from WN00 that landed rway 13 at WA96. The one out KPWT just returned back, the one from Seatle made it to the airport but to overshot it. Yet the fps were IFR and both the localizers present. What the h...?I have FsNav 4.1 (as for the American card, no one flightsimmer should ever leave without it ;-) ). It clearly shows that there is an airport zone around KPWT into which the flightpath of rway 31 gets into. So my first though was to attribute the failings to the presence of this apt zone. That was when I was about to throw the towel. But, on second thought, that couln't be... So what? It's then that I remarked I had made the fp flightlevels at 2000' ASL. What if I made it 3000' (later I had to crank it up to 6000' when out of KPWT. I'll explain later). Then everything cleared up the 182s made it good from anywhere. From there all the experiments I conducted were made from KPWT. So the flight altitude is a factor to take into account when establish an fp. Obvious!!!. In an other post, Bill says that this altitude should be set at no more than 2000' AGL. I guess it's no more than 2000' higher than the highest ground in the round trip (again more on that later) Next step was to see what other birds would make it. As it turned out the C-172 and the PA-180 did ok but the 182RG overshot, just like my previous trials art CHST. Could anything be done for the ill-behaved and ill-mannered 182G? So in Afcad I decided to declare the 2400' rway to be 3000'. Guess what? It worked! Not only for the RG but all the others could proceed as well. They all made it to the runway and the parkings, the 172 having the shortest approach making it about 20 or 30 yards onto the runway.Could I get the Moony in? Declaring the rway beeing 3500' it did, but she rooled over for about 30 yrds past the runway's end. She made it good to the parking anyhow! The drawback though is that the 172 didn't reach it by about 30 yrds but still find her way to the parking too! Declaring the rway to be 4000' permits to land the Baron within the runway limits but the 172 ended its approach in the lake that's close by rwy 31's end. I think that in the later, the 182s and the Moony would have probably made it too but I doubt the Pa-180 would. I haven't test these though.Shortening back the rway back to 3000' and adding 2 more parking spots at WA96, I prepared a serie of fp the 4 smaller birds, all departing from KPWT at 5min intervall, the fastest (RG) first the slowest (Pa-180) last. I slew myself above WA96 and opened four sub-windows, one for each AI. So I could see them approaching and landing while still monitoring the progression of the remaining ones. Kinda cool sight!! They all made it good :-)I made attempts with 2 addon a/cs. The Douglas R4D-6 NATS v4.0 (2k version that runs ok in 2k2 and the Beaver on wheel, 2k2 version. Well the DC-3 was showing a nice juggling act, standing on its rear wheel the main gear retracted. Would make quite an attraction at the country fair! But didn't managed to even make the runway. She fumbled as it turns on to it, crashed and disappeared in thin air (at least she is well-mannered!!). The Beaver did look cool. She nicely made her way to WA96 but crashed herself into the runway. In this case, it was a clear evidence of non AI adapted a/c (read non-GMax). Wouldn't activates her flaps (and didn't even try to retract her floats too!!) and just fell like a rock when over the rway.But all the preceeding tests were made with a northern wind (16 knts) forcing the use of 01 and 31 rways at respective airports. What if the winds were such as to favorise usage of southern rways. No sweat. Just changed the weather to a southerly wind (same speed). And up we go!. This time the a/c was directed to the west then north to WA96. Departing rway 01, the a/c was first vectored E-S-E, then north. OK, no big deal. Well, maybe not. To the east of the apt the ground hight seem to be about 1000' max while to the west, along the path followed by a/c, there are peeks at over 4000' and possibly 5thou. (haven't checked every sq inches!) The fp having been left at 3000'... well you can imagine the rest. So I made another attempt with 6000' set to the fp. This was fine and the bird made its way to rway 13 at WA96 and landed safely. Redid the flight, this time with northernly winds, fp alt. still at 6k. Worked fine. So I guess for those who would want to make their own fps, just make shure you know the the height of the highest point of the back and forth way and set the fp alt. to at least 1000' over this hight but possibly to no more than 2000' as suggested by Bill.In short. (assuming one already has some knowledge of Afcad an TTools) In Afcad1- Open Afcad2- Open an existing apt or create it as per Afcad help file3- Create the overlay for the taxiways, parking spots, and a tower frequency4- Include localizers at both end (different frequencies) 5- IF NECESSARY, in some instance like using larger small AI :-) the airport won't normaly accept, declare in list/runway/properties a longer lenght (up 25-30 % shouldn't pause problem)6- Save when completeIn TTools1- Execute Tdecompiler.exe2- Move or rename flightplan.txt3- Open Notepad.4- Write one the IFR flightplans for the AI you intend to add to this airport, in the proper format insuring you set the cruise altitude at at least 1000' over the highest point in the territory most likely followed by the a/cs, back and forth.5- Save as Flightsim.txt (this way, only your fp(s) will be present in FS. Easier to spot and follow. A lot less time for compilation. Reduced possibility of messing the original flightplan file.6- Open Airport.txt and add the pertinent datas for the newly created apt. in the appropriate format - Name, Lattitude, Longitude, Terrain Altitude - Save7- Execute Tcompiler.exe8- Start FS2K2 and test. Make any necessary corrections in either Afcad or TTools. Retest as required.When satisfied with all results9- Repeat step 4 to 8 for as many fps you want to develop for this particular airport. 10- When completed and totaly satisfied, copy the new fp lines at the end of the existing list of the original flightplan.txt you saved or moved at step 2 and save it as flightplan.txt in TTools directory.11- Execute Tcompiler.exe You now have regain access to all of your original fps + the new one you just add.Lets hope aircraft desinger will sharpen their pens to produce Gmax models of small a/cs like the Cub the Beaver and the likes. :7Now for the floatplane section, I will refer you to Bill's post. He brought along with him a very good info that should eventualy leed to the solving of floatplanes rolling over water problem. I'll let you reed it direct from the horse mouth in this thread for those that haven't seen it yet. If anyone is interrested to have a copy of WA96 Afcad file along with the KPWT-WA96 fp with the 4 basic a/cs, a Flight file and some instructions for the installation, so they can make their own test and trials without having to rebuild everything from square one, just drop me a line. I will be glad to email you a zip package of it.Hugo

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>the a/cs would depart as expected but, in both >>instances, they wouldn't fly to their destination but would >>carry a short flight in their respective areas and land back >>to their respective departure airports. Humm... >>My own experiments with a/c flying between smaller >'activated' airports has revealed that they must be at least >18nm apart, and that altitude should not exceed 2,000' AGL. >Well, after doing a lot of testing lately I guess the 18nm would stand true for a VFR flightplans but for an IFR one my feeling are they can be acheived even if they were in one's other backyard. Mind you, it won't be a direct flight. The departing will be vector to maybe this 18nm you mention (so it can have ample space to align with the active runway. See my first message. An fp between CSR3 and CHST, which are 10nm apart, wouldn't work under VFR but does work properly when the fp is made IFR. Lately I have acheived roundup fps between KPWT Bremerton Natl (Washington) and WA96 (Leisureland Airpark) which are only 7.2 nm apart (see my 2nd post to RichB in this thread I will post at the same time as this one). As for the 2000' AGL that may be the case. I haven't precisely check this aspect yet. >>I inserted an ILS localizer and Glidepath to this rway thinking it >would assure a proper approach to it.>>I'm surprised that you noticed any difference, since the >localizer and GS that AFCAD creates are only used to create >the display in the GPS (and FSNav or NAV3.1 after rescanning >the .bgl files). You need to use a scenery program (such as >FS Architect) to create the actual localizer and GS. Actualy I haven't found the GS could be of any use to help in getting traffic to land any better at proposed airstrip. At the time it was only a guess but haven't found any circomstances where its usage would help in any way. As for the localizers, they DO make ALL the difference. Actualy they're the key, along with using IFR fps, of this approach. From what I have experimented up to now, their presence or absence is what makes it or breaks it. Using them, permits 'safe' (altough sometime rough) landings of more small AIs that would not make it if these were not set. So they assure a better diversity of the traffic. Again, I refer you to my first reply to RichB. As far I know these localizers cannot be access by regular FS ac. So, their sole utility is for AI fp assistance. At least that's the way I perceive and use them.>>>Is anyone aware why the a/c is sitting rather than floating >>on the water.>>FS treats water as if it were a hard surface in the AI >engine, because TTools doesn't provide the complete >information needed. The only time I've had any success >whatever with floatplanes as AI to water runways has been >using the Traffic Database Builder (from the SDK), because >in that program, you can specify what type of runway any >particular a/c can use, and then AI will take that into >account when compiling the traffic.bgl. Now THIS IS real nice music to my ears :-). I dwld the SDK and had a fast peek through. From what I gathered, I'm pretty shure that there lies the solution to the floatplane behavior I'm after. As you seem to have some experience with it, would you mind if I'd contact you directly on this? Any positive outcomes would be added to this thread. I'm pretty shure many readers, Joe, just to mention one, would very muck like to know about this 'approach' :-)>>On a separate issue that you raised concerning a/c landing >short or long, experimenting with the elevation parameter in >AFCAD can adjust the descent angles of the various a/c you >are using. Eventually, you will discover a 'magic' height >that will allow most of the a/c to land properly. I haven't experiment a lot with this aspect yet but I guess that, yes, this could be an other trick in the arsenal to achieve as much a diversified traffic as possible to a short strip. >BillWell again, thanks Bill, I realy realy appreciated your inputs.Hugo

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Hey Hugo,I've been sick for the last few days so I haven't been flying, but I read your posts and I will do some trials tonite and see what happens, I'll let you know.

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Sorry to ear youv'e been sick but very happy to know things now clears up. Hope that getting life to your local airstrip will chear it up a little bit higher. If anything, don't hesitate to ring me. On this forum or by email.All the best,Hugo

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