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Plane Spotting (of the AI kind)

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There used to be this great parking lot at San Francisco International Airport (actually, it's still there) where I would spend hours, and sometimes an entire day, sitting with my friend, munching on sandwiches, scanner radios tuned to ATC just watching the action as the planes would come and go. Alas, the parking lot has been closed since the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and now here I sit in front of my computer "Plane Spotting" for hours, and sometimes an entire day, watching and listening as the AI aircraft come and go at the FS2002 version of SFO. And all because of this guy named Lee who spent I can't imagine how many hours (and cups of coffee!) cranking out these great little tools called TrafficTools and AFCAD. To be honest, I've spent more time in the past few months fine tuning the arrival and departure of AI aircraft at various airports than I have actually flying any type of "flyable" aircraft. And that includes my favorite Posky 777-200s with the PSS Pro panel. My wife knows how much I love this game, but she can't understand why it's been so long since I've "flown". I have to admit, it is a little bit of an obsession, this "Plane Spotting" thing. No, no... that Cessna is arriving just a little to closely to that MD-83, so I'm going to have to change someone's arrival time (which really means adjusting their departure time), followed by a compile and decompile just to check that the arrival times are spaced properly so our friends in the Delta MD-83 don't have to do a costly go around. I know how frustrating that is for the flight crew and the passengers. Wait a minute! Get a hold of yourself. This is just a game. Isn't it?Two hours later... Hey, that Posky 767 can't park there! That spot is meant for a smaller jet. Better decrease the size of that parking spot a bit (let's see... the formula is 75% of the wingspan...) and while I'm at it, I'll shuffle the order of the gates around so it's a little more random. Now what's happening over there?! Why is that Northwest 747 that just arrived from Tokyo back-taxiing on 28R to get to the high speed turnoff it rolled past? Why doesn't it take the next taxiway just ahead? Better take a peek at the runway and taxiway nodes and see if I can do something about that. Whoa! What was that? My Hawaiian 767 just got its clearance to Honolulu and, after being instructed by ATC to contact ground control, simply vanished from its parking spot! Better tweak that parking spot a bit or maybe move it back from the terminal a bit or change the angle - don't know... better post that one to the forum.Okay things are looking smoother at SFO for now. Let's see what's happening at Honolulu. Wow, that new bgl that guy posted for PHNL has lots of gates! This place is packed! Nice to see all those "heavies" I programmed to fly in and out of here actually have gates to park at now. Yup. There's United, Asiana, Korean, JAL, etc. Think I'll reassign some of these parking spots and see if I can get the smaller jets like the Aloha 737s and Hawaiian 717s to park in the gates at the west end of the terminal. There. That looks good. Now if I can just... "HONEY! IT'S FOUR IN MORNING! YOU BETTER GET SOME SLEEP IF YOU EXPECT TO GO TO CHURCH IN IN 5 HOURS!" DOH!Thanks for the great tools, Lee!

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There are several small airports and one international one in my part of the world, and I've been having great fun setting up all manner of AI flights. I like to sit alongside the runway in the Bell (on an unused taxiway, holding short) then crank up the speakers as the jets roar past.On that subject, does anyone know of a sound file for the 747 with more meat to it? I'm sure the whistling sound is realistic in certain situations, but it needs some rumbling bass to make it better for external views during takeoff. I want to shake the monitor.Finally, I'm keen to get some feedback on my traffic tool. I'll announce a URL shortly.

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You want to FEEL the sound. Look here http://www.oshealtd.com/interact.htmDon't let the backpack kiddish look scare you off. I took it apart and now when flying I stick the "speaker" between my back and the chair back for some real feedback.Regards,Bob

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>You want to FEEL the sound. Look here >http://www.oshealtd.com/interact.htm >Interesting. However, I've got a sub-woofer the size of a small dustbin under my desk, and four satellite speakers around me. If I turn the bass up I can shake the pictures off the wall, but the jets in FS2002 just whistle. The props are ok, and as I said I can understand the interior jet noise being muted but when the plane is taking off 40 meters away I want more than hhhhiiiiIIIISSSsssssss.I'll go search a few archives ;-)CheersSimon

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>Think I'll reassign some of these parking spots and see if I can get >the smaller jets like the Aloha 737s and Hawaiian 717s to >park in the gates at the west end of the terminal. There. >That looks good. Now if I can just... "HONEY! IT'S FOUR IN >MORNING! YOU BETTER GET SOME SLEEP IF YOU EXPECT TO GO TO >CHURCH IN IN 5 HOURS!" Thanks for the great chuckle! I've been spending entirely too much time with MS Flight Watcher myself. I had to tear myself away from it for a few hour so that I could write my homily last night.If I had still been up at 4am, I would have only gotten about 2 hours sleep. I have an 8:30 mass at a retirement center, and another at 11:30 at my parish.Even as I type this, I've got one eye on the flight test station here on my desk, testing out a new 'taxi speed' program to be sure that it is going to work properly... :)

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