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Annoying departure time delays

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I've been using the radius method to add gates to airports and to get the various airlines to the proper gates. I'm currently working on KSEA. I was under the impression that a plane would be placed at a gate if it was within 15 minutes of its scheduled departure time. It seems that fs is instead placing all ai aircraft at the gates without regard to departure time. In other words, planes that are not scheduled to depart for hours are being placed at gates. The result is way too many planes, so there are never enough gates, so planes from one airline end up using gates that belong to other airlines and the time I spent sizing the gates is wasted. This is a real nuisance. Is there some way to prevent planes from being placed at a gate unless it is close to their departure time? Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]

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Would it be better to do an overlay of the same airport, so only aircraft for that particular airport can use those gates? FS may use AI planes that are closer to takeoff time, since there wont be space for the latter ones?Paulhttp://www.advdigitalmedia.com/sig.jpg

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No, your original assumption is incorrect. FS will place all planes that should be there at that moment. What is also does is place all planes that already left in the past 15 minutes, and then they depart immediately.The only way to avoid the parking crush is to use multi-leg flight plans, with stops of only an hour or so between legs. Then your planes will be flying most of the time, not sitting on the ground. I often have them sit on the ground late at night, because then I'm not so concerned about a full airport of sitting planes.Hope this helps,-- Tom GibsonCalifornia Classic Propliners: http://www.calclassic.com/Cal Classic Alco Page: http://www.calclassic.com/alco/Freeflight 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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Hi Paul,I believe you're right about using overlays. That's what I had started out doing, then I looked into the radius method and decided that would have some advantages. It does, but it also has this particular disadvantage. Maybe some combination of the two methods is necessary to get the best results. I suppose I take those airlines that are hogging too many gates and assign them to overlays.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]

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Hi Tom,Thanks for the info. Let me see if I can understand this a bit more clearly. Let's say I have a two-leg United flight that leaves KSEA at 10:00am for KDEN and lands back at KSEA at 5:00pm. The repeat interval is 24 hours. Is the plane going to then sit at KSEA from 5:00pm until 10:00am the next morning?Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]

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Yes. You need to find better flightplans than the one you are using. I would not recommend using the sort of flightplans that give a plane two short legs each day. The type of flightplans that mimic real world movement by using actual aircraft movements, such as those by John Stottlemire and the newer ones by PAI should be preferred. The type of simple flightplans that you find in the worldai2 package should be used as a last resort, and even then, you probably ought to delete out those flights which under utilize the aircraft. These sort of plans place much too many AI aircraft sitting at each airport in your virtual world for any sort of realistic parking to handle.

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Now that I have a better idea of how the flight plans work, I can be more selective about which ones to use. What I'm using now is mostly a combination of PAI and WorldAi plans. Even within those two groups, though, there's inconsistency in how the plans are constructed. Maybe the idea of using real-world schedules is just not realistic at this point, given the lack of standards and also the various limitations we have to work with. I don't even care that much if the dep/arr times are "real" or not. Mainly what I want is to see the appropriate airlines represented at a particular airport...exactly when they take off or land is pretty much irrelevant. I'm looking at My Traffic...it looks like a relatively hassle-free way to do what I want.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]

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IMO,PAI is much much better,it's free,you have real-world schedules,framerate-friendly models

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Some of the plans that are causing the "gate clog" problem I described here are the PAI plans I've been using. My Traffic licenses PAI's planes, so there's no difference there--and the nice folks at PAI get to make some money as a result. As for PAI's plans being real-world, that doesn't matter to me; since I don't have the real-world schedules of dozens of airlines memorized, how would I know if the ai traffic around me is taking off and landing according to schedule? I do care, though, that I see United (or whatever) planes taking off and landing at airports served by the real United, and My Traffic claims to do that. Yes, PAI is free, but I don't mind paying in order to get what I want. I figure the $30 I'm paying for My Traffic is a bargain if it saves me as much time and hassle as I think it will. :)Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]

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The problem has noting to do with using the radius method and everything to do with using bad flight plans. Some of the flight plans are very bad with this. For example a plane may be set up to do one 2 hour flight a week and it will just sit around the other 7 days and 22 hours. Matt

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Oh, one other thing when using the radius method. It is very important that you have enough gates for each airline. One thing I would recommend is to have "buffer gates" in ramp and maintenance areas. For example if Airline A has a radius of 150 feet then set up a bunch of gates around the terminal at 150 feet. Then go to a ramp area and set up a buch of gates with a radius of 151 feet. What this will do is allow any aircraft that can't fit in the proper terminal gates to go to the overflow parking in the ramp area instead of moving into terminal gates that are supposed to be used by Airline B which has a radius of 153 feet.Using good flight plans is also much more important using the radius method. If you use the overlay method and there is no room for a plane to park where it is supposed to it will just disappear. But using the radius method if there is no room it will park in the next largest gate which could be a different airline.Are you using the Universal Aircraft/Gate Radius Matrix that Kevin Au and I set up?? If so please upload your AFCAD design when done, I'd like to try it.Matt Fox

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Hi Sid,Let me add to the good advice you have already received, that according to my experience departure time does not affect the priority of aircraft placement at a Gate. It is the relative position of flights inside the Flightplans.txt file which influences which aircraft gets a gate first.In other words, if a flight departing at 1030 has its flightplan entry inside Flightplans.txt placed before a flight departing at 1000, then the "1030" aircraft will get a gate before the "1000" aircraft gets one.As I wrote, this is just my experience sofar, and it may very well be an incorrect conclusion of mine, but I state it here for what it's worth :-)Stamatis

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Sidney:I would just like to add that overlays don't do much good for airports such as Seattle. True, a combination of both overlays and the radius of aircraft works very well and makes things much more precise however, KSEA only has 2 parallel runways. Overlays aren't for every airport.Try to use the longest runway for takeoffs and the shorter for landings. In the real world aircraft are very heavy when departing airports (fuel) and we try to vector them to the longest runway in most cases. Landing aircraft have weight restrictions and must be at or less than a specified weight when landing so the shorter of the two parallel runways usually works and keeps traffic in and out of the airport flowing smoothly

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Hi Jim,Now that I'm using MyTraffic things are working much better, and I can stick with one overlay per airport. I'm glad I don't have to re-do all that stuff! Frame rates are much better, too.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]

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Hi Matt,>The problem has noting to do with using the radius method >and everything to do with using bad flight plans.I didn't mean to imply it was the fault of the radius method, which I still prefer over creating multiple overlays. There was obviously a problem with the flight plans.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]

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