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Guest DiddlBiker

Automated GA AI traffic - help needed

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Hello, I'm new here, so if I'm asking things that have been asked before, please be patient (I DID check older messages, but didn't see anything).I'm trying to automate generation of AI-traffic in a configurable way. I'm pretty far, except for a few details, for which I need help. What I have so far:* Importing BGL files that have been translated to txt by TTools.* Assigning them to categories. (business jet, training, prop transports, etc)* Generating traffic patterns following a day/night schedule, based on category.Together this allows me to generate varied traffic with any (AI) plane that I want in any way that I want. But I don't know what I want!So I imported traffic plans generated by UT and MT. MT does a great job in creating ridicolous amounts of planes everywhere. UT is the opposite: very little traffic. Great. I now have detailed statistics on airport usage by airplane type in any way that I want (in case you're interested - let me know!) and I can't learn anything useful of it.One thing I learned is that GA traffic as provided by UT and MT is fairly unrealistic. For instance, Teterboro gets a meager 35 legs, compared to JKF's 2217 (in reality, Teterboro handles -believe it or not- the same amount of flights as JFK), and only a few of them are business jets (where I see around 10 business jets waiting in line for take-off on an average day passing by on KTEB).Creating flights isn't such a big deal, but I want to do it as realistic as possible. How do I get proper -realistic- statistics on airport usage? Is there more information to be extracted from FS4 (I could scale traffic based on number of parking spots, for instance, and even keep out planes that are too large for parking)Is there any way to get additional data (the FAA site only has pax numbers, not a/c movements)?

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Hi DiddlBiker,Having Flight Sim as a hobby as many of us do - it's not just the flying - means some of us want a bit more 'reality' as you indicate in your post. For now, enhancing FSX is more of a 'future project' since we don't quite have the easy-to-use tools that FS9 supports.I have a friend who wants to see lots of local traffic. We're in Memphis and KOLV is one of the busiest GA airports around but you wouldn't know it from the FS9 default 'presentation'. I start with Airnav, as Tom mentioned in the previous response, and check the stats to find out how many aircraft are 'based' there. This data may be out of date but it provides a starting point. Then I look at the activity level. Switching over to the Virtual Earth for a view of the parking arrangements I begin to modify the default Airport with AFCAD. Now I have some place to start my custom local traffic. Customizing local traffic also means checking your destinations the same way so your planes have some place to park when they get there. I use UT as well as UGA flights and a lot of these go to smaller GA airports. These airports need parking adjusted upward even if you never add custom flights. A lot of what makes airports seem more realistic is the parked aircraft, I tend to set up more 'static traffic' while Rick starts throwing a small fleet of GA a/c from each AP to all of the others in the area. One nearby GA airport I'll use as an example is M52 in Lexington TN. FS9 default has three(!) parking spots and probably no default traffic even uses that. I fix the parking and add static traffic and Rick throws flights at it and we go from barren to almost believable...I put a chopper, an ultralight, and a couple of cropdusters at M52 while Rick set up the moving traffic. The screenshots tell the story better than words...DEFAULT FS9http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161271.jpgAIRPORT AND TRAFFIC 'ADJUSTMENTS'http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161272.jpgAFCAD and TTOOLS are the way to completely control what you do. Automated traffic generators will provide you with busy skies but you may or may not like how it does it. Build your perfect traffic slowly and carefully and end with the joy of a job well done.Flying is fun. But I still get lots enjoyment from building, adjusting, creating, testing etc. That's why there's not just one Flight Simulator 2004, but potentially hundreds of thousands of unique variaions that hobbyists like us have created.Loyd

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Loyd,Thank you for your reaction. I agree that building flight plans manually will give by far the best result, but as a Certified Geek I cannot stand doing things manually when I can automate it!My plan is to end up with a sophisticated GA-traffic generator - but I need the data to do that. I might end up studying AFCAD's one by one, but for now this is the solution that I'm working on:1) Divide AI traffic in various categories: airliner, military, private jets, prop transport, prop gp and trainers.2) Divide airports in 7 size levels (0 = small, 7 = large)3) Have a simple probability table that will indicate what percentage of generated flights will be of a certain aircraft category, and within a category, what percentage of airports will be visited. For instance, a 'class 0' airport will only be visited by trainers and general purpose props; the transporters and jets are simply to big. In similar fasion, you will not find the trainers and gp's at large and super large airports.4) Create flight patterns using above mentioned probability - taking time into account as well - trainers do not fly at 9PM, but business jets do. In similar fasion, trainers are the only ones who do touch and goes. And make sure all the planes get proper parking time - I agree with you that static airplanes make an airport come to live (as bizar as that sounds)The result will be something that is probably not as good as fully manual, but I can generate GA traffic for any place in the world within 5 minutes. The other advantage is that it allows me to generate GA traffic only there where I need it - saving precious memory (not to mention long initialization times when starting FS9).It all falls or stands of course with proper allocation of the airport classes, and I fear that there is not a lot of accuracy there. I'll have to 'bump up' a couple of airports (teterboro, for instance) manually.And I do notice that I spend more time in FS9 tinkering and optimizing than flying :-roll - but I guess that's ok as long as I'm having fun :-)

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You can automate a lot of GA traffic, with GA-TRAFFIC.As I decided that a lot of GA traffic was needed in KFUL, DOWNLOADED the program GA-Traffic available on many sites. Then, installed in FS9, the types of aircraft that normally are on the field or appear on Sat mornings at KFUL. GA-Traffic can be configured to have the amount of flights you wish, though you need to play with it to get what you want. It can be so busy traffic is lined up on a Sat morning at KFUL for departures of one per minute, etc... just as in real life.Flights will vary according to your setup. You can program GA-Traffic to create X flights, by checking aircraft usage. You could check say a Vans RV6A for Business, Rental, Student, Club, and Private flights. By unchecking any one of these, it will reduce the number of flights.With some good models, you can check the box Make AI aircraft, and it will convert the flying model to an AI MODEL.You can set the probability percentage for all GA aircraft, to increase or decrease the probability of the aircraft flying in or out of the field, and number of flights. Like I have the RV6A set to 100%, but the DeHavilland Comet only 15%... SO you can have more of the types of aircraft you want at all GA airfields. Its quick and easy way to make realistic traffic, without having to build all the flight plans for each airfield... Then, if you want more specific flights from your favorites, you can build some individual flight plans for them, which add to the GA-TRAFFIC flights.Have Ultralights making short flights, by checking only Rental and Private. You can even change the airfields, type, to further restrict the types of flights, and many other settings like the percentage of parking spaces which will be used for GA Traffic generation. Mine is set at about 60% but it could be set to 100% etc.Bob

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Bob,Thank you! That was exactly like I had in mind when I started building my tool. It's good to see that I can spend more time flying and less time programming with this!Thanks!

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