I'm very interested in full autonomous flight. That's mainly what lead me to develop FGFSFMC
, which I'll be renaming in the next release, as it has been brought to my attention that I have made it too smart to model just an FMC. Hmm. Guess I got more incentive to work on what I think will be the final release now. I'd like to compare my program to whatever you develop for the fully autonomous flight. Or, if you're experienced with Java, and would like to take a look at my code, or even use some of it, you're welcome to. I'll just warn you, I don't annotate my code much, if at all, but I like to comment out stuff that doesn't work, instead of deleting it. Furthermore, the flow of the code does not match the phases of flight as they are encountered chronologically, as I was unable to get it to work right when I made it that way, and have pretty much scrambled the order of conditions pretty well. If you need help finding something, just let me know. I'll be releasing it under the GPL in the next release (past releases were made free under no license at all). Not that GPL makes my software any more secure than no license at all, AFAIK, but just to keep it in the same open-source spirit as FG.
Being that you are the one in charge of the FG project, I know you have much more coding experience than I do, so I'm sure you could make something to fly this plane on its own much better than I could. Furthermore, I expect you'll probably do this in Nasal, instead of Java, so you can build it directly into the aircraft, instead of making it an addon, so it can run faster.
Finally, I would also like a look at your code, once you've completed it. Since I have a little coding experience, and Nasal seems fundamentally the same as Java, just with a different syntax, I just might be able to understand it. I'd be very interested to see what approach you'll take. Something tells me it won't be anything like mine. The automation will control the flight surfaces directly, instead of telling the AP what to do as I have, right?
Oh, and I got another question for you. How much will the automation be able to do? I expect it will do more than simply follow the Route Manager, as the AP we have does that just fine. Will it calculate top of descent, and begin descent at that point, adjusting descent rate to maintain a 3-degree descent profile? What about autoland? Auto takeoff? Anything I may have missed?