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What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

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What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Lightman » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:33 pm

Hi guys,

Was just wondering what planes, you think, really stand out in FlightGear and what do you mostly fly?

Cheers

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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby MaverickAlex » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:37 pm

there is already a discussion regarding this topic here.

http://www.flightgear.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3114
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Lightman » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:41 pm

Thank for that, I must have flown over it :D
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby someguy » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:28 am

I disagree. That other thread has degenerated into a fanboi discussion of real aircraft, and never had anything to do with good FlightGear models.

I favor models that have realistic limits. Zooming around in 20G turns feels like an arcade game, not a sim (SU-37, anyone?). I like models that behave smoothly and predictably. Some standouts:

Dave Culp's T-2C and A-29B/AT-29 are the sweetest-flying military models I've found. His RA-5, OV-10, FJ-3, and F-4 series are also excellent.

Other favorites: C-2A, F-14B, J3 Cub, P-38, PC7, Stampe, Storch.

Helicopters: EC-135, AirCrane. I'm not good enough to evaluate the others yet.

Sorry, but airliners just bore me. The A-10 seems like a good model, but for some reason I don't enjoy flying it--maybe if it had a hook...
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby DFaber » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:45 am

Hi someguy,

someguy wrote:I favor models that have realistic limits. Zooming around in 20G turns feels like an arcade game, not a sim (SU-37, anyone?). I like models that behave smoothly and predictably. Some standouts:

Dave Culp's T-2C and A-29B/AT-29 are the sweetest-flying military models I've found. His RA-5, OV-10, FJ-3, and F-4 series are also excellent.


As far as I know, these Aircraft are just limited to not exceed the limits, most real Aircraft _can_ exceed g-limits limits and either bend or break when doing so (which admittedly most FG Aircraft don't do).
Some Aircraft that can be broken are the F-14 and the F4U (some others to come...). Planned feature for the F4U is to jam gear or control surfaces when the Airframe is overstressed. Btw. overstressing the engine of F4U, fw190 and bf109 leads to engine failure.

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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Liam » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:07 am

I am much into Airliners, As I get woken up by traffic going to the London airports most nights -_- lol. :)

In flightgear:
- 777-200ER for CVS is AMAZING
- 737-400 - BIt of a texture problem and the wheels kinda twitch when down and up...
- 737-300 - No cockpit but its beautiful outside with hundreds of liveries. (For cvs)
- 787 for cvs - Very realistic-
- A380 - I havent used it for a while but i love it. - not yet cvs i dont think
- A320- hope this will be updated soon
- A300- hope this will be updated soon

:)
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Gijs » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:12 am

Liam, where is the 747-400 in your list? :cry:
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Aircraft: 747-400
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Liam » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:16 am

I tried to download the one off your site but it didnt show up in the directory.. Il try again as i have just got a new flightgear with no other 747's :P

*edit* it works ok :D its an awesome plane btw- congratulations..
only problem is there appears to be black things (appears to be smoke) coming out of the engines in air and on the ground- also- when in cockpit view, there is no walls surrounding. the cockpit appears to be in the air!, Last problem is that when the wheels are up there is parts of it still showing as down. Is it just my version or is this a problem with them all?
Great plane though! best 747 out there.
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:03 pm

It probably really comes down to what exactly "stand out" means for you, personally I would guess that this has to be limited to those aircraft that are fairly complete or almost "finished" - this is what users from flight simulators would probably expect for "outstanding" aircraft, in the sense that they "work" and don't just simply frustrate them.

So "complete" meaning aspects like modeling of the exterior, interior (cockpit panel), fdm and systems modeling (as mentioned on the wiki).
In a sense, enabling users to compare FlightGear with other simulators.

Such a list of aircraft is to be found on the wiki, but frankly spoken it isn't really very long: http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/Suggested_Aircraft
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Gijs » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:13 pm

Hooray wrote:frankly spoken it isn't really very long:

That's because all our planes are so good, that only a few really standout (those are extremely good) :P
Airports: EHAM, EHLE, KSFO
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Sun Mar 08, 2009 12:49 pm

Not sure if you are being cynical or talking tongue in cheek, but actually it really depends very much on the point of view used: admittedly, there are some really nicely-modeled aircraft models (787) in FlightGear, also there are some very nicely-done cockpits (b1900d) or fairly good FDM configs for some aircraft, the same applies to liveries, even some complex instruments and aircraft systems are starting to be modeled nicely.

However, if we are serious about this discussion of "outstanding aircraft", only very rarely are FlightGear aircraft really done that fully in all of these compartments (which is normal), but it's important to keep in mind that users from commercial simulators are used to their aircraft being at least mostly or somewhat "complete" in most of these areas, so it's easy for them to get "frustrated" by the state of some aircraft, because FlightGear doesn't perform as well as the simulator they are used to:

- having a well done FDM doesn't help if you don't have an exterior 3D model
- having a really nicely done 3D model isn't of much use if you only have a very basic or no FDM for it

Unfortunately, even once you get all these things together (let's say after 2-3 years): 3D aircraft model, 2D/3D cockpit, good FDM configuration - people will suddenly start to ask for proper systems modeling, which is almost impossible to do fully and realistically for a volunteer project like FlightGear (requires lots of systems knowledge, access to aircraft manuals and other internals), in particular for complex aircraft like airliners that have glass cockpits, autoflight systems and many other systems that would need to be simulated.

But users of others simulators are more and more getting used to having all this (and more!) in place, this makes the "competition" very hard and also impossible to realistically determine "outstanding" aircraft, it boils down to the metric used: if we stop evaluating individual strengths of each aircraft, FlightGear aircraft would however generally perform pretty badly in comparison with its commercial competitors unfortunately.

That's why I was asking about what's important to the original poster.

If I remember correctly, there was in fact an effort about 2-3 years ago to orchestrate the various ongoing efforts, so that instead of working on a number of xx different aircraft at the same time, 1-2 aircraft would get prioritized in order to get to see more devotion by the community, to highlight FlightGear strengths-back then the talk was about the c172, because it was already fairly completely modeled, but also the 737, which was 737-300 then, and then a whole group of people actually started work on turning this into a 737-800 - unfortunately, all this ended up taking place in a private CVS repository, so I don't know anything about the latest state of things, but I didn't get to hear anything about this project again, tho.
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Groucho » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:03 pm

Hooray wrote:- having a well done FDM doesn't help if you don't have an exterior 3D model
- having a really nicely done 3D model isn't of much use if you only have a very basic or no FDM for it


Some time ago I used to note this whenever somebody asked for a new model or announced to start a new one.
In fact it is tempting to include the model of ones favorite aircraft in FG but in most cases people stop when it comes to modelling the FDM- the challenging but complicated part.
That limits the sim experience but increases the game factor of the program.

AFAIC I would opt to improve the existing FDMs and cockpits before starting a new aircraft. There are lots of unfinished models in the tree, actually.
If that task could be made easier that would certainly help here.
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:18 pm

Groucho wrote:Some time ago I used to note this whenever somebody asked for a new model or announced to start a new one.

Yes, this is a very common problem - of course it is generally more appealing to start your own stuff, instead of just editing/fixing and enhancing someone else's

So, this is when the "human factors" components comes in - even in flight simulation ;-)

Groucho wrote:In fact it is tempting to include the model of ones favorite aircraft in FG but in most cases people stop when it comes to modelling the FDM- the challenging but complicated part.
That limits the sim experience but increases the game factor of the program.

Yes, but maybe this needs a poll - so that one can see what the actual problem really is: are people possibly "just" interested in 3D modeling?
Or might they really not be able to get started coming up with a working FDM config file?
I mean there are now several working approaches, maybe these just need to be better documented?
But in the first place, one would need to know more about the reasons behind people not coming up with FDM configs.
Also, figuring out ways that could help make the task of improving existing work more appealing to new users/contributors would probably be worthwhile.

Groucho wrote:AFAIC I would opt to improve the existing FDMs and cockpits before starting a new aircraft. There are lots of unfinished models in the tree, actually.
If that task could be made easier that would certainly help here.


yes, making it easier and improving documentation is one thing - but there also needs to be a corresponding recommendation to get started contributing by improving existing work, this could be said to be a good basis for gradually starting the process of getting involved with contributing to FlightGear.
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby BrianVanSpeybroeck » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:36 pm

My thoughts on this subject mirror Detlef's comments. I "like" most of the aircraft in FGFS but fly only a handful of them regularly. Partly because of personal interests (I like prop driven, classic Warbirds better than anything else..) and partly because of the realism factor.

I'd like to see more FGFS aircraft fall apart or break when run in a full power dive at full throttle from 30,000 feet. I'd like to see more aircraft fly within the limits of their real counterparts. I'd like to see the Sim capabilities of the existing aircraft developed to a higher level and see less emphasis on more models/more liveries with no realistic attributes other than some eye candy.

We need to see developers and aficionados/virtual pilots coodinating and spending more time making a select group of the existing aircraft perform as realistically as possible to attract more of the right kind of people to the project. In my opinion, that is. I find dozens/hundreds of toy aircraft that can fly beyond any reasonable representation of the original to be less desireable and helpful to the project than perhaps a few dozen aircraft that have been developed and tuned to be virtually real in terms of performance/FDM and graphics/animations.

Quality vs quantity I feel should be a bit more of the objective if we want to gain more serious users and contributors.

In that vein my favorites are aircraft like the FW-190, Mosquito, Bf-109, F4U and the like where we have realistic performance attributes and a high degree of real world handling including engines that break/stop if the pilot over revs them. control surfaces that jam, blackouts, realistic fuel consumption and RPM, engines that respond to mixture/prop pitch/throttle settings, etc.
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Re: What aircraft standout in FlightGear?

Postby Hooray » Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:12 pm

BrianVanSpeybroeck wrote:I'd like to see more FGFS aircraft fall apart or break when run in a full power dive at full throttle from 30,000 feet.

What do you mean by "fall apart" - literally falling apart with graphical animations of this happening, or just "not working" anymore in the sense of "uncontrollable"?

I don't think that it's easy to model an aircraft that features support for falling apart realistically, of course one could have one generic "break" animation and one model to show a "broken aircraft", but a graphical animation of the real process probably isn't that easy.

Just modeling aircraft failure can be done using the limits script from Nasal, which makes your aircraft simply fail/not work anymore once you have exceeded the configured limits.

However, if one truly wanted to try modeling something like this one could use a pre-defined set of aircraft parts, for example the wings, tail, engines, gear and have each of them become a FlightGear submodel with individual and preconfigured characteristics - so that they at least fall to the ground realistically.
That way, the aircraft would exceed its limits, would stop responding to control inputs - until it's become totally uncontrollable so that the airframe's limits are exceeded, at which point the "falling apart" animation would be triggered, so that the pre-configured aircraft parts would fall down to the ground via the submodels systems.

The more I think about it, the more it seems possible to do ;-)

BrianVanSpeybroeck wrote:I'd like to see more aircraft fly within the limits of their real counterparts.

Yes, but isn't that really a matter of having the FDM configured and fine-tuned appropriately?
I think that's exactly what we discussed above: lack of fidelity for many FDM configs.

BrianVanSpeybroeck wrote:I'd like to see the Sim capabilities of the existing aircraft developed to a higher level and see less emphasis on more models/more liveries with no realistic attributes other than some eye candy.

Yes, that would surely be an improvement - in particular if it means that new contributors are encouraged to help improving existing models, instead of coming up with their own ones from scratch. But that begs the questions how you get people to jump on that train?

BrianVanSpeybroeck wrote:We need to see developers and aficionados/virtual pilots coodinating and spending more time making a select group of the existing aircraft perform as realistically as possible to attract more of the right kind of people to the project.

Very true words, but how do you actually achieve setting and implementing this very goal?
Like I said, there were previously similar incentives to do exactly that - but apparently it failed at some point, for whatever reasons.

BrianVanSpeybroeck wrote:In my opinion, that is. I find dozens/hundreds of toy aircraft that can fly beyond any reasonable representation of the original to be less desireable and helpful to the project than perhaps a few dozen aircraft that have been developed and tuned to be virtually real in terms of performance/FDM and graphics/animations.Quality vs quantity I feel should be a bit more of the objective if we want to gain more serious users and contributors.

I totally agree that the current plethora of incomplete aircraft is pretty much doing a disservice to FlightGear in general, simply because there's no coordinated effort, but so many sprinkled, individual efforts going on - so that there's an ever growing amount of new and unfinished aircraft, while there are VERY FEW truly complete aircraft.
This is a scenario that is pretty much unseen in commercial simulators and is particularly bad for FlightGear due to its very lack of any really compelling aircraft.

I mean, if there were such "fairly complete" aircraft to illustrate the possibilities, this would be a different scenario - but in the current situation, any work on new aircraft drains resources from existing aircraft.

BrianVanSpeybroeck wrote:In that vein my favorites are aircraft like the FW-190, Mosquito, Bf-109, F4U and the like where we have realistic performance attributes and a high degree of real world handling including engines that break/stop if the pilot over revs them. control surfaces that jam, blackouts, realistic fuel consumption and RPM, engines that respond to mixture/prop pitch/throttle settings, etc.


This is a fairly good -and more importantly- doable list of desirable features to improve realism in FlightGear, fortunately those aircraft that you are interested in, can -in theory- really be completely modeled in FlightGear using existing means, this doesn't however apply to the majority of current airliners and latest business jets, which are simply too modern or "too glass", so that they simply cannot be accurately modeled without adding new functionality to FlightGear.

Thus, it is important to keep in mind the capabilities of FlightGear as an engine: it doesn't yet lend itself to be used for implementing "non-steam" or glass cockpits: when it comes to avionics, one has to rely on what's already there, at THIS time.

One cannot realistically expect to actually fully complete an aircraft model if the low level building blocks required are not yet provided by the FlightGear engine.
So an effort to orchestrate and lead aircraft development to focus on specific aircraft is certainly worthwhile, but the target of this very focus definitely shouldn't be any of those aircraft that cannot be accurately modeled without extending the FlightGear system.

So it is important that such an effort be based on realistic expectations and also that it sets realistic targets: properly modeling single engine piston aircraft with conventional steam-based avionics is fairly doable, even if you do full systems and failure modeling, but the same goal for any modern jet or airliner is simply not realistic.
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