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Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby durk » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:37 pm

Hi All,

As some forum readers may know, I'm organizing a FlightGear booth again at the upcoming FSWeekend at Lelystad Airport (EHLE). Like last year, I would like to show case the Constellation again. I am wondering whether there have been any additions / changes to this fine aircraft since last year. I checked Buckaroo's website, but the latest version I could find is from August 2009, which is the same version as the one we demo'd last year.

Also, considering that EHLE is host to one of the few remaining Connies in the world that is still in flying condition (owned by the Aviodrome museum that hosts FSWeeken), I'm wondering whether we shouldn't seek to establish some sort of collaboration between the maintainers of the real constellation and us. I'm not sure if, and if so, how much I can do, but last year we had a former maintenance worker from KLM visiting our booth, who was really interested. Perhaps if we work on the "in exchange for some performance data we keep the Connie alive by building a better simulator, we might get something going.

Regardless of that, I'm still convinced that this is already one of the better aircraft models. :-)

Cheers,
Durk
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Yakko » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:27 pm

I havn't even seen Buck on FG except once or twice in a long time - if I had to guess I'd say "real life" is keeping him busy and away from Flightgear related stuff.

I had back in April made a trip to the Airline History Museum here in the USA in Kansas City - they have a 1049H that is liveried up as a classic TWA Super Connie - right now its not flying while they do maintainance but they expect to be in the air next year again. I got lots of good pictures and was even allowed a supervised visit to the cockpit to get all sorts of good detail photos. One of the best things I got was pictures of the "cheat sheet" pages taped to the engineer's desk that had manifold press/rpm/bmep settings for takeoff, climb cruise and landing.

I've made a few tweaks to some of the instruments and performance factors - real minor things like correcting the magnetic-true misalignment in the RMI and tweaking the engine FDM files to more closely match the information I got at the museum. That was in April 2010 so if the last update on Buck's site is August 2009 then they have not been incorporated back into the web site downloads yet. If they would assist in your demonstration I can send you those changes but keep in mind its not been officially accepted back into the model so it would be considered experimental. I have been using it a lot in 2.0.0 version of Flightgear with very good results - I don't know which version you will be demonstrating. I am not set up to be able to use the experimental pre-release developer builds so I can't say what will and won't work if you're demonstrating on a cutting edge build.
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Buckaroo » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:46 pm

Howdy guys,

Connie development took a backseat to my Grumman Goose project, and later to the MD-81 project. I shifted focus away from Connie because JSBsim is not my forte, and because maintaining different versions for FG backward-compatibility was getting challenging, especially since FG 2.0 hasn't liked my boxes. And everything stopped early last May when a major initiative at work took over my life.

The work situation has recently improved with the completion of the project, so I have a little more personal time. My director being on sabbatical helps. ;) I've also learned a lot of applicable stuff and skills since I last worked on Connie.

If improvements/enhancements to the 1049H are desired, please tell me what you'd all like, and what kind of timeframe you're hoping for. Texture enhancements and getting the livery machine working is probably first on my list. I'm sure Yakko would be happy to work with me in testing, and I'm looking forward to incorporating things that he learned from his museum visit. (Yakko-- Sorry that I've sat on that stuff , my summer was truly rotten.)

So give me some feedback on desired stuff, and we'll keep moving forward.

-Buck
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Yakko » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:13 am

Things I can give you now that I have pretty well working:

1 - I had to make an adjustment to how the RMI works - I realized it was pointing on TRUE headings while tracking MAGNETIC so as you flew along a radial it was indicating a few degrees off. I tweaked the Nasal and XML slightly to make it point magnetic and it all lines up now.

2 - I played with the engine instrument nasal driver a bit so that when you open the cowl flaps the CHT actually goes down some.

3 - I also put in some fluctuation on the fuel pressure gauges tied to the fuel flow so they dip down as fuel flow goes up.

4 - I don't think the web site model has the engine FDM files I'm currently using that I adjusted based on the museum's data sheet.


One quick fix that would be helpful and probably not hard...the last test version you sent me had the radios modelled into the overhead, but they don't illuminate at night like the rest of the instruments. I never got the time to figure out how the backlighting worked to fix this myself.
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby durk » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:09 am

Buckaroo wrote:Howdy guys,

So give me some feedback on desired stuff, and we'll keep moving forward.

-Buck



Hi Buck, great to see you're still around. I know what it's like to manage real life constraints with FlightGear (and I'm actually experiencing that right now, because I have justed started a new job and still in the process of moving). In any case, I please note that I didn't specifically desire any new features. Instead, because FSWeekend is an excellent place to showcase new features, etc. , I was just wondering whether it might be worthwhile to just check whether any work had been done on the Connie that might be worth showcasing. In this respect, the new adjustments that yakko was mentioning are worthwhile trying (I'll try to reply to yakko's post separatly, to keep the individual lines of thought from cluttering up too much.

But, I you would really push me to actually request new features, then I would guess that having: a) Nav radio controls in the overhead panels (instead of having to rely on the generic menu versions), b) livery selection (so that I don't have to replace textures in order to make it a KLM version), and c) Dice that are bouncing all over the place due to airframe vibrations. :-) (Obviously, the latter is just a joke, but if I may make one small observation, the current dice always seem to be pointing to the center of the earth, as opposed to the center of the current gravity vector (which typically differs from the center of the earth during turns, due to the sideway forces [hope this makes sense, not really sure how to best explain in English]).

Buckaroo wrote:and what kind of timeframe you're hoping for


FSWeekend is organized on November 6 and 7, having stuff a few days earlier would be good, because the last days before FSWeekend are typically pretty hectic.

cheers,
Durk

P.S.,

As I mentioned before, I'm currently moving homes, so my online time is currently extremely limited. Nevertheless, I think the constellation is interesting enough to keep an eye on this thread.

D
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby durk » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:20 am

Yakko wrote:If they would assist in your demonstration I can send you those changes but keep in mind its not been officially accepted back into the model so it would be considered experimental. I have been using it a lot in 2.0.0 version of Flightgear with very good results - I don't know which version you will be demonstrating. I am not set up to be able to use the experimental pre-release developer builds so I can't say what will and won't work if you're demonstrating on a cutting edge build.


I thnk that it would definitely be worthwhile to try. We're planning to demo the cutting edge version, but I don't really expect any major problems. I've been running the August 2009 on the most recent version of FlightGear without any major problems, so I don't really expect any major problems. As far as I can tell, there has been one major JSBSim update that broke quite a few engine configurations, but subsequent updates haven't been nearly as dramatic.

If things don't work, I can always revert back to the original version though...

Cheers,
Durk
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Buckaroo » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:03 pm

Yes, I'm alive and still sorta-kinda around. ;)

Overhead radios are in place and have been night-lit for some time-- I must not have sent Yakko an update on that.

Installation of the livery machine is first priority in my mind. That requires a little texture mapping re-work that I've been putting off since forever.

A lot of textures aren't up to my current standards, but that kinda thing is likely to be delayed behind other projects.

Those dice sure need a refit. Tuxo even talked about writing oscillation code for them at one time. I think right now they use simple pitch and roll properties, back when I barely knew anything. They could certainly use a more realistic physics model, though most of my nasal-time is going into system simulation for the Goose and MD-81.

OK, so the immediate needs seem to be livery selection and Yakko's updates. I'm in the middle of updates to the MD-81 model, but whwen I get to a stopping point on that work I'll switch over to the 1049H. I'll try to target an end of October date for getting the 1049H work done.

-Buck
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Yakko » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:07 pm

You sent me a test version with the radio control updates and cowl flap anims - but with instructions not to hand it out like candy :) It works well, only thing that needs "adjusting" is that the radios don't light up at night with the rest of the instruments.....

If its cool with you I'll send my copy to Durk so he can get an look at it before his demo....
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Buckaroo » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:53 pm

As I mentioned, the overhead radios do light up on my version-- I must have updated it more recently than the last one I sent to you, so nothing needs to be done there.

Pass to Durk what you like, no worries, though I will be trying to get out an update with everything included by end of October. I just want to get what I'm currently focused on out of the way first.

-Buck
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Yakko » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:04 am

Ahh you are right - I didn't read as carefully as I should have :)
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Buckaroo » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:55 am

Howdy Durk and other friends of the 1049H,

I've just completed an update for FG 2.0 users. The new version includes a new TWA livery, livery-over-MP, and many model refinements. Note that this required a major texture re-mapping. I hope I haven't destroyed anyone's custom livery effort, but with a little work these should translate to the new layout. I've posted a livery-making kit that includes the source texture PSD files. See the site link below.

I hope this is in time for testing before FS Weekend. 'd hoped to finish earlier, but I've been doing over-time hours at work the last two weeks and got swamped. Yakko has been extremely helpful in testing this release, and deserves kudos.

-Buck
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby durk » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:14 am

Hey thanks! I've been away from email and internet for a couple of days, so I'm really pleased to find the updated Connie here today (in addition to many other goodies that a lot of people have been working really hard at to get going for FSWeekend)!

I've downloaded the newest version, and will try to get it working this evening.

Cheers,
Durk
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Upkeep » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:02 pm

Dear Buckaroo:

Thanks so much for updating your wonderful aircraft. I am very pleased you have now added livery select too. Thank you.

One small point on start up. In the older version I notice that all the fuel mixture controls in the engineer's panel are pushed back by default. So one can follow the start up procedures and all works OK and the engines fire up.

However, on the new version (unless it is just me!!!), they are all pulled forward, so to start up I have to push them all back to the same position as the old one, ie, fully back. This is not a problem at all, and all part of the start up procedure, but it might be worth mentioning this in the start up information in the menu (if I am right of course). I could not get the engines started until I had pushed the levers forward.

Hope this helps. As I said, maybe this is just me or maygbe you have mentioned this elsewhere!

Thanks anyway for an excellent aircraft.

All the best

Upkeep.
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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Blender3D » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:58 pm

If improvements/enhancements to the 1049H are desired, please tell me what you'd all like, and what kind of timeframe you're hoping for. Texture enhancements and getting the livery machine working is probably first on my list. I'm sure Yakko would be happy to work with me in testing, and I'm looking forward to incorporating things that he learned from his museum visit. (Yakko-- Sorry that I've sat on that stuff , my summer was truly rotten.)

Hi, Buck

I know from own experiences that it is very difficult. But I'd really like to see more functions of the engineer's panel implemented. Also another thing that really is bugging me when flying your aircraft is that all instruments are flat.
Of course I don't expect a completion time for these two things of less than a year.

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Re: Lockheed 1049H Constellation (Beta Release)

Postby Buckaroo » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:05 pm

Upkeep,

Nope, it ain't just you, and that's a good suggestion. I'll do that. I think the change was made so that the real start-up procedures make more sense, with mixtures initialized to the cut-off position. To be honest, the last time I started her up I forgot them as well and sat there scratching my head for a few minutes, because they used to begin full rich. ;)


Blender3D,

Is it possible you are referring to the 1049G that is in the Flightgear repository and download page, rather than the 1049H found on my site (shown in my sig line below)? My instruments are not at all flat (unless someone took a hammer to them), and most engineering instruments and controls are in place. A few gauges are not present-- the prop sync instrument, oil quantities and a small number of other things that have no system modeling yet, and a few elements lack functionality, such as aux fuel pump switches and prop syncing controls. The only major panel that is not represented at all is the sta 260 panel on the aft cockpit bulkhead which is mostly fire and climate controls.

-Buck
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