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Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

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Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby saul » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:32 pm

Hi guys,

I made a few Android Apps for my home-made cockpit that interface to Flightgear and that provide Primary Flight Displays (PFDs) for the airliners I usually fly. I think that some people in the community may find them interesting so I decided to make them available under the GNU GPL license. So far, 4 PFDs are ready for "early production": a Basic PFD that should work with most of Flightgear planes, Boeing 777, Boeing 787-8, and Airbus 330-200 series. The Apps export parameters from the property tree by using the generic protocol. I have tried to identify and use as many of the parameters as I could find. Some details are unfortunately hardcoded, not exposed on the property tree, or maybe there are hidden somewhere there in the tree. Over time, I expect to refine the PFDs with more details. You can find detailed information about this project in flightgearandroid site https://sites.google.com/site/flightgearandroid/

At this stage, only the Basic setup is available and can be downloaded from the Android Play Store. During the next days I plan to make available the other PFDs provided that no problems were reported with the Basic App. A complementary project that consists on Multi-Function Displays (MFD) is on the way and hopefully will arrive soon.

Here are some videos of the Apps:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd61x-_QNpM
http://sites.google.com/site/flightgearandroid/flightgear-pfd/airbus-330
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1D--DZjvtE
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Re: Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby Hooray » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:39 pm

I suggest to add your announcement to the upcoming newsletter, see my signature for details.

BTW: This is something that could greatly benefit from TorstenD's latest mongoose work - and eventually, even from FGCanvas.
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Re: Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby onox » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:13 pm

Looks nice :) The one for the 787-8 looks even better than the actual (of the 3D model) PFD in the cockpit (which looks kinda ugly and broken)
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Re: Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby omega95 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:18 pm

Nice work! I was wondering if the source code is available - I was working on an FG Android controller (with a simple attitude indicator) which lets you use your android device as a yoke (and throttle controller) - it'd be nice to merge the 2 projects.

Also, is there any way to run canvas on a separate device and control it over a wifi/bluetooth (generic protocol) connection? That would definitely make porting instruments into external displays for home-cockpits easier. :)
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Re: Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby ludomotico » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:28 pm

These are wonderful news, and the screenshots look wonderful!

I developed a cockpit for general aviation some years ago: http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGearMap

They are both GPL projects. If you agree, I'll check at what extend they can be integrated. At the very least, I'm sure I could show your Primary Flight Displays in my menu and send an Intent to start your Activity if the user selects your display.
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Re: Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby Gijs » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:38 pm

Nice work! Our social media friends love it ;-)
omega95 wrote in Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:18 pm:I was working on an FG Android controller (with a simple attitude indicator) which lets you use your android device as a yoke (and throttle controller)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... droid.fgfs does just that; and source code is available at https://code.google.com/p/comete/

Source code of the PFD from this topic is available at https://github.com/saul-rodriguez/FlightgearPFD
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Re: Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby Hooray » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:00 pm

omega95 wrote in Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:18 pm:is there any way to run canvas on a separate device and control it over a wifi/bluetooth (generic protocol) connection? That would definitely make porting instruments into external displays for home-cockpits easier. :)


That's the whole idea behind "FGCanvas", a standalone "canvas" instance minus the majority of unneeded FlightGear dependencies/subsystems:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/FGCanvas
Image

http://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/mai ... /31380390/
Zakalawe wrote:more useful would be to get ARM working so we can run parts of the stack on Pis, Pandaboards and so on. This would be materially useful for various add-on functions, especially the canvas and fgcom.


Subject: Canvas & OpenGL ES (Rasberry PI, Android etc)
TheTom wrote:I'll get a Raspberry Pi soon, so I will probably try to also run the canvas there :-)


Subject: Canvas & OpenGL ES (Rasberry PI, Android etc)
TheTom wrote:I've just seen that the Raspberry Pi has hardware accelerated OpenVG support, so we won't need ShivaVG and the path rendering should be quite efficient.

Appart from some really expensive flightsimulator hardware, my problem is usually not the missing hardware but limited time :-) Once someone started with bounties to motivate people, maybe the same could be done with hardware. But the main problem of developers - the limited time - will probably not be solved by this.
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Re: Flightgear Android Primary Flight Displays for Airliners

Postby saul » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:11 pm

Hi guys,

I am happy you like this work. I decided to make all apps free so everyone can download them. If we meet sometime in the real life, you can buy me a beer instead.

I have uploaded FlightgearPFD777 and FlightgearPFD787 to the playstore, and I plan to upload Apps for the A330, A380, and 747-400 probably tomorrow. Then I plan to move to the Navigation displays which is my next small project in the queue.

Gijs and Omega95: I am interfacing my hardware/Apps with the planes you have been working with for some time (747-400, and the Airbus 330 series/ 787-8). I think you know quite a lot of good information about where some of the instument's properties are hidden, or how to expose them in the property tree if they are hard-coded. I could really benefit from some help from your side.

Hi ludomodico, if you look into my code you will see that the communication class and the panel activity are based on your FlightGearMap code (I removed everything I did not needed or that I did not understand :)). I think it would be rather easy for you to move the different plane's classes to your App. However, I dont know how easy would be to mantain so many things in one App. It already took me sometime to study carefully your code and understand the parts that I was interested in (I have to admit I am more in the hardware field, and I am rther amateur in Java). I think there are many ways in which this code can be improved with your help. The way in which each plane object is created is rather inefficient. Every plane has its own class, and now I have to comment/uncomment the class instance (and upload the App to the tablet) every time I want to test a differenet plane. In C++ I would have made a PFD base class, derivate it to create sub-classes for each plane, and use a pointer to the base class. Is it possible to do something similar here?

Ultimately, the best solution would probably be to have Canvas/ FGpanel running natively in ARM architectures so that they can be used in Android Tablets. I have my doubts regarding the addition of screens to Raspberry PI, Blackbone, Panda, etc. A 10.1" HDMI screen costs around UDS 145 (http://www.adafruit.com/products/1287), which is almost the same price as a cheap tablet. On the other hand, the Raspberry PIs are the best for hacking the hardware needed to make instruments. Here is some paralell work I am doing with my Raspberry PI:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdqbhyOJx-E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxtqKIT068w
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