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Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Gijs » Sat May 30, 2009 9:10 am

Hi,

Since today it's possible to rank aircrafts at our wiki. Each aircraft can have a total of five stars, in which each star represents one of the following categories:

Accurate and realistic:
- FDM
- 3D Cockpit
- exterior
- documents (or tutorials) included
- sounds

So a plane with no 3D cockpit or sounds, but with a good FDM, exterior model and tutorials would be ranked three stars.

The rankings can be added to any plane on the wiki. Just add the following line to the planes infobox (pick only one number!):

Code: Select all
|rating = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


See the http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/Rallye-MS893E for an example.

Please feel free to comment on this setup and let me know if you have any ideas to make this better. I'm not happy with all of the ranking categories, so if you know some better ones, please shout!

Regards,
Gijs
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Fahim Dalvi » Sat May 30, 2009 12:07 pm

Hi,

Really Good Idea! Maybe we can Have "Goodies"(like Push back etc.. which make the aircraft more closer to RL) instead of "Documents", or maybe with it.

AFAIK only few aircraft have complete Documentation!

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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Groucho » Sat May 30, 2009 12:52 pm

Gijs wrote:Hi,

Since today it's possible to rank aircrafts at our wiki. Each aircraft can have a total of five stars, in which each star represents one of the following categories:

Accurate and realistic:
- FDM
- 3D Cockpit
- exterior
- documents (or tutorials) included
- sounds

So a plane with no 3D cockpit or sounds, but with a good FDM, exterior model and tutorials would be ranked three stars.


Great idea. I just started to rate some of the helicopters.
The problem I have with those categories: The help and tutorial section is the aspect which is mostly lacking so most aircrafts will fail to get the 5 stars rating even if they are complete otherwise.
Additionally rating information is not very comprehensive as we can not judge whether an aircraft is realistic to operate (by FDM and cockpit) but lacks sound and documentation which will limit it to 3 stars only. Then again, it can have a 3D cockpit but it is not complete. A 3D cockpit of a C172 is not that complex than that of a A380, however it would result in the same rating for both even if the A380 cockpit is incomplete or lacks a few functions. So a fully realistic simple cockpit (eg. in the R22) is rated equal to an incomplete version of a highly complex state-of-the-art avionic equipment.

So I suggest two alternatives:
- Seperate the categories for rating and make this visible
- Add weight to the categories as some are more important than others- fdm and cockpit count 3, model 2, sound and tutorials 1- and some it up or build an average value.
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby brisa » Sat May 30, 2009 2:23 pm

I think separating the categories will be a great idea !
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby HHS » Sat May 30, 2009 3:42 pm

Nice idea- but where in the wiki I can see what are the meaning of the stars is?
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Gijs » Sat May 30, 2009 4:42 pm

HHS wrote:Nice idea- but where in the wiki I can see what are the meaning of the stars is?

Nowhere (yet), because I wanted to finish it first. As I said I'm not happy with all the categories, so we should make sure how we rate the aircraft before we edit all pages.

I do like Grouchos idea. To be sure, you mean that we rate 1 to 5 for every categorie? That would also solve HHS problem ;)
Just let me know what categories you all like to have and I'll add them.
The only question is: what deserves 3 stars and what 2? Not everyone will rate the same, so the actual ratings might be quite personal...

EDIT: Example available at: http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/Rallye-MS893E
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby redneck » Sat May 30, 2009 7:36 pm

Gijs wrote:The only question is: what deserves 3 stars and what 2? Not everyone will rate the same, so the actual ratings might be quite personal...

Actually, seperating the categories means the ratings will be personal. It's all based on user's opinion on their experience with that aircraft. It's the only way we can turn words into numerical values to make an extremely short, easy-to-understand summary of the aircrafts.
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Groucho » Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:12 am

Gijs wrote:EDIT: Example available at: http://wiki.flightgear.org/index.php/Rallye-MS893E


Great. Exactly what I meant.
I have updated the ratings accordingly of the ec135, bo105, R22, AlouetteII, AlouetteIII, Aerostar, B900D, CitationX, Hansajet and GDT Hornet.
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby DFaber » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:30 pm

I have some probliems with this ranking. First what, purpose is it actually for? Second, who is able to judge the FDMs reality/unreality?

I spend days and weeks to gather the Information for an FDM, and than again days and weeks to create and tune it. Someone who makes this ranking must have flown all of the Originals or has read all available Manuals AND has flown the Performance envelope of the FlightGear Model.
Furthermore most Aircraft in FlightGear can dive up to sonic speed and can recover with more than 24 g. Do they deserve 5 stars in FDM?

I doubt that this ranking has any benefit for user or developer. A developer likes to know why the User thinks an Aircraft is unrealistic. I prefer redneck telling me that the wings don't show up in MP and that he wants Instrument lighting rather than getting less stars in exteriour and/or Cockpit. Why has the Morane only four stars in Cockpit and what can the author do to resolve this? And who rerates the Aircraft if there are improvements?

The User sees that an Aircraft has less stars in a given Category and doesn't know why too. In the worst case he will refrain from trying it, and some possible useful input is lost.

I wouldn't dare judging an FDM of any fellow developer. I prefer to discuss the points I noticed, maybe it's me who gets a lesson (been there, done that).

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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby HHS » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:56 pm

I have to agree a bit to Detlef:
I wonder why the bo105's cockpit has 4 stars? As always told from Melchior it is not the finished cockpit and everyone who has seen the real one knows why....

The point is: what actually does this star system means? What is the meaning of 5 stars? What of 4 stars?
How we can say that a fdm is realistic? if we do know it is tested by real pilot? Or by reaching the same values given in the POH?

And are this for the official release or the developement version? The official 1.9.1 bo105 isn't that much realistic like the version in CVS....

Though I like the idea of a ranking, it doesn't give enough information yet, and that's the main point- it is rather subjective.
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Gijs » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:16 pm

HHS wrote:Though I like the idea of a ranking, it doesn't give enough information yet, and that's the main point- it is rather subjective.

Well, that's what I was afraid for by seperating ratings to different categories. IMO the original system (with one star for each categorie) will give a better (and easier to generate) rating, as rating something good/bad is much easier (and less personal) than worst/worse/bad/good/better/best...

Detlef wrote:First what, purpose is it actually for?

It is meant to give users a quick look at the quality of an aircraft, before downloading/trying. Over the past years (wow, time is going fast) I've seen numerous people asking for a rating system, to make it easier to find realistic planes in FlightGear.

I'm open to any ideas to improve this. Especially the opinion of aircraft developers is valuable.
As it is far from being perfect right now, I would like to ask Groucho to wait ratings planes till we got a final system/setup. Else we have to edit each page after any single changement to the system...

Regards,
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Groucho » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:57 pm

HHS wrote:I have to agree a bit to Detlef:
I wonder why the bo105's cockpit has 4 stars? As always told from Melchior it is not the finished cockpit and everyone who has seen the real one knows why....

The point is: what actually does this star system means? What is the meaning of 5 stars? What of 4 stars?
How we can say that a fdm is realistic? if we do know it is tested by real pilot? Or by reaching the same values given in the POH?

And are this for the official release or the developement version? The official 1.9.1 bo105 isn't that much realistic like the version in CVS....

Though I like the idea of a ranking, it doesn't give enough information yet, and that's the main point- it is rather subjective.


OK, let me put it from a different angle of view (besides the fact that I wanted to give the bo105 cockpit a 3, not 4, but forgot to change it :) ).
There are plenty of aircrafts floating around in different states and people are having a hard time of selecting one of their choice. Is it flyable? In most cases yes, at least sort of. But then comes the aspect of more advanced things like having a 3D cockpit, the FDM, etc. So I like the ranking in general which should give an idea of what to expect. However a general ranking is not enough as stated earlier- what does 4 stars mean- an incomplete FDM or no documentation or no 3D cockpit? A finer granularity is required- here it is.

All rankings are of course highly subjective, especially the FDM ranking. Most of us are not able to judge the CitationX FDM in terms of realism. But we can give a ranking based on stability and completeness. Is the approach speed appropriate or not according to the public specs, does it suddenly behave unpredictable when extending flaps, can I really slow down below 60 knots with no flaps and slats extended and have only 5° AOA (I hope not) etc.
This rating will be a rough idea of what to expect from the aircraft and its FDM- it might vary between 3 and 4 stars or 4 and 5 stars or 1 and 2 stars depending on the person who rated but it will not show great variance (2 to 5 or 0 to 4, etc.).
Similar things for the cockpit- does it have all instruments required for basic and advanced flight as well as navigation, can they be operated and then how realistic is it to have the device in the plane in question.

Most people are not interested in the real deep differences between the CitationX and a CRJ jet as long as the 3D model is correct and both do not behave like an F16.
The ranking should get them to a point where they can choose regarding usability of the aircraft. Realism and detailed authenticity is a different thing then which can not be covered by a ranking.
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby Buckaroo » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:18 pm

I'm very mixed about rating aircraft. I appreciate the thought and effort going into this, and I must admit that there have been times that I would have liked to known more about the aircraft's stage of development before a download. But I worry that a ratings system, particularly in an open-source environment where I am not paying for the downloaded aircraft, may be counter-productive, especially for the developers of the aircraft.

Who has the qualifications to judge all these efforts? As an illustration, a model that looks pretty close to the real plane, that would match commonly available 3-views, will look very similar to another that was made using exact blueprint references. It would take the eye of someone more than casually familiar with the aircraft to tell the difference. Yet the effort between the two models can be exponentially different and the ratings will not likely reflect that.

Clearly some aircraft have greater fidelity than others. But even a 1-star rated effort could represent much effort on someone's part, and that person may find themselves discouraged. As much as a 5-star rating might be very rewarding to some, a 1-star rating might be a huge blow to others. It seems to me that some aircraft are made available at various stages because a developer did what they could and then offered up the work for others to build on. This is an extremely valuable thing for the community. I'm concerned that a rating system might affect developers who are freely offering up their work to others.

Part of the fun I've had with Flightgear is downloading and trying various available aircraft. Virtually all have something to offer, and some of the less developed planes have accounted for many of my virtual flight hours. A ratings system would have affected my downloads, and I'm not convinced that would have always been a positive thing.

I agree with Groucho that it is useful to know which aircraft are suitable for lessons in navigation or the use of various instruments. Sure, it would be nice to know which aircraft have at least the sacred six. But I suggest that the community might be better served by a dedicated wiki page that addresses those instructive issues and recommends suitable planes.

Like Detlef, I don't believe I could or would ever judge the efforts of others in this fashion. In most cases I'm simply not qualified, and in those cases where I have something to offer or suggest, I would much prefer to contact the developers and offer my feedback.

Dang, I didn't mean to ramble on so long. ;)
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby someguy » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:26 am

I'm with Buckaroo. It's fun to try new planes, and some of the best ones are hardly ever seen in use. Plus, everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a great model: some just want to go fast, others enjoy complex cockpits and painstaking visual realism, and yet others value a good, linear FDM above all else.

I'm always disappointed when a model with a beautiful livery and tasty animations suffers from an unfinished FDM with nasty pitch problems (the majority of fg planes are like this). Conversely, some of my favorites have a rudimentary skin and no panel at all, yet fly like a dream using only the HUD.

My personal tastes aside, I'd hate to discourage any author's creativity. Every deficient model can be fixed, if someone with skill cares enough to do it. Kudos to the talented people who collaborate to improve flawed-but-promising aircraft.

As for ratings, I'd consider knocking off a couple of stars for planes that are TOO complex and cause major frame-rate hits whenever they're in view. Pretty planes are nice to look at, but too often they compromise my flight experience.
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Re: Aircraft ranking on wiki

Postby DFaber » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:49 am

Groucho wrote:All rankings are of course highly subjective, especially the FDM ranking. Most of us are not able to judge the CitationX FDM in terms of realism. But we can give a ranking based on stability and completeness. Is the approach speed appropriate or not according to the public specs, does it suddenly behave unpredictable when extending flaps, can I really slow down below 60 knots with no flaps and slats extended and have only 5° AOA (I hope not) etc.


According to this there are a some original Aircraft which wouldn't earn a single star. I think a more suitable approach would be to categorize a FDM in terms like easy, intermediate, demanding, challenging, dangerous (like the Gee Bee). This doesn't suggest one FDM is "better" (in Terms of Quality) than the other.
Maybe in the Future an Author can list the sources he used to build an FDM, or state clearly if the FDM is beta or not.

For the Cockpit I'd suggest a simple checkbox system of Instrument Categories (basic Flight Instruments yes/no, Engine Instruments yes/no, Fuel Management yes/no ...). And it should be made clear whether a given Category is available in the Original at all. WW1 Aircraft didn't have IFR Instrumentation, so the Camel shouldn't be "punished" for it.

Similar with exteriour; Checkboxes for Texture yes/no, Livery select yes/no, maybe with the number of liveries listed, Registration yes/no Logo select yes/no, ...

A Category for "Specials" like Doors open/close, guns, Walker,... could be useful too.

I believe that a user can find more relevant info in this system, although I admit it will use up some more space on the wiki.

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