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Chronicling FlightGear History

Questions about the FlightGear organisation, website, wiki etc.

Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby magicmaze » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:11 am

Even though I am a fairly new user myself, I think it would be important to create a "timeline" or just a basic chronology for new users to observe and to see how this open source project developed. I also think it would be useful to create it in order to manifest this organisation's objectives for the future.

With that being said, I would like to create this resource, seeing as many of the "aged" members of this project are quite busy with their lives and such. Can you guys point me to the relevant archives and resources and the general opinion on how you would want this to be created?

Thanks.
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby bugman » Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:43 am

I'm looking at the same thing, not only from the perspective of the FGAddon wiki article, but also out of general interest. I've been following the project since 1998, so am interested in preserving the history that is now only a distant and fading memory. I suggest starting with:


It would be great to document all of this very important history. There is a lot of stuff hidden out there on the internet that I'm still uncovering. And if we can recreate a historical archive of the early communications and other documents, maybe in a version controlled repository on SourceForge with the other FlightGear infrastructure for protection and backup purposes, I'm sure that in many decades from now people will appreciate such a resource when they look back at the birth of the FlightGear project.

Regards,

Edward

Edit: Note that the current mailing lists from 2001 onwards can easily be backed up by the FlightGear project admins by downloading the full mbox files.
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby Catalanoic » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:07 pm

Perhaps this can help to improve the Wikipedia entry.
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby bugman » Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:43 pm

Here is another archived historic reference, from before Curt's restarted OpenGL+LaRCsim initiative, i.e. based on Eric Korpela's original fgmain code base:

Regards,

Edward
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby bugman » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:55 pm

Here is another archive I just found. But note that the messages may not be fully archived, so the resource may be incomplete:

There are some early discussions started by Eric about OpenGL in there. The archive fortunately has this key historic post from Curt, with the introduction of the new FlightGear code base:

Flight Gear ideas
Curtis L. Olson (curt@me.umn.edu)
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 16:15:11 -0500

Messages sorted by: [ date ][ thread ][ subject ][ author ]
Next message: Carmelo Volpe: "Re: Flight Gear ideas"
Previous message: Pierre Barthe: "Earth Magnetic Filed"
Next in thread: Carmelo Volpe: "Re: Flight Gear ideas"

Greetings,

Things have been moving kind of slow with the flight gear project for
that last few months so I have taken this as an opportunity to
investigate a few related ideas of my own. A few screen shots and
some prototype code are available at:

http://www.menet.umn.edu/~curt/fgfs/prototype/

What I have done is integrate the *very* fine LaRCsim (NASA's Langley
Research Center) flight model with a simple OpenGL based DEM terrain
viewer. The result is the ability to fly around nice terrains that
accurately model the real world. I have a photo (that I keep meaning
to scan in) which is taken from the same place as the pinals-az.jpg
screen shot image. The lighting/shadows are the same as the photo,
the haze is the same, etc. (AZ isn't that green though ...)

Anyways, I'd be interested if some of you could take a look at this
and tell me what you think. Currently the code compiles well with
IRIX/OpenGL and Linux/Mesa. But should be able to compile under
win95/CosmoGL with very little tweaking. CosmoGL is an OpenGL
implementation that is optimized for non-hardware-accelerated-graphics
(software only) win95 environments.

I don't have a win95 development environment myself, so if someone out
wants to take a stab at it, I'd be interested in seeing how the code
ports. CosmoGL is available at: http://www.sgi.com/cosmo/opengl/cosmogl.html

Thanks,

Curt.


I just recently made some screenshots flying around with Curt's code from exactly this point in time. You can also see the screenshots Curt talks about in this email at:

And the code and binaries are downloadable from:

Regards,

Edward
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby bugman » Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:55 pm

Code: Select all
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_____ _ _       _     _     ____
| ___| (_) __ _| |__ | |_  / ___| ___  __ _ _ __
| |_ | | |/ _` | '_ \| __| | | _ / _ \/ _` | '__|
|  _|| | | (_| | | | | |_  | |_| | __/ (_| | | DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
|_|  |_|_|\__, |_| |_|\__| \____|\___|\__,_|_| 1 9 9 6
          |___/
FOR OFFICIAL INTERNAL USE ONLY
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby japreja » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:06 pm

I like this old logo (8/4/1997)

Image
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby magicmaze » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:36 am

I will probably start by printing the essential resources to create a paper archive so that I will be able to highlight the important points easier and to a create a general framework.

So you are saying I should just tack to onto a wiki article instead a completely new resource?
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby legoboyvdlp » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:27 am

I'd be very obliged if you would care to add it also to the Wikipedia article on FlightGear. Though, make sure to CITE as they are very sticky about that.
See viewtopic.php?f=42&t=27599

Unfortunately, I am only around since 3.0!
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby bugman » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:50 am

As I mentioned over in the Updating FlightGear Wikipedia Article -- WIP thread, we should first fix and improve our own wiki articles (FlightGear History and FGAddon). The History section of a Wikipedia article should however be short and concise. As for the requirement of being around when historic events occurred, if that was a case then there would not be many history books in the world ;) Research and finding the original references is the way to work this out, as memory fades with time and is unreliable.

Regards,
Edward
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby bugman » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:56 am

I believe I remember seeing this old logo many, many years ago:

Image

Edit: This logo was created by Dean Catalano (https://web.archive.org/web/19980627143158/http://www.menet.umn.edu/~curt/fgfs/design.html).
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby bugman » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:06 pm

Here is another historic, though minor, event - the very first FlightGear flight:


I wouldn't have wanted to have been a passenger:

I'm Flying!!! (Sort of)
Curtis L. Olson (clolson@me.umn.edu)
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 17:48:48 -0600

Messages sorted by: [ date ][ thread ][ subject ][ author ]
Next message: Curtis L. Olson: "Preliminary Flight Gear Documentation"
Previous message: Michael Basler: "Re: Linux executable"

Here's a little update on my flight model progress. There are
absolutely no visuals except for numbers being spewed across the
screen.

However, I positioned myself at 10,000 feet, 0 velocity, and almost
full throttle. I accelerated to 559.643 kts (Mach 0.846) before I
made contact with the ground (at a very steep angle.) So, the thing
dives real well.

My next step is to see if I can get it to take off ...

Later,

Curt.

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Try Linux! WWW: http://www.menet.umn.edu/~clolson
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby magicmaze » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:55 pm

Awesome Bugman, I wouldn't have been able to attain those resources without you. At least now I have a starting point.

I was thinking maybe I could write a story? For example...."Once upon a time, in a dorm room in [whatever uni FG was birthed in]" or I could just list things out, but I think that would be boring for not just me but for the readers as well. It would be interesting to make this a reading requirement for new members to join :D
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby Johan G » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:30 pm

I think I would prefer a more documentary style. But that is just me.

By the way, I rarely read works of fiction, and these days most reading is scientific reports, technical notes, handbooks etc. I did not really leave that "What is that? What is this?" mentality that most people unfortunately seem to have dropped as soon as they started school. Maybe I missed the mandatory lobotomy or something... ;)
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Re: Chronicling FlightGear History

Postby curt » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:52 pm

For what it's worth, I was finished (mostly) with grad school and I lived in a little 2 bedroom apt. near Milwaukiee WI when Real-WX for FS5 was birthed and subsequently when the first ideas for an open-source flight simulator were being discussed. Then I was back working full time for the Mechanical Engineering dept. at the University of Minnesota when FlightGear really got rolling.

I've seen a couple reality shows about groups working on technical stuff (i.e. Prototype This!) but those guys were doing a new different project every week or two and they were making physical stuff that blinked and moved and did cool things. A FlightGear reality show would be mostly of a bunch of people staring at a computer screen and madly typing, debugging, doing odd jobs around the neighborhood to afford a better video card, etc.

A good reality show producer can probably make anything interesting, but then we'd be spending more time on crazy hair styles and awkwardly scripted and acted practical jokes. Some of the UAV work I've done might be interesting as a reality show ... if we were able to condense about 10 years of work into 5-10 minutes of only the really interesting stuff. We've had 4 or 5 really spectacular crashes. One involved flames and a 50' smoke plume, one involved a crash into the ocean where aircraft was recovered, but completely shredded. One involved tangling with our bungee launch cord and getting spun into the ground ... oh, and the other one was a high speed unintended dive that produced excessive aerodynamic forces preventing full elevator motion preventing a recovery ... speed increased until flutter broke the wing mounting bolt off, and the whole wing then walked it's way off the mounting spar and with about 80' altitude to go, everything came apart. Sadly I have no video for any of those events.

On the plus side, one of my aircraft (a Senior Telemaster that first flew in 2007) is still flying. Yesterday I logged my 2000th nautical mile of flight. I've logged 199 flights and am 13 minutes shy of 5000 flight minutes. That's not a lot for a full scale airplane, but is pretty good for an RC airplane, especially one that has spent it's whole lifetime being used for first line testing of autopilot code changes.

(having trouble making this show up inline, but here's a picture ...)
http://goo.gl/photos/bMzVTPTAk7MXbKBK6

I've mentioned this before, but the UAV autopilot system I fly is built on top of FlightGear's configurable autopilot system and uses the same velocity form PID code, runs the same property system, and has inherited quite a bit of other FlightGear code. It's fun and cool to see this all performing in real life in real time on a real aircraft.

Regards,

Curt.
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