Thursday, August 26, 2010

Does Sponge Bob Square Pants Need Wake Turbulence Separation

I am down in South Carolina with Austin and Chris, working on integration issues with the new ATC system for X-Plane 10. One issue Chris is working on now: how do you fit the wide open design options of Plane-Maker into the narrow FAA categories for aircraft. If someone builds a rocket powered lighter-than-air piano with a tilt-rotor and a lift fan, how many miles of separation does that aircraft need from the 747 in front of it? What SRS category is Sponge-Bob Square-Pants, or a Steinway piano, or Snoopy's dog house? (And don't even get me started on some of the weird creations Propsman has sent me!)

Our current solution is to analyze the structure of the plane and use the most conservative criteria available. If your aircraft weighs a lot, it's a heavy, no matter how you built it. If it has jet engines, it's a jet, etc. This way airplanes modeled after real life will get correct categorization, and custom designs will at least receive some kind of vaguely sane handling.


vonhinx said...

Oh no! Has Gifford been drinking with Harber!?

Sounds awfully like teasing to me.

andrew said...

- Airplane
- Rotorcraft
- Glider
- Lighter than air
- Powered lift
- Powered parachute
- Weight-shift-control
- Sponge Bob

I think the answer is obvious.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the ATC system in X-plane 10 will not require strict flight plans from point A - B to use. Many of us GA pilots like to fly around and contact ATC services whenever we happen to need to require their services just like in real life. Also a voice recognition based ATC system would be great and add so much to the realism.



Anonymous said...

The new XP10 ATC sounds great!

But can you also please consider the possibility of a 3rd party ATC plug-ins?

The XP10 API would require following functions:-
* Turn off default XP10 ATC
* Create/destroy aircraft objects
* Set waypoints (air and ground, including target speed and altitude and maybe rate of acceleration/ascent/descent, eg 800 fps)
* Get taxiways and parking spots for airport.
* Get list of aircraft (including multi-player aircraft) within given radius of location

This would let a plug-in do the following:-
1) ATC for players aircraft
2) ATC for multi-player aircraft
3) ATC for "A.I" aircraft controlled by the plug-in.

The sky and airports could be filled with aircraft following real life flight plans. Resources such as "World Of AI" could be leveraged for flight plans and aircraft models.

Kind regards