Hi fellow Aeroflyers,
I’m the developer of the air traffic control solution for Aerofly FS 2 that Ray’s been speaking of.
“Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC” is set to be released this coming Saturday, November 9 and will be initially available for download and purchase at the product’s secure website Aerofly FS2 RC ATC.
The product leverages the exceptional air traffic control experience of Radar Contact v4 by providing a bridge between it and Aerofly FS 2 (AFS2).
Before touching on product highlights, it must be mentioned that the foundation of the development of this product is threefold: user experience, performance and stability. The product has been developed using commercial software development industry best practices and extensively tested. The product is designed to make intelligent use of hardware capabilities, both CPU and GPU. You will experience zero effect on performance (i.e., FPS). Worth noting is that the rendering of the Radar Contact menu within the AFS2 screen is measured in microseconds (not milliseconds).
Some feature highlights:
· Radar Contact’s “menu” is displayed within the AFS2 window using OpenGL or Vulkan by default but can also be displayed in a secondary popup window if desired. Display of Radar Contact’s menu can also be disabled altogether.
· The size and color of the text is configurable.
· The screen location of the text is also configurable and can be positioned at one of the four corners of the screen (upper left, upper right, lower left, lower right). This allows for view of the Radar Contact menu without obscuring the instrument panel or the window view.
· For ATIS and enroute weather reports, metar data is downloaded periodically from one of over 11000 weather reporting stations. The weather download period is configurable with a default period of 15 minutes. Weather download can be disabled if desired.
· While complete control of weather is not possible at this time due to limitations of the IPACS SDK interface, Visibility can be controlled.
· As depiction of visibility is highly subjective, it is highly configurable for fine tuning to the user’s preferences. Visibility control can also be disabled if desired.
· Radar Contact is limited to interaction using only the keyboard. Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC eliminates this limitation by providing complete support for ATC interaction using flight controller buttons (joysticks, yokes, etc.). If the controller is supported by AFS2, it will be supported for interacting with ATC.
· Aerofly FS 2 RC ATC includes extensive, category-based logging facilities for troubleshooting in the event of unexpected behavior. When enabled, a log file will be created that can then be emailed to product support for evaluation.
· Support will be provided via email through a dedicated email address, here on IPACS’ forum and the “usual suspect” flight sim enthusiast sites like Avsim (which also has a dedicated Radar Contact forum).
· Try before you buy! A seven-day trial period is available if desired. Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with Radar Contact or air traffic control in general. Download the product and request a license prior to purchase. A license enabling the trial period will be sent via email reply.
· Once purchased, two permanent licenses can be requested allowing for use, for example, on a desktop computer and a laptop.
The purchase price is $29.95 US. All product enhancements will be freely downloadable as they become available. The first planned enhancement is support for VR.
If you’re interested in adding air traffic control to your Aerofly FS 2 experience, I highly recommend visiting the Radar Contact website to familiarize yourself of its capabilities. On our Downloads page, you'll find a number of links and documents essential for a smooth installation and registration of Radar Contact. By far, the majority of challenges experienced by my test team were related to getting Radar Contact up and running.
Lastly, a little bit about myself, the developer.
I live in Denver, CO USA. I’ve been a simmer since MSFS 5.1 (circa 1995 – Avsim was called “Avsim Magazine” at the time) and have enjoyed most general aviation sims since (all the MS sims [including Flight], Flight Unlimited, Fly!, Pro Pilot, P3D, and X-Plane ). I’m also a longtime lurker on most of the sim sites including IPACS’ forums.
For over thirty years I’ve worked in software and hardware development (MSCS, MBA); as a hands-on dev and for the last fifteen in leadership roles and building my own consulting business. (You can find me on LinkedIn.) I maintain my coding chops through personal projects, mostly sim related.
Questions and comments are most welcome. I encourage my test team to share their experiences with the product.
Karl Nietsch (AdvResGrpDev)