Aerofly FS airport creation tool ( early alpha version, work in progress )

  • Dear Ipac team,


    I have just took my first steps with this new tool (EBUL Ursel) and I can tell you, it is a big step forwards compared to the ac3d approach!

    Adding tarmac and lines is quite easy and fast. This tool, once finished, could make a huge difference to the Aerofly community.

    Thanks for looking into this!


    I am familiar with both Xplane and Aerofly and I strongly prefer to fly Aerofly. The ground scenes are much more realistic and it flies smooth 8o

    On te other hand Xplane has a very good finished airport modelling tool called WED (World editor) I would strongly advise to take a look at it.

    Many suggestions given above are all available in this tool. Just to name one :

    1)object positioning.

    - Objects are selected from libraries which you an easily create yourself. Just a make a folder structure and make a library.txt with the content.

    - Objects are shown with the real image (top view) on scale.

    - Once selected you can move it or easily rotate it by pulling the arrow.

    2) Adding lines.

    You typically add a taxi line on top of a tarmac surface which makes it indeed very hard to select.

    Ideally you should be able to select the Line type before you start drawing. Now you have to edit each line (with the difficult selection)

    What about the lights along the runway, taxi lines etc?

    3) It would be handy to get a list/folder structure at the side with all objects, surfaces you have created. Just clicking them could make it 'selected'

    It could allow changing the properties such as name, coordinates, rotation ...

    4) Sometimes it would be very handy to import ortho photo's with more details (eg.geotiff) This would make it much easier to draw.

    (see my second airport EBBL)

    I am looking forwards to see my creation (after conversion) in the real simulator.

    Good to see progress. I hope to see many more nice airports now. :P

    Regards,

    Stefan

    Edited once, last by svdm (March 2, 2023 at 10:07 PM).

  • I propose to display the entry from the field "ICAO code" similar to FSCloudPort.

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

  • In the "Draw Simple Shapes" menu, the "Draw Tarmac" button always remains highlighted, even if the "Draw Line" button is selected.

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

  • svdm

    What about the lights along the runway, taxi lines etc?

    Runways, Set the Aproach Lighting System "ALS Position" on each Threshold, if you only want to light the runway use type "STD".

    For taxiway edge lights draw a line and use the type "_Legacy Taxiwayedge Lights"

  • I have now created over 20 airfields with the new tool as part of the alpha test. It starts with UL airfields with only one runway or one heliport and then goes up to airfields with 3 runways and a lot of other stuff.🤓

    My general impression is already very positive and the suggestions for improvement made by the testers in the course of the last few days and weeks will increase this even more. 😀 The creation and design of airfields is very quick after a little practice. The good photo material also contributes to this, as I have recently found with the design of the airfields in Brittany. This resolution as a standard for the whole world is a dream, one could do without the manual design of the surfaces and lines.😇

    Importing airfields created or corrected outside the tool also works very well. This is especially helpful for airfields where the photo material in the tool is too pixelated and the coordinates can be transferred from other maps that are not pixelated.👍

    In the meantime, I have arrived at the following guidelines for creating airfields.

    • Researching an airfield— approx. 15 minutes — Basically, I research every airfield on the Internet to find out what (official) data is available, in order to be as close to reality as possible.
    • simple heliport / simple UL airfield — approx. 15 minutes — This includes the airfield boundary, the helipad and/or a simple runway and windsock, possibly a few more elements and a parking position.
    • small airfield — 30-60 minutes — This includes a taxiway, a parking area, a few lines and a tower and hangar as well as parked aircraft.
    • medium airfield — 60+ minutes
    • large airfield — 120+ minutes

    I now expect that we will soon see a boom in new FS4 capable airfields and look forward to flying more helicopters again.😎

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

    • Official Post

    @ApfelFlieger: Thank you for this feedback. Maybe we can assemble a small Wiki with useful information for users, so the learning curve is steeper.

    We have now published a preliminary version of our airport TAP converter to Aerofly FS 4 format. You can download the package right here.

    The download contains the Windows installer for the actual converter tool as well as 3 airports as samples ( EDWN, KTCM, KGRF ). Once you have installed the converter tool, look into the folder 'samples'. It should contain a file called 'convert_tap.tapcc'. You can either right click on the file and choose 'Run with Aerofly FS 4 TAP Converter' or double click on it. The conversion process will write the final airports to your Aerofly FS 4 user folder at 'Documents/Aerofly FS 4/scenery/airports/'. The airport EDWN even shows you to add custom modelled 3D buildings to an airport, including the Blender file and source textures.

    All 3 sample airports can be imported into our web based platform for reference.

  • Shoot, now I'm failing the Windows processor because I get this notice under Parallels on the Mac:

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

  • I welcome the release of a Mac version as soon as possible, because then I can immediately check what the Tap file looks like "in real life".

    I have just zoomed in with my grandson, who has my "old" Mac, which is x64 capable. I already have KNHU, the rest will follow shortly.

    When searching for "KNHU", the airfield symbol in front of the airfield name is missing:

    When selecting the take-off site, everything fits.

    Now fine-tuning with the BRIGHTNES settings is required.

    Images

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

  • Additions after converting all my 23 airfields:

    • The error with the missing symbol only occurs at KNHU and not at the other aerodromes with an ICAO code.
    • More than 6 characters can be entered in the ICAO field in the tool. This is also converted accordingly. However, FS4 then does not find aerodromes such as FR-0046, but FR0046 is found.
      => A plausibility check should already be carried out in the tool.
    • The "automatic" data export from the tool is done with capital letters.
      => The data export should also only be carried out in lower case letters.

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

  • HI.

    I have two questions

    1 - Is it possible to add custom objects to the airport through the web interface, or just by editing the .tap file manually?

    2 - What are the units of the values in "<[vector2_float64][position][68147.00000000 43026.00000000]>" in the example's custom object , and what are they relative to?

    Nuno Felix

    • Official Post

    @NFelix: The web tool cannot add custom objects yet. This is currently only done by hand. We usually download an aerial image as a reference where we know the coordinates of the lower/left or upper/left corner either in lon lat coordinates or web mercator coordinates. This corner is then the position in the TAP file. We will publish a tutorial soon on how to do this and maybe we can automate this process also. Have a look at EDWN in the sample we provide to see how it works.

    For complex airports we use the TAP files for the ground but add custom terminals using a 3D modelling program, but the majority of airports should look just fine with our library we have provided so far.

  • admin Thanks for the answer.

    I'm doing LPSC, an airfield that I know very well. Your assets are very good, but, as a 3D artist myself, I would like to try adding some custom buildings to the airfield.

    I still don't get the numbers in the position field in the custom object section of the .tap file. They don't look like coordinates

    Nuno Felix

  • @ApfelFlieger: We will check and see if we can provide a mac OS version. But keep in mind we require 64 bit here as well. You might want to try to install a 64 bit Windows version for your Parallel desktop program maybe?

    My MaBook is "unfortunately" too modern and already has the "Apple M1 Max" chip and no longer the Intel processor. But the exe file wants an Intel processor for x64 with Parallels.

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

  • @ApfelFlieger: Ok, we will check if we can do a native mac OS version. However both Parallel's desktop and VMWare Fusion can run Windows 10 x64 on your M1 Mac without any issues.

    I have now tried to run Parallels with existing Windows 10 versions instead of Windows 11 -- but it always fails with the message that this does not work with the ARM processor on my Mac. :(

    I think I'd better devote my time to the new tool and wait for a Mac version. :)

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)

    Configurations:

    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries