SDK - airport question

  • I have worked professionally with 3ds Max for years. And I have now downloaded Aerofly FS 2 SDK and studied how to make airports (and buildings around the area).
    SDK is still missing some details.
    I can not see how to enable the ALS (Approach Lighting System).

    Kingman example (inside 3ds Max): Under the airport description "kingman_airport_tsc" --> "runway", I can see the "command" (Dummy) "appltsys1_std".
    I'm guessing "_std" means standard. Is it possible for me to choose other varieties than "standard"(_std)?

    "endpoint", "papi", "threshold" ok.
    "reil_none" (?). What alternative choices ("commands")? How turn on?

    Is it possible to get an overview (sheets) of all variable "commands" related to airport systems?

    But my main question is: How can I activate ALS (appltsys) inside 3ds Max? Reposition the 3ds "Dummy"?

  • You can change the approach lighting system by changing the name of the dummy object. The supported values are:


    For the reils you have the options reil_uni for unidirectional light along the approach and reil_omni for omnidirectional lights.

    Sorry for the documentation being not complete in many parts, we're preparing a wiki that will address topics like this and become a complete documentation over time.

  • Hartman,
    Please share what you have learned about making new runways. I don't have/can't afford ($180 / month) 3DStudioMax but wanted to make a runway for KOKB in Oceanside, CA - a very simple runway of 3000ft. One question is how you placed your runway carefully using the web-mercator numbers - just how did you calculate them? Or maybe you were able to use Lat/lon in the tsc file. I got some equations from the IPACS Devs that I could use with Visual Studio 2015 but the results were just close and required trial and error adjustments even to get the Kingman runway system MAX model to be in the "right" position.



  • Dave,

    The short answer is: Yes, I use Lon/lat (not Lat/lon) in the "tsc" dummy objekt in 3ds Max.

    And yes, it should be possible to use a cheaper program than 3ds Max.

    It is difficult to achieve the best solution when we do not have the whole picture ("rules" and variable "commands"). And for that reason I'm not quite finished my testing.

    So a wiki with all parameter are much appreciated.

    Btw, exact construction is done much faster in Autocad - before transferring the model to 3ds Max. (Will examine the possibility of converting airports directly from other sources).


    I use the Kingman-example from SDK:

    First I open kigm_kingman_max2016.max in 3ds Max 16 (discovered that the Aerofly FS 2 converter currently does not work in 3ds Max 17).

    Inside 3ds Max I can see airport description named "kingman_airport_tsc" (and this is a 3ds Max dummy object). All objects have a coordinate point/centerpoint = pivot (including dummys). In the Kingman-example they have chosen a known point to place the runway correctly.

    Open up google map and then type the coordinates: 35.257517 -113.962519.
    You will see that they have chosen the corner of a building. This is the reference point of the runway. (I choose center runway).
    Over this building corner, they placed the dummy object named "kingman_airport_tsc.

    And in the exact same corner they placed a new dummy object named "coordinate_system_web_kingman".
    And below - in the exact same corner they placed a new dummy named "tilename_lonlat_". Here they enter the coordinates from for example google map (keep in mind - opposite): "tilename_lonlat_-113.962519_35.257517".
    Finally I use ipacs-3dsmax plugin and converter.

    So far this has worked ok for me.

  • Hartman,
    Thanks for the detailed info. It would be really great if you can sometime just build a very small simple airport (like KOKB Oceanside, CA) with a single runway and a single building next to the runway with LonLat positioning in the tmc file and maybe stick it in dropbox or equivalent just so the rest of us can learn from it .The kingman airport was great but it used web mercator positioning and had a lot more buildings and structure than a very simple example. Question: Is there any way to rotate the runway without having to model it in 3DStudioMax? If we could rotate the simple runway and position it, then those of us without 3dsMax, could at least have a generic runway wherever we want it. This was something easy to do in FSX

    Thanks much


  • Dave,

    Meanwhile - when IPACS working with wiki :) - you can download a test file (test_project.rar) from this link:…est_project.rar

    This zip file contains a single runway which I have used to test runway lights (sdm_brown_field_municipal). It also included a folder (sdm) with converted files that can be placed under: --> scenery --> places --> usa (and to be removed after testing).

    This runway is not(!) designed to replace the existing runway.

  • Dave,

    I do not know why my answer and link to å testfile yesterday does not appear?
    But I think it is safest to wait for an official runway project from IPACS Support. Then it will be according to the specifications.
    I might cheat and simplify too much? :D :rolleyes:

    Edit: I can now see that my post from yesterday is available.

  • Dave,
    we have prepared the airport KOKB in the lon lat coordinate system. A preliminary SDK is available right here:

    Please note, that all the tools and plugins have been updated as well, so you need to install them over again.

    Using the KOKB airport, it should be easier for most users to get an airport into Aerofly FS 2. Basically all that is required now on the user side is that one needs to get an aerial images for reference that is in lon lat coordinates.

    Important: As we had to fix a bug in Aerofly FS 2, please contact us for an updated version via email at mail (at) We have not uploaded this version to Steam yet as it needs further testing.

    Further note: The SDK currently does not allow the creation of your own aerial images. This will be added later. However you can integrate the aerial image yourself in the actual 3D Studio Max file, but this isn't ideal.

  • @IPACS_Support,
    THe KOKB model looks just fine - thanks very much. Just for your information, though, there are four (I think) dummy objects that appear as 12 (or so) story buildings. I circled them in the snapshot.

    I just noticed that you supply a plugin for AC3D in the SDK. At least for not too complex (aircraft and scenery) objects, can I use AC3D in the same manner as I would 3DStudioMax? AC3D only costs $100USD or so versus $180/month for 3DStudioMax. I have been asking for FBX support just to use a 3D editor that was fairly inexpensive - if you already support AC3D, why not just use it.

    Thanks again

  • With regard to the above questions about AC3D, I tried a simple test which was to import (into the latest AC3D - I got the 14-day trial demo version) the file that you have in the SDK aircraft_workshop and then simply exported it to a test.tgi file. It was 35,830kb long (35megabytes) but the tgi that you supplied in that same SDK directory is only 5,089 kb. Is that because 3DStudioMax has some optimization that AC3D doesn't or maybe I need to make some additional settings in AC3D. Any ideas?



  • Dave,
    yes you can fully use AC3D for aircraft modelling. The DR400 is already included as an example. Some advanced materials in Aerofly require you to add some text strings to AC3D materials, which is a little tedious, but once you know what to do its easy.

    The size of the TGI is a mistake on our side, as we do not compress the TGI in the latest SDK. Don't worry and please verify it yourself but the exported DR400 from AC3D should look just fine.

    We will add a AC3D airport example as well, but you cannot do vertex weights with AC3D so some advanced features are not possible.

    And yes, there are dummy objects in KOKB. We haven't finished the sample yet, they are used to check if the lon lat coordinate system is working properly. The current release version of Aerofly has some issues with the positions, but we have already fixed it internally.

    Once we have feedback, that the KOKB airports works and also people can use AC3D we will officially release the new SDK version.

  • One issue with AC3D - for scenery development, I don't see anyway to load an aerial image as a background and specify the lonlat corners (or at least set the size and orientation carefully). Also, where would you use vertex weights with an airport area?


  • IPACS Support,

    Many thanks for the quick update!

    I have converted the "kokb_oceanside_2013.max" file from my "3ds Max 16" software using IPACS new updated plugin and converter.

    Runway lights: wrong angle - does not follow the runway.

    Perhaps this is why the lights are not positioned correctly: "The current release version of Aerofly has some issues with the positions, but we have already fixed it internally." ?