Trying to understand Aerofly FS2 planes PART 2

  • I asked what I thought was a genuine question a day or two ago on this forum. I was promptly brushed aside by another user with an answer that made me wonder why write to this forum just to get an un-interested reply like that.


    This was quickly followed up by an administrator who couldn't wait to close my thread.


    I am a very elderly pensioner, who has done his bit in Vietnam and the rest of his working life as Officer in Charge of many back Country Police Stations. I lie here in bed severely disabled with almost no movement but try my best to fly this sim and understand it's workings.


    I asked a very simple question. Wanting to know why we cannot use the beautiful FSX planes we have all bought over many long years. I didn't realise that the question was so hard and that was why I was brushed off. Is there a chance that these planes can be converted one day.


    Oh well, perhaps another forum will explain to me, so I'll get a better understanding.


    Taranakian

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  • Well I assume that aside from breach of copyrighting, such conversion is would take more work that making dedicated AFS2 aircraft from scratch. Simply because MSFS and AFS2 are different programs build on different engines developed by different companies each taking different approach.. feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

  • If users do convert FSX/P3D aircraft by themselves then yes, it violates copyrights.


    But saying it's more work than starting from scratch seems very unlikely. For instance the IPACS A320 visual model is a conversion of Aerosoft's good looking FSX airframe. It means it was easier for IPACS to purchase an existing 3D model and convert it than starting from scratch.
    If the opposite was the case it would mean a huge drawback for Aerofly FS2, with no way 3rd party editors to think of stepping in.


    But do not expect aircraft conversions to come for free as an update. It's definitely a heavy job and the result will be a different product.
    No way you could see an aircraft version to be simultaneoulsy compatible for both FSX and AFS2...


    Cheers
    Antoine

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  • The answer to the OP's question is simple indeedbut seems to need some additionele information.


    Let's say I have two photo editing programs, Photoshop and Pixelmator. I buy an artistic filter for Photoshop: will it work in Pixelmator also? No, because even though both programs can do similar things they are coded differently and things I buy for one program won't work in another.


    Or let's use an example that comes closer to what we are talking about: let's say I have driving games, Assetto Corsa and Project Cars. Can I drive a Porsche from one game in the other? No, again because even though both programs can do similar things there are completely different programs.


    In the same way Aerofly FS 2 is completely different from FSX. And that's why you can't use addons you bought for one in the other.


    Obviously those addons can be converted somehow but that's another story. In the case of Aerofly FS 2 this is already happening with scenery and even some FSX airplane creators are working on models for Aerofly FS 2.

  • I never have any intentions of wanting to delete or close a thread but the original post appeared more as a sarcastic question that was indeed answered (though a bit short and to the point) correctly. My many years as a previous developer and forum administrator led me to a sense that that question could have raised debate by others and would not have been of any value to anyone else.


    A question was asked and answered properly that others understood it, why drag it on just to create drama.


    Sorry if I offended you and thank you for your service.

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • All's well. I want to thank those who replied with a more in depth description. I was curious to know why we could not use these beautiful planes, now I fully understand. Thank you.


    I must apologise too. Being stuck in the same place week after week, year after year with little that one is able to do, does tend to make you very 'short' at times knowing there will be no improvement in the future.


    Regards, Taranakian


    PS: But I do have the 15th to look forward too.:)

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  • But actually your original question makes a LOT of sense.


    For one, most of the aircraft add-ons that were released for AEFS1, I believe produced by Just Flight, were inherited from MSFS models. Even the Airbus is ported ( the cockpit 3d model at least ) from the Aerosoft Airbus ( AFAIK ), so, there must be a relatively easy way to port 3d models from MSFS into AEFS2.


    Flight dynamics wise, and after looking with more attention at the aircraft definition files, I believe it wouldn't actually be that difficult to create a "translator" of MSFS FDM into AEFS2 FDM, although in some aspects MSFS's FDM has more detail than AEFS2's ( at it's present state of affairs ) like for instance in the modelling of Mach effects, but not only, while there are aspects of the flight dynamics modelling, derived from the rigid body approach and decomposition of an aircraft into a collection of lift / drag / thrust generating units, that extend the possibilities available for modelling of flight dynamics in AEFS2, bringing it closer to what was used for instance in Flight Unlimited, and is nowadays used by X-plane, DCS World and IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad, i.e.


    So, again, your question was indeed a rather pertinent one, if we forget about the legal restrictions of actually converting an aircraft model between two commercial, patented brands...

    1983 ......……....2012.…………….......2018...

    fs1 ===>     MS FLIGHT ===>   WT 1.83

    Start ... Hope ... Realization ...

  • To my knowledge the A320 model did still require quite a bit of work on our side. It wasn't just plug and play afaik.


    Flight model wise, I don't really know the FSX flight model setup that well, I just see the results. Sure, Mach effects are something we need to work on in the future but I generally find the Aerofly physics model very detailed.


    There are things in the Aerofly FS 2 tmd definition files that I don't think you would find in FSX. For example the wing geometry or the geometry of the aerodynamical fuselage. Or the rigidbody simulation of the entire aircraft, including the landing gear. How would you extract that from the MSFS files?


    I'd say it's quicker to start from scratch than to write a program to do it for you, even though I like the idea of it and I have also written tools in the past to do similar things, e.g. convert an Aerofly RC aircraft to the Aerofly FS 1 or convert an X-Plane aircraft for the Aerofly FS 1. At the end I started working on a tool that interprets the 3D model and generates the flight model setup from scratch. But all that was taking a lot of time and I would have needed a lot longer if I had finished it. I could have converted 5 or 10 aircraft to the full extend in that time and then I also started working for IPACS full time and could directly affect the quality of the aircraft which I prefere over quantity.
    So my opinion: not worth it. Too few cases where you'd need it, you can't save that much hours compared to the hours it takes to program such a powerful tool. Just start from scratch, to it properly. It may take a bit of time but in the end you'll have a proper physics model of your aircraft and can be sure that all things are working as intended. I can not begin to imagine how many parameters are chosen unrealistically for an MSFS aircraft just to feel right in that exact sim. You'd also copy over all those issues as well.


    Regards,
    Jan


  • Yes Jan, I agree with all your points, starting with AEFS2's FDM being a lot different and potentially more powerful than MSFS's...


    Indeed, given the more or less similar approaches, it should be easier to port aircraft between XP and AEFS2. Airfoil Maker in XP allows for some additional customization for the Cl, Cd, Cm ... curves, which are automatically adjusted based on the coefficients in AEFS2, assuming a linear relation along a good part of it's range of AoAs... If this further detail translates or not into closer to real outcome, I really don't know, and I still prefer the "feel of flight" in AEFS2 to what X-Plane provides, specially when leaving the normal flight envelope.


    Also, having fresh code, and an insightful team behind it, AEFS2 certainly has the potential to grow even better than X-Plane in the FDM area in the short run...


    I am really willing to taste the upcoming Q-400, and the turboprop model it uses :-)

    1983 ......……....2012.…………….......2018...

    fs1 ===>     MS FLIGHT ===>   WT 1.83

    Start ... Hope ... Realization ...

  • Thank you so much Jcomm and Jet Pack. Your reply and explanation was exactly what I was looking for, I knew what I wanted and both of you and two other's on page 1 answered me perfectly, that's why I was a little 'toey', with what went on earlier. I have actually printed your replies so I can answer any others in the future.


    Again, I am truly grateful.
    Taranakian.

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  • Although this thread seems to be finished,
    may I contribute some more details about aerofly FS 2 aircrafts?
    If you check an aircraft directory you'll find a whole set of files for a single plane.


    There is a .TMB file which contains the graphics representation, this is the 3D mesh and the graphics positions informations. Actually there exist converters from 3D programs like Cinema4D, 3DMax, AC3D to aerofly binary format.


    The different .TTX files represent all the graphics, the livery, the cockpit colors as well as special effects like reflections, transparency, and so on. They are coded into an aerofly specific format.


    The .TMC file shows the aircraft description. You can read the content with a text editor.


    The .TMD file contains mainly the flight physics setup (as well as some more details about the body parts, the sound setup, camera positions...). You can read the content with a text editor.


    The .TSB files are the sound files used in different flight conditions. They are coded into an aerofly specific format.


    The .TMR file contains the name of the actual livery. You can read the file with a text editor.


    This structure is completely differrent from other simulators. So there is no way for a direct conversion.
    Otherwise a developer who has the original 3D and graphics files may convert the files into aerofly formats as I mentioned above.
    Then he still has to setup all the rest. But I see the chance that FSX developers may re-use their models to bring them into aerofly.


    Regards
    Rodeo

  • I wonder if some of the most complex aircraft like the PMDG 7X7 have executable code compiled from C++ (or equivalent) that becomes a DLL or even a separate executable in order to provide the flight management system and LNAV/VNAV and radios - or some of the EFIS "glass" cockpit graphics - those complex systems. I just wonder if the TMD file can supply all that complexity.

  • I wonder if some of the most complex aircraft like the PMDG 7X7 have executable code compiled from C++ (or equivalent) that becomes a DLL or even a separate executable in order to provide the flight management system and LNAV/VNAV and radios - or some of the EFIS "glass" cockpit graphics - those complex systems. I just wonder if the TMD file can supply all that complexity.


    You can program a lot of systems already, just using the tmd and its building blocks. Programming a complex fms with route adjustments might be too complicated right now but soon things like that might just be possible as well.


    The tmd itself is just the implementation, the connection of all the different parts that makes up that specific aircraft. The tmd uses a lot of objects that can be linked together but each objects logic is programmed in C++, by IPACS. For example I can program a logic gate like an and-gate with two inputs and define what it's output should be, all in C++. I can then use that object in any tmd file and program any logic circuit with that and-gate. Together with some other objects like or-gate, comparison objects, etc. I can pretty much write my own program with the tmd file.


    We will probably also program some object in C++ that allows you to set up more complex menus in the tmd file, like an FMS for example. We as programmers just have to find a method that allows such programming inside the tmd yet, I've already done somewhat similar menus already so its not too far off.


    Basically IPACS provides all the needed building blocks for each of the systems (fuel pumps, hydraulic reservoirs, batteries, electric busses, ...) and the developer of the aircraft can use these building blocks to implement the actual system on the aircraft. So he just copies the electric network, fuel network etc. and then changes the inputs like electric switches on/off, fuel pumps on/off etc. The system then automatically simulates the entire system very close to the real world system. Natively such system has all the behavior of the real world thing, including all failures if you wanted to go that far. Even today its possible to program pretty much any system on an aircraft, at least the basic physical systems can all be implemented using the exiting building blocks. Maybe not LNAV/VNAV but for that we already have the autopilot and some "flight management" building block that allows you to get access to the route data. We'll expand on those and on the missing systems in the future so that just about anything can be programmed with the tmd file alone. We hope we won't need any external code then and we can do all the systems running the efficient code of the tmd file.
    We might also provide an SDK C++ project in the future to program your own building blocks. But then we're back to dll files again and with it comes back any security risk. We can't really control what the add-on developers will program, load from disk, access memory etc. It just creates a certain instability risk...


    The rendering will be a little more complicated, we'll have to create either our own language for creating the displays from within a file like the tmd ("markup language") or we will need to publish an SDK for programming you own displays, which will then generate dll files for example. We have already given that some thought but the final decision will probably be made once the first add on developer approaches us in that regard.


    Regards,
    Jan

  • Again thank you gentlemen, I certainly have plenty to read up on now. I appreciate it all, particularly as my original post was going to be closed by someone who advises that he is very experienced. I have know doubt he is, but it just goes to show you can never stop learning. A good lesson for all of us.


    Cheers All.
    Taranakian

    Computer: PB Gaming 62000 Skylake Core i5 6600, Quad Core 3.3Ghz with Premium Cooling, 16GB DDR4 Gaming Ram, 250GB SSD, 2TB HHD, N'VIDEA GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5, DIRECTX12 Gaming Graphic's Card, VR Ready, Windows10 Home Edition, 64bit, 2 x 24" Widescreen HDMI 1080p VDU's

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  • To be fair to whoever closed your original post, you do get quite a lot of grumpy over entitled people posting on forums, and the moderator would have most likely interpreted it as the start of a potentially disruptive argument. If you have heard the term 'Troll' in the context of the internet, this is partly what they do. Once you had chance to explain yourself, everyone became much more understanding, but your original post did seem like a bit of a troll type post, hence the misunderstanding. You weren't to know that, so that's probably the source of confusion.
    There are some very experienced and clever people in this forum (not me), and you can learn a heck of a lot here.

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  • I do not have to explain myself as to why I closed the OP's first thread, but I understood after he explained better and even apologized. There is no "lesson" here, I do what I have to do on here. Sometimes it's not easy :)

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.


    Regards,


    Jeff

  • Jeff you are absolutely right, I was just trying to explain to Taranakian how his post might have come across, I get the impression he doesn't hang out in internet forums all that much. When I first read his post in the other thread he started, I would have done the exact same thing as you did.

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