IPACS Developer Blog

  • In an effort to keep the community informed with all of the latest information of what's going on behind the scenes, I will periodically post updates within this thread. So please check back here often to get an idea on the latest internal progress for your favorite flight sim; Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator.


    Thank you for your continued support.

    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

  • Following on the newly released ORBX scenery; as many of you don't know, in order to make ORBX scenery to work well within Aerofly a lot of work had to be done internally with the core of the engine to accommodate this. This workings set the team back a bit. This is why you haven't seen much progress in terms of core updates.

    With this out of the way now, more focus on the GeoConvert tool and the much anticipated Dash 8 Q400 aircraft has been resumed. As I pointed out prior, the Q400 is now in internal testing and we are working out the bugs and issues to get this aircraft released to the public. This may take a little bit of time still but it will not be much longer of a wait for this release.


    The GeoConvert tool; another project that is almost ready to be released within the next couple of days (if not sooner). We are now performing our final tests on the final release candidate. Be sure to check out the tutorial and information related to this new tool on our official Wiki.

    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

  • The upcoming release of the GeoConvert tool may be released as a part of an updated SDK package. This SDK package may be split into two downloads to cut down on having one long download due to the growing size of the SDK package.

    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

  • Work has continued internally on the ATC (Air Traffic Control) feature that will be added to Aerofly FS 2 in a future update. ATC programming is a very complex process and a lot more work has to be done on this feature before it's released. I will provide more information on this feature as it becomes available.

    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

  • You can now define a custom user folder by adding your location to the field: <[string8][extra_user_folder][]> located within the main.mcf file. The location can be defined by placing it within the brackets of the command and saved.

    For defining a custom scenery location the location must contain the sub-folder “scenery”. This will give you the ability to place your custom scenery in a location other than the documents folder located on the root drive. This will allow for Aerofly FS2 to scan for any image files in that location.


    You can basically define any new hard drive location between the [] brackets. You can also add any subfolder that is inside of your user\documents\Aerofly folder into this new location and Aerofly FS2 will scan that location for scenery, aircraft repaints, etc.

    This will allow for users with smaller root drives (where your documents folder resides) to place their scenery, airports, repaint etc. to a different hard drive.


    EDIT: This feature isn't available just yet. It will be added into the public build very soon.

    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

  • There is still a little bit of work left to be done on the Dash 8 Q400 before it's released. So please be a little bit more patient with us while more improvements are being added.

    The turbine engine physics have been tweaked so that they respond even more realistically. In doing this, the FADEC systems need to be adjusted a bit.


    The updated autopilot is working very well at this point and may be released prior to the Q400, but this hasn't been decided yet.


    Engine on/off has been added but still needs a little bit more work.


    So, there is a 30,000 foot view of the progress to date.


    I can tell you this, the overall realistic quality of this aircraft will surely make this your favorite when released. It's very impressive :)


    That's all I have for you at this time. Be sure to check back soon for more internal progress updates.

    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

  • For those of you that missed Rodeo's "coffee talk" post; Rodeo visits the IPACS headquarters regularly and was there to catch Jarrad Marshall from ORBX working on the debut ORBX sceneries (LOWI and Meigs Field) with IPACS boss's Torsten Hans and Marc Borchers. Below is a photo of the threesome hard at work from left to right; Marc, Jarrad, and Torsten.


    Also, to put a face behind the posts, here's a photo of, well, me, Jeff (aka drhotwing1).


    B


    Be sure to check back often for more behind the scenes information and maybe more photos of your favorite flight simulator development team.

    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

  • Bugs on a windshield


    For any of you experiencing problems with shimmering buildings, particularly in VR, this issue is being acknowledged and addressed. I can't tell you how long a fix will take but rest easy knowing that this will not go by the waste side. This is a complex problem and is being worked on in parallel with a lot of other items coming your way.

    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

  • In anticipation for the upcoming Geoconvert tool I added the tutorial made by our friend "Rodeo" to the Wiki to show you how to make scenery derived from USGS imagery and data. The tutorial can be found here: https://www.aerofly.com/aerofl…php/sdk:scenery_creation2


    Please keep in mind that this tutorial may be changed or improved, and a more advanced version of it will be added as well for those interested.


    The tool will be released soon as a part of an updated SDK.

    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

  • Greetings Aerofly FS2 Flight Simulator Community,


    We are pleased to inform you that the new geoconvert tool has been released to the public. There is also a new download section added to the forum; this new section is called (created enough) “Downloads”, and is available to all registered forum users.




    You will notice that this new section will make it easier to find published downloads moving forward.


    Simply locate your selection, click on it, and click on the download box to the right.

    You will also notice that the SDK has been broken up into separate downloads to make it easier if you just need a portion of the package. You will also notice some additional repaint kits for you as a bonus.

    The geoconvert tool is located within the “SDK Tools” package.

    Be sure to check out our official Wiki: https://www.aerofly.com/aerofly_fs_2/dokuwiki/ to find detailed instructions on how to use this new scenery creation tool.


    Happy Geoconverting !

    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

  • A simpler step-by-step instructional will be published to the official Wiki shortly for those having trouble understanding the geoconvert tool tutorial. But for now, here are some core steps to make things a bit easier. Note: you will still need to reference the existing tutorial for further details of each of these steps.


    1) obtain your FSET files (you will only need the image files and inf files for the tool)

    2) place the image files and inf files into the 'input_aerial_images' folder (disregard all other files produced by FSET, you don't need them). Do NOT rename any of the files made by FSET.

    3) use the inf2tfw application; point to the 'input_aerial_images' folder where you have the image and inf files located.

    4) make your TMC file: Use the sample as a grid for your project, make your levels (example: levels 9-14), use the long/lat coordinates shown within the FSET tool, this gives you the corner coordinates needed for the TMC file. You must convert the coordinates by following the wiki here (going to the conversion site shown), only use the coordinates left of the decimal and the next 2 after the decimal (example: -118.36). Note: the same lines you have for your first level you can copy/paste for all levels thereafter.

    5) either run the tool by using command line or you can make a batch file to do this step. Either way works the same and is simple to do.

    6) when the tool completes, make a folder for the resulting files custom for your project and place it into the your 'Documents\Aerofly FS 2\scenery\images' folder

    7) run Aerofly and locate your new scenery on the map

    8) choose an elevation you wish to start at (or make an airport file for starting points), ENJOY your new scenery.


    I hope you have success.


    If the tool crashes;


    for now, make sure that you have enough memory for your project and make sure that nothing else is running that takes up resources.


    There may be a bug that was somehow missed that crashes the tool but we tested this a lot with no issues at all. If there is a bug, it will be certainly worked on.


    Note: if the tool completes with no files, your TMC file likely has an error in it. The most common one is using more than 2 numbers after the decimal point for your coordinates.


    I hope this helps a little bit.

    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

  • This was a busy weekend tending to the overwhelming amount of users trying the newly released Geoconvert tool. This was very unexpected but very much appreciated. Already users are successfully making custom scenery and flying over it, while others are still asking questions and receiving assistance. With any newly released tool, it takes some time to get everything working properly.


    Due to this overwhelming response, we have already made updates to the geoconvert tool tutorials and have also added an easy to understand step-by-step guide on the official Aerofly FS2 Wiki to help get you started. We will continue to be mindful of user feedback and further modify the tutorials and maybe even the tool itself accordingly.


    Also, we want to see your screenshots!

    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

  • As we continue to keep things flowing in a positive fashion, further improvements will be coming to the downloads section of the official Aerofly FS2 forum. We are currently using a forum thread to share user created content, well that's going to change for the better. We will be moving the user created aircraft liveries over to the downloads section shortly. This will allow for a preview of the livery to be seen before opening the package, and an easier way to find what you are looking for.


    So, be sure to head on over to the Aerofly Community Downloads section and grab some free user submitted liveries for your favorite aircraft. Fly in style!


    Be sure to check back often to find more behind the scenes information on IPACS and Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator; your favorite flight simulator.

    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

  • To continue with "getting to know the team"; Did you ever wonder who is setting up those wonderful AAA quality default aircraft and programming all of the complex systems in those aircraft ? Well look no further. Here are the two very talented individuals behind the scenes giving you those wonderful aircraft that you see in Aerofly FS2.


    Jan-Hendrik Hanuschik (top images) and Andreas Preissler (bottom image)





    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

  • Happy Friday fellow simmers:


    Here is a bug update for you.


    A lot of work is being done to improve the shimmering houses/buildings noticed by some users out there around densely populated areas, especially LOWI. I'm pleased to inform you that in the latest developers build this has been greatly improved. Also improved is the night lighting where some have noticed flickering lights. The scenes look much nicer now and the lights appear much more realistic as well.

    There is a little bit more work left to do before you see this fix arrive but I wanted to let you know that a fix is on the way and it was a priority to get this resolved.


    While we are on the subject of scenery, I want to introduce you to another IPACS team member, the wizard of IPACS scenery and model creation, Michael Hochgraef.


    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

  • Progress Update!

    Just to give everyone an update regarding the next update. After what should be one of the final rounds of testing it looks like an update is heading your way next week.

    In this update, you will see a core version update to Aerofly FS2 that will give you fixes to the following bugs;

    * Shimmering buildings/houses in densely populated areas, especially in the LOWI (ORBX) scenery

    * flickering night knighting; further improvements have been made to the night lighting. This update not only fixes the flickering lights but makes the entire scene more realistic flying at night.


    * The core update also upgrades the advanced autopilot systems to improve functionality across all aircraft that use advanced autopilot. A lot of work was done to improve this system (A320, B737, B747, C90Gtx, Lj45 and now the Q400. The Cessna 172 and Baron B58 autopilot is unchanged).


    * The function to add a custom user folder has been added:


    You can now define a custom user folder by adding your location to the field: <[string8][extra_user_folder][]> located within the main.mcf file. The location can be defined by placing it within the brackets of the command and saved.

    For defining a custom scenery location the location must contain the sub-folder “scenery”. This will give you the ability to place your custom scenery in a location other than the documents folder located on the root drive. This will allow for Aerofly FS2 to scan for any image files in that location.


    You can basically define any new hard drive location between the [] brackets. You can also add any subfolder that is inside of your user\documents\Aerofly folder into this new location and Aerofly FS2 will scan that location for scenery, aircraft repaints, etc.

    This will allow for users with smaller root drives (where your documents folder resides) to place their scenery, airports, repaint etc. to a different hard drive.


    * Last but not least the Dash 8 Q400 will be added to the Aerofly FS2 aircraft library. This new aircraft is a free upgrade and will be added as a DLC separate from the core update. The Q400 has been anticipated for quite some time now and the wait is over! This aircraft has much greater functionality over any previous aircraft and is truly a AAA quality aircraft that users will quickly deem as the best yet. Look for a detailed report directly from Jan (lead aircraft setter upper) on all of the new systems and functionality shortly after its debut.


    As you can see, this is a much anticipated update that has a lot of new features and functionality, . A lot of work went into getting this out to you, and we are pleased to say that it's on short final.


    As always thank you for our support and patience.

    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

  • Q400 Aircraft and Major Update Released Today


    Greetings Fellow Simmers,




    The time has come for the release of the Dash 8 Q400 aircraft and we are as excited as you are for its debut. A lot of work has gone into this aircraft and the result has allowed for additional functionality not only in the Q400 but for any other aircraft that utilizes advanced autopilot features.

    The Q400 is released as a free DLC, so be sure to look out for that. There is also an update to the Aerofly FS2 core engine.


    Now for the good stuff! Let's begin with a summary of what has been added to this update:

    • Updates to the advanced autopilot systems seen in the A320, B737, B747, C90Gtx, Lj45 and now the Q400.

    • Fixes to the shimmering buildings and houses seen by some users

    • Improvements to the night lighting and a fix to the flickering lights seen at night.

    • The ability to now define a user folder in a new location/drive.

    • Overhauled auto thrust system

    • Added FMS features to the navigation displays of all airliners; example, top of descent, vertical and lateral deviation from flight plan.

    • Added crew alerting system (CAS) added to LJ45 and B747 with takeoff configuration warnings, autopilot and auto-throttle disconnect warnings

    • Improved the fly by wire of the A320 (this is still a work in progress)

    • Modernized A320 displays; more realistic look and greatly increased functionality

    • Adjusted flight models

    • Updated controls

    • added auto-throttle disconnect


    Now let's take a look at the Dash 8 Q400;

    • Liveries; Austrian Airlines, Canada Express, Flybe, Horizon Alaska, Celebration and Green, Sata, and SkyWork

    • full rigidbody simulation of the fuselage, wings, stabilizers, gear and propeller (customary for all Aerofly FS 2 aircraft) with accurate flight model which is fairly close to real world numbers during climb, cruise and descent

    • simulated prop wash effects on wing, gyroscopic effects of the large propellers which require a bit of trimming on pitch, yaw and roll axis when power changes

    • custom engine physics for the PW150A turboprop engine using real world physics laws and no "lookup table" calculations

    • realistic engine shut-down and preliminary failure of other systems with engine off

    • engine start; physically accurate simulation with starter connected to high pressure shaft

    • engine has realistic heat capacity and cools down when its off

    • custom FADEC simulation

    • new governor implementation

    • custom rendering algorithm for all displays

    • glass cockpit functionality

    • ARCDU (audio radio control display unit)

    • all clickspots have been prepared and are available; most switches already work but not all systems are modeled yet

    • a lot of the push buttons are animated to give better feedback

    • Updated sounds


    There is a lot to be excited about. For a complete and impressive listing of all new features packed into this update visit the Change Log. Also be sure to thank Jan, Marc, Andreas, and the rest of the IPACS team for the amount of work that they did to provide you with this feature packed update.

    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

  • Small Update Released Today.


    Following the large update yesterday and the release of the Q400, work has begun to fix some of the small bugs found.


    -For the Geoconvert tool; a small fix was made to the stripes seen around the scenery borders (This fix was on the Aerofly side and not the tool side).

    -A small fix to the air-brake function assignment was done (You may need to re-assign the air-brake in the controller assignment)

    -An update to the SDK Tools and the DR400 Workshop was released; it is required to download the DR400 workshop and the new tools to fix the DR400. existing DR400 users will see an error in Aerofly if using an old DR400.


    Thank you for your continued support.

    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

  • Following the latest update we are back to work, well some of us are anyway; Torsten is on his vacation. But that doesn't stop production here at IPACS. During Torsten's well deserved break we are currently working on some tutorials, many that is. The Aerofly FS 2 Wiki will host some new tutorials designed for beginners and advanced pilots alike. Just check out the ' Aerofly FS 2 Aircraft Information' section for updated information.


    Also, just because a big update was just released, don't think that the flight bag is empty, IPACS is hard at work putting together the next round of features and updates for you to enjoy; ATC development is going strong, some smaller but important features are being "logged" , expect improvements to the geoconvert tool, and for all of you developers out there better tools for your toolbox.


    Want more? Be sure to check back often for more news from under the hood.


    PS, With such an overwhelming response from users regarding the geoconvert tool, we have been hearing more and more of the phrase "Have you geoconverted today?"

    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

  • Greetings Flight Simmers,


    For those of you who downloaded the new Dash 8 Q400 aircraft and sat in the cockpit for the first time and said "great I downloaded my new aircraft, now how do I fly it?" Look no further, Jan has completed his first in a series of tutorials to help anyone fly a successful flight. The new tutorial series will provide enough information for the beginner to learn how to fly an aircraft by the numbers, and for the advanced pilot that may not be checked out in a particular aircraft.


    Check out the first updated tutorial, the Dash 8 Q400 now. You can find this tutorial in the wiki HERE


    There are three sections for the Q400; 1) V-Speeds, 2) Introduction to the Flightdeck, and 3) the tutorial itself.


    Be sure to check back soon for tutorials for other aircraft.


    Happy Flying!

    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