Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers wrote:
First post on the mailing list after lurking for a while. My name is Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers and I have been active for about five years in a niche of the flight sim world, the (very active) community around Aerowinx 747-400 Precision Simulator (www.aerowinx.com). This is an extremely detailed systems and IFR sim, with nearly no outside view.
I wonder about two things:
1. Many people nowadays slave the Microsoft sim to PS1 to get a full outside
view on a secondary system without having to "fly" the MSFS. This gives
them best of both worlds. I wonder whether FlightGear at present time
would be capable to fulfill the role of a scenery generator?
FlightGear has been used as an image generator on an FAA Level 3 FTD certified simulator. I've seen people post questions who are also working on leveraging FG as an image generator in one way or another ... either interfacing it to an existing simulator, or trying to import the FG scenery into their existing image generation software, or trying to import their existing image generation scenery back into FG.
There are a couple things to keep in mind that you will run into soon enough.
1. You need the airport runway and navaid database to match between FlightGear and PS1. If they don't, you are going to be perfectly lined up on your approach in PS1, and may pop out of the clouds to find yourself severely misaligned with the runway.
2. You need PS1 and FG to agree on the ground elevation. FG can be configured to send export the elevation of the ground in the FG world at the current spot, but you'd need to find a way to import that back into PS1. If you can pull that off, then you can properly taxi on FG's non-flat runways, you won't be able to fly underground, you won't crash into mystery terrain that is in PS1, but not if FG, etc. etc.
3. You will want to pass along weather parameters to FG so that the wind socks are blowing the right way, the cloud layers are in the right place, etc. etc. And if you use multiple displays, you want them all configured the same way and synced with time so they all draw the sun/moon/ stars in the same place, and have the same shading, coloring, and lighting of the scene.
4. On good hardware, FG can run at 60+ fps. If I recall, PS1 updates on the DOS interrupt which is 18.2 hz I think. You will get "jittery" video if you don't sync FG exactly to the PS1 clock, or some multiple of that. I'm not sure if it's possible to run your monitor refresh at an exact multiple of 18.2 so you might just have to live with jittery video which you probably don't mind if you are using MSFS as your reference point. :-)
So for the most part, it is all very doable, and you should be able to get something up and running very quickly, especially if you have some socket networking experience, but there are some things that you'll need to consider and handle to really make it work well.
Curtis Olson http://www.flightgear.org/~curt HumanFIRST Program http://www.humanfirst.umn.edu/
FlightGear Project http://www.flightgear.org
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