Paul Surgeon wrote:

While we're on the taxiway topic ...

I've been toying around with some taxiway ideas over the last couple of days after having played with David's TaxiDraw app.
TaxiDraw is an excellent piece of work but I really don't like the way TerraGear/FlightGear create and handle taxiways.
Yes, they are simple and were probably done in a hurry just to get something working quickly but they don't come close to being "correct".

The biggest things I would like to see implemented with regards to taxiways are :
1. Proper use of directional textures
2. Proper taxiway markings and lighting (from runway to parking ramp)
I realize that these are no small changes!

It will require :
1. A new drawing tool (Similar to the way it was done in Fly! but more user friendly)
2. A change in the way TerraGear builds taxiways
3. A new airport/taxiway database to store the tons of taxiway and apron data into

The new drawing tool will be responsible for building the taxiways at the polygon level (including texturing) because unique cases will require manual tweaking and drawing.
TerraGear will be responsible for merging the DEM data with the raw polygon and texture data.

Later on we can get the AI to taxi around the airport correctly according to ATC instructions. ;-)

Of course someone has to do all this hard work so I've started playing with some code to do the taxiway drawing and rendering. I just hope I can keep focused - so many distractions and so little time. :)

One thing that is a real pain to deal with is the issue that airports are not flat in FlightGear. Of course non-flat airports and runways look so cool but when you get down to the polygon level you quickly realize why "the big guys" stick with flat airports. It makes texturing and layering polygons 10 times more complex.

The big guys are moving to *non-flat* runways. Flat runways cause many problems
with landing altitude, G/S, touchdown point, and most of all, *realizism*. In a word,
"don't do flat runway modeling"! This may become a point with FAA certification in
the near future as well. Flat=bad, correctly modeled = good.

Curt ... why oh why?!  :P

If you guys have any suggestions please add them.
I've taken note of Chris Metzler's suggestion of labeling taxiways so that we can automatically place taxiway signs later on. That's a great idea!



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