AI amphibious aircraft

#1
I have just modified a Premier Aircraft Design DHC2T aircraft to create an AI version of it.
Whenever it is on the water the wheels are extended as if it was sitting on a hard surface.
Is there someway to either modify the aircraft or make it sit on water with the undercarriage in the up position? Maybe this should be posted on one of the aircraft forums but which one?
Thanks
 
#3
Thanks
I will try that.
In the mean time I had a look at the 'contact points' in the aircraft.cfg and copied the ones for the floats to the ones for the wheels and that seems to have solved the initial problem of the aircraft sitting on it's wheels when in the water.
Strangely though when the aircraft gets airborn the undercarriage does not retract.
Is this 'normal'? I have never looked at what happens with AI land based aircraft.
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#4
The simulator does not provide the fidelity for AI aircraft to make decisions about runways. The AI moves and it's attached effects simulate water, dirt, etc based on environmental conditions and there is no provision for amphibious operations whatsoever.
 
#5
Thanks.
I hope I assume correctly that NO AI aircraft of any type lowers and retracts its gear/undercarriage for landing and after taking off.
 
#6
No, this comment is only valid for water aircraft. Them and helicopter AI is not really implemented at all. Still you can do great AI even for them.

All land-based AI will do anything you expect and more... :)

See John Youngs models for some helicopter and amphibians for example.

From mobile hence short
 
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#7
Both land and water aircraft used as AI operate their landing gear just fine. Your contact point lines for the gear must have extension/retraction times listed or they will not operate. Of course, if you use MCX to fix the landing gear in their UP position they will not operate.
 
#8
Thanks Tom,

I will have a look at that although I would have thought (without looking) that extension/retraction times would be there as they can be operated in the user flyable version. I am using a Premier Aircraft Design DHC2T amphibian (the only non amphibian aircraft I can find is a DHC3) as an AI aircraft and it operates ok after I modified the float and wheel contact points to make the aircraft 'sit' in the water correctly.

I am considering releasing a water airport I have developed for myself as freeware. My 'package' would also contain photo realistic scenery I developed but not essential (fotr installation) , moving boats and AI aircraft regularly departing and arriving both of which also is not essential for installation but enhances the scenery. I contacted Premier Aircraft Design asking them was it ok to distribute my AI aircraft which uses their freeware aircraft with my 'package' and Bob May gave permission.

I also have used the effects file fx_AI_floatplane_spray-and-wake which gives a better effect when taxiing etc and would like to distribute that also. After Googling I found a file AI_FLOAT.ZIP which contains 3 floatplanes, an AFCAD and the effect file and I am sure they were developed for FS9 back in 2004. I attempted to contact the author HOLGER SANDMANN at the email address in the readme asking him who 'owns' the effects file and can I distribute it in a freeware package but it bounced back as undeliverable. I have found his name listed with others in scenery packages developed for Vancouver and Victoria but no contact details.
Do you have any information on that effects file, who owns it, is it freeware and can I distribute it?

Thanks
 
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#11
Hello Tom,

I had no idea that the gear extension/retraction time was in the [contact points] and yes they were both set to 0 which indicates 'fixed gear'.

I changed them to 3 (seconds) and now while in the air they are retracted HOWEVER when on the water they remain extended. Maybe there is nothing I can do about that?

Regards
 
#14
Hi,

No, you cannot change the behavior of having the gear down while in the water. That's why we suggested making a copy of the model and using MCX to fix the gear in the up position. That way they will not extend while in the water. But then this model cannot be used at land airports. Your choice.
 
#15
Thanks Tom,

I opened the aircraft MDL in MCX but could not work out how to modify it or if it was indeed possible. I will look up instructions for use.

And yes I have no desire for my ai amphibious aircraft to land at land airports. I only developed this one to have more than one type of AI floatplane and my flightplans only use existing and my water airports.
 
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#16
John, out the back of my mind you would need to position the gear in the retreated position and then select fix automation or something alike in the animation editor.

Maybe this gets you started....

From mobile hence short
 
#17
Thanks Martin,

I have decided not to pursue using the DHC2T Amphibian after doing some testing and noticing the frame rate taking a HUGE dive (with one AI DHC2T just taxiing from the dock to the 'runway' the frame rate was as low as 24, without it the frame rate is over 100). Strangely though when I select the same DHC2T Amphibian as a user flyable (original) the frame rate only reduces down to around 82.
That is most strange and I am sure there is a reason but I have no idea - selecting the original aircraft doesn't have nearly the same effect on frame rate as my modified AI version of that aircraft. Any ideas?
If not I won't be using my AI version.
 
#18
Well, if you are sitting in a flyable one then you have 2 in view, instead of only one. For some computers that's enough to cause a problem.
 
#19
Thanks for the suggestion Tom BUT when any of the other two type of AI floatplanes I have are not in view (NOT the DHC2T) the frame rate only drops from around 100 to 80. When the DHC2T is in view it drops to around 20. That is just too much.
I have had as many as 3 AI aircraft in view (none the DHC2T) and the frame rate drop to around 60-80 even if I am in the user flyable DHC2T. It seems to me that it must have something to do with my modifications to the contact points but how could they have such an effect?
I only noticed this huge drop in fps since I created an AI version of the DHC2T, modified it for the undercarriage/gear (only the contact points) and added it to my AI flights. Before I did my AI DHC2 and AI DHC3 had minimal effect. BTW my system has an i7 3.5Ghz CPU and 8GB DDR3 1600 ram so fairly fast.

I have spent a lot of time trying various combinations and will continue to test more variations.

Added later.
Well it seems that the 'frame grabber' is my AI version of the DHC2T. I tested just before one flight arrived in the area and with one of my AI versions of the FSX DHC2 aircraft close to the DHC2 I was 'piloting'. As the DHC2T arrived the fps slowly got worse and after landing it went down to around 24 (it was around 90 before). After it parked I used the outside view and panned around the area. Every time the DHC2T AI aircraft was in the 'picture' the fps took a dive.
My AI versions of the FSX DHC2 and DHC3 don't affect the fps much.
Looks like I need to get rid of the DHC2T or see if there is another frame rate friendly version around.
 
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