Announcing AFLT Version 4.4.2.0

gadgets

Resource contributor
Hi, girls and boys. Version 4.3.11 is the final planned release of AFLT4. Everything is now working as intended - or as close as I feel I am able to make it.

My earlier post announcing Version 10 was inaccurate in one regard. Inversely-mipmapped effects were not available to FSX. I have been unable to get them to work in either FSX or P3D. And the usual "standard" effects had insufficient visible range. So, I have adopted a multi-emitter approach. AFLT4 now uses 3-emitter effects for all Flightsim versions. While all effects are derived on-the-fly from the same base, this approach necessitates different effect parameters in certain applications. For example, the effect used in PAPI/VASI applications differs from that in other applications. You may find additional variations are required at your airports. So, AFLT allows easy customization of effect parameters in any application. This new approach provides very good results is FSX and only slightly less-so in P3D. Please refer to Appendix "D" in the user manual for details. Of course, the excellent rendering of inversely mipmapped effects in FS9 remains available. I also tried making LOD-variable lights available in FS9 and FSX. Limitations on FS9's handling of texture alpha channels preclude implementation of LOD-variable lights in FS9. It is possible to implement LOD-variable lights in FSX as simobjects (like in P3D). But, I tried this in AFLT3 without much success; the resultant overhead was prohibitive.

LM released P3Dv5 yesterday. To the extent PV5 supports the functionality used by AFLT with PV4, AFLT is fully compatible with PV5. Once I have had the opportunity to evaluate PV5, I may be able to enhance AFLT to take advantage of its new capabilities.

If you already are using AFLT4, this new release should be detected automatically. If not, it may be downloaded from my website http://stuff4fs.com.

Enjoy the additional realism at your airports.
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
I have just made a new release of AFLT (4.3.13) to make updates required to read PV5 .bgls.

If you already are using AFLT4, this new release should be detected automatically. If not, it may be downloaded from my website http://stuff4fs.com.
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
Those of you following the AFLT forum will have seen reports of AFLT overwhelming Simconnect (with P3D) when it attempted to activate lights as the user aircraft came within range of an AFLT-lighted airport or, conversely, left the vicinity of such an airport. The main symptom was that the airspeed of the user aircraft was reset to 0 - with the expected result if the aircraft was off the ground.

I have redesigned the Simconnect application to "meter" these activations and deactivations so as not to overload Simconnect. By "meter", I mean AFLT initiates the first activation/deactivation but waits until Simconnect has responded before initiating the next one. Of course, this means that if you weren't plagued by this issue, things will happen at a somewhat slower pace. But since AFLT starts loading lights at about 24 nm from the airport, there should be no noticeable impact on performance - except possibly with large airports having thousands of lights. (Remember, if you don't have pilot-controlled lighting enabled - and why would you are a major airport - only a small portion of the AFLT lights are simobjects needing control.) Nonetheless, should you experience problematic delays, I can easily extend the distance at which lights are loaded.

As well, during this redesign process, I found several opportunities to increase the efficiency of the algorithm. So, you may experience a lesser impact on FPS with this new Simconnect application

AFLT Release 3.2.14 is now available from http://stuff4fs.com. If you already have AFLT, the update will be automatically discovered and downloaded with your consent.

Enjoy.

EDIT: If you have used the previous version of AFLT, there is no need to recompile all your lights for P3D to get the benefit of the new Simconnect application.. Either simply copy the file AFLT (Simconnect).exe from your AFLT\P3D files folder into ..\Documents\Prepar3D vn Add-ons\AFLT for P3D, or re-compile one set of lights which will do that for you.
 
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gadgets

Resource contributor
Due to an oversight in the build process, the PV5 compatibility constants were not included in Version 4.3.14. Fixed in Version 4.3.14.1
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
As with any new complex and powerful application, as the user base increases, it’s not surprising that some deeply-buried “bugs” and “nice to haves” begin to surface. AFLT is no different. So, I’ve spent the past couple of weeks responding to those.

The result is AFLT 4.4.00 which, as well as having fewer “bugs” than its predecessor, also offers the following new capabilities:
  • display of surface-mounts for lights at ground level, and
  • runway and approach lights on all the time
  • self-metered spawning and deletion of Simconnect controlled lights.
For a more complete list of fixes, please refer to the enclosed Version History PDF

For current users, the new version should be detected automatically the next time you run AFLT. For others, Version 4.4.0.0 may be downloaded from http://stuff4fs.com

Enjoy
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
AFLT General Release 4.4.2.0 is now available at http://stuff4fs.com. If you have already installed AFLT, the new release should be discovered with an offer to download the next time you run AFLT.
  • As noted in the release documentation, an issue with PAPI/VASIs was discovered just prior to the release of 4.4.1. This new release includes completely re-worked PAPI/VASI handling - including P-VASI support.
  • As well, 4.4.0 introduced the ability to optionally display images of surface-mount hardware. But, if two or more of those images overlap, flickering occurs. This release provides a revised Light/Line Editor that gives the ability to suppress the display of individual surface-mount images.
  • AFLT's lights are generally placed at 0 AGL elevation. But, if the terrain surrounding your airport is not relatively flat, the approach lights will not be in a horizontal plane as recommended by the FAA. So, a new control has been added to the Approach Editor that allows you to specify the elevation of the lights in the approach array. The default is still 0 (AGL) but a single click will change this to the ARP elevation (MSL). If neither of these serves your purpose, you may set the array elevation to any value you wish.
  • Finally, for those you who wish to tweak your project, for example to vary the elevation of individual lights, the user manual includes a new Appendix “E’” that details the encoding of Placements.XML. If numerous changes are required, experienced users may find it more convenient to directly edit Placements.XML than to individually edit each light. But, be careful! You could easily wipe-out the results of your previous efforts, and I will not be able to help you recover – which likely will require regeneration of the project.
Depending on the state of your project prior to installing Release 4.4.1, you may find (or have found) some duplicated taxiway lights or other anomalies in the AFLT or Flightsim displays. If this happens to you, or in any case if you haven't extensively customized your airport lighting, it is recommended after you install the new release you close AFLT, open your project in the AFLT projects folder, delete the files "Placement.XML" (if it exists) and "StockData.xml" and re-run your project. This will ensure all your lights are properly aligned and eliminate any duplicated taxiway lights.

I am hopeful this will be the last release for a while.

Enjoy.
 
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