Floatplane base problem with ADE

#1
Hi there. I'm trying to edit the default Lake Hood with ADE v1 (top-notch program by the way, many thanks) and i've run into a bit of a probelm. Basically, when I try to add taxiways and apron routes, the scenery seems to lock them to an altitude about 80ft below that of the surfact of the lake, creating a trench like effect. I've tried creating a new facility, making sure the altitude is correct, but to no avail. Does anybody know why this is happening and how i can stop it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks,

Josh
 
#2
Josh, I have never had any luck adding those to water with any program for FSX. Using AFCAD 2.21 and another program I got the same results as you.

I think I read it can't be done but I will let someone else verify that.

Derrick
 
#3
Hello Josh

The problem with Lake Hood as with many water airports in FSX, the water elevation and the airport elevation are not the same.


The water elevation for Lake Hood is 46.3296012878418 Meters

The airport elevation is 21.640000 Meters.

Stay tuned and I will have you a fix in a few moments so ADE will work correctly and not make a trench in the water.
 
#4
The problem is that the stock AFD file has a height of 21.64m whereas the airport flatten is at 46.33. Unfortunately ADE will not allow you to change the height of a stock airport. To change the height, you need a dummy AFD file which contains just the airport name and required elevation and place this below the base scenery files. You can now create a new airport at the correct height and place it above the base files.

George

Oops, I see that Jim beat me to it (as usual:rolleyes:)
 
#6
OK Josh

I have work up a fix for FSX so ADE will add everything you need without the trench. Once again keep in mind that FSX and water airports did not get coded correctly so we are fixing the FSX problem first.

If you work with a lot of water runways then you might want to learn this so other airports that have the problem in FSX you can fix.

We need to create a preload airport header like George mentions above. He called it a dummy header but it is the same thing. Look at the following and use as a template for other airports when needed.



<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<FSData version="9.0" xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<Airport
country="United States"
state="Alaska"
city="Anchorage"
name="Lake Hood"
lat="61.1800037696958"
lon="-149.971932470798"
alt="46.3296012878418M"
magvar="-25"
trafficScalar="0.7"
airportTestRadius="16404.2F"
ident="LHD" >
</Airport>
</FSData>






Notice I changed the alt="46.3296012878418M" which is the actual lake elevation as read with TcalcX (Utility)

In FSX the default alt is alt="21.64M" and that is causing the trench.

So we are going to tell FSX to use our new higher altitude.

Copy my XML above and save as a .txt file in notepad giving it a name such as LHD_fix_alt.txt

Now copy the notepad file to where you have the SDK BGLComp compiler.exe file.

With the mouse drag the txt file over the BGLComp file and release the mouse. A LHD_fix_alt.bgl will be created for you.

Now it is VERY IMPORTANT that you copy the new LHD_fix_alt.bgl into the FSX\Scenery\World\scenery folder. Regardless of what others will tell you please put the new bgl in that FSX folder only.

This becomes the preload airport header that FSX will now use for FT Hood airport and the airport elevation now agrees with the water elevation.

I noticed one other issue with Ft Hood.


EDIT **********


The water runways and their start locations do not agree properly. See next post

Let us know if you run into problems.
 
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#7
Josh

I stated the water runways and start locations do not agree and the default airport will not compile. George has researched some of this and I found the following.

The East/West runway is easy to see (rotate ADE so north is up on the Grid). The EAST start location goes to the left side of the runway so when you start at that point you are looking east.

Name the runway that is running North South to SOUTH/NORTH based on the default heading. Place the NORTH start location at the bottom of that runway so if you go there on start up you are looking north.

Now the big problem with FSX is the 3rd runway. Name it SOUTHEAST/NORTHWEST. Place the NW start location in the bottom right so you are looking toward NW and SE at the top left runway so you are looking SE.

Now try the compiler to see if the airport compiles ok before adding any runway (black line) links.

I am able to get the compiler to accept this layout of runways and start locations.
 
#8
Damnit Jim, you are some kind of wizzard! Thanks so much, there is no way I would have worked that out! I had encountered the problems of the default start locations, the way i got around it was to delete all the defaults then to run the fault finder and when it threw up the problems of the missing start locations, i simply hit the 'add start' button. Just one further question, as I intend to do other float plane bases, is it possible to have multiple entries like the one you showed me, all in the same file? Its just for cosmetic reasons really, so there aren't lots more .BGLs than is necessary. Thanks again, this forum is top-notch!

Josh
 
#9
Just one further question, as I intend to do other float plane bases, is it possible to have multiple entries like the one you showed me, all in the same file?
Josh

That is a very good question.

The answer is YES

Airport headers are not area/region sensitive and because we place them in the world scenery folder they can all nest in one single bgl for the entire world.

They must all set inside the FSdata elements as follows

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<FSData version="9.0" xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance'
xsi:noNamespaceSchemaLocation="bglcomp.xsd" >

<Airport
country="United States"
state="Alaska"
city="Anchorage"
name="Lake Hood"
lat="61.1800037696958"
lon="-149.971932470798"
alt="46.3296012878418M"
magvar="-25"
trafficScalar="0.7"
airportTestRadius="16404.2F"
ident="LHD" >
</Airport>

<Airport
country="United States" <<<<<<<<========= each new dummy
state="Alaska"
city="Anchorage"
name="Lake Hood"
lat="61.1800037696958"
lon="-149.971932470798"
alt="46.3296012878418M"
magvar="-25"
trafficScalar="0.7"
airportTestRadius="16404.2F"
ident="LHD" >
</Airport>

<Airport
country="United States" <<<<<<<<========= each new dummy
state="Alaska"
city="Anchorage"
name="Lake Hood"
lat="61.1800037696958"
lon="-149.971932470798"
alt="46.3296012878418M"
magvar="-25"
trafficScalar="0.7"
airportTestRadius="16404.2F"
ident="LHD" >
</Airport>

</FSData>


I used the same Lake Hood 3 times but it shows how each different airport header would nest as XML and inside the FSData tags. Keep your original XML as the Master and add to it, compile when needed in the future.
 
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#12
I have experienced an interesting new problem with Lake Hood. When I go to use it as a facility and set my location to one of the start points and my aircraft to the default DHC-2 Beaver, I can't takeoff. The aircraft acts like it is on dry land, i.e. at full throttle it kicks up alot of spray and happily goes nowhere. I think this may be related to the fix, FSX presumably 'thinks' that the 'ground' is at 46MSL, like the water level and therefore 'thinks' the Beaver is on dry land, so to speak. Could this be the problem? Is there any way around it? I know this isn't really related to ADE, but I thought it best to post here considering we had already begun the discussion here. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Josh
 
#13
Hi Josh,

Just to let you know you're not alone with the problem I transferred a couple of afcads for Scottish lochs from FS9 to FSX, recompiled them with ADE and get exactly the same behaviour as you except my Beaver is sitting semi submerged. I was going to go through some of the things Jim mentioned about it to see if I can resolve it but as I'm also trying to finish off an afcad for a large airport it will be next on my list.
If I crack it I'll post it here for you ASAP.

Colin
 
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#15
Well, that is theoretically true. However, in floatplane modifications that I have done previously (Friday Harbor, Roche Harbour etc) I can do both, have AI and still use the airport, so obviously something else is different here.
 
#16
Hi Josh,

Just a quick update on my efforts to get the Beaver to fly. In my case it was relatively easy because the two airports were non FSX airports so all I needed to do was change the airport elevation on both. Now the elevation is right the Beaver flies. The next problem I have is to get the AI aircraft to fly as they just sit there and then disappear when take-off time comes. Problems problems.

Colin
 
#17
The next problem I have is to get the AI aircraft to fly as they just sit there and then disappear when take-off time comes.
AI aircraft (even floatplanes) need concrete/tarmac taxiways and runways. AI floatplanes need their aircraft.cfg modified to add wheel contact points. Once you have AI operational, you need to move the start points (which are not used by AI) off the runway so a user aircraft is sitting in the water and will be able to take off.

George
 

HolgerSandmann

Resource contributor
#19
Hi guys,

there's a very detailed tutorial on AI floatplane base design, written by Norman Meznarich, in the Tradewind VA magazine published Feb 2007:

http://www.tradewind.org/NG/island_breezes/island_breezes.html

or directly: http://www.tradewind.org/NG/Island_Breezes/Feb07_IslandBreezes.pdf

The tutorial was written for FS2004 and some things have changed for FSX, both in regards to AI behavior on the ground as well as the way contact points can be used for triggering effects. However, the basics of floatplane AFCAD design remain the same for FSX.

Cheers, Holger
 
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