Introducing AFTL Version 4.3.06

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gadgets

Resource contributor
At long last, I am pleased to announce a substantially improved version of the Airfield Lighting Toolbox (AFLT) - Release 4.3.00. This new release enables you to add custom 3D lighting to your airports with only a few clicks of the mouse. While a few deficiencies remain, this release is still VERY useable and a VERY substantial improvement over its predecessor.

The most significant improvement is that taxiway outlines now computed by AFLT faithfully reflect the outlines in FlightSim. Thus, lights placed along the edges of taxiway curves in AFLT at an offset of, say, 5 feet will appear very close to 5 feet off the edge in FlightSim also. As well, as at real-world airports, lights on opposite side of taxiways now appear directly across from each other. This new release also contains numerous less-apparent improvements and a host of fixes.

At time of release, the only known deficiencies are:
  • AFLT doesn't handle well some instances of very short intersecting taxiway links of varying widths; lights on such taxiway links must be added manually; this will not be a problem at most airports;
  • Taxiway lights are occasionally duplicated or too many are placed in a short section of taxiway
  • Aero-navigational beacons do not illuminate P3D
  • Shadows of runway end lights and similar arrays appear at the center of the array rather than with the 3D model,
I will continue to work to overcome these deficiencies. In the meantime, AFLT will create quite acceptable custom lighting for most airports. And, if you encounter one or more of the above noted taxiway deficiencies, manual adjustment is quick and easy.

Please give it a try.

A BIG thank you to Tom Gibson who spent countless hours testing AFLT4 - allowing me to focus on development and fixes. Without his help, this version of AFLT4 wouldn't yet exist.

Finally, this new release is the result of several months of intensive development. While Tom and I have tested every aspect, it would be foolhardy to expect there are no remaining issues. So, you will be well-advised to backup your Project Folders (see the user manual) if you make significant additions to the stock data.

Enjoy
Don
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
I have just discovered that the current release of AFLT 4.3.02. generates overlapping taxiway lights at the end of each segment. That is not supposed to occur and will be fixed in the next release. (This issue was discovered during development and fixed. Unfortunately, it seems I've re-introduced it in the late stages of development. )
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
I have just posted Release 4.3.03 to http://stuff4fs.com. It includes three major new features/fixes, namely:
  • overlapping taxiway lights at the ends of each taxiway segment have been eliminated
  • a bug that prevented compilation with new installations of AFLT has been fixed, and
  • obstruction lights and aeronavigational beacons are now fully operational;
and a number of other less-noteworthy ones.

However, AFLT is not yet perfect. I recently discovered that strobe seed values other than "0" do not display satisfactorily. For the moment, they are all treated as 0; hence all your "running rabbits" will be synchronized. Due to the seriuosness of the "no-compile' issue, I felt an early release was preferable to waiting until I developed a fix for the strobes (which are still quite useable). Also, I am still not happy with the spacing of lights in corners which, in certain circumstances, bunch up.

I will continue to work on these and other improvements.

Don
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
I have just posted Release 4.3.05 to http://stuff4fs.com. It resolves most of the outstanding issues in its predecessors. As has been the case for a while now, Tom Gibson has devoted a great deal of effort to testing this release. Thanks, Tom (Let me tell you. he's fussy.;) If it doesn't work, he won't let it go!)

One user has reported difficulty in upgrading to 4.3.04 from a very early version of AFLT4 (4.1.16). If you are currently using a version of AFLT4 prior to the 4.3 series, your old data is probably not going to be of much value anyway other than recording the changes you've made from the stock data. So, you're probably better off starting from scratch with 4.3.05 (i.e., put it in a new folder). In most cases, you'll be able to recover with only a few mouse clicks.

P3D users get a bonus with this release. The LOD-variable lights can be made visible to over 15 miles. (Effects are cut off by the sim at about 7 miles.)

I expect to make at least one more release with new features. I'm still not happy with the way very short taxiway segments are handled. As well, I want to see if I can adapt the (extended-range) LOD-variable lights for use with FSX/FSX:SE. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, they can't be implemented in FS9.

Enjoy,
Don
 
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gadgets

Resource contributor
Due to an issue with older releases leaving invalid data in the Placements.xml file, 4.3.05 crashed (when encountering such data). I've fixed the problem and re-released as 4.3.06.
 
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