FSXA Need Airfield Gable Markers

#1
Hi, folks. As a very new ADE user I've had some success with basic airfield design, but have been stopped by a lack of suitable airfield markers. Here in Aus, at least, runways and the safe cleared areas around them are typically marked out by solid white markers - but I can't find any such markers in FS object libraries. Let me be more precise about the design of these markers, because when Paul S. (also from Australia) asked about them a year or two back, it was obvious from some confused replies that these airfield objects were not necessarily familiar to FS enthusiasts, designers or real world pilots living elsewhere. So please bear with me while I describe what I believe are known as Gable Airfield Markers.

The markers in question are NOT mere two-dimensional painted, stencilled or otherwise applied surface markings, but shaped, hollow physical airfield objects usually made of fibreglass or polyethylene. About 50 cm high, they are often 1.5 metres or 3.0 metres long (so roughly about 20" high, and either 3' or 6' long). Their end profile is triangular, and overall they are shaped like a gable roof. Thus we have a five-faced marker with two vertical, triangular end-plates; two long, slanted rectangular surfaces facing the sky, and of course a flat rectangular base sitting on the grass or ground. Typically placed at intervals along grass or gravel runway edges, and beyond around the wider cleared area, white gable markers can be a real help to pilots approaching rural or remote fields, especially in poor light or bad weather.

So here's the problem. I can't find any gable markers, or even a decent substitute. Paul S. was in the end referred to the FlightPort Dynamic Library, but sadly it seems (though my German is rusty) that this website and its library are no longer available.

If no-one knows of a source of gable markers, is there anyone reading who could 'knock up' (OK, create) such a 3D object? I'm guessing that as it's a simple shape in plane geometry, it might not be too difficult. I would suggest that gable markers could be helpful to airport designers wherever local authorities such as the FAA, CAA, LBA, DGAC or CASA permit. Maybe a choice of white, yellow, or for the fashion-conscious, fluoro pink? Different sizes?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to try to save unnecessary confusion and time-wasting.
Right. Thanks. Any ideas? Kind regards to all from Ismacca, Australia.
 
#2
I remember that thread but can't find it. Is there writing on the markers, or just colors. If the latter, this should be a pretty simple sketchup project. A couple of pictures might really help

Gary
 
#3
Hi, Gary, and thanks for your reply. The thread started by Paul S on this (ADE) forum was for FSX: 'Runway Markers'. Paul's post under that heading was on January 21st this year, 2017. I don't know when his older post appeared. Now, as far as I know, gable markers have no lettering; they are (I think) completely plain white. They seem much more visible both in the sim, and in real life, than (say) cones, and so give a nice visual lift to a field. I haven't seen any with numbers, signage etc. The only 'extras' on the white fiberglass markers on our local field are a big bunch of bees which found a hole and made that hollow marker into a hive! I don't think I'd be moving it in a hurry.

If you can find Paul's thread, you'll see he later found a few photos on the web. They might give you some idea. Various plastic and fiberglass manufacturers have photos and details on the internet, but I guess I'd better not mention them ... but 'Gable Airfield Markers' should turn up something.

Okay, then. I had heard of 'Sketchup'. Is that something an old bloke could try and hope to design something like a Gable Marker? Maybe I could give it a go. Or maybe you want a small but useful project .... ?

Thanks again, Gary, for getting back to me.

Cheers, Ian (Ismacca).
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#6
Manual of Standards Part 139—
Aerodromes
Chapter 8:
Visual Aids Provided by Aerodrome Markings, Markers,
Signals and Signs

8.2.1.3 Gables must be 3 m long, 0.9 m wide, and 0.5 m high; painted white.

8.2.2.2 Runway strip markers must be white, and may be gable, cone or flush. Gable
markers are preferred, and flush markers must only be used where runway
strips overlap. The spacing of gable or cone side strip markers must not
exceed 180 m or 90 m respectively.
https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2010C00691/f4deecbf-066d-4431-8cd7-564df27657bf

Message received, FSX object library attached, two styles included; clean and dirty.

 

Attachments

#8
Hi Bill, N4GIX - and Rick, RK. Your help and contributions are much appreciated! First: Bill, the pics you provided would certainly help anyone having trouble visualising the effect of placing gable markers along simple runways, such as you show on the 'outback' strip. Actually it's a bit unusual; it seems normal to mark the ends of the strip and / or cleared area with two gable markers placed at 90d to each other and to place more gables along the clear area / strip. This REALLY makes for good visibility. Which leads us to Rick's relay of the official data. Thanks for doing the digging, Rick - and even more thanks for the Zip! I'll have to get back to you both on this, though, 'cause I've got to run.
Maybe you could upload the ZIP to one or more of the usual sites .. ? I guess Paul S and others would like that.
I'll be back when I have more time. Once again, thanks to all three of you - Gary, Bill and Rick - for helping out!
Cheers, Ian (Ismacca) - YMUR Murwillumbah, 20nm S of YBCG Gold Coast.
PS - Bill: N4GIX sounds like an amateur callsign to me. VK2GIM here - 73's!
 
#9
Ismacca here again. Rick; I'm obviously not doing something right adding your Gable Marker object to the ADE Library, or perhaps misunderstand the rules for using scenery objects in my airfield design. I thought I'd succeeded in adding your 'Gable Marker' folder (with the .BGL plus 'Clean' and 'Dirty' DDS files) to the ADE Object Library, as I can select it there for adding, then see the marker's footprint on the field in my ADE design, and edit its properties - but nothing shows up when I run the compiled scenery in FSX. Is there enough here to suggest what I'm doing wrong? Sorry to bug you; I have re-read the relevant bits of the ADE manual, and hunted in this forum for clues, but must have missed something basic. Thanks again for your time and efforts, Rick. Thanks also to Gary, Bill and anyone else thinking about this. Cheers. Ian / Ismacca.
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#10
I don't place objects using ADE, so I am not familiar with composing an appropriate library. Browsing the relevant section in the manual about adding library objects, I see no mention of textures whatsoever. Granted, omitted textures would be a glaring oversight from the perspective of a seasoned developer, however, people following intricate and advanced procedures for the first time would not know this. We have not confirmed that you are aware of texture relevance in relation to flight simulator files. If you have accepted and placed the accompanying textures for the library I uploaded into the appropriate folder, please relate that information; if not, be aware that you are performing procedures that are recorded with the assumption of a basic understanding of the simulator and in order to avoid confusion, or worse, you should apprise yourself of basic FSX file structure and layout. If this is indeed the case, myself or the other members can probably walk you through the process of activating this particular object in the simulator.
 
#11
Hi again, Rick. Thanks for your further response and advice, which has certainly been noted. As indicated initially, I am indeed a raw beginner in creative FS activities, and it is unsurprising that I have a dim understanding of FSX's software environment from a developer's perspective. But I am quite experienced in and familiar with the installation, configuration and use of other people's sceneries, aircraft models, textures and so on, and am no stranger to computer technology generally. I like to think that I will adapt in time to life on the other side - the far side, perhaps - and prove able to solve my own design problems without angst. Circumstances drove me to jump into ADE rather hastily; it seems clear that I do now need to sit back and study the FSX and ADE software environment more closely before continuing. No doubt there will be internet resources which will reveal the data structures of 3D objects and how their components are handled by ADE and FSX. As time permits, I'll get there. Meanwhile, other matters now demand attention.
Thanks again, Rick, for your model, time and effort, and thoughtful comments.
Kind regards, Ian / Ismacca.
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#12
VK2GIM here is N4GIX. Glad to meet you! I've held a General Class license since 1987. I recently acquired an Elecraft KX3 and PX3 Panadapter, along with a Deluxe Buddipole antenna system. I've not had much time to use it yet, but was quite active on Field Day this year. Most of my daily activity is on 2m and 70cm, analog as well as DMR.
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#13
Ian, I went ahead and added the object to one of my sceneries, to check it in the sim. It does indeed render when properly placed, so I'm sure you're issue is something quite simple. Feel free to detail your exact procedure if you'd like one of us to proof read it, an alternative is to upload your .ad4 file, but since I don't place objects this way, I'd likely be of little help with that - here's one idea, based on what you've related. You mention getting the .dds files properly placed in relation to ADE, wtg, but it's possible that they have not be properly placed in relation to the FSX scenery files. I apologize if I sound pedantic, but that scenario would easily cause the current issue.

 

tgibson

Resource contributor
#14
Did you copy and paste the Rick's BGL file into an active scenery folder, and copy and paste the textures into the adjoining Texture folder? They won't show up in FS just adding them to the ADE LOM.
 
#15
Hi Tom and Everyone. Yay! Problem (largely) solved - see below. Tom's (TGibson's) post hit the nail on the head; I had misunderstood and thought that an ADE library object, once placed in the airport design, would be incorporated into the airport BGL. I see now that's wrong. Earlier forum research pointed me to the need to put the textures in, as Tom said; having done that, and just now added Rick's Gable BGL to my new airport's Scenery, hey presto! There it is. This will be no surprise to any of you, but as I said I am a raw beginner with the design side of FS. So many thanks to you all - Gary, Bill, Rick and Tom - when time and health permit I can finish my first airports. Three small rural airports are completely missing from central southern Queensland, both from FSX and even FTX-AU; I aim to do them all to a tolerable standard, and upload them if they seem good enough for others to try. None has scheduled passenger services, but they all do have paved runways.

Just one more thing; Rick, is it possible for you to adjust the dimensions of the marker? According to the official info Bill N4GIX dug up, a typical gable marker would be 50 cm high, 3 metres long, and 0.9 metres wide. This gives a smaller marker with an end profile substantially taller than in your current model, for which the ADE properties are coming up as 9m long and 3m wide. Anyway, quick geometric drawing suggests the two bottom angles of the triangular end-plates as 48d each, and an upper vertex angle of 84deg - which all do add up to the requisite 180d. You can see this shape in the first pic supplied above by Bill.

I guess you guys might be more in tune with Feet and Inches - so I get 9' 10" long, 35.43" wide, and 19.7" high for the official marker. The half-size I've also seen would therefore be similar except for being only 4' 11" long.

Okay. Gentlemen, many thanks to you all for your interest, concern and efforts!

Best wishes, Ian / Ismacca, Murwillumbah, NSW, Aus.

PS - Bill, N4GIX! Thanks for your tech info. I don't do so much 'hamming' these days, as my HF antenna was wrecked by a major storm, and I haven't been well enough to construct a replacement - yet. All my current activity is on 2M FM, but even there I need a new transceiver. I'm not familiar with your rigs and antenna, but I'll enjoy looking them up later on. No doubt we'll be back in touch down the track. Till then, thanks again and 73's from VK.
 
#17
Hi there, Dave, and thanks a lot for your advice. Although I have several 'Ant' sceneries (and his very nice freeware Tiger Moth), I was unaware of the ConesGablesTyres BGL. It certainly sounds interesting, particularly as anything Anthony does seems impressive. Coincidentally, I believe he lives only about 45 minutes' drive from me (which in semi-rural OZ is not very far) - but I don't know him. In case you're not aware of his other works, I'm particularly fond of his Ballina YBNA (which is rather local for both of us) and Hamilton (Victoria) YHML for being (I think) very accurate and authentic and rather special freeware sceneries. Anyway, you might already have come across them or others of similar quality, so I'll say no more.
By the way, can you say whether gable markers are common or not on U.K. airfields? I did have a quick look around and found some - Derby I think, for instance - but I could not say I've researched the matter thoroughly. I have quite a few airports for England and some for Scotland, too, and I'll check those when time permits.
Well, thanks again for your contribution, David, and I will certainly take a look at Ant's BGL.
Best wishes from 'Down Under. Ian / Ismacca, YMUR near YBCG (and YBNA).
 
#19
Hi Rick; and many thanks for the great revised model. You're very kind to have assisted both with the Sketchup model, and with thoughtful advice too. I will try to work through the whole design and implementation process in less haste, and hopefully won't need to bug anyone too often hereafter. Just two more questions:
1. I see you're from Washington. Very sadly, I haven't been to the U.S. yet, but have enjoyed many virtual flights around the state, and beyond into Oregon, Idaho, Montana and BC, using OrbX's PNW package and I think about ten or more WA airports. Consequently, I'm just wondering roughly where you are located - but don't give anything away if you don't want to.
2. Is it okay to refer any other FS people to your Gable ZIP, or to pass it on to them with sensible provisos? Again, only if it suits you.

Again, thanks a lot! I can't wait to give it a go - the revisions have worked splendidly.
Kind regards, Ian / Ismacca.
 

=rk=

Resource contributor
#20
I live in the Columbia River Gorge.


It is an hour east of Portland Oregon. You may be familiar with a helicopter oriented website, Hovercontrol.com. Their virtual base is the Hood River Airport and I drive past it almost every day for work, I can see the beacon from my front window at night and in the image above, the airport would be behind the trees at the extreme left edge. The Columbia River divides Oregon and Washington States, I live near the approximate foreground of the right side of the image.
As you might imagine, just about everything with wings wants to try them out in this canyon, I've seen V-22's fly past, not above, my front door and the Growlers regularly do the commute from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, in order to routinely practice bombing the Hood River Bridge.



The file will stay available, assuming the admins don't remove it and there's no conditions on it, I don't need credits and you can try to sell it, or whatever. If you try to hack the NSA with it, I never heard of you. Eventually I should probably package it and perhaps upload it to sites, or maybe put it in the downloads section here. There's a red hangar a made a while ago this same way and I could combine it with the rest of the package. The fact is that I am just so busy with my daytime job these days, that I barely have time to check in here. The file remains available so, by all means, do as you will.
 
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