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Messages - lesmar

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'That way it is visible if a pilot is actually flying or non flying flights. I see the tendency with people to fly long haul flights and then after take off, walk away and then return and do
the landing and make it count as flying time.'
The problem is that in real life a pilot will not fly all of the time on a long haul flight as he will be working very long hours and possibly in violation of airline laws.  this is always a difficult subject for virtual airlines to deal with. Yes some insist that you are at the controls once every hour by making a keypress etc. a simple keypress is easy to break using a script running in the background.  some don't bother and then their forum is full of postings about pilots always being pilot of the month because they have over 500 hours for the month.

One option again has had critics on both sides in that you limit the number of hours a pilot can fly each month ,  some agree with that and others say why can I not fly xxx number of hours each month.

One has to be careful on any of these suggestions as you start to get carried away with realism after all this is a SIMULATION and for many thousands a piece of software to enjoy and have fun !!! 

Some aspects of realism might be true if you are trying to run LUFTHANSA or AIR FRANCE as a virtual airline but it is still not the real world so don't get hung up about long haul pilots etc. Enjoy your experience with flying an aircraft from your computer

New and Announcements / release of code for Acars
« on: January 08, 2019, 05:55:57 AM »
since an Acars program is basically three operational parts of the virtual system what we need is somehow to get the following done to make VAM complete.

[1] Plug-in must work with windows, linux and mac osx for XPLANE-11 .  The only mac osx acars XACARS has been abandoned for development and will not work with the STEAM version of XPLANe without having to try and copy objects from an XCODE directory.  So an opportunity exists to be the number one in MAC OSX ACARS.

[2] Given that ACARS is much more than the normal XACARS then you also have a powerful tool to leverage Virtual Airlines running that support MAC OS to come to VAM and as such the desktop software for acars needs to run on MAC OSX and connect directly with the MAC OSX plugin no half measure in that you have to run xplane on APPLE using Windows emulation etc.  This is important as then it is just download and install and run

[3] Acars needs to connect to the website to record pireps and position reports and any other exchange of data and as such the protocols of sending data to a web site using MAC OS need to be used again rather than insisting that Windows emulation has to be used.

Right so how can it be done ?
For a start there are various 'starting' tools that can be found in GITHUB such as the NASA project that can connect to XPLANE and others for connecting and sending data from MAC OS to web-sites. 

The issue is getting the code for the plug-in and acars so that it can be developed to work with operating systems other than WINDOWS.

Development would take time but there seems to be a community in VAM that are willing to help including me.  Yes these people are scattered around the world but if you use a tool like SLACK to communicate and link up everyone then it can be a good experience for all who help.  I use SLACK as part of the development team for the new VATSIM client called SWIFT and I am helping test the MAC OS version

So to VAM if you can release the ACARS code in a nice way , we are here to make it work for MAC OS etc.

New and Announcements / Re: VAM 2.6 Hot Fix 02 released
« on: July 25, 2018, 05:50:05 PM »
NO 2.6.2 includes the hot fixes see the download page it states the hotfixes apply to release 2.6

Support for VAM 2.4 - 2.6 / a blog for my project
« on: July 22, 2018, 07:30:01 AM »
i have started a blog on what i am doing for the VAM data

good news so far in my data source of world routes (timetable) i have just over 190,000 entries
In the first pass of matching to Navigraph Airport Data and these routes I have a success of 182,000 where both the departure and arrival airport in the route can be matched to my Navigraph Airports table.
Yes there are between 8000 and 9000 unmatched records which i am now going to look at and i think many may be items such as FAJS instead of FAOR so I will try to match using other tables and the IATA code like JNB for Johannesburg OR Tambo as it is the same when it was Jan Smuts airport FAJS.  I think another one is ROV - Rostov on Don in Russia which is now URRP instead of URRR as it is a new airport  but retains the old IATA code.

With a bit of work I think i will get close to 100% of the records matched.   This means that for any combination of VAM hubs that use the Airport table that i generate from Navigraph I can automatically generate a good number of routes for each Hub

It is good to use my computer skills to get VAM data rather than typing them all in.

One of the stages I need to do is build a new FLEET TABLE from data where I can and then because I have the Aircraft ICAO in my routes data i can match that up as well.

Well enough for today for a while , I will keep you posted on how things are going

Thanks for the message Keith,

I am sure that if I expand my data collection even further i could get close to having a database that is as 'good as it gets' . In my example i wanted to set up a continent passenger and freight virtual airline for Africa.  Thus I don't use GA aircraft etc and only want to fly routes that have both ICAO and IATA codes. With the worldwide data i have at my disposal for flights and my 20 hub airports i have got going with the process of generating by PHP and MYSQL an automatic route builder that in its early stages has created 4000 route records that either start or end at one of my hub airports.
I have the ICAO code for aircraft that has flown that route and as such using other database and probably some manual input from wikipedia etc i can create all my fleet records again using PHP and MYSQL. 

As you may have guessed my method is to use a lot of available information in a way that for VAM I can import it rather than key it in on the screen.

This means that for any user of VAM that needs a passenger Virtual Airline like mine can just send me their HUB table and the rest I can build and send back as MYSQL scripts just like setting VAM up in the first place. At least they will have something to get going with instead of spending hours and hours researching and typing data into VAM.

Regarding the Fleet records for each Aircraft type I have a set of small side view images of aircraft that i use in the image URL of the fleet record these will be zipped and sent with the MYSQL scripts to the requester.

I now have 4000 routes mapped to my 20 hubs against 6000 'Navigraph Airports' that have a good ICAO (navigational code ) and IATA (passenger code) set.  For example  Heathrow is for pilots  'EGLL'  and for passengers is 'LHR'.

Next i add the co-ordinates of the airports and thus i can calculate the distance between airports .

I need also to trim the other database tables linked to the Airports so that they in-turn do not have redundant data.

Personally I think it is good to have 6000 good airports rather than 30,000 airports that are often a strip of grass in a plantation in Brazil and dont have an IATA code.  OF course if you set up a bush flying VAM with VFR then you are ok but i want really to have a simulation of a real world environment i.e. actual real world routes etc.

I guess the problem with flight penalties as you say it has to be a general thing because likewise you dont have all the real-world options and human risk decisions built into VAM.

My concerns are that the database looks to me to be copied from a free download some years ago and is not really upto date with airport ICAO changes and new airports and why include closed airports ?.

Airports in my view must or should be accessible from reliable data sources such as Simbrief which in turn uses the NAVIGRAPH data that is fairly upto date . If it is not on Navigraph then is it worth having in VAM and why have data that is not used such as website and wikipedia and keywords if you are not using them.

i have matched up around 8500 Navigraph Airports with some of the other tables , I think and believe some of these tables are not correct as many hold a 3 character code for the airport for many USA airports such as 1KS  where Navigraph and ICAO code is K1KS  so i can correct a few more of the 2000 airports i need data for.

Personally I think the upgrade will not be available just yet as there are still many things that need to be fixed or finished first.
There is a need for the cars to be ported to OSX and Linux and not stay as windows

My upgrades should be able if not in a release be done as an add-on as then if file structures have not changed then they will be easy to re-implement after 2.7  or maybe it will become 3.0

got the basic navigraph data into a table now to api or copy missing details for each airport from other sources

airports table
Remove all redundant information ie fields not used
Create database based on up to date Arinc data such as Navigraph
Include Gmt and timezone if possible as this can be used in route input to automatically generate Flight duration from departure and arrival times.
Routes table
Add a new field for flight distance and use this field as guidance like duration.  There is a formula that uses latitude an longitude to create a reasonable approximation of distance in Nautical Miles

given the timezones of airports and a departure time then using an average of cruise speed across aircraft flying the route + 15 minutes to depart and land then it is possible also to generate the duration of the flight based on the distance between the airports and thus an arrival time say rounded to the nearest 15 minutes.  Of course arrival times are only approximate as well as distance as you never know what aircraft is flying the route and what sids and stars are being used especially when on line

I would add to the pilot route selection screen that the flight arrival times and duration are approximations only and are for guidance

The current Airports Table seems to have a lot of information that is not used or required and some information that would be ideal to have

Do we need fields such as scheduled_service or keywords etc if they are not used ?

The flight duration field on routes table could be easily dynamically done as we have both the airport code and the co-ordinates but what is missing on the airports table is the GMT offset and timezone of the airport,  this makes calculating flight time easier as departure and arrival times are usually in local time eg. FIMP Mauritius to EGLL London Heatrow d├ęparts at 22:00 and arrives at 06:30 for example now just subtracting times gives you 8:30 flight time but since FIMP has a Gmt offset of +3 and EGLL has GMT offset of 0 then the flight time is in fact 11:30 approx. 
therefore it makes sense to add these to airports rather than having data that is redundant
Taking about routes there is a good formula that will calculate based on the shape of the earth the number of nautical miles between airports .  I will amend my VAM to show this distance on the routes display like the duration as a guideline for pilots
I will publish all changes I make in here as a sort of addition to VAM and perhaps it will get put into the next version

i think i will end up with just over 13,400 good airports in my database as i will cross-check all names and entries with arinc data from navigraph latest cycle as I am a subscriber to that.  Yes many airports will be chopped especially those very small and private airfields or plantation airstrips in Brazil etc.  I want to have airports that you can get routes for from Simbrief and for many pilots who fly on-line they need to be in IFR mode as VFR is not generally allowed on-line much.   
My database is getting there but it will take a bit longer than i was hoping for due to the errors , etc. 


This will bee my base for collating the airports table  and yes there is only FAOR and not FAJS in Navigraph

i am busy removing duplicates etc but it will be ready soon , no guarantees its 100% perfect but you can judge for yourself later

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