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Reading Helicopter models in P3DV4.1


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I am using the current version of Vpilot. When I run the scan models routine and then check the ModelScanResult for Prepar3dV4 I see no reference to helicopter models. Vpilot does scan and log all of my aircraft and boats, both installed in the P3D directory and in my addons directory located outside of the P3D directory.

 

What am I missing?

 

Ok. After some additional research I have found that vpilot will not use flyable helos to match other participant's helicopters. And, that one would have to find true AI helicopters models to allow multiplayer helicopter matching in Vpilot.

 

Has anyone actually found any number of AI helicopter models? I certainly haven't. It is interesting that Vpilot can't using flyable helicopter models to match in multiplayer while JoinFS doesn't have that problem. This doesn't make sense to me.

 

 

Danny

Danny Rice

US Army Ret.

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It is interesting that Vpilot can't using flyable helicopter models to match in multiplayer while JoinFS doesn't have that problem. This doesn't make sense to me.

 

I've found that SimConnect throws an error if I try to tell it to create an aircraft using one of the flyable helis that comes with the sim. Maybe JoinFS doesn't use SimConnect? I'll see what I can find out.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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The JoinFS site is either down or REALLY slow right now, so I'll reach out to them later if/when the site is working better.

 

I did some experimenting just now with SimConnect, and there is a way to create models using the flyable helis, but they are limited in some ways, like some of the lights don't work, and I can't specify the callsign as a label above the aircraft. Does JoinFS have callsign labels?

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

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Peter and I have exchanged a few emails today, and he let me know that the labels will appear only if the engines are running, and I confirmed that to be the case.

 

Unfortunately, there are other limitations with using the SimConnect function for creating objects which works for flyable helis, the worst of which is the fact that you cannot turn any lights on unless the engines are running. This means that we would not be able to properly simulate seeing the beacon come on before the APU or engines are started.

 

The FSX developers made some really strange choices when they built this sim ... why in the world you would need to have the engines running in order to see the label or lights is beyond me.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Well, to keep things on track, vPilot can display helicopters, just not the flyable default ones.

 

Plus, and I haven't fully tested this yet, but I have reason to suspect that if I made the required change to allow vPilot to use flyable default helicopters for model matching, that TCAS gauges would no longer function. That's because if I use the SimConnect function AICreateSimulatedObject, these aircraft do not appear in the list of aircraft when you right-click to choose a view. In other words, they are just objects, not aircraft. (The SimConnect function that I use now is called AICreateNonATCAircraft ... and these do show up as aircraft in the sim.)

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I understand that vpilot can display ai helos. The issue is that there are few if any ai helos available. And certainly not many model variations. So, for those of us who fly helos almost exclusively this is a source of frustration.

 

Danny

Danny Rice

US Army Ret.

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I'll have to do some testing to confirm whether or not using the alternate way of creating models will cause aircraft to not appear in TCAS displays. If so, that's a show stopper.

 

Have you looked into converting the flyable default helis into non-flyable AI models? I believe there is a way to do that.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I have looked around and don't find much concerning conversion of flyable to AI. However, I did try a little experiment. I copied a couple of my helicopters into the simobjects/airplane folder. Then I ran the sim and vpilot. Vpilot recognized the helicopters, listed them in the modelscanresult-prepar3dV4 file, and, indicated in the IsExcluded= as False. Vpilot also allowed me to designate one of the helicopter models as the default model.

 

Does this mean that Vpilot will now use the helicopters in model matching? I am certain it couldn't be that simple. Could it????

 

Danny

Danny Rice

US Army Ret.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi all,

 

If i can give you some AI models for helicopters can VPilot be configured to do the following:

1. Recognise helicopters and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign a default heli when the type code is incorrect or matching has been unsuccessful?

2. Read a bespoke libary for model matching rule set, that links to a AI model matching pack?

 

Not having a default heli is a nightmare for heli pilots and fixed wing pilots. There is nothing better then seeing a 737 levitate and zoom off into the distance! Happy to help the community with AI models (i.e. i will make some in blender!). But, not sure if VPilot has the capability to do it?

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1. Recognise helicopters and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign a default heli when the type code is incorrect or matching has been unsuccessful?

 

Unfortunately, the only way for vPilot to know that a user is flying a helicopter is for that user to enter the correct type code when connecting to the network. That is the only piece of data that is transmitted to other pilots which contains any information about the type of aircraft you are flying. In other words, there is no field in the transmitted data that indicates if the user is flying a prop, a jet, a sailplane, a blimp, a helicopter, etc. There is only the type code that the user enters.

 

That being said, vPilot does have a list of type code aliases which it uses to correct for invalid type codes. So if you are regularly seeing someone connect with an invalid helicopter type code, I could add entries to this list that would correct their type code before looking for a matching model. Let me know if you have any such invalid codes to add to the list.

 

2. Read a bespoke libary for model matching rule set, that links to a AI model matching pack?

 

Yes, you can load custom model matching rules into vPilot, which map type codes to your models. Docomeentation is here:

 

http://vpilot.metacraft.com/Docomeentation2.aspx

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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1. Recognise helicopters and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign a default heli when the type code is incorrect or matching has been unsuccessful?

 

Unfortunately, the only way for vPilot to know that a user is flying a helicopter is for that user to enter the correct type code when connecting to the network. That is the only piece of data that is transmitted to other pilots which contains any information about the type of aircraft you are flying. In other words, there is no field in the transmitted data that indicates if the user is flying a prop, a jet, a sailplane, a blimp, a helicopter, etc. There is only the type code that the user enters

 

Okay, this has been an annoyance of mine for a long time.

 

Like it or not, this is VATSIM where not every pilot know what code to use or how to go about finding it or hell, even know they've to put in a code.

 

As I use towerview for almost all my ATC sessions outside of CTR I've seen time and time again pilots not connecting with the correct code.

 

Ross can you not put in a basic safeguard instead of just one aircraft to pick if the code is unrecognizable?.

 

So for instance once you open vpilot and on the connection part have a drop down where you can select.....helicopter/single engine light/twin engine light/corporate jet/twin engine turboprop/twin engine commercial jet/four engine commercial jet....then they can enter the code.

 

At least this was if they get the code wrong a default aircraft type which we can set is tied to one of the drop downs and we have at least an aircraft to scale if the code is wrong.

 

Having a CRJ OR AIRBUS to represent a light Cessna with a wring code is just bad.

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Ross can you not put in a basic safeguard instead of just one aircraft to pick if the code is unrecognizable?.

 

So for instance once you open vpilot and on the connection part have a drop down where you can select.....helicopter/single engine light/twin engine light/corporate jet/twin engine turboprop/twin engine commercial jet/four engine commercial jet....then they can enter the code.

 

At least this was if they get the code wrong a default aircraft type which we can set is tied to one of the drop downs and we have at least an aircraft to scale if the code is wrong.

 

Having a CRJ OR AIRBUS to represent a light Cessna with a wring code is just bad.

 

I principally second that. Recent improvements with version 2.1.13 are a step in the right direction. Something like mentioned above could also help with "ZZZZ" codes.

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Ross can you not put in a basic safeguard instead of just one aircraft to pick if the code is unrecognizable?.

 

So for instance once you open vpilot and on the connection part have a drop down where you can select.....helicopter/single engine light/twin engine light/corporate jet/twin engine turboprop/twin engine commercial jet/four engine commercial jet....then they can enter the code.

 

At least this was if they get the code wrong a default aircraft type which we can set is tied to one of the drop downs and we have at least an aircraft to scale if the code is wrong.

 

Unless I'm misunderstanding your suggestion, I think this idea is a step in the right direction, but it is incomplete. The reason I say that is because your solution gets us to the rough *category* of aircraft the user is flying, but that's it. As you suggest, vPilot would have to pick a default type code for each rough category. In many cases, that will still result in no model match because the default type code may not be a type that is flown by the airline the user is flying as.

 

I think it's safe to say that most (nearly all) users know the manufacturer and model of aircraft they're flying. They just don't always know the exact type code. So, it seems that the right way to address this problem is to help the user discover the right type code based on the information they have.

 

To that end, I suggest we allow the user to type free text (whatever they know about their aircraft) into a text box and be presented with a list of matches to choose from. The search results would display as the manufacturer, model name, and type code. Some example searches:

 

If I search for "Airbus", I would get:

 

Airbus A-318 (A318)

Airbus A-319 (A319)

Airbus A-320 (A320)

Airbus A-330-200 (A332)

Airbus A-330-300 (A333)

etc.

 

If I search for "Beech", I would get:

 

Beech Bonanza (BE33)

Beech King Air (BE10)

Beech Super King Air (BE20)

etc.

 

If I search for "737", I would get:

 

Boeing 737-200 (B732)

Boeing 737-300 (B733)

Boeing 737-400 (B734)

etc.

 

If I know my type code, and I search for e.g. "B738" I would only get a single result:

 

Boeing 737-800 (B738)

 

Obviously, natural combinations and partial matches would work as well, e.g. I could search for "boeing 737" or "Airbus 320" or even just "320" and still get the relevant matches. No search results would be displayed until at least two characters had been entered. (I think the minimum must be two, not something higher, so that searches for "B1" would work.)

 

The displayed manufacturer and model names would come from the ICAO type code registry.

 

I'm also considering pulling information via SimConnect for the loaded aircraft, and if matches are found from the "ATC TYPE" or "ATC MODEL" SimConnect vars, then those matches would be shown initially. I'm not sure if that's the right way to go, though, since those vars are populated from the aircraft.cfg file, and those values are often blatantly wrong, so it might be a step in the wrong direction. I'm just not sure how often they are wrong. Maybe I'll use the ATC MODEL variable only if it contains an exact match for a valid type code.

 

Thoughts?

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Sorry for my less than elegant way of suggesting my idea ha!

 

Yes Ross I was suggesting a very basic way of at least getting the shape and size in proportion using the default aircraft with the sim of choice the pilot is using.

 

So when they load up vpilot as well as putting in the ICAO code of the aircraft, they select the style be it helicopter, single engine light, large twin commercial etc etc.

 

Then if the code they use is wrong, OR if they're flying some obscure light aircraft that doesn't even have an AI model, if they selected single engine light, a default Cessna will show on the network instead of a CRJ or A320. So you would have at least something visually resembling to scale what they're flying.

 

What you suggest is also very good and I obviously wasn't going to demand the sky so I kept it basic.

 

You'd be surprised the amount of pilots who fly with B737 selected in their code thinking they're covered although they needed B738.

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