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Flight Planning with FSUIPC and WideFS


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Dear Pete,

I want to ask you for help to solve a problem which probably is only marginal dealing with FSUIPC.

We use FS2004, FSUIPC and WideFS in a training application. In our training system, the user doesn’t have access to the FS2004 user interface. Instead, FS is running “under the hood” on a separate machine. We created an application with a generic graphical user interface. It tracks all user input, controls the FS via WideFS and FSUIPC, and creates a simplified view of data coming from FS. So far, the things worked very well. But now, as the project continues, we have to deal with Flight Plans.

Our training application has an inbuilt flight plan editor. The question is: how to bring it into FS? Currently, the control application loads a file into FS, containing a flight plan with two waypoints. Then it ‘manually’ changes step by step values for previous and next waypoint in the GPS section. This method works in principle, but it isn’t a clean solution. The GPS sometimes seems to resent that kind of manipulation.

A better way would probably be, to create a *.PLN file, to write it to the FS system, and to cause FS to load it into the current flight. But how could this be done?

I searched the forum for help, and found your answers stating that FSUIPC doesn’t provide any access to flight plans - except the fields in the GPS section.

If you would be on my position, how would you solve this task? Would you perhaps create a FS module, which would load a flight plan from our training application into the current flight? Could this be generally done? Unfortunately we have no experience in FS module development. Could you please help us to come onto the right track?

Many thanks for reading me,

Oliver

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Our training application has an inbuilt flight plan editor. The question is: how to bring it into FS? Currently, the control application loads a file into FS, containing a flight plan with two waypoints. Then it ‘manually’ changes step by step values for previous and next waypoint in the GPS section. This method works in principle, but it isn’t a clean solution. The GPS sometimes seems to resent that kind of manipulation.

I'm actually amazed that it works at all! I've not looked into the GPS side of FS -- the offsets there were provided by someone else. I didn't know you could change them and still have it work!

A better way would probably be, to create a *.PLN file, to write it to the FS system, and to cause FS to load it into the current flight. But how could this be done?

I have no idea, without reloading the flight -- but even that might be cached -- and of course doing that rather resets things. If you are talking about filing a plan for a complete flight, then it is easy. Create the plan file, then tell FSUIPC to load the flight which uses it.

If you would be on my position, how would you solve this task?

Quite honestly, I would not try to use the built-in plan and GPS system at all, but do it in the same way as, for example, Project Magenta does it for FMS guidance. You keep the plan, you display the route, etc, you provide the headings etc, and, if autopilot control is requested, you set them on the A/P.

Such a method gives you complete control and lets you do exactly what you like.

Would you perhaps create a FS module, which would load a flight plan from our training application into the current flight? Could this be generally done? Unfortunately we have no experience in FS module development.

You don't need it. If I knew how to make FS load a plan into the current flight without going via the menu system to do it, I would probably provide it as a facility in FSUIPC in any case, akin to the current one for loading flights.

As I said, if you are happy loading the complete plan for a flight before the flight starts, then that's the way to do it -- use the FSUIPC facility to load a specific flight, after writing that flight's plan.

Regards,

Pete

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Thanks Pete, for your fast response.

Unfortunately we can’t reload complete flights, since the student has to be able to change the flight plan on-the-fly.

Please let me ensure whether I see the things correctly: the “Project Magenta way” means to implement the functionality of a flight management system + GPS, and to send instructions to FS using FSUIPC. That means for instance, to calculate a new value for heading dependent on position, track, wind etc., then to calculate an approach path and so on. Is that correctly?

Originally, we hoped to come around a FMS-implementation by using the most realistic aircraft model we could get.

Many thanks for helping me!

Oliver

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Please let me ensure whether I see the things correctly: the “Project Magenta way” means to implement the functionality of a flight management system + GPS, and to send instructions to FS using FSUIPC. That means for instance, to calculate a new value for heading dependent on position, track, wind etc., then to calculate an approach path and so on. Is that correctly?

Well, yes, but Project Magenta uses an FMS instead of a GPS style control and plan system. Take a look -- http://www.promagenta.com.

Regards

Pete

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