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Traffic Zapper Suggestion


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Like the feature, but it's a bit on the strict side. It took ages for me to get an aircraft out of the way that was right in front of me on final.

Would it be possible to change the zapper in such a way that it would delete any AI aircraft within a user defined cylinder, where the user aircraft is in the precise middle of that cylinder? Two changeable values, diameter and height of the cylinder. That's what I call a real traffic zapper. :lol:

You see, often I'd like to get rid of an aircraft directly behind me on final as well. And well, sometimes AI can be on top of or below you. So quite hard to zap with the current system.

This is for FS9 by the way.

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Like the feature, but it's a bit on the strict side. It took ages for me to get an aircraft out of the way that was right in front of me on final.

It's really meant for zapping during taxiing. The zapping on final approach was a bit of an after-thought, though it works well if you leave it till the last moments. There might be a problem in a crosswind landing, with you crabbing, till you kick rudder to straighten up of course.

Would it be possible to change the zapper in such a way that it would delete any AI aircraft within a user defined cylinder

Aren't the user-adjustable parameters already provided sufficient? Have you tried changing them? You can only alter the range, the angle alters in inverse proportion.

Regards

Pete

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I use the default settings and I haven't tried changing them. Don't think it'll make a huge difference though.

"Note that you cannot change the acceptance angle explicitly. It is adjusted automatically, in linear inverse proportion to the change in the range—so with a larger range you would need to point the aircraft nose more accurately."

It's already unforgiving, in my opinion. If I would increase the range, it would become more so if I understand the quote correctly, if I would decrease it, same thing, because I don't want to zap only what is right in front of me, but also AI say two or three miles in front of me when I know they won't make it off the runway in time.

So I rather liked my suggestion. No worries about angles, nose pointing and whatnot, if it's in the cylinder, it's gone. I can see some people preferring the current system, so perhaps you can give users the option, old style, new style. But I definitely see the potential of my approach as well.

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It's already unforgiving, in my opinion. If I would increase the range, it would become more so

No, you'd decrease the range to give a wider angle.

The reason for the normally narrow angle is because during testing (and Beta testing) it was far too easy to zap the wrong aircraft, especially when trying to clear a space on the tarmac to park your vehicle. The wider angle with less range makes sense when you look at it like that.

if I understand the quote correctly, if I would decrease it, same thing, because I don't want to zap only what is right in front of me, but also AI say two or three miles in front of me when I know they won't make it off the runway in time.

Well, 2 to 3 miles is a heck of a long way for this facility when you consider you don't even get AI aircraft drawn over 10 miles away. Surely you can leave it a lot lot later than that? at 2 to 3 miles without having a very narrow beam the ambiguity about what you may zap would be huge.

So I rather liked my suggestion. No worries about angles, nose pointing and whatnot, if it's in the cylinder, it's gone.

Sorry, I obviously misunderstand. If there's no angles involved and the nose is irrelevant, how is this "cylinder" computed? Are you talking about using aircraft track not heading? And are you saying everything in that cylinder? Or just the nearest, like the aircraft to your left innocently on approach to a parallel runway?

I can see some people preferring the current system, so perhaps you can give users the option, old style, new style. But I definitely see the potential of my approach as well.

The geometry / trigonometry of what you ask would need figuring out. What I implemented already was straight-forward range and bearing computation. I'd have to go revise trig from my old school books to work out range from an extended centreline. I suspect I'd still want to use heading not track, though, as the former is visually discernible more readily, so the nose is still important.

And is this cylinder horizontal, or tipped for a climbing or descending aircraft? The trig for anything but horizontal would be even more horrendous, but if it isn't tilted, the diameter would need to be that much greater for your approach situation. Do you have any formulae? don't forget, all I have it Lat/Lon/Alt/Heading for your aircraft and Lat/Lon/Alt for the potential targets. Consider these as X Y Z coordinates in 3D space. Now I need a formula.

BTW surely only in front, though, not behind? You wouldn't know what you were zapping if you aren't looking.

If it starts to look feasible I'll put it on my list, though it actually sounds more like a good application for a little add-on utility rather than something built into FSUIPC. In the current FSX version there's a facility for Lua plug-ins to FSUIPC, and this facility could most probably be programmed that way. But I've not yet considered porting it to FSUIPC3, though, because so far no one has expressed interest in the FSX version. :-(

Regards

Pete

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though it actually sounds more like a good application for a little add-on utility rather than something built into FSUIPC

LOL! I know.

But anyway, the cylinder would be vertical. And the user aircraft would be at the very center of the cylinder. So simplifying, how much of a distance is there between AI and user two-dimensionally, so just looking at coordinates. But instead of directly in front, it's 360 degrees around the user aircraft, with the user in the middle of that circle. But then not only zap those aircraft that are within that circle, but also the AI up to an equal distance above and below the user altitude. With the radius and height of the cylinder defined by the user.

It doesn't need to be huge, say the radius is 1 NM, the height 1000ft. That's means there is a zappable area of 1NM in any direction of the user and 500ft below and 500ft above.

The real issue is, AI annoys at the most inconvenient times. And most of the time, you can predict this behavior with the help of TCAS, by listening to ATC and also by looking at Traffic View Board for example (I have it installed as a gauge in all my aircraft).

My suggestion would allow me to zap with a little more freedom and not when I'm on short final and have enough to do already.

I understand if this is beyond the scope of FSUIPC, it was just an idea I had.

:wink:

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the cylinder would be vertical.

Vertical? Obviously I did completely misunderstand you, then. You want to be able to zap aircraft above you and below you, not specifically in front of you, the only limitation being the range or altitude difference?

I really don't see the point of that at all. If you cannot see what you are zapping, I'm essentially against it.

I was almost willing to concede the horizontal cylinder idea, with the proviso of a max 45 degree bearing (to avoid zapping something beside you). I'd do it by the range-from-extended-centreline method, taking the nearest AI within the right distance with a bearing less than 45 degrees off our heading.

I would only apply this to airborne user aircraft. Otherwise the current ground zapping applies.

Regards

Pete

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I really don't see the point of that at all. If you cannot see what you are zapping, I'm essentially against it.

Well, you can see it, on TCAS. And hear it on ATC. And you know how AI behaves, so why not preemptively zap what is with pretty great certainty gonna mess up your (short) final. To me it seems pretty useful functionality.

Pete, do you fly a lot with 100% AI to busy airports? No matter how good the Afcad is, no matter how well you've got AI Smooth running or AI Separation, there will always be conflicts and those conflicts aren't always going to be right in front of you.

Anyway, thanks for listening.

If only MS would've addressed these issues. Hopefully they will in FSXI, but I'm not all that optimistic.

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Well, you can see it, on TCAS. And hear it on ATC. And you know how AI behaves, so why not preemptively zap what is with pretty great certainty gonna mess up your (short) final. To me it seems pretty useful functionality.

Well, I don't think TCAS is that accurate that you can know this, and a lot of folks' planes don't have working TCAS in any case. I still think you should be able to see what you are zapping. Sorry to disagree.

Pete, do you fly a lot with 100% AI to busy airports?

66% but with MyTrafficX, which is actually a lot more than 100% default AI.

I also use Radar Contact 4 for ATC, and that does deal with dire conflicts quite well. Not 100%, but enough for it not to be a huge problem, ever. That's both with FS9 and FSX. RC5 promises to be even better, but for other reasons in the main.

No matter how good the Afcad is, no matter how well you've got AI Smooth running or AI Separation, there will always be conflicts and those conflicts aren't always going to be right in front of you.

Isn't that one of the reasons you fly to busy airports with 100% AI? If you don't have any conflict avoidance to do, any go-arounds to do, ever, just a plain old landing like all the others, why do it? Live and deal with the extra excitement! ;-)

Regards

Pete

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LOL! Realistic excitement, I'm all for it, but these AI pilots... :lol:

By the way, I use this TCAS in all my aircraft. And I fly with 100% fully customized AI, Ultimate Traffic as a base, with updated models and flightplans, then all Ultimate GA and Military AI Works packages. That makes for really busy skies.

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LOL! Realistic excitement, I'm all for it, but these AI pilots... :lol:

I've implemented it, even though i don't like it much -- but it was easy to do (a lot easier than the main system).

Download http://fsuipc.simflight.com/beta/FSUIPC3831.zip

Add these lines to the FSUIPC.INI [general] section:

ZapAirRange=n (cylinder diameter in nm, eg. 2.5)

ZapCylinderAltDiff=n (half cylinder height in feet, eg 500)

It's the latter parameter being non-zero which changes the mode to your vertical cylinder system -- if it is omitted or zero the normal system is used.

This only applies when your aircraft is airborne. On the ground the normal system is used.

Incidentally, it only deletes one aircraft at a time, still -- the nearest. You didn't really mean to clear the whole cylinder or aircraft, did you? I could do that too, and in fact it would make a little more sense to me as you'd not need specific TCAS confirmation either, just knowing that your space is clear.

However, if I added that I think I'd prefer it to be a different control. "Traffic ZapAll" or something. And it would assume a cylinder with a fixed altitude difference, say 500 feet.

Regards

Pete

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Incidentally, it only deletes one aircraft at a time, still -- the nearest. You didn't really mean to clear the whole cylinder or aircraft, did you? I could do that too, and in fact it would make a little more sense to me as you'd not need specific TCAS confirmation either, just knowing that your space is clear.

However, if I added that I think I'd prefer it to be a different control. "Traffic ZapAll" or something. And it would assume a cylinder with a fixed altitude difference, say 500 feet.

Most of the time it's just one aircraft getting in the way, but recently I was sandwiched in between two aircraft and we were all heading to runway 4R at KJFK. So at that time, a ZapAll could've come in handy. Although it's hardly any trouble to just Zap twice and get the same result.

I have to agree with you, it'd be best if that were a different control.

Gotta say Pete, Mr. Downson, I have heard the stories, but now from personal experience I can say your continuing efforts on FSUIPC (for FS9) are most appreciated. Your commitment is truly unparalleled. Enough with the brown-nosing, I'll go set up a flight now and see how it works. :wink:

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I just noticed an error here:

ZapAirRange=n (cylinder diameter in nm, eg. 2.5)

ZapCylinderAltDiff=n (half cylinder height in feet, eg 500)

The Range is not the diameter of the cylinder, of course, but the radius!

So those example parameters, 2.5 and 500, give a cylinder 5 miles diameter, 1000 feet tall (if the aircraft is at least 500 AGL of course, else it's cut off by the ground).

Although it's hardly any trouble to just Zap twice and get the same result.

Yes, but you need to allow a second or so each time for the internal table to refresh and reflect the loss of the first one Zapped. Else the second press Zaps the same one againMaybe i can do something about that, though -- delete it from the table anyway rather than wait for confirmation. I'll take a look at that.

I have to agree with you, it'd be best if that were a different control.

i'll look at that too.

Regards

Pete

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Okay. 3.831 is history. Download http://fsuipc.simflight.com/beta/FSUIPC3832.zip

As before, for the Traffic Zapper control these lines can be used in rhe FSUIPC.INI [general] section:

ZapAirRange=n (cylinder radius in nm, eg. 2.5)

ZapCylinderAltDiff=n (half cylinder height in feet, eg 500)

It's the latter parameter being non-zero which changes the mode to your vertical cylinder system -- if it is omitted or zero the normal system is used. This only applies when your aircraft is airborne. On the ground the normal system is used.

In this version you can repeat the control as fast as you like -- machine-gun style, the aircraft will be deleted closest first, in order.

There's now also a new control:

Traffic Zapall (number 1085). This uses a fixed cylinder 500 feet above and below, radius according to ZapAirRange or ZapGroundRange (yes, it operates on the ground too), and simply deletes all AI aircraft in that cylinder.

These facilities will also be in FSUIPC 4.319. I'll upload both to the Announcements above after you've had a play and tell me they are all okay. i've tested them here and can't see anything wrong.

Regards

Pete

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Just finished a flight with 3.3831 to Heathrow, I was on final to 27R and there was an aircraft that was slightly behind and below me. He got clearance to land a couple of seconds after me. Before, I would've landed, tried to get off the runway as quick as possible and he would've been told to go around anyway. Now, I zapped him, landed safely, exited the runway at my own speed and I didn't hear the dreaded 'go around'. I'm sure it's all psychological, but it makes a world of difference! :lol:

I'll try out the new build now.

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Let me add a "Thanks" here as well and, for me, a very timely update.

After having encountered a few 'go around' situations in the past few days as a result

of 'unzappable' aircraft in front of me on final, I welcome this improvement!

I was about to come in here and ask for a similar change to the zapper operation/parameters.

Nothing worse than to be flying a perfect approach nearing the end of a long, multi-hour

flight and then be forced to go around and be vectored by ATC back out 25 or more miles

to enter the pattern again.

It wouldn't be so frustrating if FSX ATC weren't so 'dumb' :)

Paul

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