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All about the AI Flyby View

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Here's an overview of the AI Flyby View coming in the next update.  Of all the functions I've prodvided to enjoy your AI experience, this is easily one of my favourites.

All About Flyby

  • ·         Available as another view open on the flights context menu;

  • ·         Can be used whenever a flight listed on STB has a corresponding real AI in the simulator;

  • ·         Can only be done in Prepar3D V4 as it requires Prepar3d Observer technology;

  • ·         Flyby is implemented by:

o   First placing the observer a suitable distance in front of the chosen AI and off to one side. 

o   The observer tracks the AI keeping it at centre of the view as it passes by. 

o   STB monitors how far the AI has moved past the observer at when it has reached a certain distance the observer is repositioned in front again. 

o   This cycle continues for as long as you want it.

  • ·         The positioning of the observer takes account of both sideslip while the AI is airbourne, altitude changes, turns and speed.  STB assumes the rate of climb, turn and sideslip are constant.  If they change during a tracking cycle the AI may end up in a slightly less optimal position compared with the observer, but I don’t think that takes anything away from the experience.

  • ·         The distance the observer is placed from the AI is linked to the model size.  For smaller AI we place the observer closer as the goal is to fill the visual frame with the AI model.

  • ·         You can zoom in and out using the observer zoom keys (see below)

  • ·         Flyby tracking adapts itself according to the situation of the AI:

o   At parking and pushback, the camera is initially placed behind the AI as it is typically reversing out of the parking space.

o   During taxi, the camera is raised above the AI (by default) and looking down on it.  This is the most difficult part of “flyby”, “drive by” may be a better description.  As the AI can make many turns along taxiways, the observer is not always placed in the most suitable location.  Nether the less, the experience remains excellent.

o   At take-off, the camera is repositioned beside the active runway so the AI passes by in a straight line.

o   When the AI has reached a certain altitude, the camera is no longer raised by default but is placed at the expected level of the AI when it reaches it closest point to the observer.

·         You have some measure of configuration over flyby:



o   Toggle Observer Position.  Press the nominated keys in either the simulator or STB to move the observer to the other side of the AI concerned.

o   Zoom In and Zoom out.  Self explanatory, but not the default key combinations have changed to avoid clashes with important simulator internal key mappings.

o   Closest Distance Factor.  Influences the positioning of the observer based on model size.  Decrease this value to have the AI pass closer to the observer, and increase for further away.

o   Ground Altitude Offset.  The height above the AI aircraft the observer is positioned at, so it is looking down at the AI.  Measured in feet, this applies while the AI is on or close to the ground.

o   Ground Altitude Offset.  Height above or below the AI aircraft where the observer is placed, so it is looking down or up at the AI.  Measured in feet, this applies while the AI is airbourne (which is an altitude above ground greater than the Airborne  Altitude Offset value).

o   Airbourne Altitude Offset.  The altitude above ground level the AI must reach in order to be considered airbourne for flyby observer tracking purposes.

·         The STB observer cannot be removed from the simulator by STB, there is no API to perform such  a task.  Therefore when there isn’t an AI available for the observer to track in flyby mode, it tracks the user aircraft in flyby mode instead.



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