AI Float Plane Question
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Thread: AI Float Plane Question

  1. #1

    AI Float Plane Question

    Have searched - particularly FSDeveloper - to no avail. I want to convert (flyable/non-flyable/FSX native for P3Dv4) amphibs to AI that only fly water to water. This I suspect entails a mod - it's been successfully done by others - that keeps the gear retracted in the "up" position all the time. Like with some other questions, this gets touched on in several forums - but no one ever reveals exactly what to do . .
    Well I've been to one World Fair a picnic and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of earphones.

  2. #2
    Well......I used to program AI in FS9, but I've never done it in FSX or P3DV4, so the dynamics of whatever programs are used in that sim are unfamiliar to me.

    However.....it would seem that you would want to set up (write) some flights exclusively for a specific float plane (amphibian) from water runway to water runway.

    Any issue with wheeled landing gear, I suspect you could go into the Aircraft.CFG and remove the wheeled landing gear points, and just leave the float points intact.

    Would that leave the wheeled running gear retracted..? I guess you'd have to try it and see.....so much subtle variation between developer's projects....some may react differently than other.

    If you know how to fiddle the contact points in the aircraft.cfg.....on with you, then.

    If you're not familiar with the process...pipe up.....myself or somebody else will post a few lines to walk you through. It's simple.

    What program to write AI flights in P3D series.....? Somebody here will know, or the Great Oracle of Google will point you to it....

  3. #3
    Appreciate your reply and help. Having messed about with AI float planes since FS9 and Holger Sandmann's starter kit, and learned you actually need to have wheels attached at least in the contact points for the planes to takeoff and land on water. The water runways need to be made of concrete rather than water for it all to work. What I am looking for is a way to make the model "wheels up" all of the time.

    What is likely needed is a tweek to the exterior model. But which setting and which tools to use (MDX?) is a mystery.
    Well I've been to one World Fair a picnic and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of earphones.

  4. #4
    This may be a dumb question, but float planes don't have wheels. So why not simply use float planes instead of amphibians ?

  5. #5
    Well, I like amphibians and also flying boats. Grumman Goose, Mallard, Albatross. PBY Catalina (there is a water only model for the Goose and PBY at CalClassics). Martin Mariner. Shorts Solent. Thing is, even with the flying boats, most of these still have beaching gear that extend when on the water runway, ruining the effect. Someone has done what I am asking. I want to know how to do the mod myself.
    Well I've been to one World Fair a picnic and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of earphones.

  6. #6
    There are still bite marks in the ceiling and walls of my playroom from when I was trying to do this in my Classic FS9.1 about 15 years ago.
    Trouble is, to get floatplanes to use water taxiways and runways, you need to create 'invisible' ones as Holger describes. As soon as an AI amphib senses a runway, it will drop its wheels. I wanted amphibs to drop wheels for land runways and keep them raised for water landings. It couldn't be done.
    Another thing was, ATC doesn't know where planes are, unless they 'have a wheel on the ground'. On water, the plane can drift off the invisible runway and ATC just forgets it is still at the Hold point. I eventually got round this by putting in a fake contact point directly under the C of G, or the Reference Datum. If you put the floatplane on still water and use Ctrl+Z, you will see the altitude is shown as something like 6 or 7 feet. That is because the instrument is in the fuselage of the plane. So the radius of your fake wheel will be 6ft or whatever. Adding a fake wheel in this way does not alter the displayed model.
    Eventually, I had a regular AI schedule using AI Twotter floatplanes (NOT the amphibs) working between Shep's Plymouth (by the late Ray Sheppard) via Calshot to a fictional base I created in Suffolk. The flightplans were created in AFCAD2
    Pretty sure the files will be in a backup somewhere. But forget about AI Amphibs - that way lies madness

    MikeW

  7. #7
    As soon as an AI amphib senses a runway, it will drop its wheels. I wanted amphibs to drop wheels for land runways and keep them raised for water landings. It couldn't be done.
    Yes, that is correct, that can't be done. But that is not what I want to do.

    What I want to do can be and has already been done by others. CalClassics, for example, has AI for a "water only" version (and land version) of Bill Lyons's Goose (now helpfully converted to FSX native), and also for a PBY Catalina. Orbx FTX AI have Cessna 208's that come in two different versions for both land and water. There's something that needs to be done to the model. I want to know how to make a water-only version from a normal amphib. This is strictly for water to water AI traffic.
    Well I've been to one World Fair a picnic and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of earphones.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by expat View Post
    Appreciate your reply and help. Having messed about with AI float planes since FS9 and Holger Sandmann's starter kit, and learned you actually need to have wheels attached at least in the contact points for the planes to takeoff and land on water. The water runways need to be made of concrete rather than water for it all to work. What I am looking for is a way to make the model "wheels up" all of the time.

    What is likely needed is a tweek to the exterior model. But which setting and which tools to use (MDX?) is a mystery.
    Mmmmmm....my apologies.

    It's been about seven or eight years since I've fiddled with AI. Totally forgot about the wheels and concrete runways. Went to (still installed) FS9 and had a look through files.....yes...I see.

    So....it's the same deal in FSX.

    Huh....now I'm curious too.....

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by emfrat View Post
    There are still bite marks in the ceiling and walls of my playroom from when I was trying to do this in my Classic FS9.1 about 15 years ago.
    Trouble is, to get floatplanes to use water taxiways and runways, you need to create 'invisible' ones as Holger describes. As soon as an AI amphib senses a runway, it will drop its wheels. I wanted amphibs to drop wheels for land runways and keep them raised for water landings. It couldn't be done.
    Another thing was, ATC doesn't know where planes are, unless they 'have a wheel on the ground'. On water, the plane can drift off the invisible runway and ATC just forgets it is still at the Hold point. I eventually got round this by putting in a fake contact point directly under the C of G, or the Reference Datum. If you put the floatplane on still water and use Ctrl+Z, you will see the altitude is shown as something like 6 or 7 feet. That is because the instrument is in the fuselage of the plane. So the radius of your fake wheel will be 6ft or whatever. Adding a fake wheel in this way does not alter the displayed model.
    Eventually, I had a regular AI schedule using AI Twotter floatplanes (NOT the amphibs) working between Shep's Plymouth (by the late Ray Sheppard) via Calshot to a fictional base I created in Suffolk. The flightplans were created in AFCAD2
    Pretty sure the files will be in a backup somewhere. But forget about AI Amphibs - that way lies madness

    MikeW
    EDIT, correction: The flightplans were made with TrafficTools, and the bases with AFCAD2.
    MikeW

  10. #10

    Icon5

    Hi EP,
    Well there might be several tweaks to do this.

    1) Use MCX to delete the animation for the landing gear, it will then be permenantly deactivated, so the visual is gone but you still have the contact point for TO and L. You may have to also tweak the scrape/float points.

    2) Change the contact point landing gear extension time to a huge number and the retraction time to a very low number. The landing gear will take so long to extend, that you won't notice it. Caveat, as you are 'landing' on concrete you may have to alter the scrape points, and because the ac will be in effect, crash-landing, may not work. A bit of a fudge but easy with quick test results.

    3) Contact the sim software houses and ask the question. It's not state secrets you're asking about.

    I'll have a further think.

    Cheers

    Shessi

  11. #11
    Shessi - some very good suggestions, many thanks. Will post over at FSDevelopers also.
    Well I've been to one World Fair a picnic and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of earphones.

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