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How to make a new airfield for FSX Part 1 of 2


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Making a new airfield for FSX flight simulator Part 1 of 2

 

Let me first point out that I am not an expert in making airfields and the very limited knowledge that I do have has come from trial and error, burning the mid-night oil and drinking lots of tea, very British.

 

No I didn't RTFM.

 

Thank you to all of those hard working people who have given us the FREE software and web sites listed below.

 

This is the way I do it, there may be other ways, please read on....

 

What you will need in the way of software and web sites...

 

1. FS Earth Tiles (I also use this to make photo real scenery) If you need a working copy PM with your email.

 

2. Airport Design Editor, ADE 165 you can download this from here....http://www.scruffyduck.org/downloads/4584110854

 

3. Altitude calculator using this web site.......http://www.altitude.nu/

 

4. Decimal converter for Lat and Long using this web site.....https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/degrees-minutes-seconds-tofrom-decimal-degrees

 

Before you use the Airport Design Editor ADE 165 you need the following.....

 

1. A satellite image of your proposed airfield.

 

2. The Lat and Long of the centre of the airfield and the top left hand corner (NW) and bottom right hand corner (SE) of the satellite  image.

 

3. The altitude of the airfield.

 

So lets start with getting the satellite image. You will need to be connected to the internet.

 

Open up FS Earth Tiles.

 

Using the zoom button over on the right hand side click out to 12.

 

FSET%20Right_zpsonbuutwp.jpg

 

Over on the left hand side is the down load resolution which defaults to 1, leave this un changed. Please see image below.

 

Also over on the left hand side set the following.....

 

Earth Service = Bing or GE

Scen. Compiler = FSX

Area Snap = OFF

Create Masks = NO

Comp. Scenery = NO

Use Cache = NO

 

FSET%20Left_zpsa59hrz96.jpg

 

Your ready now to move the satellite image map to your desired airfield location. When you have found the airfield location you can then zoom to 1 to get a close up view. With the blue DRAW button mark around the area of your airfield and then PRESS the green START button. Your tiles will start down loading. On completion select the 2 points (this can be found in the blue shaded area called Area Def. Mode:) and the Lat and Long these are the top left (NW) and bottom right hand (SE) corners of the satellite image. Also change the 2 Points button to 1 Point and note the Lat and Long, this is your centre of your airfield. Please see image below.

 

FSET%20Top%201_zpsruatidbd.jpg

 

You now need to convert the Lat and Long into decimal figures no problem because the conversion web site listed in the introduction will do this for you.

 

Then go to your C drive look for FSET and in the WORK folder you will see the BMP image of your airfield.

 

So hopefully at this stage you now have a satellite image of your new airfield, its altitude in metres, the centre Lat and Long and the corners Lat and Long in decimal.

 

Now we can start to build the airfield using ADE 165 in part 2.

 

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Actually, making an airfield with ADE using a good overlay image as a guide is pretty easy. Don't know anything about applying ground textures but creating and placing the airfield elements with ADE couldn't be easier.

What's created in Part 1 may be intended as the ground texture overlay but it would also be quite useful as a background image in ADE to get runway, taxiway, apron and building placement just about perfect.

John

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I don't even bother adding background images in ADE. I simply load P3D, take my aircraft to the airfield in question, and then click on "Connect" in the upper right corner of the ADE window. I can then position my aircraft and add objects/runways/taxiways etc. accurately. I have never built a new airfield from scratch myself (although I have everything in place for a version of EGLP Brimpton, but that uses UK2000 scenery elements), but I do not have any models of the airfield buildings. I tried to import ones from another package, but they appear to be invisible in P3D! I guess I need to learn how to build and texture 3D models.....

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I simply load P3D, take my aircraft to the airfield in question, and then click on "Connect" in the upper right corner of the ADE window. I can then position my aircraft and add objects/runways/taxiways etc. accurately.

 

 

Not sure how that works if you're adding a new airfield as opposed to editing an existing one.  The image is invaluable if there's nothing there to begin with.

 

John

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I will be following this topic with interest. When I get time I want to make some scenery  that will include two airfields in close proximity, Brooklands and Wisley.

 

There are existing scenery for these airfields, one wartime spec and one 1951 spec they are for FSX (wartime) and FS9 (1951), however I want to produce scenery that will be ORBX compatible and depict these two places as they are today.  This would mean creating a stump of a runway at Brooklands and a single runway and apron at Wisley but with no buildings.  The buildings at Brooklands would be interesting as the site has some of the original banked car racing circuit.

 

brooklands.jpg

 

Above Brooklands as it is today.  The site contains about a third of the original runway between the Brooklands Community Park ans Sopwith Drive.  The tarmac area to the north of the crossing road is the new Mercedes Benz World test track. The oval of the original car track is easy to see.

 

Wisley.jpg

 

Wisley today.  It has not been used since the 70's but is an historic site as all the Wellington and Hurricanes made at Brooklands made their delivery flights from here.

 

After the war the same applied to many other Vicars aircraft including the Valiant, and the VC10

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Not sure how that works if you're adding a new airfield as opposed to editing an existing one.  The image is invaluable if there's nothing there to begin with.

 

I mean that once you have created the location of your airfield (and included a flatten), you can add a photo image directly to the simulator using Michael's procedure described above. You don't specifically need to add a background image in ADE itself.

 

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Polishing an airfield that already exists in FSX is one thing (and documented with varying degrees of intelligence and finesse),but making one from scratch is a totally different ball game! .

Thank you Mike for taking the trouble to de-mysify a subject that has baffled me for ages. Cant wait for the next instsllment

:D

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I mean that once you have created the location of your airfield (and included a flatten), you can add a photo image directly to the simulator using Michael's procedure described above. You don't specifically need to add a background image in ADE itself.

 

I'm referring to using a semi-transparent background image in ADE, a feature that ADE specifically supports, to get the size, location and orientation of runways, taxiways, aprons, buildings and other elements exactly right.  Like guidelines, it gets erased once the airport elements have been placed.

 

Your stated method of connecting ADE to FSX for placement information doesn't seem useful unless some version of the airfield already exists in FSX.  

 

Using a background image from satellite data is a great way to get things placed properly in ADE if there's no airfield already in FSX to use as a reference.

 

John

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You only have to fill out the Airport Properties box in ADE to get a new airfield added. You will then be able to select it in FSX/P3D, and any photo base image of the airfield that you have installed (using FS Earth Tiles as described) should already be there. That can then be used as your template for the positioning of runways, taxiways and scenery objects. This is an alternative (and in my opinion easier) way of getting the correct alignment and location of all scenery elements at your new airfield.

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That's not what you said.  This is what you said...

 

I don't even bother adding background images in ADE. I simply load P3D, take my aircraft to the airfield in question, and then click on "Connect" in the upper right corner of the ADE window. I can then position my aircraft and add objects/runways/taxiways etc. accurately.

 

 

...thus my point that the method you originally stated doesn't work unless the airfield already exists.

 

John

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I think Chris uses a lot of UK photoscenery, and therefore its not difficult to use what is already represented there visually to align your airport elements? Of course, if you use a LC based product you dont have that visual reference already built into your scenery so you need another way to get it :)

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You are being very pedantic, John. Michael had already explained how to create an airfield in his initial instructions. I was simply explaining how I would take it from that point forward. Kevin is correct that I use photoscenery, but you don't need existing photoscenery to install a base photo image via FS Earth Tiles. Maybe this is where the confusion is arising? I was under the impression that these instructions were for adding new airfields with photoscenery base images. If that is not the case, then I apologise, and I will get the hell out of this thread.

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You are being very pedantic, John. Michael had already explained how to create an airfield in his initial instructions. I was simply explaining how I would take it from that point forward. Kevin is correct that I use photoscenery, but you don't need existing photoscenery to install a base photo image via FS Earth Tiles. Maybe this is where the confusion is arising? I was under the impression that these instructions were for adding new airfields with photoscenery base images. If that is not the case, then I apologise, and I will get the hell out of this thread.

 

There is no need to be rude and it is totally uncalled for.

 

You admit assumptions and confusion on your part about the nature of the base imagery.  Your original posts were not specific and left glaring gaps in what you were saying or trying to say.  Such a reply is misleading to other Forum members and certainly not helpful.

 

Whilst Kevin might have some knowledge of your activities, not everyone takes an interest in, cares, or, in fact, have any idea what you are personally doing in creating scenery and, therefore, have no idea where you are coming when you write an incomplete and non specific post.

 

A response which seeks to clarify and correct the misinformation in your posts is just that, seeking to clarify and correct your misinformation.  It is certainly not being pedantic.

 

If you had been more of a pedant yourself in your original posts, this situation would not occur in the first place.

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I think we're all good guys here, no trolls or deliberate irritants :)

There are nearly always multiple ways to skin a cat when it comes to FS design so its not difficult to get into a situation where people misunderstand what is being done and why. This isnt bad because it highlights different ways of doing things for different people!

A case in point is that I much prefer a photoreal base for airports myself, but creating them purely using a rectangular selection in FSET will give you an awkward visual in FS because a) airports are never rectangular and b) even if you use photoreal scenery the colour blend will not match.

One relatively easy solution is to create a kml file in google earth of the airport boundary and use that to blend in the photoreal background into whatever scenery you use to avoid a sharp edge.

If you're up for image manipulation and a command line interface take the FSET bmp and colour match it to your favourite background scenery, hand create the blend and water masks and create it with resample yourself :)

Point is, there's many ways to do something depending on time available, skills, confidence and what you want/need to achieve. The fact we're all here says theres more we have in common that divides us so let's not take chunks out of each other because of a slight misunderstanding? :D

Anyway, excellent descriptions Mike, could I just ask that you use a different font in future as I find that one incredibly difficult to read! :P Cheers K

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Look, I am not trying to be awkward here. I posted a comment about how I prefer to do things, and it was not meant as any kind of criticism of the way anyone else does it. I don't want to offend anyone, so please accept my apologies if any offence has been taken. It was certainly not intended.

 

EDIT: Apologies to Michael for sidetracking your topic.

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Hey Michael, well done for starting a thread covering this minefield of a subject. I too am building a fictitious airfield based where I live.

It's a very tricky subject and one that will take months to complete, as I'm going to be designing and creating my own 3D buildings and objects from scratch.

I'm looking forward to Part 2 and will be following how you create an airfield.

Well done and good luck.

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@ Kevin - sounds like you've jumped into the deep end of the pool.  Most of us have to wade around a little before we get to that level.  

 

@ Chris - no offense taken.  Let's just put that one behind us and let Mike have his thread back, which by the way, is a great thread.

 

John

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@ Chris - no offense taken.  Let's just put that one behind us and let Mike have his thread back, which by the way, is a great thread.

 

John

 

Hear hear ! 

 

ADE is an incredible bit of software, but even for those (as anal) as myself that do read manuals, sometimes we get too bogged down in the detail that we miss something so simple as to render our efforts completely useless! 

 

I'm more than glad that Mike has taken the time to come up with a simple solution to something that I reckon most of us want to try out, but have never had the time or confidence to do so.

 

ps. Hopefully no cats will be skinned during the process ;)

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