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M.Yang

PFPX is not reading correct wind data from Active Sky

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When PFPX is using Active Sky weather data, the wind data in large remote and oceanic areas are incorrect. I have spent a lot of my personal time researching this issue, and clearly, PFPX is reading AS wind data from current_wx_snapshot.txt. In this way, only wind aloft data over AIRPORTS are read, but not pseudo station data from other areas with no airport. This is obviously NOT the correct way to load data and is causing wind data for those areas to be incorrect and incomplete (with little or no change in a huge area).

This problem is causing serious error and discrepancies when we are planning any flight through remote or oceanic areas. For other pilots, I don't know if you have also noticed this issue before, but I want us to discuss and share methods to improve the planning precision under such circumstances.

 

I have already inquired Active Sky programmers about this issue. They said and I quote: "You can read about them in ActiveSky_API document located in the main ActiveSky installation folder. The recommended way of accessing weather data in your case scenario is the http based GetAtmosphere method, since it's faster, more flexible and more accurate (avoids time sync issues)." "We consider using current_wx_snapshot.txt a legacy method and moving forward we'd like to see more of the external applications taking advantage of the newer functionality we built in more than a year ago. So I'd strongly suggest you contact PFPX and discuss this with them."

So can you address this issue and make PFPX up to date in the coming updates? And if possible please also give us a time estimate. Obviously, PFPX will still have more new users, and we are really looking forward to the solution.

Thank you.

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I will ask the developers to look into this issue.

 

Is there anybody else who can confirm this issue?

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Yes, Although i have not given so much importance, i confirm the problem. I use the AS16 with PFPX and i note this difference

 

 

 

5 hours ago, Mathijs Kok said:

I will ask the developers to look into this issue.

 

Is there anybody else who can confirm this issue?

 

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5 hours ago, Mathijs Kok said:

I will ask the developers to look into this issue.

 

Is there anybody else who can confirm this issue?

Thank you

I think this is a pretty obvious issue and any user would confirm

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On 11/9/2017 at 10:10 PM, FlightSimSoft.com said:

We had no reports like this but will have a look at the issue.

Areas around jetstreams are the most evident

Real Wind Data:

4.thumb.jpg.5e35a290387ab3b50853d8daca5c82ff.jpg

PFPX:

3.thumb.jpg.89b3fb94f17a112d67e5bca64718aeb2.jpg

1.thumb.jpg.acb926dea8726a9df57491ce132f0b42.jpg

2.thumb.jpg.d7b49c1b7921b86d290a643c4756f367.jpg

Areas between airports all have no real wind data.

 

Please see Active Sky's response for detail

Actually I am looking for any contrary report if that can solve my problem

 

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1 hour ago, Tom A320 said:

 

From what tool is this a screenshot?

This is from SkyVector

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Please don't get me wrong here. I am not going to question the weather difference between PFPX and ActiveSky. But what let you assume that the weather you see in SkyVector is the same that is used in ActiveSky? And further more, just because ActiveSky would know about that weather, I would still question if ActiveSky exports it completely so that it could be picked up by PFPX.

 

It is obvious that PFPX picks up weather from ActiveSky, right? It reads weather data from a file being created by ActiveSky. Why would PFPX skip data from that file? That doesn't make too much sense to me, as PFPX wouldn't have any reason to do so. Actually to opposite is true, as it would have to implement some additional logic to choose what data to be taken and what not.

 

My first thought when I read this topic was: looks like the weather export file of ActiveSky lacks some data.

 

This would be the first logical step I would try to rule out. If ActiveSky claims to have a certain weather situation, I would check if that situation is also part of the it's export file.

 

So what is needed is the export file plus information of a weather system the ActiveSky claim to contain (like the screenshot AndreNix provided). It would then be possible to check if the export file contains that weather situation or not.

 

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On 11/12/2017 at 10:47 AM, Tom A320 said:

Please don't get me wrong here. I am not going to question the weather difference between PFPX and ActiveSky. But what let you assume that the weather you see in SkyVector is the same that is used in ActiveSky? And further more, just because ActiveSky would know about that weather, I would still question if ActiveSky exports it completely so that it could be picked up by PFPX.

 

It is obvious that PFPX picks up weather from ActiveSky, right? It reads weather data from a file being created by ActiveSky. Why would PFPX skip data from that file? That doesn't make too much sense to me, as PFPX wouldn't have any reason to do so. Actually to opposite is true, as it would have to implement some additional logic to choose what data to be taken and what not.

 

My first thought when I read this topic was: looks like the weather export file of ActiveSky lacks some data.

 

This would be the first logical step I would try to rule out. If ActiveSky claims to have a certain weather situation, I would check if that situation is also part of the it's export file.

 

So what is needed is the export file plus information of a weather system the ActiveSky claim to contain (like the screenshot AndreNix provided). It would then be possible to check if the export file contains that weather situation or not.

 

 

 

Quote

PFPX is reading AS wind data from current_wx_snapshot.txt. In this way, only wind aloft data over AIRPORTS are read, but not pseudo station data from other areas with no airport.

 

The official response from Active Sky had made it clear: PFPX is not reading wind data in the right way and the method needs to be updated.

current_wx_snapshot.txt does not contain the complete wind data, and all developers are expected to update according to their API document.

The only reason for me to take a screenshot from skyvector is that Active Sky cannot display wind aloft in such a large area.

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Same here.

Having trouble planning for PACOTS flights.

PFPX only reads the data for existing airports, and do not cover areas where there are no airports nearby.

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4 hours ago, w43322 said:

Same here.

Having trouble planning for PACOTS flights.

PFPX only reads the data for existing airports, and do not cover areas where there are no airports nearby.

 

Nothing to do with the topic whatsoever.

 

I suggest starting your own thread and providing more information.

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On 1/20/2018 at 9:28 AM, srcooke said:

 

Nothing to do with the topic whatsoever.

 

I suggest starting your own thread and providing more information.

I believe however the circumstance described by him/her matches the problem that we pointed out above.

It's already been 5 months since I first posted this problem. As this is pretty much a confirmed issue, I hope the staff members from FSS can post a response here and tell us whether they plan to address it or not.

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While waiting for FlightSimSoft to comment on this you can also get in touch with HiFi Simulation Technologies and ask why they broke compatibility and what they plan to do to overcome this problem. They change things and expect all others to adopt to their changes. The people who suffer most from that are the customers who use AS along with other tools which suddenly don't work properly anymore. 

 

If I provide an API to 3rd parties, and know that there are lots of 3rd parties making use of these APIs I most definitely do not change them and just tell my customers "go and complain at the 3rd party manufacturer. they just do it wrong". If I know of the 3rd parties and I want to introduce changes to my APIs I get in touch with all the 3rd parties, providing all needed information and give them time to adopt to the changes. And only if I know from my 3rd parties that they have their changes done and are ready, I publish my changed APIs publicly.

 

Please don't take this as a rant against HiFi, but as I am working for a company who have dozens of APIs with hundreds of 3rd parties, this is something I am quite sensitive about. As I said, if API changes are not managed properly (by the one who introduces them) it is always the customer who suffers. And that is the worst case! For all involved!

 

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With all due respect, Tom, PFPX doesn't use the Active Sky API.  It uses the "current_wx_snapshot.txt" document which is a legacy way of accessing their weather data.  The ActiveSky_API has been available for years now. 

 

As quoted from the HIFI forum here:  https://hifisimtech.com/forums/showthread.php?8841-Please-add-data-of-pseudo-stations-into-current_wx_snapshot&highlight=pfpx

 

Quote

Active Sky (AS16 and ASP4) have significantly expanded the way that external apps can access weather data. You can read about them in ActiveSky_API document located in the main ActiveSky installation folder. The recommended way of accessing weather data in your case scenario is the http based GetAtmosphere method, since it's faster, more flexible and more accurate (avoids time sync issues).

We consider using current_wx_snapshot.txt a legacy method and moving forward we'd like to see more of the external applications taking advantage of the newer functionality we built in more than a year ago. So I'd strongly suggest you contact PFPX and discuss this with them.

 

I'm sorry, but PFPX is the program that is not up-to-date here.  It quite blatently asks you to point to the "current_wx_snapshot.txt" which has been antiquated for the last two versions of Active Sky.

 

Frankly,  the silence by the developer ranks up there in poor to nil considering the amount of money they charged all of us.  Don't get me wrong, PFPX works well as is with a bunch of fudging around (the pax weight/ZFW thing has been broken forever for exanmple), but it is looking more and more like abandonware much like TOPCAT.

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30 minutes ago, netshadoe said:

With all due respect, Tom, PFPX doesn't use the Active Sky API.  It uses the "current_wx_snapshot.txt" document which is a legacy way of accessing their weather data.  The ActiveSky_API has been available for years now. 

 

As quoted from the HIFI forum here:  https://hifisimtech.com/forums/showthread.php?8841-Please-add-data-of-pseudo-stations-into-current_wx_snapshot&highlight=pfpx

 

 

I'm sorry, but PFPX is the program that is not up-to-date here.  It quite blatently asks you to point to the "current_wx_snapshot.txt" which has been antiquated for the last two versions of Active Sky.

 

Frankly,  the silence by the developer ranks up there in poor to nil considering the amount of money they charged all of us.  Don't get me wrong, PFPX works well as is with a bunch of fudging around (the pax weight/ZFW thing has been broken forever for exanmple), but it is looking more and more like abandonware much like TOPCAT.

 

I disagree.  What do you mean by fudging weight?

 

Also - why is everyone wanting to use ActiveSky data?  Why not use the PFPX weather?  It is a forecast, so should be more accurate.  I have had no problems using that, and the winds match up very closely.

 

Let's face it - PFPX is hands-down the most comprehensive and powerful flight planning tool.  It is also certainly not abandonware.  People on here seem to complain about the most nitty-gritty little things about the program, rather than focus on its very powerful abilities.

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41 minutes ago, VHOJT said:

What do you mean by fudging weight?

 

The weight configuration page has been broken for ages.  You can set anything you want in the boxes, but any adult weight will not go over 83kg.  I have mine set to 88kg, close to the PMDG pax weight, but PFPX always uses 83 kg in the calculations.  So, with close to 400 pax, my weight is out by 2 tons.  So, I have to "fudge" PFPX by setting the infant box at 10 kg, and then dividing the pax number in half and enter it into the infant box in PFPX to "add" that missing weight.  (this has been reported here in the forum, and by a ticket).

 

41 minutes ago, VHOJT said:

Also - why is everyone wanting to use ActiveSky data?

 

Two reasons

 

1.  I use historical weather.   I don't want to always fly at night when I do flights on the other side of the world than I am to have realistic weather.  If I set my self up in Singapore at 12pm local, for example, real time weather would be midnight local weather in Singapore which isn't the same.  Try northern climates like mine where daytime could be in the +30's, but the night time lows could be +22-24C.  And, our active weather is always late afternoon.  So I use AS's historical weather to have 12pm weather when I set 12pm in the simulator.

 

2. I choose not to pay for a service I don't want.  To me it's money down the drain as I can't use it enough to justify it.  ActiveSky subscription is free.

 

41 minutes ago, VHOJT said:

Let's face it - PFPX is hands-down the most comprehensive and powerful flight planning tool.

 

I agree.

 

41 minutes ago, VHOJT said:

It is also certainly not abandonware.

 

Never said it was.  I said it's "looking like" abandonware.  I haven't seen much activity from the developers except a few promises here and there.

 

41 minutes ago, VHOJT said:

People on here seem to complain about the most nitty-gritty little things about the program

 

Right...my 2nd post, and I've owned the program since September 1st, 2013.  Not bad huh?  5 years, 2 posts, and still PFPX has little "nitty gritty" things.  You'd think after 5 years, those little "nitty gritty" things would have been fixed?  Guess my expectations are too high.  :/

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Hello,

 

Regarding the weight, I agree with Netshadoe as I raised this point at few occasions and quite a long time ago and it has never been fixed.

 

I use PFPX winds to plan and AS16 to fly and I would say that the results are quite good bearing in mind that PFPX is valid during the forecast and when you are flying you are getting (more or less with the sim) the actual winds. I never use historical weather.

 

Recently I flew the ATW in 80 days with Aerosoft and in just about 80 hours of flying time with the Majestic Q400, PFPX gave me 57457 Kg of fuel planned and I used 56077 which is as good as it can get.

 

Finally, back in the sixties, if we had such a tool as PFPX we would have been more than happy instead of doing everything by hand.

 

OK, there are some little things to correct with PFPX but altogether a very nice planning tool.

 

JP

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vor 9 Stunden , VHOJT sagte:

Also - why is everyone wanting to use ActiveSky data?  Why not use the PFPX weather?

PFPX can not handle historic weather !!

Thats the reason why I use ActiveSky in PFPX....

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Aha, that makes sense regarding the AS weather guys.  My mistake.  My apologies to you for being a little harsh as well.

 

 

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I just want to check this is something being looked at in the update for PFPX coming soon?

 

There are some serious errors in the wind!

 

The loaded activesky weather in PFPX gives an average wind component of P20, whereas using the server weather gives a wind compnent of P50.

 

When the viewing/loading the flight plan in activesky, the waypoints have vastly different winds out over the south pacific than they do with activesky data in PFPX - to the tune of 50 knot differences.

 

Can this please be fixed? :)

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On 11/24/2018 at 6:45 AM, VHOJT said:

I just want to check this is something being looked at in the update for PFPX coming soon?

 

There are some serious errors in the wind!

 

The loaded activesky weather in PFPX gives an average wind component of P20, whereas using the server weather gives a wind compnent of P50.

 

When the viewing/loading the flight plan in activesky, the waypoints have vastly different winds out over the south pacific than they do with activesky data in PFPX - to the tune of 50 knot differences.

 

Can this please be fixed? :)

 

Now that the update is released, it is apparent that this issue is still unaddressed. PFPX still uses WxSnapshot.txt, and the wind data over large oceanic areas are still wildly inaccurate.

 

Tom has a point arguing that AS should not expect all developers to follow their changes to their API. However, the bottom line is, it is the developers', not the users' duty to coordinate with each other and create a workable flightsim software system. Because if the overall system is not workable, all the individual developers lose.

 

AS and FSS are both influential developers, and I have to give FSS due credit for creating such a powerful tool like PFPX. We get it. Weather from Active Sky is a function mainly used by users who don't want to renew PFPX server subscriptions. Fixing the issue does not create profit, and without money, you can't continue developing addons. At the end of the day, it really has to do whether or not a developer is really reputable and responsible.

 

Maybe instead of posting here, developers or users can use the time to read the ActiveSky_API document and actually address the problem, or contact AS and ask them to add "pseudostations" back into WxSnapshot.txt. It's not that hard.

 

In the meantime, we at Project Firmament are developing a software tool to process wind data, and improve the accuracy of long-range flight planning in PFPX. We can be reached at ProjectFirmament@gmail.com.

 

On 4/5/2018 at 8:23 PM, netshadoe said:

The weight configuration page has been broken for ages.  You can set anything you want in the boxes, but any adult weight will not go over 83kg.  I have mine set to 88kg, close to the PMDG pax weight, but PFPX always uses 83 kg in the calculations.

Try use children as adults

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Interesting post!

 

I only ever use Activesky for flights in the past or when flying a flight that is really out of whack with my timezone - for example, I don't like flying Singapore-London and arriving in London with live weather with what is supposed to be an ealry morning arrival, and the temperature being 25 degrees when I land at 5am.

 

I have submitted a support ticket, but have not heard back.

 

How will your project work?

 

Cheers,

Rudy

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