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Importing BGL files?


Aucery
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Hey there,

 

I would like to know if it's possible to add .bgl file support to Flightplan Visualizer in the near future? I have a huge amount (1600+) of old and custom traffic .bgl files that I would love to use but the program only supports .zip files. Alternatively, is there a way to convert a large amount of bgl files into a zip file that would work with Flightplan Visualizer? I know AIFP can convert a traffic bgl into a txt or zip file, but it's cumbersome as you can do it only one file a time.

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Another question: can more aircraft types be added? I'm trying to import some flightplans that has a DC-8 in them, but Flightplan Visualizer doesn't recognize it. For example, I'm trying to import National Airlines Winter 2011/2012 schedule by AIG, but it won't work at all. 

Error.png

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Hi Aucery

 

No matter what, flight-plans have to be imported one-by-one, as you have to manually "fill in the blanks", in form of being sure the correct airline is selected (both for the entire flight-plan, and as carrier/operator for each aircraft). Also the program (at least in my own opinion) does a fairly good job detecting the correct aircraft-types based on the aircraft names, however when importing a flight-plan you should verify that aircraft-types have been correctly identified (hence another reason for it to be one file at a time).

 

Anyhow, I don't know how to decompile the traffic bgl-files (I have never looked into this), so for the moment the only way to do this is via AIFP or AIG Traffic Tools. If either of these can decompile a BGL, being called with parameters, I would be able to execute these from within FV, but even if, it will still be a file-by-file import (hence in your case 1600 imports).

 

Regarding the 2nd post, FV does "know" the B747F, however it currently does not catch it from the name "B744BCF". I will make sure next versions will. The DC-8 however is not included in the data-files, hence while its not being detected, I'll see if I can find all the info I need in order to add it as well.

 

 

 

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Hello and thanks for the informative answer, I understand why you have to do it one by one now. I found that the bgl import feature is not really that necessary anyways since it's not a lot of work to decompile it in AIFP yourself. I have spent quite many hours already importing interesting flightplans, both old and new from AIG and other developers and gotten to know the program quite well, and I have to say, it's such a fantastic tool for visualizing flights!


Certain AIG flightplans from ~2011-2013 use very short names for aircraft like "AIA B744BCF", but I just ended up modifying the name in the airports text file to a more understandable form for the program. That caused some extra work but it ended up working fine. Good to hear that you have fixed this! found the biggest issue for me is the lack of certain aircraft data and ability to add custom user aircraft. Would this be a possibility in the future? How much/what kind of data does the program need for a single plane? Would be nice if we could add our own aircraft in case it is not included in the program, just like user airlines. A workaround for I found for National (and other DC-8 operators) was to change any DC-8's into Boeing 707's so the program can read it. But it's nice that the DC-8 is going to be included in the next release! Just wondering, will it include all DC-8 variants? I'm planning on importing more retro plans and some of them use those older DC-8's (series 10, 20, 30 etc)

 

Also a couple of suggestions: When you want to favorite airports, could a right click option be added? So you can just right click the airport marker, select favorite and it would be then added to favorites, instead of double clicking it and selecting favorite and then closing the window. A custom color option would be nice too so you could color your favorite airports based on developer, size etc.

 

I was surprised how extensive the airline database is since most of the time I can find the correct operator even if it's been defunct for a long time. But I could not find Arrow Air (ICAO: APW, IATA: JW, Callsign: BIG A) in the list so I had to add it myself. I've mostly added some military operators since there are none by default. Are you planning on adding any military operators in the future?

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Also to add to this: Could it be possible to add favorite groups, and be able to name them? I am especially interested in favoriting airports based on developer, so it would be awesome to create a group for Aerosoft, FlyTampa etc for airports that I already own/planning to buy and then select which ones I want to display on the map. 

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The 10, 20 and 30 series are included as well. Here are the types included in the next update:

 

Douglas DC-8-10                        
Douglas DC-8-20                        
Douglas DC-8-30                        
Douglas DC-8-40/43                     
Douglas DC-8-50/55                     
Douglas DC-8-50/55 Freighter           
Douglas DC-8-61/62/63                  
Douglas DC-8-61/62/63 Freighter        
Douglas DC-8-71/72/73                  
Douglas DC-8-71/72/73 Freighter

 

I doubt it will be possible for users to add their own aircraft, as I need to control the "quality" of the data. In many cases in the software you only see IATA/ICAO-codes and names of the aircraft, but beyond this a lot  of extra data are included as well. Such as various classifications need for some planed features, various performance data needed for gate/rwy-requirements, weight-constraints, cruise-speed for calculating flight-times, data used to match the name of the aircraft in the flight-plans with the types (e.g. being able to work out that a "744BCF" is actually a "747-400 F") and many more.

 

If you or other users want to assist adding aircraft, you are more than welcome to gather all the info you can find of these aircraft to add, and post it here at the forum and I will happy add them in the next release. Here is an example of the data I today add for a single aircraft (I have removed the fields I handle myself internally). Size is in meters, weight in lbs, range in NM, alt in feet, speed in knots, gate-radius in meters, rwy requirement in feet and fuel-burn in lbs/hour:

 

  <AircraftInfo ICAO="DC81" IATA="" Name="Douglas DC-8-10">
    <Wingspan>43.4</Wingspan>
    <Length>45.9</Length>
    <Height>12.92</Height>
    <Range>3760</Range>
    <MinGateRadius>22</MinGateRadius>
    <EmptyWeight>119797</EmptyWeight>
    <MaxTakeoffWeight>273000</MaxTakeoffWeight>
    <MaxLandingWeight>0</MaxLandingWeight>
    <MaxPayloadWeight>46103</MaxPayloadWeight>
    <MaxFuelWeight>153250</MaxFuelWeight>
    <MaxZeroFuelWeight>0</MaxZeroFuelWeight>
    <Crew>3</Crew>
    <MaxPassengers>177</MaxPassengers>
    <Performance>
      <MaxAlt>37000</MaxAlt>
      <CruiseAlt>35000</CruiseAlt>
      <CruiseSpeed Speed="480" Unit="TAS" />
      <MaxSpeedBelow10K Speed="250" Unit="IAS" />
      <MinRwyTakeoff>7200</MinRwyTakeoff>
      <MinRwyLanding>5300</MinRwyLanding>
      <FuelBurnCruise>11500</FuelBurnCruise>
    </Performance>
  </AircraftInfo>

 

Adding a right-click menu-item to toggle airport favorite on/off would be possible (thanks for the suggestion). I doubt many users will need the options to have many "groups" for airport favorites. You can use the hint-text (in the AIrport Info view) to enter the name of the scenery-creator (e.g. Aerosoft). Then you can use the Search Airport form (CTRL+A) to find these airports. E.g. this form have a "Show" combo-box where you can set it up to show this Hint-text, and use the "Must have Hint-Text" check-box to only show airports with hint text (in the search window), and/or use the "Search in Hint-text" check-box so you for instance can search for all airports where you entered "Aerosoft" in the hint-text.

 

Regarding the Airlines these are manually updated, and its a huge job trying to stay up to date. For each release I import the latest flightplans from AIG, and doing so I come across missing/wrong/defunct airlines that I will then add/update/mark as defunct. So don't expect to see changes to mil. airlines. Again if you or others come across data that are wrong or missing please inform me using the forum to I can correct any mistake or add missing airlines. Here is an example of the data I add for airlines (I have some extra fields for internal/future use that I have excluded):

 

  <AirlineInfo ICAO="NOA" IATA="" Name="NorOntair">
    <Callsign>NORONTAIR</Callsign>
    <Iso3Country>CAN</Iso3Country>
    <CommenceDate>19710101|000000</CommenceDate>
    <CeaseDate>19960101|235959</CeaseDate>
    <LoadFactor>0.887</LoadFactor>
  </AirlineInfo>

 

 

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Aucery, in next version you can right-click an airport and toggle it on/off as a favorite. The check-mark shows if it currently marked as an favorite or not:

 

ToggleFavorite.jpg.ee619b977aefa79591c92d39f0e3a1ce.jpg

 

In case you don't already know, in the current version you can actually toggle airports on/off as favorites from within the "Search Airport" form (CTRL+A). You simply search for something and then you can right-click the airports that are listed:

 

SearchAirport.thumb.jpg.af11fecf4d2422deef95a83916b97de2.jpg

 

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Thank you for implementing this little feature! It will definitely make favoriting airports faster :)  I might also try to research on some aircraft so they can be added to future versions. 

 

The hint-text option is actually very useful, however it lacks the visualizing aspect since it only shows a list of airports. That's already helpful, but could it be also possible to make airports show on the map based on the hint-text? This would be essentially the same as my suggestion for "favorite airport groups" but it would just extend the already existing hint-text feature. I don't know if you want to implement this if it's too unnecessary, but I personally find myself using the map a lot and I like to see where all the routes go on the map, so I would definitely use that feature.

 

Another idea I've thought of is the ability for the user to create flightplan groups. I'd imagine this would be an useful feature since it would make organizing flightplans easier and clearer instead of having just one big list with all the flightplans (but still with an option to display all of them of course). For example, you could create a group called "Summer 2008" with all of your imported Summer 2008 flightplans and then search legs from just that group of FP's. It would be more efficient and user friendly than having to select all Su08 flightplans from a single list.

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In the Flightplan menu you find the menu-item Enable/Disable flightplans. Here you can add as many (flightplan) sub-folders as you want. The root folder is always "enabled" (meaning flightplans in the root-folder are always loaded. However each sub-folder can individually be enabled/disabled. Whenever you import flightplans they will be imported into the root folder, however then you can simply move them to the sub-folder you want to. Personally I have all my commercial (AIG) flightplans in a sub-folder called commercial, and I have all my bizz-jet flightplans in a sub-folder called "BizzJet". Normally I only have my commercial flightplans enabled, however if I want to I can enabled my BizzJet folder:

 

EnableDisableFlightplans.thumb.jpg.be3ef9fe78728f3902e69f51f05442f8.jpg

 

If you want to, you can simply make a "Summer 2008" sub-folder and move all your "Summer 2008" flightplans into this folder. Then simply enable/disable this sub-folder as you need. Keeping the root folder empy (by having your flightplans in 1 or more sub-folders) gives an added bonus of always having the new/updated flightplans installed with the updates to the program. When you install an updated version of FV it comes with new/update flightplans that you can choose to install or not. If you choose to install these, they will install into root-folder, however they will only do so if the root folder does not already contain a flightplan with the same name. By having all your flightplans in sub-folders, this will never be the case.

 

I suggest you have a look at this video, describing how to use the enable/disable feature:

 

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I checked that video and I've managed to organize the plans, and somehow I had missed to ability to add folders in the manual! However, I feel like it could be even more streamlined so again here's another improvement idea: Let's say I have two folders, #1 is called Summer 2008 and #2 is BizzJet, and both are filled with flightplans. I want Flightplan Visualizer to have them both loaded (so nothing is disabled) but I want to switch the between flightplan folders quickly without disabling anything. So I thought, what about adding a drop down menu where you can select which folder you can view plans from? I visualized this in Paint:

 

1900426242_FVSuggestion.png.b7c43981c18258c2067d6ffbdb9afa96.png

 

 

Again, just throwing out suggestions here, it's fine if you don't want to implement them. 

 

And here is data I gathered for Lockheed L-1011-100/200/500 TriStar. I used multiple sources and they all gave a bit different numbers, but I tried my best.

 

L-1011-100

 

  <AircraftInfo ICAO="L101" IATA="L10" Name="Lockheed L-1011-100 TriStar">
    <Wingspan>43.35</Wingspan>
    <Length>54.17</Length>
    <Height>16.87</Height>
    <Range>2680</Range>
    <MinGateRadius>28</MinGateRadius>
    <EmptyWeight>241700</EmptyWeight>
    <MaxTakeoffWeight>430000</MaxTakeoffWeight>
    <MaxLandingWeight>367995</MaxLandingWeight>
    <MaxPayloadWeight>91710</MaxPayloadWeight>
    <MaxFuelWeight>159560</MaxFuelWeight>
    <MaxZeroFuelWeight>338000</MaxZeroFuelWeight>
    <Crew>3</Crew>
    <MaxPassengers>256</MaxPassengers>
    <Performance>
      <MaxAlt>42000</MaxAlt>
      <CruiseAlt>35000</CruiseAlt>
      <CruiseSpeed Speed="520" Unit="TAS" />
      <MaxSpeedBelow10K Speed="250" Unit="IAS" />
      <MinRwyTakeoff>11000</MinRwyTakeoff>
      <MinRwyLanding>5900</MinRwyLanding>
      <FuelBurnCruise>17500</FuelBurnCruise>
    </Performance>
  </AircraftInfo>

 

L-1011-200


  <AircraftInfo ICAO="L101" IATA="L10" Name="Lockheed L-1011-200 TriStar">
    <Wingspan>43.35</Wingspan>
    <Length>54.17</Length>
    <Height>16.87</Height>
    <Range>3600</Range>
    <MinGateRadius>28</MinGateRadius>
    <EmptyWeight>248400</EmptyWeight>
    <MaxTakeoffWeight>466000</MaxTakeoffWeight>
    <MaxLandingWeight>368000</MaxLandingWeight>
    <MaxPayloadWeight>87900</MaxPayloadWeight>
    <MaxFuelWeight>177560</MaxFuelWeight>
    <MaxZeroFuelWeight>338000</MaxZeroFuelWeight>
    <Crew>3</Crew>
    <MaxPassengers>256</MaxPassengers>
    <Performance>
      <MaxAlt>42000</MaxAlt>
      <CruiseAlt>35000</CruiseAlt>
      <CruiseSpeed Speed="515" Unit="TAS" />
      <MaxSpeedBelow10K Speed="250" Unit="IAS" />
      <MinRwyTakeoff>9800</MinRwyTakeoff>
      <MinRwyLanding>6560</MinRwyLanding>
      <FuelBurnCruise>17500</FuelBurnCruise>
    </Performance>
  </AircraftInfo>

 

L-1011-500

 

  <AircraftInfo ICAO="L101" IATA="L10" Name="Lockheed L-1011-500 TriStar">
    <Wingspan>50.09</Wingspan>
    <Length>50.05</Length>
    <Height>16.87</Height>
    <Range>5345</Range>
    <MinGateRadius>28</MinGateRadius>
    <EmptyWeight>245400</EmptyWeight>
    <MaxTakeoffWeight>510000</MaxTakeoffWeight>
    <MaxLandingWeight>368000</MaxLandingWeight>
    <MaxPayloadWeight>92600</MaxPayloadWeight>
    <MaxFuelWeight>212000</MaxFuelWeight>
    <MaxZeroFuelWeight>338000</MaxZeroFuelWeight>
    <Crew>3</Crew>
    <MaxPassengers>246</MaxPassengers>
    <Performance>
      <MaxAlt>42000</MaxAlt>
      <CruiseAlt>35000</CruiseAlt>
      <CruiseSpeed Speed="525" Unit="TAS" />
      <MaxSpeedBelow10K Speed="250" Unit="IAS" />
      <MinRwyTakeoff>8530</MinRwyTakeoff>
      <MinRwyLanding>6900</MinRwyLanding>
      <FuelBurnCruise>17500</FuelBurnCruise>
    </Performance>
  </AircraftInfo>

 

 

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Aucery its fine you "challenge me" with your suggestions 🙂 Anyhow I don't think I would implement this feature, as I think it is not something that most users would use. This feature will only be useful for users who chose split their flightplans into many sub-folders (which I don't think many would do). Personally I only have 2 sub-folders ("Commercial" and "BizzJet"), beside some backup/test -subfolders I never enable, and I would rather want to enable/disable these folders as needed. When you disable a folder (e.g. in my case disabling "BizzJet" most of the time), it means that the flight-plans in this folder are not loaded, which results in a faster start up time, and less memory consumption. However it also means they are excluded from my search (e.g. using Leg-Search and they are not included in the traffic in/out of the airport shown in the Airport-info form).

 

However I do realize that the combo-box at the bottom of the screen for choosing flightplans is needing a filter of some kind. As I recall the last released version came with 629 flight-plans, and you tell me that you have 1600 bgl-files (to convert to flight-plans), so finding a particular flight-plan may require some scrolling up/down. So I am thinking of adding a "filter" entry-field where you can enter a wild-card, e.g. based on your example: "AIG*Su08", which would then search for all flightplans beginning with "AIG" and ending with "SU08" (case-insensitive). This search would filter the flight-plans that are shown in the combo-box (e.g. filtering by "LUX" you would see "Cargolux" and "Luxair"). I have some idea as how to make this filter more complex in the future, where you for instance could search for flightplans in a particular sub-folder, or made by a particular provider/author, but this will not be in "version-1". Anyhow it will NOT be a "quick-fix" to implement a filter, because of the way the flight-plan combo-box is currently implemented, and it raises some questions as when the "filter" should automatically be cleared (e.g. when you import a new flightplan the filter would have to be cleared, to ensure that the newly imported flightplan should be made visible both in the combo-box and on the map).

 

Thanks for the data on the L-1011 however I am not sure if I can add it as 3 separate aircraft, as they have the same ICAO/IATA-codes, and I am not keen on using fictitious IATA/ICAO-codes if I can avoid it. So perhaps it will be added as a single aircraft (I'll see what I can do):

  <AircraftInfo ICAO="L101" IATA="L10" Name="Lockheed L-1011-101/200/500 TriStar">

 

EDIT: It seams the 100/200 share the same IATA, but there is a separate IATA for the 500 pax and the freighter version:
http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/arctypes.asp

 

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I guess I'm a power user then! :D I like the collecting & organizing aspect of this too but I've decided not to try to import all of my bgl files as that would take so long. I found that importing old AIG zip files is so much faster anyways. I like the idea for search filtering or the ability to search for flightplans in a particular folder, that would be very useful :)

 

I haven't had the time to do proper research on data for these aircraft, but here are some missing ones that could be added in the future:

 

Lockheed L-188 Electra

Sud Aviation Caravelle

Concorde

Douglas DC-3

Douglas DC-6

Ilyushin IL-18

Ilyushin IL-62

Ilyushin IL-86

Tupolev Tu-134

 

 

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Its still WIP (Work In Progress) but I am working on the filter, and what I told would not be in version-1, will probably be in version-1 anyway 🙂 As of now I simply use an extra combo-box to test it. Here you can see I have entered the filter-text "west,provider=aig" meaning: filter the combo-box to only show flightplans with "west" in the name, where the provider is AIG (multiple filter-text can be entered, separated by comma). Beside "provider" it currently also work with "author" and "season". Plan to add "year" and "folder" also, so you would write something link: "west,folder=AIG,season=summe,year=2008" (or shorthand: "west,f=AIG,s=su,y=2008"). I guess most users will simply enter a short text such as "west" to only show flightplan with "west" in the name, but if you want to you can make it more complex:

 

FilterWorkInProgress.jpg.3ab0e0fec5a74dbb0af0110278209642.jpg

 

I already have the data (however currently not entered into the XML) for the DC-3, DC-6, IL-86 and L-188 so I expect these will be included in the next release along with some more. 

 

 

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