I can’t follow your logic – because there are some aircraft that need a lot of work, the system shouldn’t recognize “advanced features” in other aircraft that do have them? I also disagree with Stuart that such advanced features are nice-to-haves and add little to the simulation – why the hell are we including them then? Do the stores so nicely added to the P-51 add nothing? On the other hand, the ability to change liveries adds to the model? Sure doesn’t wring my withers, but I suppose the airliner aficionados (and I’m not one) absolutely must have that.  


The P-51 is a superb model already, and at a reasonable frame rate here – about 75% of my benchmark figure. It would benefit from a tutorial on the start procedure – but apparently that would win no points either. That seems to be a missed opportunity too. I suppose the P-51 FDM is accurate – but I find it not all that pleasant to fly. I would say that you have probably slightly underrated its score.


In the final analysis – the system currently proposed is only marginally better than the current “wet finger in the air” method. I think we are falling a bit short here in our aim to be both objective, and to tell users more about the available aircraft. In particular, the failure to tell users that they need a powerful system to use a model, and something about the difficulty of use, is going to disappoint and or frustrate users.





-----Original Message-----
From: Hal V. Engel [mailto:hvengel@gmail.com]
Sent: 30 May 2011 23:45
To: flightgear-devel@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: Re: [Flightgear-devel] Rating System Redux (was Re:Flightgear-devel Digest, Vol 61, Issue 12)


On Monday, May 30, 2011 12:47:41 PM Stuart Buchanan wrote:

> >> I don't have a good answer for the other items. Some are nice-to-haves

> >> that enrich

> >> the simulation experience but don't impact simulation of flight

> >> itself, but others

> >> (such as a co-pilot) are more important for multi-crew aircraft.

> >

> > Call them all "advanced features". That could be a/the criterion for

> > "advanced production"


> I'm not sure. The "Advanced production" bar is already very high - two 5s

> and two 4s.


> I'm not sure if any aircraft will actually gain it!


I would expect that at this point only a few aircraft out there are close to or are "advanced production" quality. It is a very high standard and any aircraft that is that far along should really stand out. I would expect that most of the most advanced current models only need perhaps 1 or 2 points to get there but adding points when the models are that far along is a lot of work. But I would be surprised if there were more than a handful of aircraft that were far enough along to only need 1 or 2 points to become "advanced production". I think I agree with Stuart that having some things called "advanced features" does not add much if anything to the system particularly when we have so many models that are missing many basic things.


An example of one that is close but needs more work is the p51d-jsbsim model. It only needs to improve the external model (add livery support to go from a 3 to a 4) to get to "production" status and then add one more point in cockpit, external model or systems would make it "advanced production".


Currently it has the following ratings:



<FDM type="int">5</FDM>

<systems type="int">4</systems>

<model type="int">3</model>

<cockpit type="int">4</cockpit>



The 3D modeling stuff is not my strong suit but I do have new more accurate 3D models for the fuselage and wing (including flaps and aileraons) for the P-51D that I created a while back. I have also more accurately modeled the cooling inlet passages and the oil and coolant radiators so that these will look correct (once textured) when looking into the cooling inlet. I need to uvmap all of this stuff now and this is where I get stuck as I can't figure out how to do this so that the resulting uvmaps can be used to create livery support. Having a nice user friendly uvmap for the fugelage and wings is more or less nessary to move ahead with libery support I think.


For Systems adding emergency gear release support, oxygen system support, full cooling system support, VHF radio support, rear warning radar support, IFF support and some missing electrical system stuff would increase this to a 5. The 3D models for the controls for all of these systems are already in the cockpit.


One comment about systems. For the P-51 series there are two cooling doors that are used to control cooling airflow. One for the engine coolant and one for the oil cooler. JSBSim has support for the coolant door controls but not for the oil cooler door controls. I have the automatic coolant door stuff modeled but not the automatic oil cooler stuff because of this. I also need to add manual overides for these at some point (the controls are in the cockpit but currently only allow for automatic control). What I am getting at is that some systems can not be fully modeled because of limitations in the FDM being used and aircraft authors should rate these as complete systems if they have modeled everything that is possible with the existing FDM support.


For Cockpit adding the fuselage fuel tank and guage, a few missing placards, the arm rest, the map bag and improved texturing would pretty much get it a 5.


For some aircraft it may never be possible to get the FDM rating high enough to get more than a 2 or 3 simply because the data needed to do that is not available. These aircraft will never be able to get beyond an "early production" status unless the author finds a source for the needed information.