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Getting started

I thought I'd try AI Flight Planner, but I'm having trouble getting out of the shoot. I have addon airports in FSX. So I guess I need to do a bulk update. AIFP wants to update from a ttools file, which I don't have. In fact almost everything I see as far as working with AIFP, wants ttool files. That is good for alot of people, but I gave up ttools when I gave up fs9. I have aisort working, so I am used to a different format. Any way, If someone could give me a little hint as to how to get started, that would be fine. Even if it is something like "Hey, Dummy, look at this section of the manual". I'm an old guy (56) so good kuck.

Bob
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
The AIFP feature that extracts information about add-on airports on your system is "Collect Airports". The feature you seem to have focused on is "Bulk Airport Update" which allows you to extract from a TTools-format airports file positional information for add-on airports not on your system but for which you wish to prepare flight plans. (This avoids having to enter the data manually.) Both features are documented in Section 8 of the user manual.

I don't use AI Sort and know little about it other than it appears to be intended to develop TTDB-based traffic, whereas AIFP is intended to develop traffic using the TTools format. So, thinking about AIFP in the context of AISort - at least procedurally - isn't likely to get you far. While the program TTools was never updated for use with FSX, its file formats coupled with a FSX-compatible compiler remain viable for FSX AI flight planning.

If someone could give me a little hint as to how to get started, that would be fine. Even if it is something like "Hey, Dummy, look at this section of the manual".
Under the circumstances, you might find a review of the whole AIFP user manual most helpful.

Don
 
Thanks, Don. I really have read the manual. Here is what happens when I go to "Collect Airport Data". When I check the box for FSX addon airports, the "Choose Addon Folders" window opens. OK, my addon airports are in C:/FSX/Addon Scenery/Scenery. If I click on drive C( to get to FSX) I get a pop-up that says" Unable to populate the Addon Directory treeview. Access to 'C:\Documents and Settings' is denied." This sounds like a Vista thing, but I have UAC and everything like that turned off. Do I need to copy my scenery folder somewhere else and do it that way, or am I on the wrong path. I used Ttools and AFCAD alot in FS9, they are fine easy to use programs. I create airports with ADE, also easy to use. I learned Aisort because it was the only program I could find that would make flightplans dirfctly into FSX. It was very difficult to set up, but seems to work. AIFP looks much better if I could only get started. I understand that AIFP will convert ttools files. My point is that I don't have any ttools files to convert. So, I am going in the wrong direction. I need a starting place, and a push in the right direction. Maybe I need to use AIFP on my XP machine and see what happens. Thanks for your help.

Bob
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
If I click on drive C( to get to FSX) I get a pop-up that says" Unable to populate the Addon Directory treeview. Access to 'C:\Documents and Settings' is denied." This sounds like a Vista thing, but I have UAC and everything like that turned off.
That definitely is a "Vista thing". I use XP and have little experience with Vista (and plan to keep it that way). Perhaps the posts in the last couple of days in this thread will be of some help.
I used Ttools and AFCAD alot in FS9

My point is that I don't have any ttools files to convert.
I'm missing something here. But, if you don't have any FS9 TTools files that you want to convert, then it would seem you are left with either hand-editing your AISort files into TTools format (so they can be processed by AIFP) or developing flight plans "from scratch" as described in Section 6 of the manual.

Don
 
Thanks, Don, so much for your time. I get it, now. Sorry I'm so slow. I was confused because AISort uses the SDK Airport Dump method(which is very fast) to collect airports, and goes right to the Airplanes folder to create the airplanes list. I'm not saying that is better, it's just different. So......back to Ttools for me.
A few folders on my C: drive were in the tree, so I think a Ttools folder would show up.
Can't say I love Vista, but I also can't say XP is better.

Bob
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
It doesn't matter whether some of the folders show up. With that error message, AIFP will not process correctly. In fact, the current release of AIFP will throw an exception (as reported recently in another thread) a situation that will be fixed in the next release.

At the moment, you need full administrative privileges to run Collect Airports. In the meantime, I'll see if there's something useful that can be done in spite of the Vista error message.

Don
 
Just so you'll know, when I tried to collect airport data in spite of the error, it seemed to work fine right up untill it was time to deal with addon airports, then the program stopped. As I said, I have all the admin. features turned off. Even so, I have run the program "as admin" with the same results. May not be an OS or program problem...just a "me" failure. I think I'm asking it to do something it was not ment to do.

Bob
 
Don

Been away for a bit. Figured out part of my Vista problem,maybe. Vista has changed things around. There is no "Documents and Settings" folder when you open "C" drive. They call it "Documents" and it is in a different link. Is that why I get an error? AIFP seems to work OK on my XP box. However, FSX is on my Vista machine. Thanks

Bob
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
Bob, I don't use Vista so I really can't advise you. Perhaps someone familiar with Vista will jump in. If I need to make further exclusions for Vista, I'm happy to do so - if someone tells me what to excluded. (Examples of current exclusions for XP are the RECYCLER and SYSTEM VOLUME INFORMATION folders.)

One point, however. When you set up the search for add-on airports, are you asking it to search the entire disk on which "Documents" resides? If so, try going to a lower level so that the Documents folder doesn't get involved. You can make multiple selections.

Don
 
If I click on the "+" to expand the "C" drive tree, that's when I get the error. If I check the "C" box, no error. However, no matter how I set it up, AIFP will not find my addon airports.
But, If I add airports manually, everything works just fine. Addon airports are saved and I can write FPs for them. The one plane I experimented with is an addon that does not have a tail # in the config file. I don't know if that makes any difference, but in my FP I gave the plane a flight # and and set it up to have atc call that number. When the FP was saved, the number was saved,but there was a "0" after the aircraft number,and atc did not call the flight number but rather "0". I manually changed the "0" to a tail number, and atc calls that tail number. I had checked the "FN" box when I set up the FP. This is not a big deal for me, just wondering if that happens to anyone else.
Anyway,things are starting to work. Thanks, Don, for your help.

Bob
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
If I click on the "+" to expand the "C" drive tree, that's when I get the error.
You got me on that one, Bob. When I expand a logical disk on XP, I suppress the analysis of certain system folders. Obviously, those folders are not the same on Vista. My wife's computer runs Vista so I'll do some experimenting there.
When the FP was saved, the number was saved,but there was a "0" after the aircraft number
The registration number saved in the flight plan reflects the Tail Number entry. Since you didn't enter a tail number, it's shown as "0" because the compiler dosn't like a space in this field. (I just realized how to use a space and keep the compiler "happy".)
I manually changed the "0" to a tail number, and atc calls that tail number. I had checked the "FN" box when I set up the FP.
I have not experienced this situation and no one else has reported it. Please display the flight plan using the Open Text Editor button and confirm that the fourth field in each leg contains "F", and the fifth field contains a valid flight number (i.e., a numeric value between 1 and 13383).

Don
 
Yes, "F" is the fourth entry and a valid flight number is the fifth. I tried a stock plane with the same result; atc calls the tail number not the flight number. I haven't tried putting a FN where the reg. number would go. I don't mind doing that to get atc to call a flight number in the case of an airline. No need for you to do a lot of extra work just to help me, especially if no one else seems to have a problem. It could be something with my machine. Who knows.

Bob
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
Bob, that shouldn't work any differently on your system than on anyone else's. Please send me the flight plan and aircraft .txt files and the aircraft.cfg file for the referenced aircraft.

Thanks,
Don
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
Bob, the flight plan file seems OK. I should have asked before for the traffic....bgl file as well.
Don
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
Bob, I'm afraid I'm not going to be of much help on this one. About all I can do is confirm that the decompiled traffic file agrees with the source flight plan. The airports involved are not stock FSX airports and the aircraft are not stock aircraft, so I can't compile the flight plan. I did notice, however that the registration numbers are very similar to the flight numbers. If you were running at 4-times normal, the sometime abbreviated ATC chatter could make them sound alike.

I suggest you try a simple flight plan using stock airports and aircraft and very different flight and registration numbers. I things don't work as you planned, send me the info and I'll investigate further.

Don
 
Don
You have helped me alot. Before I couldn't get anything to work. Now I'm close enough that I'm happy. And I'll probably figure the rest of it out. I wrote plan for two stock airports and a stock plane. Atc called the flight number as I wanted. By the way, the second plane in my plan above was the stock Baron, and atc only called the reg. number. Addon airports made with ADE.
Agian, thanks so much.

Bob
 

gadgets

Resource contributor
Glad to hear it. Bottom line, the flight plan seems OK and the traffic file decompiles back to the original flight plan. So, that suggests the problem lies inside FSX.

There's more good news!

I've managed to find a way for AiFP to handle system files that should allow collection of airports with Vista to work. I should have a special release out tonight or early tomorrw.

Don
 
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