Infinite Flight Virtual Airline Tool

Hi developers,

I thought it would be time to create a post regarding what I have been working on for the past three weeks. Fundamentally I am creating an online tool which virtual airline owners can use to monitor their pilots flights. I realise there has been discussion recently regarding Infinite Flight introducing virtual airlines into the simulator itself, therefore for now I am doing the minimum amount of work possible as it will likely one day become redundant. Very roughly, the core features comprise of:

  • Register as a pilot.
  • Create and manage a virtual airline, “proven” airlines will be tagged “official”.
  • Allow pilots to join virtual airline. Allow virtual airline to remove pilots.
  • Create flight schedules, defining rules such as departure airport, arrival airport, alternative arrival airport ( denied entry or poor conditions ), aircraft, alternative aircraft ( non paid ), etc.
  • Pilots execute their scheduled flights, they don’t even have to be logged into the tool to do this.
  • View comprehensive report of completed flights, with static map, graphs, etc.

Development of the tool is going well. Inevitably there are limitations, especially as a result of non real-time data, but I am happy with the implementation. I haven’t done much of the frontend yet, everything is in short task scripts I run to test various functionality. This week I will likely introduce the tool to a couple of users who can help me test and perhaps provide me with ideas in order to improve.

I shall keep this post updated and if I have any queries I believe you guys can help me with I’ll post them here too. I’d also appreciate it if any of you guys have anything to add.

Best regards,

Chris

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Great idea :) I know Matt has been wanting to introduce VA’s into Infinite Flight itself sometime in the future. I’d be happy to help out or test if you’d like.

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Hi Sean,

Thank you very much for offering to help test, much appreciated. I will let you know when it’s in testable state, fingers crossed hopefully by this time next week. The feedback will be invaluable.

When Matt introduces virtual airlines in game, it will certainly kill my tool, but perhaps it will serve its purpose in providing him with ideas and preliminary data if wanted.

Chris

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That sounds very cool, nice work!

I’ve been providing an embeddable version of LiveFlight for VAs. Let me know if you would like anything on my end in terms of mapping/LiveFlight stuff :)

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Hi Cameron,

I will be embedding LiveFlight into the tool, I plan on implementing it on an info page available when a flight is in progress, but it still needs a little more thought. You’ve done a great job with LiveFlight, I have deliberately avoided duplicating anything LiveFlight already provides.

As part of the final report, I generate a static map with airports and route plotted onto it. For numerous reasons I have chosen not to use Google Maps but instead opted to use the gd graphics library and geospatial data from the CIA world data bank.

If I remember rightly, you parsed regional data from the apt.dat files of the infinite flight airports repository. Do you happen to know if/which row provides airport latitude and longitude and also if the importance ( major blue, minor pink) is available in there. At the moment I am extracting all the latitudes and longitudes, taking the min and max of each and calculating the center.

Thanks,

Chris

I haven’t looked at the apt.dat files themselves in a long time. Usually if I need to change something I open up WED and make quick changes, then recommit. If you have WED you can open each individual apt.dat, click on the airport, and they airport altitude will be displayed (I forgot if this is in meters or feet).

There’s a file on my computer that explains .dat and what every line means but I’m not at home.

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Hi Sean,

Thanks for the info, I’ll definitely try world editor out at some point. I’ve managed to find altitude/elevation, but sometimes there are hundreds of latitudes and longitudes per file and its difficult to figure out which pair refers to the center which I can use to plot the airport on a map. I think you’ve pointed me in the right direction, I believe the document you are referring to is data.x-plane.com/file_specs/XP%20APT850%20Spec.pdf, it appears to explain everything in detail.

Chris

I sent you a pm :)

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Hi John,

The more the merrier, I will appreciate the feedback. I’ll let you know when it’s ready to be looked at.

Thanks,

Chris

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I hoped somebody would start doing that! That’s a great idea, if you again need help with testing, I’d love to help you. Also I know some VAs that’d love to use this kind of software for their VAs, so I’ll gladly (when the time comes) introduce it to them! you should maybe get in touch with Chris, he’s doing VA websites and hosting for some of the IF VAs.

Hi Nick,

Thank you, I would greatly appreciate your help. I’m not currently part of the VA community and it would be really useful if you could indeed introduce this to anyone when the time comes. What is Chris’ community handle?

Chris

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Hello Chris,

As you said, the more the merrier, Id also be happy to help out with testing.

Take a look a PHPVMS for some ideas if you havent already :)

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Hi Jack,

Thanks for offering to help out. Also the thanks for the phpvms suggestion. I’ve never dealt with VA software before, it isn’t clear from their website if it could be modified to support infinite flight and incorporate all the features I invisage. I clicked the docs link to explore, but it redirected me to a well known scam advert lol. Currently I am writing the code from scratch, using Perl as the core back end language, no web application framework etc. I’ll likely put this on my shared host to begin with and have coded it with the inherent limitations in mind.

Re-reading your post, I realise you meant for me to check it out for ideas! No doubt I will do this, especially the financial side of things as I would love to incorporate this at some point.

Chris

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Great! Matt and Phillippe was telling about they will introduce about VA’s to the sim . Due to the more number of posts coming in…

I can help out with testing if I’m allowed

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Just an update, having a little set back, I’ve had to upgrade my shared host package in order to increase RAM by 20x, this will take a few days to go through. I have been intermittently testing code on my shared host that I have written and tested on my “development server” ( mega cheap HP 260 g1, but does the job ) and have hit dreaded out of memory errors on a couple of the more intensive processes. I don’t particularly want to put this on my virtual host ( yet ) as I have a lot already going on there.

Chris

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and personnalize liveries from a picture can be possible? (with left side, right side, tail and winglet pictures for personnalize 200% your aircraft :)

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Thats a pretty cool idea that I’ll keep in mind for the future. To keep it simple for now, I’ll perhaps allow the airline owner to upload an avatar.