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Piaggio P180 Avanti II upgrade

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Don't worry Ultimate Flier, you won't need to pay. But it's far away to be completed. I'm trying my best but still newbie, so I have to search for many things how they work. But also I don't like things that are not right. In example, I could use the standard instrument digits for many things, but I was searching for 2 days only to find the fonts that are closest to the real ones (even thought to create new fonts!). Then I changed all the digits with those plus various colors.

So, be patient and as soon as it gets at a certain point of completion, I will make you me "beta tester"!

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Hi there!

You can see all the images of this project here!

Here is a video (it's a bit low res and off color), of starting up from cold and dark. Hope you enjoy it!

Edited by airfighter
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Karingka and Redfisher thanks a lot! Working now on the rest of cockpit animations. Some are easy, but some need a bit of coding to simulate the real aircraft. SASL is on!

I am on dilema now and I would like to listen to your opinions. Since I'm not going to fully simulate the avionics of the Avanti II and there are few buttons/knobs that will work in different manner than the label they have, should I keep the exact labeling and state what they doing in tooltip and the manual, or change the labels to what they actually doing in my cockpit? In example: between pilot's PFD and MFD there is a control panel with few buttons and knobs. One of them in the real aircraft is labeled as "REFS" (it opens windows within PFD/MFD to set a few things). In my cockpit it will cycle the nav source (nav1/nav2/fms). Should I change the label to "SOURCE"?

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New video showing new futures added!

  • MFD now has 2 pages, one for navigation and the other for startup and misc systems (still WIP).
  • Startup checklist added that monitors your progress through the startup procedure.
  • Labes on buttons and knobs indicate the right function.
  • More to come...

View it on HD!

Edited by airfighter
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That's beautiful airfighter! Have you considered contacting Laminar? I wonder if they would include this in an update once you're finished.

Keep up the good work! :)

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Looks amazing. I love the Avanti. Are you building this in XP10; do you expect it will work with 9.70?

Glad you're using some plugins. It is possible to do a LOT of things with generic instruments and nested 3d animations, but really the best way for describing system logic is with code (C++ or Lua), if the cost of learning to write the code, and learning to make code work (compiling, SASL/Gizmo clashes etc - quite different from writing!) can be borne.

Also if you're using custom datarefs and commands for things, it's much much easier for people to make custom hardware for your aircraft using Teensy boards. If you animate a warning light to be lit when the engine temperature is over 800°C, and then put that animation within another animation which hides the lit texture when the electrical power is unavailable, the hardware builder has to reverse-engineer all this logic by dissecting your cockpit.obj or by making careful observation with DataRefEditor. And then rebuild this logic in the Teensy's code.

But if instead your plugin/script creates a dataref for that warning light, a dataref which is 1 when the temperature's over 800 and the power is available and the bulb isn't burned out etc etc etc, and 0 otherwise, you can animate the warning light with a single simple animation. And the hardware builder can link an LED to that dataref very easily and get the exact same behaviour with hardware as seen in the 3d cockpit. It's much better for everyone, unless you really really enjoy writing logic in the language of 3d animations instead of in C++/Lua!

For the 3d modelling, instead of using textures for the text, have you considered polytext? Guy M-P wrote an excellent article on why he started using it.

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Thanks guys a lot!

@GrahamH this will be available for everyone to download it for sure. When I finished I will send it to Laminar, but the other thing that is sure now it is that the first release will be for X-Plane 9.70. Test I've made so far with X-Plane 10, shows me that it can be used without problems, but I would like to work more on this to make sure that everything will work and look fine. There are some difference how things are handled in XP10 (e.g. global illumination) that needs more studying of me to implement it right. Since now Laminar updates only XP10, when I make it XP10 "ready" I will send it to them.

@Dozer as I said before initial release will be for XP9.70 and then optimized for XP10. I'm using plugins but no too much, because first I am new to aircraft development, but in plugins I'm trying just to crawl. What I'm using is SASL, and for me that's heavy programming! But it offers amazing possibilities. Example, in MFD display at the bottom, there is an indication that is labeled ISA. That indication shows how much the current outside temperature deviates from standard temp at any altitude you fly. I made that working using a small script. Also, X-Plane when at night it loads the plane with lights about half bright. That's a problem cause some light switches are on/off, but the datarefs are float type, so when the aircraft loaded the switch was in a position about half way, which is not a real position! So I had to write a script again to load them at off position (0) or at on (1).

I'm really excited about the possibilities you have with plugins and I would like to implement as much as possible, but at this point my lack of free time is not allowing to go further than the absolute necessary. As a pilot myself with deep knowledge of complicated systems, I really want something to work as in real life! I would like to make it as functional as the real on, but since I'm working in upgrading an existing aircraft that's freeware, imposes some restrictions. But what you propose to build it in mind to use with hardware it is very interesting and what I can say now is that I will have it in mind from start in my next project. About polytext, I've read it and it is interesting. I haven't try it but I will check it.

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Hi to everyone!

 

As this project is coming closer to finish, I would like to ask for a few beta testers. Requirements are to be experienced in using aircrafts without manual, so they have to find their way around the cockpit (the manual is in progress now...). Also this plane can be used with UFMC and X-FMC (about the second, not so sure!).

 

The feedback that I'm looking for is for the functionality of the cockpit, since the aircraft maintains the original flight characteristics. Also any suggestion is welcomed!

 

Anyone interested in, please PM me.

 

EDIT: Please include an email to send you the file directly. Forgot to mention that this is for X-Plane 9.70!

Edited by airfighter
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Hi Airfighter. Thumbs up for the great work you're doing there!

I'm very pleased that I discovered this 'upgrade' you're doing, and really looking forward to the completed product.

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First of all, I would like to say thank you to all those guys that have enter the beta testing of my project. Since there are many beta testers all ready, the beta testing participation stops here. I'm doing that cause now I'm waiting for the feedback from the testers, gather the issues and then solve them, so the aircraft to be available for downloading till the end of the year.

KNOWING ISSUES (so far):

1. Transparencies on the edge of external surfaces (like rudder): - I haven't touch this area cause I'm using the original Avanti's external object. I will check it and try to repair the textures.

2. Weak brakes: Done.

3. Non functional switches, bleed air and pressurization systems: I'm working on that right know. Pressurization, now is working OK in auto mode, manual mode is remaining.

4. Yoke is not hidden and cover a few switches: Done

5. Some switches have too "flat" textures: This might remain as is at this point, cause I have to rearrange objects and textures, almost for scratch for more efficient use. Sure it will done in Avanti II v 2.0!



This list will be renewed as I get more feedback from beta testers, and solving issues!

To beta testers: Once I have solve the issues you will have a round 2 of tests for finalizing the aircraft. Thank you so much for your cooperation!

Edited by airfighter
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KNOWING ISSUES:

1. Transparencies on the edge of external surfaces (like rudder): - I haven't touch this area cause I'm using the original Avanti's external object. I will check it and try to repair the textures.

2. Non functional switches, bleed air and pressurization systems: I'm working on that right know. Pressurization, now is working OK in auto mode, manual mode is remaining.

3. Some switches have too "flat" textures: This might remain as is at this point, cause I have to rearrange objects and textures, almost for scratch for more efficient use. Sure it will done in Avanti II v 2.0!

 

4. Aircraft cannot be started from cold&dark. This have slipped completely from my attention. I've made a bit of investigation on that and seems a major one. The real aircraft has a L/R Firewall valve which lets fuel into the engines and cuts it off to shutdown the engines. When you start with engines running, you can shutdown them and then start them again. But from cold&dark this is not the case. Although there is commands to operate the firewall valves, there are not any datarefs for that. Might have to change the startup sequence a bit, or write a script about it. Till I resolve this issue, please use the aircraft with engines running.

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KNOWING ISSUES:

1. Transparencies on the edge of external surfaces (like rudder): - I haven't touch this area cause I'm using the original Avanti's external object. I will check it and try to repair the textures.

2. Non functional switches, bleed air and pressurization systems: I'm working on that right know. Pressurization, now is working OK in auto mode, manual mode is remaining.

3. Some switches have too "flat" textures: This might remain as is at this point, cause I have to rearrange objects and textures, almost for scratch for more efficient use. Sure it will done in Avanti II v 2.0!

 

4. Aircraft cannot be started from cold&dark: This one has been solved. The L/R firewall valve switch will go on automatically when starting up an engine. From that point, can be handled independently. 

Edited by airfighter
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Hi there! A last update before release!

 

Currently, I'm trying to finish the Operating Manual. It's harder than it seems. There are a lot of things that must be explained to work this aircraft's systems. So I think that the most probable date for release will be in about a week. Also I'm trying to make everything as it should and look so too. I find out that one of the most important   things that missing from X-Plane is the simulation of a 3-way switch! Of course there is SASL to solve that!

 

And my present to all of you for the new year... a few screenshot of the final touches (cockpit night lighting).

 

1. The cockpit light - on.

post-5826-0-05261200-1356910444_thumb.pn

 

2. Flood lights - off

post-5826-0-62042600-1356910532_thumb.pn

 

3. Flood lights - DIM

post-5826-0-76720100-1356910542_thumb.pn

 

4. Flood lights - BRT

post-5826-0-47017100-1356910537_thumb.pn

 

 

I hope you like it!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

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