Two New Flying Sites, One Video Discussing Pano Meshes, One Video on the FS One Scaling Wizard
Two videos and two new flying sites.
New FS One Panorama Flying Sites
Two new FS One panorama flying sites will be available for download soon.
Modelcity Flying Site, Hluboké Mašůvky, Czech Republic
The first site is the Modelcity flying site in Hluboké Mašůvky, Czech Republic. At the heart of the site is the 500 ft long, 40 ft wide asphalt RC runway (150 m x 12 m). The site includes a model safety fence and net (common flying field fixtures in Europe), a restaurant, pool, model hangar and two vintage aircraft on static display. Thanks to Peter Maissinger, manager at Modelcity, for permission to include it.
TMFK Club Flying Site, Tullinge, Sweden
The second is the TMFK (Tullinge Modellflygares Klubb) club flying site in Tullinge, Sweden. The pilot location (eyepoint) is on the right-half of the mowed pit area at the club. The asphalt runway is nice and wide - 130 ft (40 m)! In the original photography, there was a grassy patch on the runway that was removed to make it more “friendly” for flying in FS One. The original 360 panorama photography by Simon Inns is gratefully acknowledged and published under the CC BY 2.0 license. A earlier downloadable content pack (DLC-1) to FS One included a winter aerial panorama of the same site, also photographed by Simon Inns.
Behind the Scenes: Exploring Panorama Mechanics
I created a video featuring the TMFK pano flying site in FS One, which offers an interesting twist by revealing the mechanics behind the 360-degree panorama. By using Rhino3D, the equirectangular panorama image is mapped onto a sphere, just as it is in FS One. Typically, the eyepoint is at the center of the sphere, creating the illusion of being in a real environment. However, when the eyepoint is shifted off-center in CAD, the illusion breaks down, exposing the panorama as “painted” on the inner wall of a sphere and unveiling distortions from being off center.
Additionally, the video highlights some of FS One’s widgets that enhance situational awareness, including an overhead map, inset camera, data monitor, and heads-up display. Note that the voice in the video is not the newsletter writer. If you like the video, it always helps the algorithm if you give it a thumbs up.
Creating Detailed Ground Terrain Mesh Models
Another crucial element in creating a new panorama site involves constructing a detailed and accurate ground terrain mesh model. It provides a surface for airplane shadow projection and supports ground reactions based on the type of terrain, such as grass, asphalt, or ice. Additionally, some collision objects are added for buildings, tables, fencing, etc - items that might be close to the pilot and easy to collide with. One aspect not modeled in FS One are occlusions, which block an airplane from view when it goes behind an object. In real-life situations, pilots would avoid flying behind buildings or other obstructions, so there’s limited reason to include this effect in the simulator.
The following screenshots highlight the detailed mesh models that make up the terrain and some of the obstacles at the TMFK site. The first image presents a bird’s-eye view of the runway and surrounding area, including the pilot pit area. The friction coefficient varies depending on the surface type, and a bump model is included based on the height of the grass. The next two images display the same data but from the pilot’s perspective and with the panorama projected in the background. One challenge in creating mesh models like this is ensuring proper alignment between the mesh and the terrain it represents. The original photography used to create the panorama is monoscopic, not stereoscopic, which can make determining distances to landmarks and prominent features somewhat challenging.
A couple of other interesting mesh constructions are displayed below. The first shows the Modelcity terrain and collision meshes that represent the safety fence and net. To recreate the scene from the panorama, a pseudo-photogrammetry approach was employed, which necessitated arching the runway and using a high-resolution mesh to ensure smooth taxiing without exposing facet edges or bumps in what would otherwise be a lower resolution standard mesh.
The next mesh is from the fictional Jockey’s Ridge site in FS One. This is not the well-known Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head, NC, but it acquired its name here because it has a combination sand, water, wind, and slopes. The white tiny dot to the middle right in the animated image below is the location of the pilot eye in the simulator. The vantage point is right on the edge of the slope. At the corners of the landscape, the mesh is relatively coarse, but closer in and especially around the pilot a high resolution mesh is used so as to best capture the sharp edge terrain along the eroding cliff.
FS One Scaling Wizard Video: Resizing Your Models is Easy
If you have never tried using the FS One Scaling Wizard, part of the airplane editor, this video below can get you going. The video shows how to create a 4 ft span, 2.6 lb Pawnee by resizing the stock Pawnee using the FS One Scaling Wizard. In the first 1 minute, the step-by-step process is explained, from selecting the airplane to adjusting the span, weight, and sound settings. It ends with a test flight and a visual comparison between the original 127-inch stock Pawnee and the resized 48-inch model, visually highlighting the difference between the stock 30% scale and newly resized 10% scale variant. If you think of an airplane size that you want to try in FS One, it is really easy.
If you like these videos and have ideas of what you’d like to see in the future, any ideas are welcome.
Until next time, happy landings!
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Subscribers to this “RC Flight Simulation with FS One” newsletter will be among the first to know when new airplanes and new features are planned and released for FS One. I will also discuss some of the finer details that go into RC flight simulation, share tips and techniques for flying, and touch on aerodynamics and flight dynamics now and then. In addition to the usual coverage, keep an eye out for occasional thoughts and ideas on other related topics in RC modeling.
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