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Thread: CombatFlite -- a flight planning tool

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    Retired Pilot Tex's Avatar
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    Looks good Viper, can't wait to try it out in the future. Will it have the ability to import KMZ files? The reason I ask is we currently use Google Earth for our large scenarios / missions and it would be great to import our existing airspace, threats, targets, orders of battle etc. While I'm asking selfish questions, will users be able to change colors of things like the route, doghouses, visibility mask etc? Depending on the background map/imagery, the blue you show in the demo may not be the best color. One last one, what about the option/ability to import custom maps/images and georectify them? For example, if we had some custom target imagery from our NTTR mission, could we import that into Combat Flight and use it as a "map overlay"?
    “Rules are made for people who aren't willing to make up their own. " - Chuck Yeager

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    The tool looks extremely promising Viper, really excited to try it.

    Looking at the images e.g. your sample mission data card, it appears you might be getting some data from real world documents that isn't accurate for the sim. For example, the elevation you're showing in the MDC is the real world elevation for Nellis 21, but not DCS. I'd suggest looking at the 476th Nevada FLIP for such airfield data so as not to cause confusion.

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    Will it have the ability to import KMZ files?
    That one's on my list. CombatFlite stores data in XML files. Google Earth uses a KML mark-up language that is based on XML, so it shouldn't be a big problem to implement a feature to export/import data between Google Earth and CombatFlite.

    will users be able to change colors of things like the route, doghouses, visibility mask etc?
    It is possible already. You can change colors of all the things you insert (routes, circles, orbits, polygons, info text boxes...). Regarding polygons, you can also have them closed/not closed, and filled/not filled. You can also change the opacity of the map (make it brighter, darker). Also, there are a few 'Themes' that you can readily select from, that do some of these things for you in one click (themes are Standard, High Viz, Cold War, WWII). Also, you can change most of the default colors in the settings. See below...
    colors_lowq.jpg

    I'm planning to add the option to change the style of individual lines/polygons (to depict FLOT lines etc.) and to insert standard map symbols and arrows.

    what about the option/ability to import custom maps
    You can do that, though it is not supported by the UI at the moment (that's to change). As for now, the custom map has to be in the EPSG 4326 coordinate system (a.k.a. Mercator, parallels/meridians are straight, circle looks like a circle).

    if we had some custom target imagery from our NTTR mission, could we import that into Combat Flight and use it as a "map overlay"?
    That's already possible. Although currently, you have to manually drag and drop the corners of the image overlay. And it has to be in a Mercator projection as well to fit (which in case of google images and the likes of is by default). I'll add the option to enter precise coordinates of the corners of the overlays.

    it appears you might be getting some data from real world documents that isn't accurate for the sim. For example, the elevation you're showing in the MDC is the real world elevation for Nellis 21, but not DCS
    I took the airport information from the DCS Nevada kneeboard pages -- which are actually FAA Airport Diagrams I'll have a look at your FLIP -- thanks for the tip!

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    Viper, is it possible to have the MDC show either/or the absolute coordinates in the desired format of the WPs in addition to the offset from the NAVaid? Depending on the avionics of the aircraft flown one would need NAVaid offsets to fly or LL / MGRS coordinates to enter.

    This question actually makes me come up with a second question, would it be an option to include a report designer or the ability to import reports designed with a number of 3rd party tools available? That way, virtual squads (or even individuals who are up to it) could design their own MDC template based on whatever they feel is required. The designer would then have to query the fields available and link them to populate the report. Your MDC you've posted above could be one of many forms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Viper, is it possible to have the MDC show either/or the absolute coordinates in the desired format of the WPs in addition to the offset from the NAVaid? Depending on the avionics of the aircraft flown one would need NAVaid offsets to fly or LL / MGRS coordinates to enter.
    Right now it displays just the TCN fix, but the MDC will be made more customizable for sure. Showing LL/MGRS of the waypoint instead of a TCN fix is not a problem to implement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    This question actually makes me come up with a second question, would it be an option to include a report designer or the ability to import reports designed with a number of 3rd party tools available? That way, virtual squads (or even individuals who are up to it) could design their own MDC template based on whatever they feel is required. The designer would then have to query the fields available and link them to populate the report. Your MDC you've posted above could be one of many forms.
    That's actually a very good idea. I'll dig into it and figure out what the best way of implementing it would be.

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    Development Update #4
    Import from DCS, Lua file export, Google Earth and TacView integration


    Dear all,

    As the work on CombatFlite continues, I'd like to share a few screenshots showing the advance in import/export capabilities. The DCS mission (.miz file) import is now working, as you can see in the screenshot below showing one of the A-10C Red Flag missions imported to CombatFlite (the non-Player flights are hidden here, to declutter). You can choose what items you want to import, including all RED / BLUE flights, engagement zones, ground units' initial positions, bullseyes, nav points, briefings, and weather. Having imported the mission, you can take use of all the CombatFlite's features to build your situational awareness, generate custom kneeboard (if needed), and more, without compromising the so-called "fog of war" of the particular mission.



    To leverage the core functions and data structures of CombatFlite, an integration with Google Earth and TacView has been implemented. It is now possible to import .kmz / .kml files to CombatFlite. Shown below is the example of 476th vFG's NTTR airspace, targets, sim threat sites and tanker tracks having been imported to a CombatFlite mission.



    You can also export the CombatFlite mission as a .kmz file, which you can then open in Google Earth. All circles, orbits, flights (with detailed description and parameters of each waypoint), DMPIs, polygons, reference points, airfields, beacons, nav points, ground unit positions and info text boxes are exported as different layers to GE. This combines the features of CombatFlite with the 3D-viewing capabilities of Google Earth. Below is the A-10C Red Flag mission exported as a .kmz (only the Player flight is visible, to declutter).



    On top of that, you can add a permanent link to CombatFlite in Google Earth. So when you're planning a mission in CombatFlite, the .kmz link file is updated in real time, so all changes you make in CombatFlite can be instantly seen in Google Earth without any need of user's input.

    Regarding export to DCS, you can now export the flights you create in CombatFlite to a lua file, that you can simply run inside any DCS mission ('DOFILE...').

    Lastly, you can export flight routes and (almost all) the above-mentioned objects to an .xml file, that can be loaded in TacView as static objects.


    Cheers,

    Viper

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  12. #38
    Looking good Viper.

  13. #39

  14. #40

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    Saweet!

    Only one question remaining: when?

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