Post by Travis on Jan 12, 2016 11:56:56 GMT -5
FSCaptain version 1.7.2 Release Candidate is available for public download and testing. This has been a short turnaround since Beta 2, and our team of Alpha Testers have reported good results!
The 168MB Full version can be found here: www.fscaptain.net/downloads/FSCaptain_172_RC1.zip. It includes all audio files.
The 24.3MB Fixpack version (for users who have already installed FSCaptain and merely wish to update) can be found here: www.fscaptain.net/downloads/FSCaptain_Fixpack_172_RC1.zip. It includes all changes to audio files since version 1.6.2.
If you wish to participate in this RC release, please start by making a backup of your current \FSCaptain\ folder (if you have one), then by installing either the Full version (if you have not tested FSCaptain before) or the Fixpack version (if you have already installed FSCaptain).
Whether you would be upgrading using the Full or Fixpack, we strongly suggest that you make a backup of your current FSCaptain. You may download a safe environment and a README from www.fscaptain.net/downloads/My_Safe_Backup.zip
Development and other notes follow. All items which have changed since 1.7.2 Beta 2 are noted in bold and marked with a "+" character....
The Administrator is now built in a manner which should allow it to be used by Captains using Windows XP.
The FCDU.EXE is currently not able to run under Windows XP - those Captains will need to use the FCDU/FCOM gauge.
Windows XP users are advised to check whether or not they have the Microsoft .Net Framework version 3.5 installed on their PCs which is necessary in order for the FSCaptain Scenery Scanner to operate. If you do not have Framework 3.5 installed, you can download the installer from Microsoft at: www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21
A Transitions.cfg file developed from AIRAC 1513 is included.
Testing Notes on New Options
Previously, flights dispatched without an alternate airport were given extra fuel in the amount of 85% of their aircraft's "Reserve Fuel" allocation. That default value has been changed to only 10% extra fuel. An Options.cfg flag of RANGE_FACTOR_SANS_ALTERNATE will allow Captains to set a percentage from 0% extra fuel to 85% extra fuel.
RESERVE_FUEL_IN_MINUTES, HOLDING_FUEL_IN_MINUTES and RESERVE_FUEL_IN_MINUTES_HELI will now accept values down to zero. Captains will be cautioned on their Dispatch Releases if they choose to take on less fuel amounts than are suggested.
If an airport scenery has BGL runway surfaces of a different type than "pictured" - a dirt runway rather than a nicely grooved concrete runway - Dispatch could refuse an aircraft's use of that airport. A new optional file - airport_surface_override.txt will allow you to specify an overall surface type for Dispatch to consider. Details of this file's format are included in the User Guide and the file itself.
Runway lengths for destination and alternate airports have a new default behavior: Dispatch will not offer airports without enough STD/MLW length as a Destination for Charter Flights, nor as any Alternate airport. This is consistent with previous FSCaptain functionality. However if a Captain specifies an airport as either a Destination or an Alternate, Dispatch will release such a flight - with a caution added to the Dispatch Release. However if the option ENFORCE_DEST_RUNWAY_LENGTH=1 is enabled, no flights to such airports can be specified.
The Load Factor used to determine possible payloads is now governed by a "variance range". PAYLOAD_VARIANCE is an integer with valid values from 1 to 25. This will represent the range which your offered payload sizes can vary. (Initially for PAX flights only.) For example if you have a Load Factor of 75 and a PAYLOAD_VARIANCE of 25, you could get PAX loads anywhere from 50% to 100% of capacity. If your PAYLOAD_VARIANCE is 10 (the default value) then you could get PAX loads anywhere from 65% to 85% of capacity.
Runway surface detection (as used by Dispatch) can now be bypassed by setting the option DISABLE_SURFACE_CHECKS to 1. Doing so will allow you to dispatch jetliners to lakes and seaplane bases and grass strips, or float planes to desert landing strips. Use with caution, as Dispatch will not warn you of a possible mismatch. This option does not affect the detection of surface types while on the ground - that is handled by the DISABLESURFACE option.
A new option - REQUIRE_TYPE_FOR_MAP - can be set to zero in order to ignore the TYPE value in load map files. (Allows for "looser matching.")
Testing Notes on New Items
For each build, there's almost always more items added to the FCDU & ADMIN logs.
PAX flights with VIPs and GROUPs are now considered as Priority flights. This means you will not get a penalty for an early arrival, although you would face a 2X-points penalty for being late.
If you are flying with a PLN set of waypoints, and if you miss a waypoint in-flight, your Dispatch office will send a message within several minutes advising you to either cross your waypoint or to advance your PLN active waypoint to the currently active one. Otherwise your block estimates (time and distance) will increasingly be more and more incorrect.
The FCDU will now display the ID of the closest Airport Reference Point on the home ACARS screen when it's powered up or reset. If you have the SELECT AIRPORT option enabled, any change you make there will then be reflected on the home ACARS screen.
If the aircraft's Maximum Takeoff Weight and Minimum Runway Length for Takeoff have been entered, the Dispatch Release should contain an estimated Takeoff Roll that considers the airport's altitude, current reported temperature, and the effects of wet runways if reported.
Your Dispatch Release will contain runway information for your Departure, Destination (and Alternate) airports - this includes Length, Threshold Offset, Width, ILS data, and whether or not the runway is CL (Closed for Landing) or CT (Closed for Takeoff).
Testing Notes on Changed Items
Fuel loads are no longer "rounded up" to the nearest 100 / 1000 unit.
Prepar3D Version 3 should be detected better, and the correct dll.xml file should be attended to.
The term "ICE WGT" on the FCDU and FCOM has been changed to "XTRA WT" to better reflect that it's not always "ice" that's being detected.
Safety announcements will now not come during pushback(!).
The physical area around the FCDU's "On" switch has been increased to account for the "On" label itself.
If Ground Service Catering, Fueling, Deicing, or Pushback have been called or are underway, the COMMIT key on the Load Confirm screen (#42!) will be disabled.
Flights involving airports with reported limited visibility and an inoperative RVR system will be flagged on the Dispatch Release.
Airline's Landing Light Policies have been overhauled. Captains can define for their airlines the altitude (6000ft - 21000ft) below which Landing Lights need to be on. Further, Captains can define for their airlines whether or not to require Landing Lights be switched off when above the same altitude. PLEASE READ THE USER GUIDE for details on how this is applied - flights involving airports with elevations that are near (or greater than) the airline Landing Light Policy Altitude, will have the Policy Altitude adjusted higher for the flight.
The process used to define the initial "direct flight" altitudes for flights has been changed. Initially one thousand feet are allocated per 10NM distance, not to exceed the aircraft's standard cruise altitude. Further, for all flights longer than 30NM, FAA-based IFT hemispheric rules are applied where South and West bound flights will be given an initial "even" flight levels, and North and East bound flights will be given "odd" flight levels. (This will not override an aircraft's defined cruise altitude.) Again, this is only the initial "direct flight" altitude and can be overloaded by the Captain's discretion in the Administrator.
A new METAR pattern for winds is now accounted for - "2714KT" means winds from 270 @ 14KT, not winds from 271 @ 4.
Once a flight plan has been loaded in the Administrator, the total distance of the route is displayed.
VIPs and GROUPs which have an airport affinity now can be included on flights TO the airport affinity area. For example, a Hollywood Star could be found on a flight to KLAX from nearly anywhere.
Items may now have multiple airport affinity IDs, although they would share the same affinity radius.
The term "ETE" is changing to "Block Time" - to better define its purpose to signify the OUT to IN block time, rather than "Estimated Time Enroute" which could be taken as OFF to ON time.
+ Likewise on the FCDU, the term "ETE" is now "Block" and the term "Time" is now "Est IN".
+ If the FSCaptain pushback service is used, "taxi on ground" penalties will not apply during pushback and for approximately one minute after pushback ceases. This will allow Captains a small grace period to remove their aircraft from soft/unsafe surfaces that pushback may have placed them. (Ensure that enough engines have been started to allow movement before pushback has concluded!!)
+ A bounced landing which carries on too long (at least 3 seconds) will now only cancel any Nice Landing Bonus that could have been earned. No penalty will apply.
Testing Notes on Bugs
Bug #143 - Fuel loader can apply an incorrect amount.
Bug #144 - In isolated areas, weather engine files can be constantly read.
Bug #145 - Min Takeoff and Min Landing Runway values could be confused at times.
Bug #146 - Airports with no parking will cause G5 to be constantly read.
Bug #151 - Hub Generator not including the hub airport in schedule flights.
Bug #153 - Transition Altitude of Destination and Alternate not always considered.
Bug #154 - FO Aircraft Overrides not loading.
Bug #157 - PAX Flight loads do not adhere to "Load Factors".
Bug #158 - Pre-flight parking assignments are sometimes not remembered by the FCDU.
Bug #159 - FO Announcement requests could be made at inappropriate times.
Bug #160 - In-flight Dispatch Release may not use correct waypoint altitudes.
Bug #162 - Reconciliation choice of "Aircraft" does not work.
Bug #163 - FS9 fuel autoload does not load fuel.
Bug #165 - Airline node list does not always affect Schedule or Charter destination.
Bug #166 - FS9 Dates are off by a day.
Bug #172 - ACARS warns of "Invalid configuration" if no load map is found.
Testing Notes on Interface Changes
There is a new built-in interface for the Carenado B1900D.
There is a new built-in interface for the Flysim Cessna 441.
There is a new built-in interface for David Maltby's BAC One Eleven series (200, 400, 475, 500, and 510). (It corrects the faux "flameout" calls and adds some functionality.)
There is a new built-in interface for the FSDS Hawker Siddeley 748 - as detailed in the Airplane Configuration How-To document.
There is a new built-in interface for the Flysim Lear 35.
There is a new built-in interface for the Carenado PC-12.
+ There is a new built-in interface for the Virtualcol SAAB Regional Pack.