Post by Travis on Feb 29, 2016 13:28:49 GMT -5
FSCaptain 1.7.2 Release Candidate 3 is available for download.
There has been a change to the Save/Restore file format, making 1.7.2 RC2 & RC3 incompatible with earlier Save/Restore files - even though RC3 will load 1.7.2 Beta and RC1 files. Please finish all outstanding flights before updating your software!!
As for other notes...
- Captains are asked to set this option - BACKUPAFTER=2 - in their options.cfg file. Doing this will ensure that two backups of your company log will occur for each flight - one backup using the pre-flight state as well as one backup using the post-flight state. This will enable us to study your company log in detail should the need arise.
- Some minor intra-release bugs relating to altitude references in the flight plan as well as unintended stuttering, and unexpected Internet weather fetches have been addressed.
- Finally (!) the February 2016 version of MakeRwys.exe is included and should be installed to your Flight Sim root folder as long as your current MakeRwys.exe is of an older version. This is a necessary change, as future versions of FSCaptain will use the newly acquired data for a much improved Runways Report. (Thanks as always to Pete Dowson for his diligence, enthusiasm and patience in dealing with multiple requests! )
Other bugs, additions and changes follow after the download links. But for now, here are the locations of the Full Installation (for new Captains as well as Captains who prefer to "install new") and of the Fixpack (for current Captains who wish to update their current systems).
Captains who are using the Fixpack to update their current installations are always highly encouraged to make a full backup of your FSCaptain folder before installing any new version.
Download a safe environment and a README from www.fscaptain.net/downloads/My_Safe_Backup.zip
There has been a change to the Save/Restore file format, making 1.7.2 RC2 and newer builds incompatible with earlier Save/Restore files - even though it will load 1.7.2 Beta and RC1 files. Please finish all outstanding flights before updating your software!!
As a reminder, FSCaptain now uses the Visual C++ 2013 RTL libraries which earlier testing has shown that not all Captains have. To check, you should run the Administrator and see if it crashes. If it does, you most likely need the Microsoft VC++ 2013 libraries (the x86 version we believe) which you can download from here: www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40784 - once there, just click Download and then select the x86 version. (And if that doesn't allow you to run FSCaptain, go back and download the x64 version from the same page.)
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.")
A new configuration file - ignored_airports.cfg - is available for each Captain to add "troublesome local airports" which hinder normal operations. (See the User Guide for details.)
New options - POSITIVE_CROSSWIND and POSITIVE_HEADWIND - will allow you to format "Headwind/Tailwind" and "Crosswind" data on the Dispatch Release.
If you are due to have a failure in the first half of your flight (or if you are destined to have an engine failure or fire), you can "enhance" the chance of the failure occurring on the takeoff roll by setting TAKEOFF_FAILURE_ENHANCEMENT to a high percentage (max of 100). The default value for this is 0. (So there's no change if you don't desire one.)
If you do not wish to have any failures (aside from flight control failures) in the first half of your flights, set TAKEOFF_FAILURE_ENHANCEMENT to -1.
The maximum pay amount per hour per level has been increased to 400, and that cap can be increased to 1000.
Executing a "manual load" can now allow use of the Acme Fuel Loading service with the new option MANUAL_LOAD_USES_ACME_FUEL.
USE_TAT_FOR_HAZARDS_ALOFT will substitute the simulator's Total Air Temperature value instead of its Ambient Temperature for all in-air hazard pack items.
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, Winds, and whether or not the runway is CL (Closed for Landing) or CT (Closed for Takeoff).
It is now possible to change (or add) a PLN file in the FCDU before a flight starts. On the Revise Flight screen (screen 53), the PLN filename will be present and can be changed. You are limited to PLN names of 32 characters or less, and the ".PLN" extension is not needed. The file must be in the folder where your usual PLN files are, and it must be a valid PLN for your Departure and Destination airports.
Aircraft have a new value - Preload Minimum Fuel Percentage. This allows you to specify a minimum amount of fuel in your aircraft's tank for your first flight of a session. Barring very peculiar procedures, airlines will rarely leave their aircraft's tanks near empty, nor will they leave them parked fully fueled. The range you can select from is between 7.5% and 45.0%, and the default (for aircraft that have not had this value defined) is 10.0%.
Actions which would pause the autoload process are now displayed on the FCDU just as they have been on the pre-loading screen.
"Bright" versions of the FCDU for FS9/FSX/P3D are included as new gauges - FCDU9B is the one for FS9, and for FSX/P3D FCDUB.gau is the grey version and FCDU2B.gau is the bronze version. Please note to change both the !ACARS and the !FCDU references in your panel.cfg files.
A new class of passenger ("Comfort Economy") now can have load stations defined. The code for this class is "W". Both airline & competition pricing tables have been revised to accommodate W class ticket pricing. See the "Sample" Economic files for details.
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" has changed 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.
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 cancel any Nice Landing Bonus that could have been earned.
Go-arounds can now be called by the FO without having a FA (or PAX) onboard. Also multiple go-arounds can occur on a single approach.
If a declarable emergency occurs at less than 1000ft AGL (on approach for example), you will not be penalized for not declaring such. (This is a retroactive penalty removal, so your score may be elevated!)
Captains earn new awards at 50 Hours Flown, 1500 Hours Flown, 2000 Hours Flown, and 3000 Hours Flown.
Captains who choose to fly large numbers of ferry flights now earn special awards based on the percent of ferry flights versus total flights.
Captains with a high point level who make ferry on occasion will see an increase in points earned - the base point level for a ferry flight is now the minimum of the base points per level -or- the Captain's current average point level.
The option BACKUPAFTER now has three values. 0 = Backup company log before updating the log. (Default) 1 = Backup company log after updating. 2 = Backup company log before and after updating.
Captains who use FSGRW weather will notice that flights with a cruise level below FL260 will see "altitude bands" favoring lower altitudes. Flights above that level will see a wider distribution of "altitude bands."
Work is underway to allow VA exporting of flight to use https / Port 443. To enable this for your VA, open your \Config\VADefault.cfg file and add/edit this line: PORT=443
Changes to the sequencing of Ground De-icing stages (including audios) have been made. Furthermore, Hold Releases cannot be requested for the presence of ground ice.
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.
Bug #181 - Multiple presses of PLN and EMER keys would disable RETURN choice.
Bug #183 - Landing alert for FAs can be given just after takeoff.
Bug #185 - Passenger Satisfaction value was tied to all flights.
Bug #188 - Alternate airports on subsequent legs may inherit the initial leg's alternate airport.
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.
There is a new built-in interface for the Carenado Cessna F406.