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Baggage Loaders for AI Aircraft

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tdumontelle View Drop Down
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    Posted: 28 May 2013 at 2:41am
I've noticed that a lot of times the baggage trucks don't drive up to the AI aircraft.  When iI see them work it is shortly before departure or arrival at the gate.  I have advanced animations checked, as well as my slider for airport vehicles set to high.  Just curious if there is some other setting that needs to be set.  They do load my own aircraft just fine.

I think I read that they only work at international airports and only on larger aircraft.  I noticed it at KORD and KMDW (Chicago Ohare and Midway) running my Commercial Aviation slider at 50%.  Will they stop working if the CPU or GPU is overloaded?  Weird that sometimes they work and other times they don't.  Sometimes I have to tap slew on and off to load my own planes.

Kind of a minor thing, but I love the AI traffic so much (great program).  I find myself just watching the airports some times instead of flying. 
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freddy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote freddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2013 at 4:50am
Advanced Animations must be checked. And I think there's something to do with where you have your AIRPORT VEHICLES slider set as well (it must be up past a certain setting). Finally, as far as I am aware, an overloaded CPU or GPU won't matter (but I could be wrong on that point).

From there, for baggage trucks and fuel trucks to work with a plane, certain conditions must be met. I can't remember the exact specifics, but here's what I vaguely remember ...


1) The aircraft must be parked in the correct location over the parking spot. From memory, this has something to do with how far back or how far forward the CENTRE of the aircraft is in relation to the parking spot (by "centre" we are talking about the length, from the nose to the tail, of the plane's fuselage). However, just to complicate things, the CENTRE of the aircraft is not necessarily a MEASUREMENT that is half way down the length of the fuselage ... I think it is based on the aircraft's CENTRE OF GRAVITY LOCATION ... and that can be different for each different type of plane.

OK. Think of the parking spot as an "X" on the tarmac. If the "centre" of the aircraft is too far back from the "X", or, if the centre of the aircraft is too far forward from the "X", then baggage trucks won't work with it. To demonstrate this, try parking your own plane, on purpose, too far back from the parking spot and then open the cargo doors ... the baggage truck won't come to you. Move forward a little, and the baggage car now comes to you. Next time, try parking your plane, on purpose, too far forward. Again, the baggage car won't come to you. Back up a little, and the baggage car comes. Do this with different aircraft and you quickly notice that what works for one plane, does not necessarily work with other planes (each plane has a different "centre"). AND, by doing this, you also learn that different parking spots work differently too (because different parking spots have different SIZES which means that what works for one parking spot, with what you think is the "centre" of your plane, may not work for other parking spots with that same estimated visual "centre" of your plane).

With AI planes, you might know that baggage cars definitely work with your AI 737s. You've seen them working with these 737s. However, when the AI 737s park, they may not always park in the "correct location" over different parking spots for the sim to be happy for the baggage cars to work. So, at one airport, you will see some AI 737s on some parking spots with baggage cars working, but other 737s on different parking spots with baggage cars NOT working. This is purely due to where on the parking spot the AI 737 is parked ... where is the so called "centre" of the plane located over the parking spot? It is also due to the different sizes of the parking spots that the 737s are parked on. So even though an AI 737 may visibly look to you like it is parked exactly right on a parking spot, and what you might think looks "centred" on that spot, the baggage cars may still not come to it. But for other AI 737s at the airport, the baggage cars are working fine.

2) The planes must have "EXIT" settings/parameters set for them inside the aircraft.cfg file. These "exit" settings/parameters tell the simulator where the doors are (the passenger doors for jetways, and the cargo doors for baggage cars). If these settings do not exist in the plane's aircraft.cfg file, then the baggage cars (and jetways) will not work for that plane. The default USER planes in FSX will have these settings. But NOT ALL AI PLANES have them. With a bit of Google work, you can find out how to add/edit these settings in the aircraft.cfg files. So you can add the settings for, say, an AI plane that does not have the settings already ... or, for a plane that does have the settings, you can edit the settings if they need adjusting slightly to get the locations correct. (Note that editing the aircraft.cfg settings will not change the location of the door animations, just the location of where the jetway comes to the plane, and where the baggage car comes to the plane.)


I hope I haven't "over-complicated" this too much. Basically, whether baggage cars work (or not) with planes depends on WHERE on a parking spot that plane parks (where the "centre" of the plane is located in relation to that parking spot); not forgetting that parking spots can be different sizes. And, also, whether the plane in question has "exit" settings/paramaters set for it in its aircraft.cfg file.

And, finally, yes there is apparently a "trick" that you can use with the SLEW function, tapping it on and off as you say, to get "stubborn" baggage cars to work with AI planes. I think it has something to do with using the SDK AI Aircraft Viewer, and SLEWing the AI plane in some way. But I don't know much about that trick. I just remember I read about that somewhere once.

(As a side-note, it is probably worth pointing out that the airport design [AFCAD file] can, in some cases, play a part here as well. If the parking spots at an airport are placed too close to the buildings, then it is likely that a plane will not be able to park with its "centre" correctly over the spot. Smaller planes might work with baggage cars on such spots, but larger planes may not. In these cases, the airport file [AFCAD] can be edited to correct this circumstance.)
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