WED 1.2 is in beta now — thanks to the users who have taken the time to submit WED bugs (which go here, btw).  Tyler is working on an update to the manual, and I’ll try to find some time to squash bugs.

But how do you share an airport with terminals with the rest of the X-Plane community?  At the X-Plane developer’s conference, we reiterated that we want to extend our crowd-sourced airport data collection to include terminal buildings and ATC routes, as well as the pavement layouts that Robin already curates for us.

To be clear: you do not have to share your WED creation to use WED!  WED can be used for custom scenery and your own private creations; submitting your work for sharing with the community is optional!

Here is our thinking on submitting airports:

  • Submitted airports will in the future contain three types of data: taxiway layouts (in an apt.dat), ATC taxi route data (also in the apt.dat) and library airport building placements.
  • We will not accept custom art assets!  The public database of airports is meant to be location data only!  Custom scenery is great, but the purpose of the public database is to populate the world, not to crowd-source the art-creation process.
  • WED will have a “package for submission” export option that properly bundles everything into a single file in a format useful for Robin.
  • The package for submission option will do some basic validation, to catch problems like custom objects in the library, or possibly erroneous data.

You will also still be able to say “Build Scenery Pack” to create a custom scenery pack for your own use – WED 1.2 is meant to support both the crowd-sourcing and custom scenery work-flows.

The “package for submission” work is still in progress; Robin and I will test this out privately while WED is in beta so that test submissions don’t flood the data collection process.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.

15 comments on “How Will Your Airports Get Into X-Plane?

  1. That sounds like a good plan, but what about the atc.dat file? The runway elements in the flow definition has got frequencies that are supposed to tie in with controller definitions in atc.dat. Or are you planning for a big global atc.dat to take care of that?

    1. ATC file: unclear. For default ATC setups the apt.dat frequencies are adequate. We do not yet have an airspace sharing plan.

  2. Today there are lots of airports that when follow terrain options is set have to many non-realistic bumps and curves. Will there be an option for flattening i.e the apron and other places where buildings, terminal and other objects are to be implemented..

    If there is allredy such an option, please disregard my question and keep up the good work, love the idea of sharing airports or submitting these for evaluation and redistribution, purhaps we see lots more airports with terminal buildings and not just runway and taxiways that are common today.

    1. This does not yet exist in X-Plane; I wrote an experimental flattening polygon primitive for DSFs but it produces unreliable and weird results.

      1. Can you make the follow terrain option airport specific, rather than global?

  3. Will that process result in updated terrain tiles that are flattened inside the boundary polygon to a degree that allows viable taxiways and apron?

      1. The big question is, will you (at some point) be doing that, considering the potentially large number of tiles that’d have to be distributed?

  4. How does it knows the size/shape/placement of terminal buildings if it doesn’t accept custom objects? Every terminal building is different.

    1. You can use facades, which take the size/shape of what you draw to create irregular polygons. OBJs just have to be placed. The goal is not a perfect replica, just a pretty good one using the existing library. We’re not trying to replace custom scenery!

      1. Hi Ben, I realize that. However, Not everything displays in the pane. Also, it is: click, load, look, click, load, look…

        The things that don’t preview have to be installed, XP launched, and looked at. Most often it is then: Nope, not that one, next. Over, and Over. It is so tedious I’ve gone back to creating .obj files.

        Those of you who created the assets remember what each item is as well as understand the sometimes cryptic names involved.

      2. Preview for facades and forest will be great, too! Sometimes you just “try” and see what it looks like (or I’m doing bad, which could also be). Thanks for the good job!!

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