This idea has been on my todo list for a while; I’m hoping to be able to squeeze it into X-Plane 10.40.*
Right now, you can place static aircraft in an X-Plane scenery pack using the library; if the aircraft come from our library, they can go into the gateway. If you use third party scenery packs for custom scenery, you can get even more aircraft types.
But this is not an ideal solution.
- If you don’t place static aircraft, airports with AI planes disabled look empty.
- If you do place static aircraft, they can conflict with real pilots on Pilot’s Edge, VATSIM, or any other online network.
- If you use the AI, X-Plane will park AI planes at the ramp starts, so you must not put ramp starts where the static planes are.
This is a clearly inflexible and non-ideal solution.
Here’s my idea for a fix: X-Plane places static aircraft at real apt.dat ramp starts dynamically based on library paths and apt.dat information.
- AI planes and static planes do not conflict.
- An airport can be “emptied out” for online flight.
- The level of static aircraft can be turned up and down based on hardware capabilities.
- We can vary the static aircraft over time and take advantage of ramp types in the apt.dat file.
My thought is to do this sooner (e.g. 10.40) so we can all be working on gateway airports that place static aircraft the new “right way” for future expansion. The longer we place static aircraft as OBJs, the more cleanup we will have to do.
* We have two release sizes: big and small. 1040 is the next ‘big’ release where crazy stuff can go and this feature is just barely complex enough that it needs a big release. Also, 1035 is already in beta so it missed that boat.