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Old 03-05-2019, 07:19 PM   #1
Default Anyone making flat runways yet?

I know there was a thread dedicated to this subject some years ago; but since we're not supposed to "necropost"; I'm creating this thread to try for a follow up.

So far the only runways that are flat (with the high res terrain) are at KSC and a couple in the Antelope Valley scenery... though intersecting runways at the same air/space ports are looking like mini roller coasters.

On a side note; I recently discovered Antelope Valley when I realized that the European mirror has more current and had more planets with high resolution textures than the USA "mirrors".

I love the scenic terrain there though. I also like Ascension Island scenery for Orbiter 2016 that someone put together; but the runway is also a little bumpy making a take-off in a fully loaded XR-5 seem a little traumatic as wheels disappear into the rolling mesh, and makes my takeoffs less photogenic when trying to put a little video together.

I realize that perhaps most people probably prefer vertical launches or living their orbiter lives in orbit around Jupiter... but... I love the idea of using the atmosphere to some advantage with lifting wings and air breathing scram jets.

I'm new to Orbiter (been obsessed for the last three weeks since I discovered it; and my wife now believes she's a widow); and am wanting to put together a little video showing a fully loaded XR-5 launch with Isp setting of 1; refueling with the FSS Alpha (great looking space station) in the ecliptic plane at 250km; refueling with the ESS (also cool looking) in a 10km Lunar high inclination orbit, offloading at Brighton Beach, then visiting three Apollo sites on the moon with meshes I stole from Project Apollo - NASSP.

Anyway, I can barely make it to FSS from Ascension Island; and doubt I ever could from KSC (much less Antelope Valley)--that's even with nailing my scram jet engines reaching temp limits just at their last sip of fuel at Mach 20+ and 60km.

Granted I'm sure there's people reading this who could achieve all this quite easily from the north pole, with a better skills and ascent and interception strategy; but I'm obviously not there yet. However, I just thought I'd check to see if someone might have some flattened runways in the tropics they wouldn't mind sharing as I can't find anything in the Orbit Hangar.

Granted, I realize that an ecliptic orbit for a refuel station isn't necessarily ideal for flying to the moon; but not sure if there is an ideal orbit that would stay in plane with the moon for a reasonable time? Plus I figure for interplanetary flights a refueling station would most likely be found in the ecliptic.

Speaking of which: There seems to be a LOT of cool addons for 2010... but hardly anything (in comparison) for 2016. Did everyone just give up making addons for the latest and greatest? Granted 2010 had 6 years of add-ons and we're almost in year 3... but... anyway... I'm rambling...
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:16 PM   #2
Addon Developer


Hi there,
I just would like to give a couple of points on the general view since I read that you are new to orbiter while I'm here from a while.

With Orbiter2016 relevant to addon development I would say that there has been 2 major changes in comparison with 2010:
- Terrain is not flat and is still quite difficult to make changes (or reversible changes) to it. Tools are in development, I saw also a post from Dr Martin about this. But still, in orbiter2010 making a base was relatively easy, now it's quite difficult. Also due to this change, all the old bases are not compatible (yet hopefully) with the new system.
- The vessels have a different way of defining "touchdown points" which are the contact points of the vessels from the ground. This new definition has more parameters and is really sensitive to small changes in values. This means that it is more difficult to create a new module and that most of the old modules are not compatible anymore with the new version. Besides this there are anyway a lot of addons that actually work in 2016 even if they are marked 2010, so it's something to test!

Finally be aware that Dr Martin after the release of Orbiter2016 has released also a BETA version with a series of improvements and is probably on the route to release a patch which will "stabilize" the official version for a while, which will lead to addon developers to be willing to update their modules.

Finally, I don't want to advertise anything, but since you mentioned that there are too few addons for 2016, I'm building a new general module which is called VesselBuilder which will hopefully open up the doors for a new wave of addon developers to start to produce again. Let's see.

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Old 03-05-2019, 08:39 PM   #3
Marijn's Avatar

To have some more options for take-off's and landings, I recently tried to make a base config file for Amsterdam airport Schiphol, a very flat place. I did spend quite some time on it, creating textures for the runway numbers and such. But the runways turned out to be too bumpy.

After reading your post, I downloaded MatLib and gave the included tileedit utility a try to smoothen the terrain. But so far, it's just throwing errors.
Index exceeds matrix dimensions.

Error in tileedit>loadsurf (line 248)

Error in tileedit>refresh_fromgui (line 633)

Error in tileedit>OpenMenuItem_Callback (line 116)

Error in gui_mainfcn (line 95)

Error in tileedit (line 42)

Error in @(hObject,eventdata)tileedit('OpenMenuItem_Callback',hObject,eventdata,guidata(hObject))

Error while evaluating Menu Callback
No idea what to do with this.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:05 AM   #4
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Post Re: Anyone making flat runways yet?

I shall make Heathrow Airport if I want.

Last edited by soumya-8974; 03-07-2019 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by fred18 View Post
  I'm building a new general module which is called VesselBuilder which will hopefully open up the doors for a new wave of addon developers to start to produce again. Let's see.
Just to add that Orbiter 2016 is more complex, so we now need more specialized tools to create generic addons.
But even so, the level is higher, so it will take more time. And more time means less (but better) add-ons.

2016's fewer addons are well worth it, because they offer much more.
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