November 30, 2005

Airspace Files

Worked out some glitches on getting the airspace files stored in the right directory / file for Flightgear to display the circular cores of B, C, and D class airspace. I'm only using an 8 sided cylinder for the circles at this point. Next, I'll work on routines to get the circular arcs and line segments in that make up the gerrymandering of the overal. airspace system.

The first shot is coming from Burlington, VT towards Lebanon, NH. Lebanon is 50 nautical miles off, and the blue band on the horizon is Lebanon's Class D airspace circle of 4.8 miles radius. The second shot is from the Manchester NH airport area toward Boston with Boston's inner and outer circular core of Class B airspace depicted. This is the classic upside down wedding cake airspace structure with a central core to the ground surrounded by an other shelf. There is a lot more complexity to the airspace system to put in, but this is a pretty interesting start. Generation of the airspace files is automated using the Defense Mapping Agency's DAFIFT data files to put together the airspace system into a flightgear compatable format. What a hoot!

As a low-time pilot, I always have a heck of a time pinpointing runways from far off and it sure will be nice to spot some by there airspace. Next, I want to see if I can modify the companion Atlas moving map software to display the airspace perimeter outlines, ala the way Klog does.