Author Topic: Fuel Management Project for RTMM  (Read 10977 times)

Doug

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Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« on: December 06, 2014, 08:22:47 AM »
Project Overview and Planning: We have been discussing "Fuel Management" strategies for RTMM. (You can see the beginnings of this discussion HERE. I've asked there that that discussion come here so we can focus on this project.

Many people have asked for means and methods of improving our fuel availability for sections of RTMM. Many people like to fly using "real fuel levels" rather than using the "unlimited fuel" option in the sims. So we are going to explore this area and discuss the best way to do this.  We could just let the RTMM team figure this one out, but we thought it would be fun to open it up to the community for ideas and discussion.

First, lets look at our assets for the project:

1. We have 50 RTMM airports and 19 Tongass Airports where fuel triggers could be placed. That alone is quite a list of potential refueling sites. Look at ICAO HERE.

2. We have the major airports that are already in the scenery (PANT, PAKT, etc)

3. For the remote locations we have the Brad's BBQ objects that we have placed at riverheads to start the boat trips, but these are remotely located and feasible for fuel triggers. Steve is making some new objects in this area that you will love, but basically, they create a "remote" and realistic refueling possibility ... and they can be positioned anywhere.

4. For "airports" we have ADE (Airport Design Editor), refueling stations can be added rather quickly even with refueling start points.

6. For "remote" locations, we have the xml code that Rod Jackson has made for us, we don't need an "airport" to turn on a fuel pump ... so we can use that to place one anywhere (Brad's, etc).

7. Steve has created some signs we can "hang" on the fuel depots indicating if they are "open" (operational) or "closed" (under maintenance, not working, abandoned, etc). So for many of the fuel docks we have ... like on a remote lake, we would hang a "closed" sign on it so people would know it didn't pump fuel.  Those will come in handy as indicators of what we have done, etc.

Placement: What we need to do is decide which of these need fuel triggers, certainly not all of them, but which?

Helicopters: One question I have for helicopters, you land at a pad ... if you are "skid mounted" how do you go over and get the fuel now?  Just wondering how you folks are refueling when you fly with fuel management. This is important as to how we create the solution. For instance the Brad's are out on the water. A floating helipad?  Do we expand the footprint to handle the fuel pump on the Brad's dock and a helipad nearby (that would work).

Simple Proposal: The easiest way to do this is to have folks flying their favorite routes and submitting the need for an active fueling station.  As you find them and report them here, I could keep a list in a thread reply so we could list them as "to do" and "done" ...we would just modifiy the list in the thread to keep it up to date. If we did this over time, we'd eventually have what everyone needs ... doing this over time, not a rush project. You see a need, you report it here, I put it on the "to do" list and in the "done" list when it is completed.  You could even identify the "lake docks" that need the "closed" sign ... we have many, and your help would be appreciated in this area. This would keep it simple. How would one use this for planning ... use the facilities option on a gps?

Complicated: On the ICAO codes, we could indicate which facilities have fuel easily (plenty of room for another column), but this would leave out non-airport locations. We could put a "refueling table" below the startup points table on the Here2There page for all locations for refueling.  This would be very complicated, and if you look at "how would you use it for planning," I don't see how it could be used. I may come down to a big map for our 4 areas (PFJ, SAK, TF and PNW) with grids. We'd letter/number them and each fueling station would have a grid designation. If you flying in the Bella Bella area, you'd look for that grid letter/number and go to the table where the grids would be alphabetically listed. This would be a lot of work and I wonder if that many people would use it considering the workload.

So the thread is open for discussion and ideas ... have at it.

Doug


« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 08:33:12 AM by Doug »

ualani

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014, 09:00:32 AM »
Doug,
My immediate thought is that maybe on the scenery download page you could put a "Fuel Available" tag on any location that has it. Kinda like you have the "FSX DX10 P3D Ready" tag. This way people can refer to the scenery list to see if fuel is available at any given location.
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Doug

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2014, 09:07:14 AM »
Yes, that's an idea ... I could make a little button with a fuel pump on it ... so people would know the trigger was active. Easy to do.

Bradallen43

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 03:16:40 PM »
Doug,

I like this idea too but feel it should only be used at places where it makes sense to have any kind of refueling at. Not sure that small locations should have a refueling spot. Places like Mistys, Hollis, Gilbert Bay, Khutzemateen Bear lodge, then yes, I can see that. So I suggest a refueling spot be created at each of our "PF" airstrips and that makes sense to me. Other locations up north in SAK and Tongass could have some too, like Gilbert Bay in SAK, Navman's retreat in Tongass could use a refueling spot.

Brad
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 03:21:20 PM by Bradallen43 »

Trex3D

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 05:39:27 PM »
Gentlemen,

Trying not to get too technical here but only meant as a general reference for those who are curious about ideal VFR flight fuel reserve guidelines in the U.S. :

FWIW, here's what FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) part 91 sec.  151 says on fuel requirements for flight in VFR conditions as follows:

a) No person may begin a flight in an airplane under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed --

(1) During the day, to fly after that for at least 30 minutes; or

(2) At night, to fly after that for at least 45 minutes.

(b) No person may begin a flight in a rotorcraft under VFR conditions unless (considering wind and forecast weather conditions) there is enough fuel to fly to the first point of intended landing and, assuming normal cruising speed, to fly after that for at least 20 minutes.
 
Enjoy!  ;)

Doug,

In the RW, helo ground refueling can be done either on the helipad using a mobile refueling unit or in the hangar but obviously these options are limitations in flightsim at this point hence I just hover taxi (if flying  a skid chopper such as a Bell 206) to the nearest fuel pump, land at the designated refueling spot and trigger the fill up to 100%. Wheeled choppers like the AW109 or MH-60 Blackhawk are capable of doing ground taxi similar to fixed wing, if preferred.  I usually do "hot refueling" (while the engines are running) in transit during touch & go's  as well as do hover hops in case of floating or raised helipads if a functioning fuel pump is available nearby :)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 06:30:58 PM by Trex3D »


Flying a helicopter - the most fun you can have with your hand between your legs and not go blind.

corbu1

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2014, 07:06:58 PM »
Doug,

I like this idea too but feel it should only be used at places where it makes sense to have any kind of refueling at. Not sure that small locations should have a refueling spot. Places like Mistys, Hollis, Gilbert Bay, Khutzemateen Bear lodge, then yes, I can see that. So I suggest a refueling spot be created at each of our "PF" airstrips and that makes sense to me. Other locations up north in SAK and Tongass could have some too, like Gilbert Bay in SAK, Navman's retreat in Tongass could use a refueling spot.

Brad


First, I'd like to say a big thank you for adding working refueling to RTMM!! That is great.
I also like the idea with the fuel button in scenery list....also that only "bigger" RTMM locations should have working refueling capabilities. Also places open for the public like brad's BBQ's or bigger lodges like Doug's Outfitters could be used as refueling spots. I don't think it would be realistic that smaller locations or very remoted cabins are fitted with working refueling.

Regarding the helicopters:
Ditto to what Trex3D said.
normally I choose the needed fuel in the sim before running the engines from FSX menubar.
But for refueling while on Flight, working refueling spots  are very nice....Then I approach or land on  the location's helipad and hovertaxi to the refueling spot.
I personally wouldn't like a single helipad at a location with a refueling spot attached to the helipad. That would mean every time I land there, my heli would get a full load of fuel...whether I want the fuel or not. This is an limitation in the sim I don't like.
I'd like the refueling spot some distance away fom the helipad, but good accessable via hovertaxi from the helipad to the refueling spot and vice versa. I think having this in mind when optimising refueling spots for fixed wing, they should also work fine for the Helicopters.
...Just my few opinions. I'm curious about other folks thoughts regarding refueling helicopters.
Regards from Munich, Germany



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ualani

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 07:32:16 PM »
Just a comment about my experiences flying in the remote Canadian bush: I've flown out of numerous docks where the pilot pumped fuel out of 55 gallon drum or portable fuel tanks with a hand cranked pump. Some pumps are even powered by a 12 volt battery. Therefore I think being able to refuel at any location is not an unreasonable expectation.

Notice the fuel tank and hand pump in the back of the pickup truck in this link. The lake we flew into on that occasion also had 55 gallon fuel drums at the bush dock.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tkybra07ii7i3pp/Fuel%20at%20the%20dock.jpg?dl=0

Just my 2 cents.

Steve

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ualani

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 07:37:12 PM »
Klaus,
One workaround to the getting fueled if you want it or not is to fly away from the fuel spot that just topped you off, pause the sim and then reset your fuel tanks to whatever you like.

Steve
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Doug

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 08:55:03 PM »
Proposed Project Basics OK, here's the "basics" on how we are going to work on the project. Some of you may not know how a "fuel trigger" works and why the folks here are "hovering" to refuel. The pic below will explain that. When you put in a "fuel trigger" ... you place a "footprint" for it ... so when an aircraft gets within that boundary, the tanks are filled. But there is a THIRD dimension to it. The box also has ALTITUDE, it goes up.  So if you are in a helicopter and hover over the fuel depot, you are "in the trigger box" and you get refueled.  In my pic you only see 2 sides of the box ... there are 4 sides. 

Seeing the Trigger Box: Also, for people who want to know, if you want to see the green trigger boxes, you go to the FSX.cfg or Prepar3d.Cfg file ... and under [SCENERY] you can add this line:

[SCENERY]
ShowTriggers=1 // added by Doug to show the trigger for the fuel pump

Notice the // ... that allows us to make a comment disregarded by the cfg file. This reminds me I put this into the cfg.  Also, when I do NOT want the triggers (green boxes) to show, I put a // ahead of "ShowTriggers". Then the green boxes you see in the picture below disappear. (Don't start wondering how "smart" I am, Rod Jackson taught me all of this last week! :-)

Heli Refueling: So our "heli" refueling will be by hovering over the fuel depot. If we put a trigger on the helipad, you'd get filled up every time you landed, some people will not like that.  So we have one more left over "quirky thing" from FSX, but that's how we'll deal with it. At least now you know why "hovering would work". The way I fly a helicopter, I'd run out of gas just trying to stay in the box!

NDB's for the Airports: Since we are "into" each airport with Airport Design Editor, I'm going to put putting an NDB in for each one as we go through this fuel trigger project.  The frequency will be 10+the PF number. Misty's Place is PF20, so the frequency for it's NDB is 1020.  I'm purposely choosing the larger number because the NDB freqs in North America are between 190 and 560, so we won'd be having conflicts.  Most will have a range of about 27 miles. Misty's has a 50 mile range, so you can "come home" from almost anywhere in the area. There is also a "new" Misty's Place folder on the scenery page that has the new frequency and "MST" call sign in it. Sorry about all the downloads (if you are keeping up), but that's how we keep making things better for you.

Our To-Do List: On this thread, we'll keep a list of the "TO DO" airports and places that people want done. If you don't want to add a reply here or a suggestion, you can email me your suggestion at refuel@jdlinn.com and I'll put it on the list.  There are many places that will not need a fuel trigger, those will still be dealt with, with a "closed" sign and those will also show on the list. So we will start on the PFxx airports.  Of course the one we have "done" now is Misty's Place ... so it will show up on our "done" list first. That list will be posted in another "reply" on this thread.

ICAO Table on the FAQ Page: On the FAQ page, there is a table there with all of our RTMM ICAO codes, under "I". That list is now up to date, I recently re-edited it. We are going to be adding some columns to that table ... one will be for Fuel ..Y/N another will be the NDB frequency if there is one. That is how we will keep track of the refueling stations. If there is one that is not an airport, I'll put them below the airports with ICAO codes so you can see them.

This project is going to take some time to complete. As we do this, I'll be using ADE and IS3 (for signs and adding the NDB objects). Then they have to be checked, then uploaded, then the Scenery Page updated with the "update date."  Then of course updating the ICAO table and our "to do" list on this thread. So each location, can take time ... now multiply that by the number of locations we'll be working on ... yes, it will be an "on-going" project. It will also take YOUR time, if you want this for your computer, you will have to re-download the updated locations and install them. (I'd rather have your job!).

So add/ask questions as we go, I'll get the "TO DO" project "reply thread section" going soon and start working on the ICAO table on the FAQ page so it is "ready" for the input. (Don't forget, you can click on the picture to make it bigger to see things better).


« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 09:14:55 PM by Doug »

jsapair

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 09:56:05 PM »
RE: Ualani's comment about refueling from 55 gal drums. I've been to places in the Sim world, mostly the Viet Nam War Project I think, but anyway, yeah, you pull up to a stack of fuel drums and it triggers a refuel. Same with parked fuel trucks. Lots of RTMM sites already have drums and/or fuel trucks, right? Wouldn't it just be a matter of setting a trigger on those already existing items?  I'm jazzed about this project. Fuel is cool.
                                        JJ
Jsapair

Doug

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2014, 10:08:08 PM »
I see no problem doing this down the line. Also with the new signs Steve has made, placing those near the drums would be the signal the refuel trigger is on. It is our world...no EPA to study the local beetle population first for environmental impact statements.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 10:12:01 PM by Doug »

spud

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2014, 11:16:12 PM »
Of course fuel can be put into a drum and if roads permit trucked to any location but this is strictly a temporary refueling solution and can't be depended on all the time as a rule.
 8)
Later,

Spud

Doug

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 09:45:23 AM »
The New Airports of RTMM Table is being developed on the FAQ page. When we "finish" an airport, we will post it in that table. That will be your signal that the updated airport is ready for download. To make it easier, the AIRPORT NAME will be a link to the new zip file. When this table is finished, we will remove the ICAO table on down the FAQ page and this new table will be our primary information source for RTMM airports. On the bottom of this new table, I will keep the project list for what I'm working on next.

Watch for Question Marks ... I wait on work until the question is answered.
 
When we finish an airport on the bottom list, I'll delete it there and I'll add the new entry to the top once it passes "QC." For now, we will use the Misc Information to show what was added, we can use that for other things in the future.  (link)

Fueling Facilities: Not every airport will have a fueling facility. We are going to be "judicious" about entering them. For instance, Herring Bay Cannery, even though close to Misty's Place and PAKT, will have a fueling facility.  But the "pumps" at Lucky Lindy's will have an "out of order" sign on them. The Fuel Y/N box on the new table will be green for fueling, red for no fuel available.

Non-Airport Fueling: We will, on occasion have fuel "available" at a non-airport facility that may be remote. This will only be done occasionally. As we wander through this project, when we find a location or a reason where it would be fun to do, we will do it, let us know and we'll add it to the project list.

Fueling Docks: We will be going through the scenery looking for the fueling docks we have put in (The object used is a long docks with a fueling facility on the end) ... and there are many of them. Most of these will not have fuel available, but when we are done all will have an "out of order" sign to note that to a pilot visiting the site. For now, when you see one, let me know on the thread. I'll add it to the "fueling docks list"  Later, we'll go on a witch hunt for these ... you find it, we'll "sign" it. (NOTAM: That particular object has a problem at the "end" of the pier where you can run into and invisible barrier there. So a red blinking buoy is needed on each also ... this for later).

NDBs We will not be putting an NDB on every airport. We are going to select them by "area".  For instance, Misty's Place will be for that general area, but we won't need one at Herring Bay Cannery or Lucky Lindy's because it is "near" Misty's Place. So these will be scattered, as evenly as we can, across the area. The ID will be a three letter code (per usual) but the frequency will be 10+the PFxx Number. Misty's Place is PF20, the frequency for MST will be 1020.

Signs by Steve We have two new sets of signs that will be coming to you with the coming library update. There is a set of what we call "open" signs and "closed" signs. An example of a closed sign would say "out of order", etc. For the OPEN signs, it will indicate to a pilot that the "fuel trigger" is on and you can pump fuel.  Eventually, all fuel depots in RTMM locations will have a sign. Later, if a fuel pump is encountered in an RTMM location that doesn't have a sign, it should be noted and put on our list for repair. This way, when you "pull up" to the pump, you'll know whether or not it works.

Update: Spud and I have checked our QC process using Lucky Lindy's. It is now on the new table on the FAQ page.  So now we can begin coming through the airports. Again, when you see an airport listed on the top of the new table, the airport name is a link to the NEW file. In the case of Lucky Lindy's, we only added a pump, and a "closed" sign. (link)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 02:27:44 PM by Doug »

Trex3D

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2014, 03:29:28 AM »
On non-airport fueling, just had a recent TS chat with another RTMM scenery fan from Hovercontrol who flew his whirlybird to give good 'ol VietNam vet pilot Buck a visit at his Tincup Lake Landing retreat which happens to be also one of my favorite remote stopovers because of Buck's "heavily discounted" Avgas he offers to visiting pilots and for fun, challenging practice landings.

But there's a catch: Helo pilots must do a "precision touchdown" on the landable platform atop his fuel truck. It can be tricky but certainly doable. Besides, Buck would love watching if gutsy helo pilots can do this risky "pinnacle landing maneuver" which he does with confidence almost daily with his parked MD500.. :o  Otherwise, there's a raised wooden helipad nearby and the pilot can just trot back and forth to the fuel truck if he has all day to do it.. 2 votes to make this fuel truck available for Avgas  ;D
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 03:42:27 AM by Trex3D »


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Doug

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Re: Fuel Management Project for RTMM
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2014, 11:10:00 AM »
Trex ... watch the "Airports of RTMM" Fuel Management Table on the FAQ page.