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announcement Volanta Development Update #2: ATC, map functionality and more!


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Hi all,

 

We’ve been receiving a tonne of valuable feedback from beta users in our Discord (over 1,000 Discord members so far!). If you haven’t received your invite yet, don’t worry, we’re sending more every day. If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to register for the beta!

 

Here’s a short update on some things we’ve been working on recently:


VATSIM ATC
When flying using an online network like VATSIM, it’s important to know which controllers are online, and if you’re in their airspace.

We’ve integrated VATSIM’s ATC coverage, along with the latest FIR/UIR definitions, to give you a live look at the network.

 

image1.png

 

In addition to seeing airspace displayed on the map, you can also click on an airport with active controllers, to see when they logged on, and their ATIS.

 

image6.png

 

This isn’t the end of our ATC integration. We’re looking at supporting more online networks, and adding some other helpful indicators to help you know when an ATC will likely be online for a particular airport.


2D/3D paths
One of the most common requests throughout the beta process was having the option to display flights and their paths as 2D lines that change colour based on altitude. Because the Earth is flat in Volanta, if you were taxiing at a high elevation airport, your aircraft would appear to be floating over the terrain. You can toggle this quickly from map settings.

 


Challenges
The challenge area of Volanta has been undergoing some significant updates too. A lot of this is behind the scenes work, allowing us to easily create challenges based on real-world procedures. Some of the new challenges include the RNAV-Z RWY 23 at NZQN, as well as the RNAV W RWY 02R into SBRJ. 

 

These challenges are just a sample of what’s to come. More challenges and achievements will be added as development progresses!
 

One of the most popular and rewarding challenges is flying to every country in the sim. We have added the country challenge, allowing you to track your progress on this large quest:
 

image2.png

 

And so much more…
Our development efforts haven’t ended there. We’ve made vast improvements to various areas in Volanta. Some other highlights:

 

  • Previous flight paths: your past flights from the current session are displayed on the map. After you’ve finished all of your flights for the day, it’s nice to see an overview of them all on the map. This can be toggled on/off in the map settings.
     
  • Better tracking: our flight tracking is now more robust than ever before. Time spent in Prepar3D’s menus are no longer counted towards your flight time. In X-Plane, we now automatically detect the aircraft’s registration if it is present in the livery folder name.
    image4.png
     
  • Discord rich presence: with both idle and active states, you can show your current flight in Discord. This is just the beginning of our integration with Discord - there are a lot of possibilities in the future, stay tuned.
    image3.pngimage5.png

  • Performance and stability improvements throughout the whole app.

 

If you have access to Volanta, you can see the rest of the changes (29 of them!) in Settings -> Changelog.

 

What’s next?
We’ve posted a public roadmap with what we’re working on in the near future. We also have some secret features hidden up our sleeves ;) .

 

As a reminder, you can still sign up to our invite-only beta before our release, which might be sooner than you think… ;) 

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This is really shaping up to be a must have tool. I forget and it may have already been mentioned (apologize if so), but will this track a users fleet of aircraft as to last flight flown, hours on frame, etc...?

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I like what I see so far! Thank you.

A comment about the planes listed under Volanta Network, how do I know in which sim I can see these planes or are these never shown anywhere?

In other words, does Volanta inject traffic to the sim like all the other networks do?

 

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Feedback...

 

Please count a landing/takeoff as a start of a new flight, or at least allow it to be split. For those doing hops or pattern work, it turns into quite the mess.

 

This is even worse if you're doing landing challenges, as it logs as one aircraft even though you may have used different aircraft for different landing challenges.

 

As of version .76 the data quality recorded as a result of these issues makes it unusable.

 

Little Nav Map has no problem with these scenarios.

 

Edited by pilotjohn
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13 hours ago, peroni said:

A comment about the planes listed under Volanta Network, how do I know in which sim I can see these planes or are these never shown anywhere?

In other words, does Volanta inject traffic to the sim like all the other networks do?

Volanta doesn't inject traffic into the sim yet. It's designed to be used in conjunction with VATSIM, IVAO, PilotEdge instead of being a network of its own.

 

10 hours ago, AndersonAraujo388718 said:

How about adding IVAO ATC COVERAGE as well?

We'll look into this. IVAO doesn't have easily accessible data available for their FIR/UIR boundaries (although we could pull this from WebEye). We'll get in touch with them.

 

1 hour ago, pilotjohn said:

Please count a landing/takeoff as a start of a new flight, or at least allow it to be split. For those doing hops or pattern work, it turns into quite the mess.

At the moment, flights are automatically ended shortly after you turn the engines off. I believe this would be more common than leaving the engines on when people are doing multiple hops? Either way, we can look into a better way to handle this.

 

1 hour ago, pilotjohn said:

This is even worse if you're doing landing challenges, as it logs as one aircraft even though you may have used different aircraft for different landing challenges.

Are you referring to the landing challenges in Microsoft Flight Simulator? If so, we need to do some more work in that area.

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Very minor thing: I have been invited to participate - and I thank you.

I downloaded the package and went to log in about 6 hours ago. I'm sure I never had a password? I then requested a reset.

It said an email would be sent but I can't find one in all the usual places :-) Keen to test.

Aussie

 

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10 hours ago, Ben McClintock said:

At the moment, flights are automatically ended shortly after you turn the engines off. I believe this would be more common than leaving the engines on when people are doing multiple hops? Either way, we can look into a better way to handle this.

 

Pattern work and airport hops without shutting down are a very common real life practice scenario (I've built more than half of my actual hours that way). How common these scenarios are depends on the pilot type. GA pilots certainly just burn fuel most of the time for practice.

 

10 hours ago, Ben McClintock said:

 

Are you referring to the landing challenges in Microsoft Flight Simulator? If so, we need to do some more work in that area.

 

Yes.

 

I believe there are relatively simply solutions to these:

 

1. Either allow multiple landings per flight entry (including the nearest airports), or

2. Split the entry if there was a ground touch, at the middle of the ground roll.

 

For landing challenges:

 

1. If aircraft changes, definitely start a new flight.

2. If there's a position update that is more than some multiple (say 100x guarding for sim rate) from the previous position based on ground speed, start a new flight (this should cover most if not all repositioning).

 

Maybe my expectation for Volanta are incorrect. Is this a "logging" and "analysis" tool (along with "something to do" in challenges), or is the plan for it to become a flight planner. As a logging tool I'm looking for something cleaner than Little Nav Map (which logs everything correctly), and to keep my route and path as well.

 

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I may end up being the only one with this request and it may not be doable, but I was too stupid to record most of my OnAir flights in STKP or the like. Having crossed the globe so far, it would be great to be able to import those into Volanta as well. Any chance?

I have looked into parsing its flight data to bring it over to Google Earth at least, would a halfway conversion help before importing to Volanta?

 

(Also, amazing work, loving the app, hence wanting to move eeeeverything over to it now!)

Edited by opsin
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On 1/29/2021 at 12:22 PM, opsin said:

I may end up being the only one with this request and it may not be doable, but I was too stupid to record most of my OnAir flights in STKP or the like. Having crossed the globe so far, it would be great to be able to import those into Volanta as well. Any chance?

 

In the public announcement that the first veriosn is now available for everyone, it states that importing flights from projectFLY and STKP is possible now.

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On 1/22/2021 at 3:41 PM, Aussie123 said:

Very minor thing: I have been invited to participate - and I thank you.

I downloaded the package and went to log in about 6 hours ago. I'm sure I never had a password? I then requested a reset.

It said an email would be sent but I can't find one in all the usual places :-) Keen to test.

Aussie

 

Have you checked the email hasn’t gone to spam

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All sorted now Anton,

 

I actually hadn't registered within the program. I had only registered for the beta program. Red faced. :rolleyes:

 

I'm enjoying it. I purposely only fly from where I parked the aircraft the day before. Good fun.

 

Aussie

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Sorry for the daft question - has anyone managed to download this on Linux?

 

I'm running X-Plane 11 on Linux (Fedora 33), the website (and indeed these posts) say Volanta is Windows/MacOS/Linux compatible, which is great news (slight aside, really love Central on Linux, caused me to spend a small fortune on Orbx scenery). However, the download links are pointing towards a Windows executable. Thanks for the help, looking forward to trying out!

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As a member of Volanta and an Early Bird beta user, I received an email, from Orbx Direct, saying offers are available to Volanta members. But it gives no indication how to access the offer. When I click the link in the email, I get directed to Orbx Direct but no discount is offered.

 

Ray

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12 hours ago, glypo said:

Sorry for the daft question - has anyone managed to download this on Linux?

 

I'm running X-Plane 11 on Linux (Fedora 33), the website (and indeed these posts) say Volanta is Windows/MacOS/Linux compatible, which is great news (slight aside, really love Central on Linux, caused me to spend a small fortune on Orbx scenery). However, the download links are pointing towards a Windows executable. Thanks for the help, looking forward to trying out!

 

Sorry to reply to my own message, but I found the answer on Discord. It seems that the Linux download is here:

https://api.volanta.app/api/v1/ClientUpdate/Latest/linux

 

And for reference, the MacOS is here:

https://api.volanta.app/api/v1/ClientUpdate/Latest/macos

 

Looks to be written in the same language/framework as Central, so installation is dead easy. Just make the file executable and double-click on it. My thanks to the Volanta team for supporting Linux :)

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