Stephen Posted January 14, 2020 Report Share Posted January 14, 2020 Plugin Review : Traffic Global by JustFlight I have flown before X-Plane had any Traffic and ever since it has made it's way into the X-Plane Simulator, and personally it is one of the really big important plugin's you can add for your X-Plane experience. Having empty airports just does not seem realistic, and sitting in line waiting for your takeoff slot is a high moment in your flying realism factor... so yes I am a huge fan of Traffic action. There are currently a few tools to create Traffic in X-Plane. First is the worse with the X-Plane built-in A.I. system which is limited to 21 aircraft and if you use real addons it is also a major drawdown of your computer's processing power, so mostly you avoid it at all costs. Second is the JARDesign X-Life, which builds up and upon on the basic A.I. system and makes it actually usable, but it is still limited to same 21 aircraft limitation, but X-Life does have many clever features and many fans. The big Traffic solution is World Traffic 3 by Classic Jet Simulations, that is the current dominant plugin for your Traffic needs. I will state that personally I am a big fan of WorldTraffic3 and it's system, and any review comments are in that context, however WorldTraffic3 is highly complex, requires a lot of maintenance and can be quite buggy at times. So here is a new entrant into the Traffic realm from JustFlight which an English based company in the form of Traffic Global. Installation The install of Traffic Global is painless. You download a Windows .exe (currently the application is Windows only, but a MAC and LINUX version is promised later in the year) of 1.36gb. Activating the Installer will ask you first to verify the legal requirements, then start the install process... ... if the installer can't find an install address it will ask you for one. Note: I am installing Traffic Global on a completely clean X-Plane11 install (ready for Vulkan) so the X-Plane install is empty of my usual addons and features (except Custom Scenery) and this keeps the WorldTraffic3 Install completely separate on the other X-Plane version). When they install the address is verified and then the installer will process and install the application. When the install is complete, the installer will show you your current install version and any changelog, then complete the install. As an installation process it was excellent... The installer places one folder in the X-Plane/Resources/Plugins folder (208mb) and one in the Aircraft Folder and note the full install size in the aircraft folder is a whopping 9.26gb Any updates requires you to download the complete application again and run the installer through the same process, when done you get an update of again the current version and changelog. I will note that any changes you do (on say adding or changing aircraft files will be lost, so you will need to backup these items) Traffic Global in X-Plane On starting X-Plane you get a "Thank You" note from JustFlight, then you have to register the license to use the application... the license is on the Plugins/Traffic Global/Settings panel and requires your email address and Key number... and that is basically it for the install. You can setup your keyboard settings on how you would like to access Traffic Global via the X-Plane/Keyboard menu, I set mine differently than WT3 of which I used mostly the FKeys, the selection is of course your choice but the default settings also use the FKeys. Traffic Global Menu There are Seven main Menu items: Settings, Radar, Flight Schedule, Flight Path View, Dump Airport List, Show Missing Airports and Show Missing Liveries... two separate items include Help and Create Minidump Settings This menu panel is your main settings panel. Top is the current data of what is running in the application, in: Models, Routes, Active Aircraft and Airports... another area notes what actual airports you can use. The "Traffic Density" slider allow you to adjust the amount of aircraft and schedules you want to run in Traffic Global, obviously you will push the slider for the full density, but I found it produced almost no traffic (a bug?) so the best position was to set the slider just slightly below, the slider could also be a bit temperamental in giving you your full density or not? Dynamic Density: This will see the level of AI traffic that will be continually monitored and, if necessary, reduced if your PC’s processor is not able to maintain all the active traffic.Personally I turned it off, because it constantly changes the schedules and so made the aircraft appear and disappear on the fly. Synthetic GA: General Aviation aircraft don't run to schedules, so won't show up in routing, so this option creates fake GA routes to fill in the skies around you, as I don't see many GA aircraft or in the simulation and it isn't noted in the user manual either, I will note this as a new and coming feature. Sound: if you want the Traffic Global aircraft sounds or not, and the adjustment "Internal Volume" of that sound... Effects: the same as sound but visual effects like aircraft smoke from the engines or tyres on touchdown. View Mouse Speed: You use your mouse for a lot of the viewing and movement (a scroll function is required) in Traffic Global, so you can adjust your mouse speeds to your preferences without disturbing the main computer default settings. Label Size: You get an on screen aircraft data label for information on: Airline, Registration/Aircraft Type, Gate No. and Distance... In the air the Gate No. is replaced by FL (Flight Level) and Speed (Knts). So in the settings menu you can adjust the size of the data on your screen (press "Insert" to hide) and also via insert toggle the data label can be shown as: "All Aircraft’, ‘Only flying aircraft’ and ‘No overlay’. UDP Port Number and UDP Multicast: If you are driving external PCs across a network, you can override the UDP port used for communications, and if you send network data individually to each external display, you can also select to use Multicast instead, which sends only one copy of the data to all the displays. To note that Traffic Global does support networking across multiple computers and information is available to do so. Uses the internal Use TCAS but it is limited to 21 aircraft Collide with User: You can allow the A.I. aircraft to collide with you, but if you do it will crash your aircraft and a restart is required, and the A.I. can be set not to steal an airlines slot, if not the plugin will insert another airline in that position. Same with substitutes, if no aircraft file is available Traffic Global will substitute another one, but that aircraft could be a blank. Map Intergration: first a note that current updates note issues with this feature with Laminar Research's known bugs, but the visual tool of displaying the active aircraft and their callsigns on the X-Plane local map is a brilliant feature... Preferred View: in the Radar, Flight Routes and Departure Board displays, you can click on an aircraft and have the simulator switch to a view that shows that aircraft. This control allows you to choose which view is used by default... the settings are "Centre on AI" or "Follow as AI". Radar The Radar display (default hotkey Ctrl+F9) shows a typical radar scope window, and it is centred on the pilot’s current location. The Radar screen shows all of the nearby active AI aircraft. You can choose whether or not to display aircraft on the ground. This is a very versatile Radar screen unlike the fixed version in WT3. You can have the screen normal size (larger) or scale it down to just the radar scope... .... you can select any aircraft on the scope for details and show the actual aircraft selected, and it's data is available in the side box. Other data noted includes how many aircraft are being tracked and shown. There are three options in the top box: Show Parked A/C (Aircraft), Sticky Hover and Info on Hover. There is also a wide scale of distance on the scope from 150nm to 0nm. At the lowest 0nm distance (Show Parked Aircraft toggle must be on) to see the aircraft that are parked at the gates, and this really shows the depth of scale you can have. If you do have the "Show Parked Aircraft" toggle on then it not only shows the aircraft at your airport, but all the other airports in the selected radius, the problem with that you will get a lot of aircraft sitting on the ground mesh with no actual airport scenery? so use this selection only if you want to focus on your own airport. Sticky hover will hold on the screen the aircraft data, move over the scope and it only flashes on with the mouse hover. Info on "Hover off" will show every aircraft's data on the scope's screen (above). Schedule This pop-up panel show you all your current airline schedules. It gives you your local time and UTC (GMT) times, Day, Airport and active Flights Selections include: All Aircraft, Departures, Arrivals and currently Active flights (can be also be used with the tickbox ALL, DEP and ARR selections). The Schedule panel shows you your ↗︎ Departures and ↙︎ Arrivals and the aircraft symbol denotes an aircraft is sitting at a gate. And the Gate No. is also shown along with the Aircraft Type, Registration and Airline. The window is scalable and you can cycle between nearby airports using the [ and ] hotkeys. Flight Path View This is a visual tool that was used in development of Traffic Global, but has been left in the application for your use, and what a great tool it is. The panel will show you the current airport layout and the position of any active aircraft available and you can also select any aircraft to follow. The panel is scalable to cover the departure and arrival areas and see (choose) any other airports nearby... On a departure (and arrival) the panel will show any departure routes for the selected aircraft, and positioned at the bottom of the panel is the aircraft's altitude profile... ... this altitude profile will change to the full profile of the flight, the only note to make on the full profile is that the altitude number is hidden left until it reaches a certain altitude point in the profile. The same flight path profile is shown for an arrival and any aircraft can be selected to see the arrival altitude data, again the landing altitude profile is shown on the lower section of the panel. The Flight Path View will also show a non-active airport like with EGPN - Dundee by tdg... ... Traffic Global does rely mostly on the X-Plane ATC routes to do what it does, and thankfully over the last few years there has been great strides made in filling out the default "Global Airports" and most of the addon payware scenery with better data. But the point is if the airport does not have the built in ATC routes or they are not configured correctly then Traffic Global will not work or not work perfectly at that airport, mostly this covers older X-Plane10 airports. However I have found that Traffic Global does not completely rely on the ATC routes but on ALL the provided data from the .apt data... overall many airports I thought were not going to work did, so it is a very good application in getting around a lot of these inconsistent issues. Dump Airport List This selection will do a current airport data dump to your resources/plugins/Traffic Global/resources folder. It lists all the data associated with that airport in the DAT format (you can read it via NotePad) . Show Missing Airports and Show Missing Liveries These selections will take you to the files in the HTML format of which items are missing or has been replaced with something similar. The list is updated every time you restart X-Plane with any changes. Help and MiniDump Last two lower Menu selections covers a link to the Q&A help page at JustFlight and a MiniDump of current data to your "Output" folder, the dump is a very similar to the X-Plane log.txt format. Information Overlay One item not situated in the dropdown menu, but is an option is the "Information Overlay" (Shift+I) that puts your current Traffic Global and computer performance data on the top right side of your screen. Views Visual navigation in Traffic Global is very intuitive and exceedingly easy... arrow keys will move the aircraft in the direction you want.... ... and your right click mouse selection will move the aircraft around the centre in the free angle dimension. Other views via hotkeys are Camera centred on an AI aircraft : Ctrl + F2 Camera following an AI aircraft : Ctrl + F7 Camera centred on an AI aircraft, looking at the player : Ctrl + F3 Camera centred on the nearest airport : Ctrl + F6 Camera centred on the nearest airport, looking at an AI aircraft : Ctrl + F5 Select the next airport for airport-to-aircraft camera : Page Up Select the next runway at the current airport for airport-to-aircraft camera Camera centred on the player, looking at an AI aircraft : Shift + Ctrl + Page Up Ctrl + F4 Select the previous airport for airport-to-aircraft camera : Page Down Select the previous runway at the current airport for airport-to-aircraft camera Reset view orientation to default : Shift + Ctrl + Page Down Home Reset stored tower offset : Shift + Home Camera centred on one end of a nearby runway, looking at an AI aircraft : Shift + Ctrl + F5 ____________________________ Aircraft You are not going to be disappointed in the range of aircraft available here. Most common types are well covered, as are most airlines, all the usual suspects in A320,A330,A350,A380,B738,B777,B744,B789 to the regional DHC8, CRJ, MD11, MD80 are all well represented. There is a slight cartoony feel to the aircraft, mostly caused by the grey cockpit and side windows, but otherwise this is a decent effort to create credible liveries with an almost nothing frameweight and on the whole JustFlight have done exceedingly well. To note that already a lot of painters that are changing the liveries to a more realistic style, so those visual cartoon points could be updated better in the future anf JustFlight encourage this aspect. In the dark all the AI look very good, but the painters have done the old LIT trick of putting the light reflections on the front fuselage and it doesn't look realistic in the air with the landing lights switched off and most certainly while sitting at the gate, I don't like that old fashioned idea. Sounds are uniform but overall very good and realistic. Aircraft animations however are a bit basic. Flaps do extend, but the thrust reversers and airbrakes just flick open before touching down, and don't realistically open slowly, then they will suddenly flick closed again and well before the aircraft has slowed or in some cases not even started slowing down at all... a bit of refinement is certainly required here. ____________________________ Impressions of Traffic Global My very first impression when doing an X-Plane11 start was one aircraft sitting at KRSW? I went to KRSW (Florida SouthWest) and this was because I know the airport extremely well and the WT3 traffic patterns there, so yes this is a comparison with WT3 at KRSW, and with only one aircraft at a gate and I wasn't particularly at first impressed? KRSW is quite busy at this time of the day (09:30am)... it required a juggle of the "Traffic Density" slider to suddenly make more and the normal traffic appear, but if I set it at the totally maximum setting then they would disappear again, so I found the slider position just slightly below the maximum setting as the more consistent position. I will note that a restart of X-Plane and the issue never happened again, so I will put it down to a first time install start up glitch. Any startup, airport location or time change has instant changed traffic, there is no "ReSync" required like with WT3, and the frameweight is very, very light, as I usually lose around 4-8 frames depending on the size of the scenery with WT3 in the same conditions, so I was very impressed by that. For a bit of fun speed up X-Plane via the time of day and watch the aircraft move very quickly as in a timeframe film, but be warned it messes up the synchronization and causes AI aircraft collisions and some other very odd behavior. Schedules showed not many early departures (first was 10:50 to Detroit), but with plenty of arrivals starting with a Spirit service from Boston (09:37).. Closer to the arrival time the Spirit A320 is shown arriving but note the time as 09:42 with a 09:55 arrival time at KRSW... so far excellent At the allotted landing time the Spirit is still doing circuits? and odd circuits at that over KRSW, in fact the aircraft will keep on doing circuits until 10:02? nothing wrong with that at busy traffic periods, but there are no other aircraft due to land until 10:28? and the circuits are being flown at an altitude of FL010 or 10,000ft, which is pretty high and so close to the airport... then breaking away from its circular pattern the A320 will do a death dive from 10,000ft to 2300ft within 5nm? ... and the dives were not a one off event either as here is a frontier A320 doing the same steep descent profile? The earlier Spirit then quickly disappeared into the undergrowth? This early landing before the runway aspect has been fixed in the later version, the aircraft now do actually land on the runway, but the roll out (time from the wheels touching the ground to the exit to the taxiway) is very short and again not very realistic. We have to first note there are no SID or STAR approaches in Traffic Global, and that is fine, but very consistent here are long, long circuits and poor landings... here are the holding circuit patterns at KATL- Atlanta which are not at all very realistic... Airport accessibility A point to make is that there are no assigned gates in Traffic Global, so like here at YBBN - Brisbane the Domestic Terminal is full of wide-bodies, and the International Terminal is almost empty, this pattern is at all airports. And the International Terminal didn't get much attention all day either, so the aircraft placements are all mixed up and you can't change that placement aspect either. Obviously if you have set the density slider to maximum you will find it hard to find a parking slot if flying between the large airports. A slight less density setting will not lose you that severe loss of activity, but you then will have a few parking slots to choose from. And a quick look at the "Flight Path View" of the airport and you can see any empty slots to choose from. One area I was impressed with was how well Traffic Global coped with many of the scenery aspects of not having in WT3's case specified ground routes. Traffic Global in taking all of the X-Plane.apt data and recreating an effective ground route operation was very impressive. I checked many poor airport sceneries with no or poor ATC routes and most of them worked, but badly set out ATC routes actually were worse than no ATC routes, but many of the tdg sceneries (no ATC routes) to my surprise actually worked quite well, but poorly implemented ATC routes also caused strange direction changes and our favorite WT3 hate in runway pops in disappearing aircraft. So overall I was very impressed of this important aspect. Procedures But let us now get to the core of the what a Traffic application is supposed to do. Yes it fills out airports with animated aircraft and the traffic flies to destinations and arrives at the designated airport... but there is another angle of which a Traffic application has to excel at, and here is the core of the issues with Traffic Global... personal interaction. Taxi behind a AI aircraft and it will with no warning flicker or simply change direction, and this sudden movement can be quite bad and consistent at taxiway turns, or be more odd at the gate on pushback (switching backwards to forwards position?) and okay I can still live with that and even the fast taxi speed. But the biggest point in realism above all is your arrival profile. For one if you use SID/STARS of which we now routinely want to do for simulator realism, then your Traffic Global flow is not going to follow your same arrival STAR route, TG may do a close parallel arrival, but you won't be able to file into a landing pattern with other traffic around you (your aircraft is programmed to do another and legitimate flightplan), and again the TG arrival aircraft is also oddly flying around you at FL010 or 10,000 ft when it should be in a remote holding pattern or the approach phase. Mostly the approach landing rules are that you arrive at your STAR entry point at the above or designated FL010, but you will immediately depending on the length of your STAR arrival or distance to the destination airport then lower your altitude to either 6,000ft or 5,000ft until then on final approach do your final lowering of your altitude to 3,000ft to 2,000ft to capture the ILS beams... So basically with the circular holding patterns at 10,000ft and then the plummet to 2,500ft by your visual AI aircraft is not going to be a very realistic simulation of you trying to fall in to a realistic traffic arrival pattern is it? and there are a lot of little flight profile quirks like this throughout the application in procedures... so everything is really, really good about Traffic Global except the most important item of flight profiles and departure/arrival procedures. Obviously the use of SID/STAR procedures like you have in WorldTraffic3 would be a major additional feature for Traffic Global and I can accept their absence, but I find it hard to understand how these arrival procedures are so badly and unrealistically are implemented here, or were they just overlooked in the effort to create the correct visual look? So the pros and cons with WorldTraffic 3 and Traffic Global depends on how you want to approach each application. If you want the total ease of use and operations with full active airports then Traffic Global is outstanding, but if you require the correct procedures, airport aircraft placement and realistic aircraft animations then WorldTraffic 3 is far more to your taste and obviously WorldTraffic 3 is more to your taste if you want to adjust minute things like airport flow, taxiway flow and gate selection of which there is limited adjustment available, it is unlike WT3 currently a closed application in these areas. ____________________________ Summary Airport Traffic is a necessary requirement for an active and visually simulating simulation. There are a few applications in X-Plane for traffic with the default A.I., X-Life and of course WorldTraffic3... Traffic Global from JustFlight is a new entrant into the Traffic application realm. First point to make is to create a realistic traffic application for any simulator is is a very complex undertaking, so in any Traffic application there will always be kinks and odd situations, but when they work well they are amazing and highly realistic tools. WorldTraffic3 has been in development for years and has evolved into a very comprehensive visual tool, so this new Traffic Global entrant has not only a big mountain to climb, but to add in any new ideas and elements to the genre. Traffic Global is highly impressive in it's installation, efficiency and great versatile tools, including a Radar Screen, Schedules and Flight Path View and excellent intuitive view interactions. Supplied aircraft and liveries are already a huge library and the application of creating ground routes and parking positions is excellent. Instant on and traffic density choices are also very, very good, the application is a very simple, install and to use tool to fill out quickly your airports and skies with traffic. So on the hardware side the application is certainly very modern and a major step forward in simulation aircraft traffic flows, but on the software procedure side, there is a lot needed to be refined. There are no SID/STAR procedures and very odd arrival (and some departure) procedures are not very realistic at all in a high class simulator environment, speeds and attitudes are wrong in the air and on the ground, and holding patterns are simply laughable. Landing positions are unrealistic and aircraft flickers are constant, aircraft effects except for the sound and particle effects are basic and again not very realistic in operation, in gate movements they are again very questionable and not very realistic, and yes I miss the WT3 pushback truck. It really comes down to that if you want instant and accessible traffic with almost no framerate lag and with the total ease of use the Traffic Global is excellent, but if you want realistic procedures and realistic airport operations plus the option to adjust your preferences then most likely WorldTraffic 3 would be your better option. Personally of the two currently WorldTraffic 3 would still be my preferred option for the procedure realism and operations, but if JustFlight could make the software procedures realistic and add in more realism to the aircraft's effects then the vote would very easily change as the newer more accessible operation and high efficiency of Traffic Global is very, very good.... for the hard core it still would be WorldTraffic 3, but for newcomers and for the users that want simplicity then currently then JustFlight's Traffic Global is a better choice. _____________________________________ Yes! Traffic Global by JustFlight is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Traffic Global The application is also available directly from JustFlight Price is US$52.99 Features Hundreds of combinations of airlines and aircraft provided - Traffic Global comes with 65 aircraft types over 860 liveries covering most of the world’s airlines. Over 600,000 flights included by default – the flight database is created from recent commercially sourced flight data and processed using custom tools specifically written for Traffic Global. It has up-to-date flights covering more than 3,000 global airports with complex, multi-point, multi-day flight schedules. High performance – even with hundreds of AI aircraft on screen and more being simulated nearby, simulator performance is barely affected. Traffic Global is highly multi-threaded. AI respond to the sim pilot – as you move around the airport, other traffic will do its best to stop and allow you to pass. Collision with AI is possible but can be disabled. Seamless start-up – there is no need to manually configure a flight plan or wait when you start a new flight or move to a new airport; Traffic Global loads everything in the background and is usually ready to go as soon as your flight starts. Full 3D sound for all aircraft – each AI aircraft has engine and equipment sounds modelled in 3D using the widely supported OpenAL. Volume is controllable independently of X-Plane’s own. Simple installation – no messing around setting up subscriptions, additional files or per-airport custom setups. Traffic Global is ready to run 'out the box'. Compatible with third-party airports – Traffic Global uses the same data for airport definitions as the simulator itself, so third-party airports, both commercial and free, will be used if they are installed. Many new camera types – seven new controllable external views allow you to follow individual AI aircraft, either independently or in association with your own. Three new control windows – a radar display centred on your aircraft, a flight board switchable between all nearby airports, and a flight plan display showing nearby airports, taxiways and flying aircraft are provided. Each has hotkeys and can be detached from the main X-Plane window. Full X-Plane integration – new map layers showing flying or grounded AI aircraft are added to X-Plane and most hotkeys can be re-assigned using the standard X-Plane settings. Networking support included as standard – serious cockpit builders using more than one PC to control their displays get the same traffic across their entire setup. Extendable – new or altered aircraft liveries can easily be added and will be used with no additional configuration. New traffic can be added using freely-available tools; Traffic Global uses the same traffic database format as Prepar3D and Flight Simulator X. Potential for third-party plugin integration – Traffic Global publishes 'datarefs' exposing the locations of all nearby traffic and includes example code for using them. Requirements X-Plane 11 fully updated Windows only Download Size : 1.3 GB 10gb disk space IS required for the full install Current and Review Version: 1.0.8818 (January 12th 2020) Installation and documents: Download for Traffic Global is 1.30gb and the downloaded .exe installer does the full install and expansion of files in the X-Plane/resources/plugins folder plus an aircraft folder is placed in the "Aircraft" X-Plane folder at 9.26gb. Documentation: Full manual provided. Traffic Global XP Manual _______________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th January 2020 Copyright©2020: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tbgb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - KATL - Atlanta International UHD v2 by Nimbus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - $28.95 - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - $24.95 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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