We have started the development of an universal autopilot around 2004 for Martin Schweiger's awesome Orbiter Space Simulation.
Our autopilot was widely accepted and downloaded a thousands of times. It maybe performed hundreds of interstellar flights and landed thousands of vessels on earth, moon and mars. The autopilot was especially helpful when flown in a Deltaglider or in one of Orbiter's Moon Landers.
Orbiter's spacecraft control is absolutely complex and first flight plans were written to make operation of this simulation easier.
Around 2005 the autopilot, which was at that time a DLL written in c++, was ported to FS2004.
FS2004 had no user interface like Orbiter where someone could draw simulation data from and thus we had the choice of either using the (at that time popular) FSUIPC or do our own interface by poking and reading from and to memory. We choose the second option.
With the release of FS9 and FSX the guys at Microsoft provided a proper API with Simconnect, where 3rd party developers could read and write data to the simulation. What a relieve that was !
Finally we were able to create a universal autopilot for planes and helicopters for FSX.
Major milestones during the development of FSXPilot were:
- Implementation of the first helicopter hover routine for Microsoft flight simulator
- Implementation of the first helicopter landing routine for Microsoft flight simulator
- Invention of GPS auto landing (auto land on every airport of the world, no ILS required)
- Implementation of SID and STAR
- Implementation of speech output and speech recognition
- Implementation of a view system with dynamic head movements
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