Introducing STB Version 3
Nearly a year in the making, STB Version 3 (STB3) represents a new milestone in AI traffic utilities. Building on the foundations of Version 2, STB3 add 16 new and updated features of interest to both pilots and observers alike including the frequently requested user aircraft display.
STB3 is now available at leading retailers, click here for a list.
The user’s aircraft may be listed as an arrival and departure flight in a similar way to AI aircraft. The FSX flight plan is used to provide the schedule (departure and arrival airport), or these details may be entered manually. Several aircraft systems are monitored in order to determine the user’s intentions at various stages of the flight, so the appropriate flight remarks may be shown.
Level of Detail
STB V2 offered “Pilot” and “Observer” modes that determined how AI data was interpreted and presented, and what interactive commands were available. V3 has removed these roles and the associated command restrictions, and replaced them with the following:
• Summary: Only those AI that are currently simulated in FSX are listed on the board.
• Historic: Building on summary mode, terminated flights are also shown for a time. These include completed arrivals, completed departures, diversions and cancelations.
• Prediction: In addition to Detailed Mode, future schedule flights yet to occur in FSX are also listed. This adds a lot of depth to the arrivals board in particular, as FSX may take some time to create AI representing arrival flights. Flights may be listed up to 18 hours ahead of the current simulator time.
Timezone and Dateline Support
STB always displays flight schedule times with respect to the local time zone active in FSX. When the user crosses a timezone during a flight, all the listed flights are revised and shown in the new local timezone now in operation. This includes crossing the international dateline.
Schedule Repeat Periods
Aircraft operating schedules that repeat every 1, 2, 4, 8 or 12 hours are now supported in addition to daily and weekly schedules.
New Aircraft Distance Calculations
During arrival and departure, STB measures the distance between the AI aircraft and its “objective”:
• During taxi-out, the distance to the runway threshold is reported.
• During approach (when arrival runway is allocated), the distance to the runway centre point is reported.
• During taxi-in, the distance to the allocated gate is reported.
• FSX sends more frequent information concerning the position of AI aircraft, leading to more accurate and timely presentation of distance information.
Departure Pre-Board and Boarding Times
Longer flights will tend to have longer boarding times and start boarding earlier and vice versa for shorter flights. The distribution of boarding commencement times is also improved.
Extra Features for the Optimize AI Command
A list of excluded airports may be specified with the Optimize AI command. AI aircraft associated with such airports are not deleted during AI optimization.
Flight Number Strategy
Cargo flights now use the IATA code where available, and GA flights are listed as “GA” instead of “VFR”. This makes more sense for some large aircraft operating IFR as general aviation.
New Ultimate Traffic 2 Interpretation Engine
The engine that determines what is happening for UT2 flights is redesigned to be faster, require less memory and be more accurate as time progresses in the simulator. Additional “Not in Service” presentations are included for flights that fail to depart or are duplicated.
STB no longer requires scheduling (BGL) files to be decompiled and loaded. Instead, STB automatically scans the users FSX Scenery Library and gathers all the information it needs concerning airports and schedules.
Automatic Software Update
Every week (or at the user request), STB automatically checks for an updated version and provides a download link if one is available.
Enhanced “Depart Now” Command
The Depart Now command may be used on future flight departures that have yet to occur in FSX and do not currently have an AI aircraft associated with them. STB creates the AI aircraft, loads a flight plan and creates an appropriate flight listing on the board. This enables the user to dynamically add active traffic for the best possible FPS experience at complex airports.
New “Approach Now” Command
The Approach Now command may be used to help fill the skies around an airport with inbound aircraft. Working in a similar way to depart now, the command is used on future flight arrivals that have yet to occur in FSX. STB creates the AI aircraft in FSX and lists it on the board. You may choose to create the new flight with respect to the AI flight plan, the arrival airport runways or around the current position of the user aircraft.
First Time Configuration Wizard
The configuration wizard is presented when STB is started for the first time following installation. The wizard helps you get up and running with your favourite AI packaged with just a few mouse clicks.
Enhanced View Flight Data Command
In addition to the current schedule, the previous and next schedules may be displayed for any flight listed on the board.
New Departure Remark "Go to Gate". Following "Wait in Lounge", the flight changes to "Go to Gate" as soon as the AI aircraft is available at the gate.
User Interface Changes
The look and feel of the user interface is updated to provide better layout and functionality:
• Action bar for non-context commands.
• All objects auto-size according to the size of the enclosing window.
• Column sort order is preserved when switching between “departures” and “arrivals”.