The Simulator Federation Project

Wiresharking VATSIM and IVAO

Ever wondered how the data sent from your flight simulator to VATSIM or IVAO and back looks like? That’s an easy one, since both networks rely on the FSD (flight sim daemon) software and its quite primitive plain text protocol. Let me show you in a few quick steps how to analyse the network traffic with the help of Wireshark.

X-Plane's ILS Reception

The other day I had a little chat with one of my IVAO controller friends. Somehow we came to the difference how Microsoft Flight Simulator and X-Plane simulate the reception ranges of localizers. I said that when I fly with X-Plane on a typical IFR downwind abeam field I do not receive anything from the localizer, i.e. I have that “red nav flag” in my VOR gauge and couldn’t even ident the morse code. That’s very different to Flight Simulator: On FS you can often ident the localizer while you are just starting the initial approach or even when on arrival. My fellow said, that in real life you should typically be able to reliably receive the localizer inside a sector of 40 degrees to the left and to the right of the runway center line. I felt that this is about what I see simulated on X-Plane, but until today I had no idea how this is really done…