I would like to create a virtual aviation business environment using a flight simulator, like Flightgear, X-Plane, FSX, FS9, etc. Most likely it will be the FS9/FSX route.
For the purpose of this discussion, Ill use the following abbreviations...
-- N009BH = The callsign of a specific aircraft.
-- FSApp = Flight Simulator Application
-- FCA = Stands for "FS Control Application which is the client software the pilot will interface with.
-- FSUIPC = Flight Simulator User Interface Personal Computer - A module by Pete Dowson integrated with flight simulator variables which allow for reading and writing of those variables.
-- AFL = Aircraft Fuel Level
-- TEH = Total Engine Hours
What I would *like* to do is...
@ Pilot manually opens the FSApp, loads the aircraft and the FCA.
@ Pilot enters or selects from a drop-down, an aircraft, such as "N009BH" into the "Aircraft" field and presses the "Get Aircraft Data" button on the FCA.
@ The FCA connects to a specific URL where a table of data is stored.
@ The "N009BH" row is located on the table and the "AFL" and "TEH" fields are located and retrieved to the FCA.
@ FCA disconnects from the URL
@ FCA seeds the FSApp with new values via the FSUIPC.
@ Pilot flies......
@ At end of the flight, the pilot clicks the "Send Aircraft Data" button on the FCA.
@ The FCA reads the FSApp values from the FSUIPC and connects back to the URL.
@ The "N009BH" row is located on the table again and the new "AFL" and "TEH" values are overwritten.
@ FCA disconnects from the URL.
Actually there is a lot more values I need to work with, i.e., "Battery_Level," "Engine_Component_Failure_Coefficient, etc. for the aircraft and various fields for the Pilot Logbook. If I can get just the simple(?) AFL and TEH above working correctly, I'm sure I can make the rest hum.
I realize there must be some steps I missed, but I just wanted to give a reasonable idea of what was happening.
How would you suggest I go about doing this project? To my mind's eye it seems fairly simple, but the four things I don't know are...
1. How to have the client get to the URL?
2. How to make the table (or should I just parse a text file)?
3. How to access table values and read/write?
4. How to make it reasonably secure (UID and PWD)?
I'm doing some experimenting with the Joomla CMS, but I don't think I can automate locating the URL with the FCA. Also, I realize that FCA, FSApp, FSUIPC, etc. abbreviations may drive you bats, but since I am anticipating this project (and this thread) may take some time, I thought having some shorthand would be good.