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Thread: AirWrench

  1. #1
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    Default AirWrench

    A couple of people have mentioned AirWrench, most recently copperpen in his post #11 to this thread. His observation that the program will put stuff into aircraft.cfg files got my attention so I decided to do a little checking ...

    AirWrench is available here. It's freeware after all and it appears to be very powerful. It covers CFS2/3 and FS2002 through FSX. According to the site front page it will even construct .air files based on information in aircraft.cfg files. (I hope I have that right.) The only significant developer license restriction is that its output must not be used for commercial/payware purposes, neither at the aircraft level nor at the level of individual aircraft.cfg or .air files.

    After copperpen completes his use of AirWrench on his DH 86 Express, I'm going to followup by using the Cantu/Fox/Probst fsOC 727-200 airframe as a test case. Like copperpen I don't know much about this stuff. Like copperpen I want to learn.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Please feel free to join this discussion whether or not you know anything about AirWrench per se. I hope that AirWrench will help us demythologize .air files, just as I hope that this forum will, among other things, help us demythologize aircraft.cfg files and panel.cfg files.
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 02-18-2010 at 05:47 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  2. #2
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    Question Air Wrench

    Hello, Mike!

    Sounds like a great tool! I used your link, and all that was available for download were 2 .pdf files; a User's Guide and a Tutorial Guide for the Piper Cherokee. Did I miss a link to d/l the program?

    I'd really like to try it on another A/C that seems to be doing the same thing as the DGA-15 referred to earlier...

    Thanks!

    Alan

    UPDATE: I found where you can download a DEMONSTRATION version from:

    http://www.mudpond.org/AirWrench_main.htm

    It allows you to open .air files and see the individual parameters, but WILL NOT save any changes. There is a $ 20.00 activation charge from the developer to enable all of the features that the program offers.
    Last edited by ViperPilot2; 02-18-2010 at 06:09 PM. Reason: updated information

    "I created the Little Black Book to keep myself from getting killed..." -- Captain Elrey Borge Jeppesen
    P4 3.0 SINGLE CORE 2GB CORSAIR RAM ATI RADEON 4650 1GB GPU SAMSUNG 160 GB HDD WIN XP SP3 FS8 FS9 CFS CFS2 IL2

  3. #3
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    Default

    EDIT: ViperPilot2, I wrote what's below before I had fully read your post. You got there first, pardon me for poaching, but I'm steamed and need to vent ...

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Well now ...

    AirWrench may be downloaded via a link on this page. Note the restrictions, which can only be removed by purchasing a $20 key. I'll do it, but in my opinion it's the height of hypocrisy for this author to charge $20 and then forbid his product to be used in commercial situations.

    The stated restrictions on the page I linked to are ... Nope, this guy may be litigious (look it up, Jerry), I'll rephrase instead of doing a copy/paste ...

    No turbines supported, only piston engines.
    The engine must have a maximum rated horsepower of less than 230.
    It must not be fuel injected -- only normally aspirated. (You don't have a copyright on the phrase "normally aspirated", do you Jerry?)
    The carburetor must be gravity-fed.
    The propeller must not be of variable pitch. (This is America, I refuse to spell it "propellor".)
    The speed at sea level is limited to a maximum of 130mph.
    The empty weight of the aircraft must be less than 2500 pounds.

    So ... If you're seriously worried about the performance/behavior of the default Cessna 172, this piece of "freeware" may be all you need to get it to behave exactly as it already behaved.

    Note: One of my less endearing character traits is a lapse into sarcasm when I feel that I'm being "had". I'm going to rummage around in my archives to see whether I have an older version that a) truly is freeware and that b) may be freely distributed per an included developer license.

    I will let the readership know.

    Last edited by xxmikexx; 02-18-2010 at 09:36 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  4. #4
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    Default

    By golly, as I vaguely recalled I do in fact have a true freeware version, at least I imagine that's what it is since I find nothing in the docs that talks about an unlock key. Regrettably, in one of the doc files the author forbids distribution without his prior written permission.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    I have to agree, $20 is probably a perfectly reasonable price for what this program does ... but in my opinion the author is ... no, no personal remarks. Instead I'll simply repeat that this situation strikes me as the height of hypocrisy.

    (I'm reminded of the famous dinner party comment made by Winston Churchill -- never mind the context -- when he said to the woman seated across from him "Madam, we've already established what you are, we're only discussing the price.")

    (Oh gosh darn it, now I'll have to get along without support from the author. I don't know whether I'll be able to live.)
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 02-18-2010 at 09:38 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I'm so ticked off by this hypocrisy that here's what I'm gonna do ...

    After I learn what this program is capable of, I'm going to write a document explaining how to do most of what it does using the various freeware .air file editors that exist in the usual file libraries. (As I recall, the classic AirEd is but one among several.)

    There. I feel better now, or I will after I take a shower to remove the stench. It will be my pleasure to use AirWrench to educate myself, after which I'll educate others so they can avoid paying $20 for this hypocrisy.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Of course we might end up having to use a hex editor for some of this stuff. That's fine, there are any number of good freeware hex editors.

    You see, folks, the author forbids disassembling or decompiling his program, which is licensed and not sold. That's fine, he owns the code, he can do that.

    But as of the date of this writing there's nothing to stop me from using AirWrench to poke at .air files and then do before/after comparisons using a (freeware) hex file compare program. That will allow us to develop a list of offsets known to AirWrench that happen not to be known to AirEd.

    Hey, Beckwith: If you like you might try to impose such a restriction for future sales of your AirWrench unlock key, and if I'm reading you right you probably will try, but even if a court were to sustain such a restriction (it won't, see next post), you can't impose the restriction retroactively. Just as we customers are bound by your T's & C's at the time of licensing, so are you.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Nach!

    Hypocrites. They really bother me. Nevertheless I've placed my order for the unlock key because I really do want to try to make the performance of the Cantu/Fox/Probst fsOC 727-200 airframe El Perfecto.
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 02-18-2010 at 10:20 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

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    Default

    By the way, Jerry, when you tell people that they are not permitted to reverse engineer AirWrench you are attempting to negate a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that applies even to patented devices, which yours is not. Good luck with that.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

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    Finally, folks, there's a certain nationally syndicated talk radio host who does exactly what I'm doing here -- theater for entertainment purposes.

    This thread has already drawn 41 views and it's only a little more than four hours old. Thread views will breed forums visits by others, which means future readership.

    Born to write,
    thx,
    Mike
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 02-18-2010 at 10:22 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb AirWrench

    Hey, Mike!

    I just went back to the AirWrench web site, and saw that if you have a previous registered copy of the program you can get the upgrade for free. It also looks like AirWrench is compatible with AirEd, too.

    Maybe Mr. Beckwith needs to change one of his Terms & Conditions on the Information page, specifically the one which states:

    "Webmasters may upload the AirWrench to their web sites with written permission from GWBeckwith. At no time may AirWrench be placed on a web site or BBS which requires financial access to download files or be a member."

    In any case, looks like I may have to fork over the $20 to get this program... it'd be a real plus to have it, especially as a tool for others who need help with A/C configuration. The way I see it... help is free, and no one would be charged to get a little help (as I needed) to get an A/C to fly properly. Now, if 'someone' could engineer a little trade... A/C help in exchange for a FREE scenery add on, like a little airfield... LOL

    Alan

    "I created the Little Black Book to keep myself from getting killed..." -- Captain Elrey Borge Jeppesen
    P4 3.0 SINGLE CORE 2GB CORSAIR RAM ATI RADEON 4650 1GB GPU SAMSUNG 160 GB HDD WIN XP SP3 FS8 FS9 CFS CFS2 IL2

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ViperPilot2 View Post
    Maybe Mr. Beckwith needs to change one of his Terms & Conditions on the Information page, specifically the one which states: "Webmasters may upload the AirWrench to their web sites with written permission from GWBeckwith. At no time may AirWrench be placed on a web site or BBS which requires financial access to download files or be a member."
    Why should he change this? What's on your mind?
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  10. #10
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    Default AirWrench

    Hello, Mike!

    I was just saying that since his program was originally 'freeware' (hence the sentence about the BBS & other sites) and now he's basically charging for it, that he should change that sentence to reflect the change.

    Alan

    "I created the Little Black Book to keep myself from getting killed..." -- Captain Elrey Borge Jeppesen
    P4 3.0 SINGLE CORE 2GB CORSAIR RAM ATI RADEON 4650 1GB GPU SAMSUNG 160 GB HDD WIN XP SP3 FS8 FS9 CFS CFS2 IL2

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