Being morally crushed by intense and relentless nagging from Jim, I took the plunge and installed FS9 and ADE on the laptop that has Internet access. Those who have been following my months of whining about this and that not working on the aircraft carrier will no doubt be bored to tears to note that one of the "small problems" remaining is that with the AFCAD product, I have not been able to place either a PAPI4 or a TRCV meatball on the deck of the carrier where it "should" go, due to interference with the carrier's on-deck scenery, which for (ahem) "artistic reasons" I am reluctant to change.
So the first task was to try this with ADE. I opened the bgl and moved the PAPI4 into the right area. Then I tried to compile it. And then everything fell apart. There was a flood of complaints about runways being too narrow (3 metres). Uhh, runway(S), plural? There's only one, the landing deck.
No! Overlooked by me (yes, mea culpa) whilst using AFCAD, the four catapult tracks are in fact runways, very narrow of course, as they should be. But could I convince ADE of this? No way.
To add insult to injury, ADE then took it upon itself to delete the bgl file and saved only an XML. So I opened the XML file with Wordpad (shudder), widened the catapults to the extravagant minimum required by ADE, changed the type to UNKNOWN, saved the XML, and now it compiled. At last I'm back where I started.
Well, no. In fact the PAPI4 is now more appropriately located, and I can see it around the scenery on a good approach. So that's an improvement. And I can use the catapults, the runway areas are there, invisible of course (as they should be), even though I "know" that they are far too wide.
Next task is to experiment with different meatballs (obvious targets are either BALL or TRCV) to see what does and doesn't work, and what does and doesn't look "right".
Steve from Mudgee