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Technical Q&A > Virtual Airline Website help!

Ok, I'm setting up a "Virtual Airline". I've got the domain, hosting and everything is sorted there.

I need your opinions on what CMS I should use as I need one that meets the following criteria:

1- Integration with PHPBB
2- A way of managing the airline (e.g. airline fleet, schedules, pilots, pilot reports etc...)
3- A way of easilly maintaining it and a quick way of updating.

I have had a look at the following:

Drupal - Very easy to maintain, easier to setup than Joomla and has some modules avaliable. I haven't found any modules or themes for a virtual airline (yet).

Joomla - like drupal, I can maintain it and it has more power behind it and integrates with PHPBB, but again, I still haven't found an extention or theme for it that lets me do what I want. Also if it goes the same way as ITidiots does, then I won't be happy...

Zikula - not had chance to play with it yet, but it sounds more promising...

PHPvms - Very good and built for this, but for a user's point of view, it is very clunky and doesn't have the best look to it either, I am currently using it...

If anyone can help, please let me know. My site is at: www.flynorthern.co.cc

February 18, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie

Is this related to that Virtual Airline hobby people do? If so then I guess a CMS is ok, but for anything serious I'd pick one then look on the net for all the flaws in it. Because CMS are normally nice targets for hackers as there are normally so many holes they find in them. I'd also suggest backing it up regularly for this very reason.

February 18, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci

@Jamie

Never heard of Virtual Airlines, perhaps you could do a post or vid for the site about this?
I am sure people would be interested, i know i am intrigued.

February 18, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova

@joey, I am using an open CMS that is designed for virtual airlines and they offer a nice way of promoting the airline. I am doing it for a hobby at the moment, mainly because I'm learning a lot from having to actually paint the textures for the aircraft in Photoshop (the 1 undo feature of photoshop is starting to get to me...).

@Supernova, once I've finished doing the paints, I'm going to do some promotional / "training" videos and stick them on YouTube, I'll post a link to the profile page when I've completed them.

For now, basically a virtual airline is an airline run on the internet (normally as a hobby) where flight simulator enthusiasts can get as close as working to a real airline as possible online. Basically, people sign up for the virtual airline, work their way through ranks etc... like in real life, but the aircraft are flown in some sort of flight simulator software (usually Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004/FSX)

There is actually quite a large audience out there for it...

February 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie

never used Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004/FSX do you record your flights and post them to the site?
how do other users interact with what your doing?

is Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004/FSX multiuser?

February 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova

I did a search it's the only reason I know about it :)

Quantas was sued by one of them :) because ages ago Quantas wanted to do a low cost option and gave it a name. That name was the same as a Virtual Airline setup so the people owning the VA sued for trademark reasons :)

Does sound interesting but I'd get bored. I prefer just doing the airline management games but there has never been one that's good enough.

Photoshop has more than 1 undo option. It has the history undo. Also, you should use layers, as I've now found out how useful they are.

February 19, 2010 | Registered Commenterjoey pesci

"I did a search it's the only reason I know about it :)"

yeah i did a wiki and goodled, but i didn't create account on any of the examples to see what happens in the background. I thought that it would make some interesting content for the forums.

"Does sound interesting but I'd get bored."

yeah, each to their own .... I don't understand how people can follow fantasy football .. alot of my friends find computers a bore

February 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova

@joey, That's the reason why I picked a Name, Callsign and code that hasn't been used before ever...

Northern (the name of my airline and the callsign) has never been used before, it also has its own logo and if anyone does find a problem, the full name is Northern Virtual.

They way people interact can vary from place to place. Some use the online service VATSIM which means they have to go online all the time, but as I want to keep it simple, I'll use something called an ACARS client which simply uploads the flight data to a server at the end of the flight and all the users have to do is download a config file, enter the flight number, their username / password and they're away...

I am still looking for a solution, but I might stick to PHPVMS as it has built in ACARS support (it provides the scripts for the server side), and it isn't too bad when you look at what it can do. The interface may be messy, but I've sort of integrated it into my PHPBB installation (it involved creating a blank page, pasting in some HTML/Javascript redirect code and it now redirects users to the forums). But not as far as integrating the usernames/passwords...

February 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie

Very nice, Jamie!

It's actually quite a nice hobby to do indoors during the wintertime. Having the human Air Traffic Control factor keeps it interesting, especially in other parts of the world.

On a more ITIDIOTS technical note -you may be interested that I have just built a machine for Flight Simulator X quite cheaply by overclocking a Quad Core Q6600 CPU from 2.4Ghz stock to 3.30Ghz. It really is all about CPU power with that 'game'. Add a cheap but capable ATI 5750 graphics card and you're done. 6Gig Ram. Windows 7. Frame rates are very acceptable. Don't skimp on the CPU cooler, though!

I've seen Q6600 processors on ebay for around £50. Not bad, eh?

Anyway, good luck with it all.

February 21, 2010 | Registered CommenterMark H

My laptop handles it very well, I can max out all the options and it doesn't stutter...

If my internet connection was faster I would do multiplayer. My PC in the UK recently got an overhaul, new 4GB RAM and video card should help it with FSX (it used to have a 5 year old video card and 1GB RAM...)

I'm not sure if I'll use VATSIM yet (that provides the human ATC...) but I will definitely consider it...

Also, once I've finished painting the fleet, I will formally launch the airline.

February 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie

Nice.

You say your laptop handles FSX very well??? I wouldn't add airport scenery or AI traffic without a fire extinguisher close to hand, if I were you! And not a water one! :-)

February 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterMark H

@mark I like Q6600's they overclock well for a budget system

February 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterSupernova

Absolutely, Andi.

I would recommend anyone looking to build a system to consider the Q6600. Amazing value.

I'm getting a new air cooler delivered today which should let me push it to 3.4Ghz, perhaps 3.6Ghz! Frightening.

@Jamie - I came across this Virtual Airline using PHPvms. Looks okay... does the job? http://www.easternairwaysvirtual.co.uk/eva/

February 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterMark H

I think I just need to know how to customise it a bit better and they've probably edited a lot of the core theme scripts (it is open source)

My laptop seems to cope fine without much problems, I do have it jacked up on a stand (no fans built into the stand though), the fans do get a bit loud and the whole thing gets a bit warm, but nothing too bad. It gets quite warm after running it for a while anyway (only 8% humidity, at about 2000ft above sea level and it is hot).

February 23, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie

Ok, I've got a launch date:

Thursday 4th March 2010 (next thursday), we will officially launch and the whole site will be operational.

Fingers crossed, I will have some training videos, promotional videos etc... on youtube by end of this Friday (26th Feb).

Thanks.

February 24, 2010 | Registered CommenterJamie
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August 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterIraklis Partsafas