Big Fat Sim - Radar Chaos1

Big Fat Sim - Radar Chaos

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  • Big Fat Sim - Radar Chaos1
  • Big Fat Sim - Radar Chaos1
  • Big Fat Sim - Radar Chaos1
  • Big Fat Sim - Radar Chaos1

Big Fat Simulations proudly presents "Radar Chaos", a fun realistic radar-based air traffic control game and simulation. Unlike the Airport Madness series, this game is all radar. Instead of controlling an airport's runways and taxiways, you instead control the 400 square miles of airspace that surround the airport. Radar Chaos is intended for everyone, regardless of aviation experience. We have put great effort into making a game that is easy to play, out of a concept that is otherwise very technical. Although the program contains instructions, a new player should be able to simply grab the mouse and start clicking their way through the scenarios.

The first four levels are basic 'maze' levels. In these leves we turn the realism slider back a little bit in order to give new players a chance to become familiar with the basics. All radar symbols and information have been simplified with the new player in mind. Those who have real-world aviation experience, or those who develop skills from the first few easy levels, can progress forward by selecting higher realism options such as realistic data tags and aircraft radar imagery, the true-airspeed model, as well as realistic aircraft performance. This game will have something for everyone. There will be a lite version of this game, which will consist of two maze levels plus one advanced level.

The basic concept of a radar controller's job is to handle air traffic while it is outside of the airport environment. It is the radar controller who must be able to handle a swarm of arrivals, line them up on final approach, all 3 miles apart, then hand them over to the tower controller. And it is the radar controller who must be able to handle a flurry of departures by keeping them separated from each other, and from arrivals, then setting them on course for their destinations. Just like the real world of air traffic control, there is a great deal of decision making in this simulation.

Radar Chaos was inspired by our very own Simulator, which admittedly is very technical, and aimed at real-world pilots and air traffiic controllers. Air Traffic Controller did a better job of simplifying something very complex. Radar Chaos, at it's core, is a game. The control interface is as easy and user-intuitive as we could possibly make it. There should be no need for a user to hunt for the correct button in a given situation. There is no need to even hit "enter" after giving instructions. The control ring simply disappears when you are done with it.

What exactly does one do in Radar Chaos? There are two types of air traffic in Radar Chaos: arrivals and departures. Arrivals come to you at the edge of your screen, typically at about 8 or 9 thousand feet. It is your job to descend them to 3000 feet, slow them down to a reasonable speed of 200 knots, and steer them using vectors onto their final approach path at a shallow angle.

Departures come to you as soon as they become airborne. The tower would clear them for takeoff, then have them call you. Since the tower only climbs them to a low altitude such as 7000 feet, it would be your job to climb them to the ceiling of your airspace, typically 10000 feet. As well, it is your job to vector the departures to their outbound waypoint.

While you handle all of this traffic, keep in mind that you must abide by the rules of separation: 3 miles laterally, or 1000 feet vertically. Arrivals must intercept the final approach course at an angle of 30 degrees or less, at 200 knots or less, and at 3000 feet or less. Departures must overfly their departure waypoint, and must be climbed to the correct altitude.

Feedback is provided to players in a variety of ways. The primary indication of a skilled player is the "Airline Satisfaction" meter, which gives you a snapshot of how you have been doing recently. Your rank, which begins as "In Training", is cumulative across all game plays, showing you how much positive experience you have. You are also shown your salary, number of mishaps, as well as the total number of arrivals and departures that you have handled. A supervisor visits you regularly with tips and information, as well as feedback, both good and bad.


Watch the instructional videos


Guide arrivals and departures to their destinations while maintaining the required separation between all aircraft. Avoid terrain and restricted airspace.


There are three types of control that you can provide to aircraft in this application: direction, altitude and speed. These are implemented by clicking on an aircraft, which displays the control interface. Initially, when you 'mouse over' an airplane you will see a blue line, which indicates the aircraft's destination. Once you click, you will see the control interface.

An aircraft's direction (or 'heading') is controlled by simply dragging the white arrow to the desired direction. Altitude is assigned by 1000 foot increments, by tapping the up/down buttons. Speed is assigned by 10 knot increments, by tapping the fast/slow buttons. Assigned altitude and speed is displayed at the bottom of the control interface.

As a shortcut, you do not need to click 'submit', but simply 'mouse away' from the interface. The interface will close and all control assignments will then be applied to that aircraft.


In the advanced levels you will see red lines with arrows. These are called standard arrival routes. Standard Arrival Routes (STARs) guide arrivals into a "downwind leg" (i.e. pointing away from the airport). This is great for you, the controller. You don't have to do much to get these pilots prepared for final approach. They fly themselves.

You can then peel them off the STAR when it is convenient to do so, by giving a heading towards the localizer. On departure, you can use headings to avoid other aircraft and guide them to their outbound waypoints


Arrivals will enter your airspace typically between 7000 and 10000 feet, depending on where they are arriving from. Since jets are much faster than 'props' and will often overrun slower traffic ahead, jets are given to you at a higher altiitude. Bring all arrivals down to 3000 feet when safe to do so. This is the ideal altitude from which an arrival will commence their final approach

In this application, departures will always exit at 10000 feet. This is not always easy to achieve, if a departure becomes 'stuck' beneath an arrival. Occasionally a heading will be required to safely climb an aircraft. Be sure to avoid areas of terrain. For example, an area marked '60' indicates the lowest altitude which aircraft can overfly it.


Speed is usually the last type of control you will perform on an aircraft. Altitude and vectors are your primary control elements. Speed is something that you might use after you have put a 737 too close behind a slower DH8 on the localizer. In the real world of air traffic control, pilots must not exceed 250 knots below 10000 feet, and must not exceed 200 knots below 3000 feet when in the vicinity of an airport. In this application, your rule is to ensure that all aircraft are reduced to a speed of 200 knots or less, prior to intercepting the final approach localizer.

Initially, it is my recommendation that you do not select 'realistic speed' from the Options page. Should you choose 'realistic speed', an understanding of the 'indicated-airspeed-true-airspeed' relationship is helpful. You need to understand that in the real world (and in this simulation), with an increase in altitude, groundspeed becomes greater than the speed shown on the cockpit readout to the pilot. So if a you assign a pilot at 10,000 feet a speed of 210 knots, you will observe a groundspeed of about 250 knots. At sea level, there is no error. Simple concept, but it does require getting used to. For example, in this simulation you will notice that an aircraft at 3000 feet who has been assigned an airspeed of 200 knots will show 210 kts on the radar display (and if you select 'realistic tags' from the Options page, you will just see '21' which is short hand for 210 knots.


When you tell a Boeing 737 to change heading, altitude or speed, it requires time for things to actually happen. This can be frustrating for the 'newbie' who knows nothing of air traffic control. After you give a pilot an instruction, expect to wait up to 15 seconds before you actually see a response to this. In particular, speed changes require time.

When a pilot is told to descend from 9000 feet down to 3000 feet, the pilot requires 5 seconds to reach forward and make the adjustment to the autopilot control interface. The aircraft then gently reduces engine power and lowers it's nose, which requires another 5 seconds. By the time you observe any change on the radar display, 15 seconds have gone by and you may be wondering if the pilot is even listening!

I recommend selecting 'realistic response delay' on the Options page. Without selecting this, these delays are unrealistically reduced, with the newbie in mind.


In the real world of air traffic control there are separation requirements that must exist between each and every aircraft. It is not simply enough for aircraft to 'miss each other'. There are two basic types of separation: lateral and vertical. If you have the necessary lateral separation, vertical separation is not needed, and visa verca.

LATERAL SEPARATION: In this application you must maintain a lateral distance of at least 3 miles between all aircraft, unless vertical separation exists.

VERTICAL SEPARATION: You must maintain a vertical distance of at least 1000 feet between all aircraft, unless lateral separation exists
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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 19 April, 2011.
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Big Fat Sim - Radar Chaos
Very nice program to use especially when you want to kill so ..
5 of 5 Stars!
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