Following a short teaser video in December, Stairport Sceneries has announced that they are developing ground service and loading equipment for X-Plane. In a Facebook post, Stairport Sceneries included some initial detail of the extension to their Scenery Animation Manager. GroundService will include vehicles such as aircraft steps, baggage tugs with carts, baggage belts and fuel trucks as a minimum. Each vehicle will have its own enhanced driving logic which will include collision protection, reverse driving as well as snaking cart trains.
Although most of the loading and unloading will be automatically controlled including aircraft doors where applicable, GroundService load times can be managed through the helpful SAM plugin which imports weights and loads from SimBrief, and will then load the aircraft accordingly, which even affects the aircraft weight in real-time. The extension is compatible with any SAM driven jetways including WorldJetways. The images showcase the plugin in action with the newly released LevelUp 737-600.
Many of the core features have already been implemented, but the team along with the help of ShortFinal Design, otherwise known as MisterX, will be configuring the plugin to work with all available aircraft and developing regional vehicle sets to appear more authentic around the globe.
There is no detail about possible release timelines but Stairport has promised more information when the project enters beta testing.