Friday, January 13, 2012


Every now and then something comes up where I get a chance to exercise my AutoCAD and Simtra PathPlanner chops all at once. Today was one of those days.

This reminds me a lot of "The Little Engine That Could", but it wasn't done just for the fun of it. It proves we can build a temporary construction fence for some pending work and not get in the way of air carrier bag claim operations. The Simtra software has a great inventory of aircraft, ground service vehicles, and loading bridges, and makes this kind of stuff a snap to put together.

The video is best viewed full screen at 720 HD. It comes out a little brighter that way.

Updated: 01/13/12


  1. Reminds me of the tour we took at John Deere on Wed. rode a tram like that. Hope the drivers there are as good as the simulation! :-) Nice job Dave!

  2. I revised this from the original version for a couple of reasons today. After talking to the airline crew I learned that the carts only have front wheel steering, and that has a major impact on how they turn and how much room is required. This brought the maximum number of carts down from 4 to 3. And in making the new animation I included the "worst case" wheel paths. It's now more clear why 3 carts is the max.

  3. It looks simple, but i bet it doesn't. AutoCAD is completely foreign to me except from the name of course. I've heard it, but that's about it.
    I Agree with Ed tho, the drivers should be precise...

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Dave, isn't the tractor hitting the relocated blast wall as it enters and exits the building?

  5. The blast wall isn't a concern because it won't be in the same location when the drivers change their route. The contract moves the end of the wall back about 12 ft to that red symbol, and it should be done before the temporary fence goes in. Even if it wasn't moved there's still room, so it' not critical. Drivers also have more room to go around the corner of the temporary fence if they want. I included a full in and out animation, but the most important part is the "horseshoe" bend.