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This is in no way meant to offend the decent VC-loving folks out there :).What is the big deal with virtual cockpits? I'm just curious as to why people like them so much and are always requesting that a VC be added to their favorite plane. I really am not a VC man myself, since I fly the heavies and I associate the VCs more with the GA planes. So, do you personally enjoy a good VC? Just curious as to what all the rage is with the virtual cockpit :).

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To me, it's the most realistic view/perspective FS2k2 has to offer. While right now they're not very functional, I still love to look around a 3D cockpit at 35000 feet or while cruising over the southern California coastline at 2500 feet. I think we'll really learn to love virtual cockpits in FS2k4, as they will become fully functional, and do everything if not more than 2D panels do now. Come to think of it, everybody better learn to love the VC, as it's all we'll have in FS2k4. :-)Ryan-Flightpro08 :-cool VATSIM Pilot/ControllerZLA ARTCC Controller 1 (C-1)SAN TRACON Lead [link:www.taxiwaysigns.com]Taxiwaysigns.com Scenery Designerhttp://members.cox.net/santracon/images/san_logo.jpg-----------------------------My "Home Made" System Specs:Intel Pentium 4 2.2GHz ProcessorTurbo Gamer ATX Mid-Tower with 420W Power SupplyEPoX 4G4A Motherboard with Intel 845G ChipsetVisiontek XTASY GeForce4 128MB Ti4600 (Det 30.30 Drivers)512MB PC2100 DDR RAM40GB Matrox 7200RPM Hard DriveWindows XP Home Edition SP1*No CPU or GPU Overclocking*3dMark2001SE Score: 11298

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I agree, I don't know what the Big Deal is either with the VC?!! I myslef don't even use them! I replace the panels anyway with better ones anyway, but i do like the Virtual Cabins that are made with the G-max planes, they give you a great perspective of being a passenger and can walk around inside the plane to view the wings etc..... I really like that better than a V Cockpit thingy! MIKE

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I agree - I view the cockpit VCs as a curiousity more than anything else. But lately, I've been using Active camera to move around the cabin. If you want to do something cool, try landing in the Falcon 50, then enter a replay and use Active camera to seat your self in the passenger area. It's really quite cool to look out a passenger window while crossing the threshold.Once the VCs become fully functional and a lot crisper looking, I'm sure they'll grow on me. But they're not there yet.

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>Once the VCs become fully functional and a lot crisper >looking, I'm sure they'll grow on me. But they're not there >yet. I rarely ever use the 2D's in the Dreamfleet Archer & Cardinal, Flight1 Cessna 421, and the RealAir SF260. These particular aircraft have VC's that really do look quite good, as well as easily readable gauges. Just wondering if you have any of these?

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To each his own, However, I think VC's give a much more realistic view than a 2d cockpit that makes me feel like Im looking at a picture of a cockpit with no ability to look around except to look to the left or right instantly which is not very realistic. True, some VC's are not that well done, but they are getting better. The ones that are well done look better to me than their 2d counterparts because I can adjust my postion in the cockpit. With the new active camera utility, flying through turbulence in VC mode is spectacular! I don't even bother downloading planes that don't have VC's at this point. The cabin views are interesting, but I want to simulate being the pilot not a passenger. It would be nice if a plane offered both, but from what Ive read from designers, its one or the other.Rob

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For flying IFR, I use the 2D panel, but for VFR, I only use the 2D for dialing and flipping switches. The VC helps me on my turns from base to final, and basically anywhere in the traffic pattern. Sure the gauges are 'in your face' in the 2D panel, but the VCs seem a little more 'life-like' for me. If I still had my old 500MHz machine, I'd probably still be using the 2D panel all the time.

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Those screenshots say it all! Them and the upcoming 727 from captainsim dramatically put you "in the cockpit". Combined with activecamera head movement (only 3d) just keep adding to the realism. Isn't this the way it should be, turning your head (panning) to look around? At first I also thought they were cartoonish, but that's changed totally!It won't be long before we board the aircraft via the door!Anyhow, better get used to them or stick with fs2k2 forever. (:-hang

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I used to feel exactly the same, never used the VC. If it is done well, as in most quality payware, I like it, but when I see attempts at a VC because of the FS publics complaining, what is the point, would much rather have a good 2D panel then. When I look at the pics of the upcoming 727 from Captain Sims, I can't tell the difference between the VC and the 2D, that is amazing! I fly helos mostly and there are not many with a good VC. The active camera has opened up this world to me, and I use the VC almost always now. As posted above, the ability to move anywhere in the aircraft is such a plus. It truly makes it a "VIRTUAL' cockpit.Regards, Michaelhttp://www.geocities.com/res052cd/cmhbanner.gif

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>I rarely ever use the 2D's in the Dreamfleet Archer & >Cardinal, Flight1 Cessna 421, and the RealAir SF260. These >particular aircraft have VC's that really do look quite >good, as well as easily readable gauges. Just wondering if >you have any of these? Larry, in answer to your question:Yes I do have the Archer and the Cardinal. They don't look as good on my screen as they do in your screen shots. Maybe my hardware just isn't up to the task. :(

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Aside from the sensation of "being there" and the ability to sight-see from any vantage point, the biggest win w/ regard to virtual cockpits is the ability to scan the airspace around you (which is now even better with the addition of ActiveCamera). Additionally, the VC greatly improves one's ability to fly a visual approach and/or make closed traffic around a field. In the 2D cockpit, you're always "snapping your view" trying to judge the exact time to start your turn to final. It's often difficult to gauge your position relative to the airport in 2D mode. With the VC, you can keep your eye on the airport through the entire turn, making constant adjustments to your bank. The VC also gives you a better "spatial" feel with regard to your relationship to the outside environment - better depth perception...better "feel" for how the aircraft is moving through the atmosphere.This type of flying however is much more prevalent with GA and small turbo-prop craft and doesn't have much applicability to the larger heavies. In these cases, the VC buy you little - and I rarely use the virtual cockpit when flying the big metal.The VC is definitely tailored to the VFR pilot. IFR pilots generally prefer the nice crisp (and highly detailed) images of the 2D cockpit. This is starting to change as Virtual Cockpits become much more detailed and real-to-life (i.e. PSS A320, the upcoming Cap. Sim. 727). What's truly needed is a fully interactive Virtual Cockpit.J

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LAdamson's screen shots say everything that needs to be said. If you are flying strictly IFR and don't spend much time looking at the scenery, then maybe a 2D panel is all you need. If you want to simulate VFR flight in a realistic fashion, you simply can't do it with the limited perspectives available in 2D. Visual flight means you are constantly scanning in every direction: up, down, diagonally, etc. Impossible with the standard 2D views. They are just too limited. If you doubt this, try this experiment: Set up a flight into a busy uncontrolled airport and try flying a few patterns as you would in real life, maintaining visual contact with the other planes around you. Try it with the 2D views and then with the VC.However, it is a tribute to the depth of this amazing sim that people can enjoy it in so many different ways.

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I fly both heavies and GA planes.When flying heavies, I only use the VC while taxiing. It gives a better view of the taxiways, signs and other planes.When flying a jetliner with the VC, you constantly have to switch back to the 2D panel to make changes, because there are so many little gadgets and complex instruments on those panels, that you can't modify from VC mode. So for the rest of the flight, I use the 2D mode.When flying GA planes, I almost only use the VC. Those planes don't have as complex panels, and most functions can be modified by using the keyboard. When flying GA planes, I do it for sightseeing, and flying around the pattern. When turning final using the VC, I'm usually aligned with the runway. When using the 2D panel view, it's much harder to get the final right, because you don't have the same visibility.Try landing on or taking off from a remote airstrip in the mountains in 2D mode...you'll mostly like end up as someone's camp fire on one of the mountain sides. With the VC, and the panning speed turned up, you can quickly look around so you don't get yourself stuck in a valley without enough power to get you over the mountains.Also, with the VC, as you are just over the runway, you can look slightly to one side to get a better perception of the height above the runway, and make a smoother landing.

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I myself am skeptical about VC's but if it is true that all future editions of FS2002 are only going to support VC's then I guess i will have to get used ti them. mY biggest concern is the readability of the instruments especially the "heavies' like the upcoming wilco A320. i will definitely hold off purchasing that until i hear some comments from people who buy it along with Capt. sim 727- i think a large monitor (at least 19") is going to be almost a must have to really bring VC's to their full potential.

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I like the Virtual Cockpit. Panning around the inside of the cockpit feels much more natural that the click views. In real-life do you jerk your head around to the left and the right? Of course not. The virtual cockpit is here to stay and will only get better and eventually become the cockpit of choice. I understand the issues of readability, but that will be overcome with higher resolution panels. By this time FS2004 comes out, 2GHz computers will be regarded as low end machines and our currently brand new Radeons and G4s will all be old crappy video cards.VC's are the future whether you want them to be or not. Embrace them. Demand that they be included and improved.

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As I have stated many times, I don't fly without them.Also I rarely fly aircraft that don't have sophisticated panels like the PSS Airbus and the 421C have. Most my flights last for many hours and I like the realistic perspective that VC's give. :-)SteveCYYZ

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I find the VC's only good for looking around if I am bored or have been warned about a close aircraft. Otherwise I just use the 2d panel.I for one plan to stick with 2002. I laugh cause everybody cant wait for 2004 and I bet 2 months after that everbody will be talking about the next version and how much better it will be. It's alot of hype. I am done with spending more money for addons that wont be used in 2 years. Long Live 2002Andrew

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Same here. If they looked that good on my machine AND had all everything fully functional so I can can flip switches etc. from the VC I would use them too.On my machine most if not all look like a blurred mess with hardly readable gauges (plus the perspective in most is way wrong).

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That's never been stated by Microsoft themselves. They will not feature 2D pits in CFS3, but they also said that with CFS3 the development paths of the sims are no longer synchronised so features from one are not almost automatically to be found in the other.Apart from the poor visuals (in general), poor gauge readability and lack of clickable gauges (so you have to go back to 2D to flip a switch etc.) there is another problem with VCs.They exclude (in the current system) you from the option of putting in another panel. They are linked hard to the MDL (in fact, are part of the MDL) so you cannot replace just the panel with a better (or easier if you're lazy :-)) one. Now Microsoft might be able to solve that by providing the VC as a separate entity much like they do with the 2D panels now, but FS2002 does not offer that and at the very least it would make panel development a lot more complicated.

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I really enjoy a GOOD VC, but they're hard to find! I like the default Cessna VCs, because they are very crisp, at least on my system. But a lot of freeware VCs are hardly usable for me - which should not really be understood as a complaint, because those freeware authors bring so much fun to my flying, I can't thank them enough!!! But it just shows that it's much harder to build a good virtual cockpit than a 2D panel.One problem for me that was not mentioned yet is to find a good position in the VC. I want to see the main gauges including the VSI, and have a good look at the landscape outside. With a lot of VCs that's only possible in a wide angle view, but the distortions in these wide angles make me sick, really ;)My favourite VC is the Cessna 421C's, shown in a post above. Very good default position, and in special conditions, I move my position up until I only see the upper row of gauges, which gives a perfect view of the ground in front of the plane.I normally have the radio stack and/or GPS on my second monitor. Nothing fancy or expensive, just my 10 year old 14 inch 640x480 display driven by a cheap 4 MB PCI graphics card, both of which had spent years in the storage room. That's really best of both world - clickable radio stack und virtual cockpit without fixed window overlays.One last thing that greatly enhances my VC experience: the Saitek X45 joystick and thrust control system. This wonderful (and very reasonably priced) device has two rotary controls on the thrust control. I use the upper one, controlled by my left index finger, to pan around the cockpit. Much smoother and more controlled than looking around with the hat, and it has an indentation in the middle so you easily find back to the center view. Perfect! Btw, I use the second rotary for trimming, which is equally great.

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I am watching this thread for a while now, and I am really wondering why nobody so far has mentioned trackIR in this respect.The whole real fun of the VCs only starts with trackIR. I never used the VCs as even the best payware planes have better 2Ds than VCs. However as soon as you have trackIR and can actually look left and right while taxiing and on short final simply by moving your head, and absolutely smooth the whole idea of a VC suddenly comes alive. The awareness factor takes an incredible jump. Start flying aerobatics with e.g. the SF260 and you know what I am talking about. Of course you can do it from outside the cockpit, but hey, it makes you feel like an RC pilot.Since I have trackIR I never use the 2Ds. I also refuse to fly any airplanes that do not have a top VC.Alex

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Ken what is an "active camera" I searched for it in HELP but found no mention.What does it do and where can I get it?Cliff

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The biggest advantage of the VC IMO is that it finally gives you control over your view point. No more "jumpseat view" which is the standard with 2D panels. I can think of only a handful of 2D panels which actually have the artificial horizon centered where it should be. To get the VC to where it is truly functional for me has taken a fair bit of money and effort. I use 2 CPUs linked together, the primary CPU has three monitors - two of which display the 2D panels needed for most operations (radios, switches, etc). The main monitor is almost always in 3D VC mode and as most of you know from my rants and raves, I use TrackIR to be able to look around the VC and outside for situational awareness (critical!). For a long time I had to switch back and forth between VC and 2D to operate certain switches, but a Hagstrom Electric keyboard emulator now allows me to control nearly everything with an array of switches that I've added overtime. If anyone wants more info, just let me know.David

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2D = IFRIf you are a real pilot and use 2d panels to simulate and practice the approach pattern at your local airfield, you are probably developing some bad habits. If you just play the game for fun, then use whatever ever is most fun for you. Just remember, real pilots spend most of their time panning outside with quick glances at their instruments. An activity that is best simulated with VCs

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