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Does Anyone Realy Care About VC's?

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Perhaps it's just that I have yet to be enlightened by a really good VC, but from what I've seen so far I find that VC's detract from the simming experience. In a VC I always feel that I'm looking for something - looking for a switch, looking down at a instrument, looking left at the runway, back at the horizon, left at the runway and so on. True, this is the way it works in the read world, but in the real world my neck is a much better "UI" then the hat on top of my joystick is. I would rather see developers focus on detachable sub panels and exterior views that fit well and work well when spanning across monitors and across PC's. On a single-monitor single-PC system then I guess a VC would be more valuable, but it seems like a large number of users are going multi-monitor anyway.

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I personally dont like VC's. Only type of VC that I like are on planes where you can move to a virtual seat look out the window LOL. When I usually fly, I want the least number of guages possible, and VC's are a distraction. I can never get the zoom right either, things look way too big at 1x, and stuff in the cockpit look good at .5X except out the window. I have found the best way to fly is with the "w" mini panel loaded, it provides all the info I need, since I fly VFR.

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Hi Dennis,Have you tried the SF-260 SAIA Marchetti? Only one word to describe it: Simply outstanding! Oh, okay two words :)Mike

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VC's 'detract' from the simming experience? Extraordinary! For me it's the exact opposite. I can only say that, for me, virtual cockpits are the only way to fly. I simply don't use flat panels any more. VC's come far closer to the feeling of actually being there. Using Active Camera, I can easily pan around with the mouse, and the head latency effect brings it to life even more. Having reassigned the VC move commands to more logical keys, I can easily move around, raise my head for a better forward view - or move over to the co-pilot's seat, or take a stroll into the passenger cabin! Best regards, Chris

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>> VC's come far closer to the feeling of actually being >there. Using Active Camera, I can easily pan around with the >mouse, and the head latency effect brings it to life even >more. Having reassigned the VC move commands to more logical >keys, I can easily move around, raise my head for a better >forward view - or move over to the co-pilot's seat, or take >a stroll into the passenger cabin! >I'm with you completely! The only planes I really like to fly nowadays are ones with a good VC, like the Falcon 50 and Flightcraft A340. I also use Active Camera and I find it very easy and realistic to pan around with. A TrackIR would be better though..:( Even the poorer VC's are very useful when taxiing or doing a flare. You can switch to 2d for the other phases of flight.If the Wilco's A320 PIC proves to be as good and as it sounds, it will be my choice for the future. It is supposed to have a similar pan-around function and latency effects.

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I totally agree with you Chris. VC's are the only way to fly for me nowadays. My setup for flying is relatively simple: 2 monitors (21 and 17 inch), the big one for the VC, the small one for a selection of 2D instruments (radio's, throttle-Q, etc) that i can operate with the mouse. Therefor i don't use active camera. This way, and with added support of my own little homecockpit (basically some hacked USB joystick and gamepad giving me 3 axis and 20 buttons) i can do everything directly, be it VFR or IFR operations. The buttons on my yoke are all setup for viewing purposes in the VC.So, VC's are (for me) the greatest improvement over previous versions of FS.Cas.

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Dennis, I used to feel the same way and still do about some VCs, but with active camera, the experience has changed! I to, like the ability to walk down the isle and go back to the back and take a seat next to the window! I LOVE that! You can adjust the pan rate in the FS2002 cfg to allow for faster panning in the VC mode if that helps. With the head latency feature in active camera, it is very realistic feeling on approach and takeoff. BUT... if the quality of the VC is sub par (I know it is hard to achieve, so I am not knocking any designers!) I would prefer a good 2D panal with side views over a crude VC. Example, I recently found the Porter by FSD for FS2000 and it has the most incredible 2D panel with side views!Active camera makes it happen for me!Michaelhttp://www.geocities.com/res052cd/cmhbanner.gif

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Well at first i thought they were a waste of time i used the 2D panel and outside view then i got the Robin DR400 REGENT that has such a good veiw out of the VC that i now use the VC for landing about 90% of the time.Thats landing small GA's and light twins...Damn its so easy to line up the runway...Well thats my 2c worthhttp://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxrebeta.jpg

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I'm not a big fan on virtual cockpits (unless they look real). It's just my opinion, but I prefer realistic 2D shots, rather than square windows and square seats etc.Some aircraft models are just outstanding, but the virtual cockpit spoil the aircraft. Some of the virtual cockpits remind me of FS95 days, just a bunch of flat and square things.. I wished when aircraft designers sell aircraft, they give the buyer an option of a virtual cockpit, or no virtual cockpit..Just my four cents worth..Example, which cockpit view do you prefer? http://ftp.avsim.com/dcforum/User_files/3de1b01c69ba7ec8.jpghttp://ftp.avsim.com/dcforum/User_files/3de1b02369c1b245.jpg

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Currently I do not use VC's at all. The reason is the awkward joystick hat control for view direction changing. An 'ideal' view direction control for me would be a VR-device or glasses which you mount on your head. The build in small monitors should always display the view corresponding to head movement.Does anyone know of such a VR-device currently in planning or development?

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It's a matter of picking and choosing. The above pics are a no brainer in favor of the 2D panel. Other aircraft such as the RealAirSF260, and freeware Robin DR400 are "naturals" for using the VC as the preferred mode. And with others, such as the Dreamfleet ArcherII and Cardinal, I'm split between 2D and VC modes depending upon what I'm doing. As of now, I also prefer commercial catagory aircraft in 2D mode.L.Adamson

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I accept having poorer graphics in exchange for the better perspective and head motion. Especially when using Active Camera i think the immersion factor is higher than what can be achieved in a 2D cockpit. Having said that i only use the very best VCs, like the sf260, Falcon and Robin. Now if MS do away with the 2D cockpits entirely like in many combat sims, developers could concentrate on making som really great VCs. - Oyvind

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I only like VC's in GA aircraft like the 260 and the Cessna 421 where there is not a lot of gauges to use. for airliners i think they absolutely suck at the currenttime and unless they improve significantly I guess i will not be buying future issues of MSFS if the rumours are true about MS doing away with 2D panels altogether.

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True, even the best VCs suffer somewhat from resolution problems but no one can argue that it isn't the most realistic view. We can't do without 2D panels either, though, because they are needed for functionality and for those of us with multiple monitors. Those of you who poopoo VCs obviously have not tried TrackIR because once you do, the "head in a neck brace" feeling you get with strictly 2D cockpits is unbearable. As for functionality, a keyboard emulator with a few switches from RadioShack turns your system into a home cockpit pretty easily.The biggest reason to go to a VC for me? NO MORE JUMPSEAT VIEW!! Almost no 2D panel gives you the true pilot's view. They are always skewed to the right to show the avionics and more. Taxiing in that state gives the sensation of crabbing down the runway. It's horrible! In VC, you can slide anywhere you want - even over to the copilots seatI'm concerned that the new "clickable" VCs will actually be the worst combination yet however. No VC I've seen to date provides enough detail to actually click on gauges and see the changes effectively (Kohlsman window for example). Performance is also sure to suffer too. As it is, most VCs tax even the high end systems, at least more than 2D panels. I'll certainly give them a good try, but as I say, I am skeptical. THe worst of both worlds!David

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Yeah, that digitized copy of the checklist should really help judge my turn to final from right base. ;-) For me it's all about functionality, not eye-candy. Of course, if they occur together, all the better.David

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Better get used to them or stick with fs2k2 forever; cfs3 is all vc.Anyway once they all get fotoreal and fully operational, 2d will be like 'do you remember when..'Here we go; another vc versus 2d tread..Go simming.

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Imagine driving your car with a neckbrace on and blinders. That's what it is like for me using a 2D only model now after getting used to TrackIR and good VCs! Use the hat to change to those gorgeous 2D quarter panels you say? Well, the hat on my yoke (and most I've seen) is on the right horn so you either have to take your hand off the throttles during the most challenging part of the flight or continue looking straight ahead. Tough choice and one we shouldn't have to make. Can you tell I really love my TrackIR???David

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David,Everybody takes things so damn serious on this board so let me start by saying that this is only my opinion, that I respect yours, that the key is to have an enjoyable experience, and that I find these debates educational rather than argumentative. Anyway...>"...no one can argue that it isn't the most realistic view."I'll argue with you. ;) For me, I think the most realistic view is when the primary display is full screen outside and the (2D) panels are undocked on separate screens.>"...the sensation of crabbing down the runway. It's horrible!"When you undock the panel you can physically position it anywhere you want.?"...either have to take your hand off the throttles during the most challenging part of the flight"My MS stick has the hat on the top. It's no problem to throttle with my left hand and stick with my right while using the hat with my thumb. Although, I would much rather have the left/right thing in reverse so that I could throttle with my right hand when in the left seat!>"Can you tell I really love my TrackIR?"Yes!As an added bonus, undocking the main panel yields an aprox (and honest) 15-20% fps increase on my system. I typically only see ~15 when landing so an extra 2-3 fps makes a noticeable (and needed) improvement.

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What is with the philosophy on this board that the only people holy enough to have opinions are (freeware) developers? I certainly respect the efforts of every designer/painter/modeler/author out there. Out hobby would not be what it is without them. I'm not knocking any specific product; I'm only trying to discuss what is the best way to experience FS. Sorry for the rant.

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After reading all these posts about the pros and cons of VC and 2d panels, I can't help thinking that a good give-and-take -solution would be to incorporate ActiveCamera-style latency effects to a 2d panel !!If only the panels were slightly bigger so that the scenery would not flicker under the edges ;)

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Dennis,I hope I didn't come off as being too serious on this issue - just passionate! :-)>I'll argue with you. ;) For me, I think the most realistic >view is when the primary display is full screen outside and >the (2D) panels are undocked on separate screens. Actually, you have a point here. That really would be the best but I would still use the VC for my full screen outside view - preferably with a projector - because the situational awareness is just so critical to flying realistically.>>>"...the sensation of crabbing down the runway. It's horrible!">>When you undock the panel you can physically position it >anywhere you want. Again, that is true. Your system is really yet another rung up the ladder from what I'm talking about (and what I use).>>?"...either have to take your hand off the throttles during >the most challenging part of the flight" >>My MS stick has the hat on the top. It's no problem to >throttle with my left hand and stick with my right while >using the hat with my thumb. Although, I would much rather >have the left/right thing in reverse so that I could >throttle with my right hand when in the left seat! Well, I really can't enjoy using a stick anymore although sometimes I wish I had it installed for the SF260.Do you have pictures of your setup? Is it a true home cockpit or a work in progress (I guess they all fit the latter!). Thanks for pointing out yet another solution.David

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Yep. It has already been stated that FS2004 will ship with VC only. No more 2D panels from MS.

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Believe it or not, I like the first pic better. Sure the panel below looks great and much more realistic, but it doesn't have the shadows and lighting effects as you turn. Also, with the "sticky" views, you're limited to eight directions, whereas in a VC, you can look in just the direction you want. Take another look at the above pics. Outside the window, everything is sort of blocky and crude looking, so the less-detailed VC doesn't seem out of place. Just my opinion, but I believe a VC - even a crude one - and even with the joystick mounted hat switch - enhances the sensation of being in the airplane.

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