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Dillon

What Is the Purpose of the virtual cockpit?

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I've flown FS2002 for over a year now and aside from the fact that the virtual cockpit looks "different" from the 2D panels, I'm still trying to figure out just what it's supposed to do beyond a 2D panel. Is it supposed to support mouse-panning view or something; if so, I haven't been able to make this work -- just the usual snap views. What am I missing here -- what's the point of the VC?

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For me at least, the VC view adds freedom to change your view to any certain point you want out of the entire 360 degrees available. It doesnt do much good using the keyboard to change the view (especially while shooting a VOR approach in a fast moving aircraft), but other options like a 4 or 8 way hat switch work great as far as Im concerned. There are other options available like the TrackIR or the new Cam2Pan, neither of which I have tried.The limitation that I really cant get past is the functionality of the VC, which is basically nil. I will normally take off in 2D mode, switch to VC enroute switch back to 2D for the approach and back to VC mode again for the last mile or less of the approach. Basically I feel the need to switch to 2D whenever the workload is high in the cockpit, but nothing beats the VC view. Supposedly Wilco was working on a clickable VC, but since the release of Airport 2002 I havent heard much about it.Another downside to Gmax modelling and VC's and such is the time that goes into designing an aircraft with all of these features that everyone wants. It is such a long and tedious process that unless you have a fairly sizeable team put together to split up the workload, most designers probably wont be able to incorporate all of these great things into their models and put out more than 2 or 3 before the release of FS2004. We are already less than a year from that release and I feel like FS2002 hasnt even gotten a good start yet. I wouldnt have a problem if MS skipped 2004 and let this sim mature a little bit. If not, I doubt that we will ever see all of what 2002 has to offer. Unfortunately, MS is a business and if they think (and theyre right) that people will buy 2004, theyll have it out right on schedule. Anyways, sorry for the rambling on when all you wanted to know was about VCs, but its all kind of related. :)Craig

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Using programs suck as active camera you can pan the view using your mouse.Some prefer the VC over the 2D panel. It gives u the ability to see your surroundings much better. I know I enjoy the perspective it gives.

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I started experimenting with the VC about a month after getting FS2002, since I do not like the 2d cockpit at all. "Looking around" in the VC is so much more realistic than the "snap views" in 2d and the cockpit appears to be much more "real" rather than a 2d BMP.Controls are a big issue since most FS2002 aircraft "NEED" the 2d panel - however I normally fly the FSD Commander & Cheyenne which are pretty good for the VC (although not perfect), along with the Falcon 50 - which I have edited the panel to give me a snap in with all the main controls along the bottom of my VC, this let's me fly from start to finish with no use (at all) for the main 2d view....

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I think the 'purpose' of the virtual cockpit is to make the whole flight simulator experience more realistic. Of course, in FS2002 the VC is in an early stage of development. In the next version I expect the VC to be fully functional, and will probably make 2D panels redundant. Meanwhile, I strongly recommend Active Camera. Apart from other great features such as a flyby view, you can use the mouse to smoothly pan around the virtual cockpit. It's definitely one of the best add-ons for FS2002. Best regards, Chris

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It all comes down to what each person considers to be more realistic. A hand drawn virtual cockpit with working (albeit barely readable) gauges and square angled, bright colored untextured polygons to represent everything from the seats to the center pedestal and throttle quadrant, versus a static 2D view made from one of the excellent cockpit, cabin or wing view photos available on the internet. I personally think the later is a lot more realistic. As for the ammount of vision you get out of a 2D view it depends on how you configure the bitmap. Currently I run a 727 with photo real right side (45,90,135) cockpit views matched with a rear open door cabin view and last row left window and mid-fuselage left wing views. When looking rear left you can see the engine intake and the tip of the wing, the rest is scenery. Try to beat that with your average VC!Mauricio

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In the virtual cockpit I pan quickly and accurately using the hat switch on my joystick. This freedom of view fits nicely with VFR flights in smaller aircraft (Archer II, sf260) and on all aircraft looking ahead during landing pattern turns. For larger aircraft flying IFR and with more cockpit workload I still find the 2D panel the best. Perhaps this also will change in the future as the virtual panels become more precise and functional. Steve J.

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This is a very hard topic to find a single answer. There are no one size fits all. I like reading what is said about the VC and I'd like to what I think of it.IMHO, the VC if done properlly (with a correct visual cue of your engine for reference to the horizon for example - not talking about aesthetics here), then, it can provide the feeling you have when flying VFR. However, the drawback is that because of some design flaws (many posts about this in the "acft & panel forum"), the gauges are not refreshed fast enough to allow any precise "instrument" reference. It is hard in any VC I've flown so far to have an appropriate visual scan during final, as I learned to do, i.e. RWY / IAS / RWY / VSI / RWY / IAS ...To me, the VC is good to look at the scenery, do some basic VFR flying, and when precision is not a factor to land the aircraft as well. The 2D is the best experience I have anytime I fly IFR, and try to recreate my real wold experience in the Sim.Hope this helps!

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> It is >hard in any VC I've flown so far to have an appropriate >visual scan during final, as I learned to do, i.e. RWY / IAS >/ RWY / VSI / RWY / IAS ... IMO----- there are a few VC's out there that greatly enhance the pattern and landing experience. Until virtual cockpits came along, I generally dismissed pattern work. As for instrument scan, I find it much easier to just use the "shift z" digital readouts for indicated airspeed during my pattern turns and final approach. I never worry about "vertical speed" during real landings, once the runway is in sight, so I don't when simming either.L.Adamson

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> For larger aircraft flying IFR and with more >cockpit workload I still find the 2D panel the best. >Perhaps this also will change in the future as the virtual >panels become more precise and functional. Same here! Love the ArcherII and SF260 virtual panels. With the DF Cardinal and Flight1 Cessna 421, I'm split between 2D and VC, but use 2D's excluisivly for larger commercial type aircraft. I just don't find any large aircraft VC's looking real enough, let alone usuable to serve as a form of virtual reality. The Flight1 DC-9 is an example. I'd prefer 2D bit-maps for side views as an alternative to VC views, like Dreamfleet does with the Cardinal and ArcherII.L.Adamson

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simple...I allows one to actually move into a postion of 'sitting in the pilots seat' as there is no single 2d panel on the market (freeware or payware) that does this. The only expection to this is the user modified VFR landing panel for the 767PIC product - and that is the only one, period.Review the PIC forum here at avsim and see the photo that BBall took while actually landing the '67 and it will become immediatly clear to you just how bizzare standard 2d panels are.Developers still cant let go of the 2d position even when designing the 3d VC's, I have actually seen VC's that have the yoke move toward the center console to more closely match the 2d screen - freakish indeed.

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Hi,I love the VC!!! Can't live without it. In fact I won't even fly an FS2002 aircraft without one. I get a much better suspension of disbelief when in VC.Problem with it of course is you can't do any cockpit work so for high-workload times it just won't cut it.However, I have had some success in strictly using the VC and pop-up panels (shift 1-9). In VC, pull up a pop-up, click away, then hide the pop-up. But, most panels have important controls only on the main panel (shift-1)... bringing up the main panel hides the outside view in VC. I have flown some add-on aircraft that have sub-panels for most main panel functions and this works great!Now all we need are more aircraft setup this way! :)-Damian[table border=0" cellspacing="30" cellpadding="0][tr][td align = "left"]Damian ClarkHiFi Simulation SoftwareDeveloper of ActiveSkyThe next-generation weather environment simulation for FS2002!http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky[/td][td]http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/images/wxresmallbanner.jpg][/td][/tr][/table://http://hifi.avsim.net/activesky/ima...][/tr][/table

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>............When looking rear left you can >see the engine intake and the tip of the wing, the rest is >scenery. Try to beat that with your average VC! >>Mauricio Mauricio, You can do this easily with a VC, though of course it depends on the individual design. In my Constellation design I can 'walk' back into the passenger cabin and see the wings and engines. Of course, if I change my position the perspective of the wing and engines changes naturally - something impossible with static views! Best regards, Chris

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The main purpose of virtual cockpits is to remind us how good 2d panels are (grin)!Jaap Verduijn.

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The only virtual cockpit worth using (IMHO)is the SIAI Marchetti from Real Air Simulations. It is the clearest and most crisp (with hardly ANY sharp edges) VC on the commercial market. If I could get the gauges to function in high detail mode without stutters, I would use the VC (in this a/c only)100% of my simming time.Jason

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You tell 'em Cris! 2D IS HISTORY. My 2. The darn thing is a vc is just crying for a vr helmet which are still future talk. :-( WHY???? :-madNew handycam's have crisp little displays which could be used for vr.1 for each eye means 3d as a bonus! BTW; I adjust most instruments via the keyboard in vc mode. (even airspeed that m$ forgot to add.) And there are some real beauties (vc's) out there! I fly posky's crj vc only. And the exterior isn't too bad either!

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>Developers still cant let go of the 2d position even when >designing the 3d VC's, I have actually seen VC's that have >the yoke move toward the center console to more closely >match the 2d screen - freakish indeed. I've taken a different approach to VC and 2d panel design. I build the VC first, and then use a 'snapshot' of that to serve as the basis for the 2d design. This way, there should be such a glaring difference between the two when switching back and forth... :)

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You can always create your own "snap in" panels to add the extra controls, I originally did one for the Falcon using "Notepad" shown below, no need for the 2d cockpit at all with that now !! I had originally constructed them for everything I fly although I managed to lose them when I wiped my machine....

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I used to fly a charter 310 that had a similar panel. While realistic, that single-bar attitude indicator has to go! The one I flew also had a barrel-type GC (like the old wet compasses). Not only were they difficult to read, but their age resulted in a huge amount of precession and resulted in their replacement after we came out of the clouds once in a bank when the AI showed wings level! I hope Lou is planning on allowing users the choice of alternate instrumentation for his new 310! I do applaud him for "as real as it gets!"

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> I hope Lou is planning >on allowing users the choice of alternate instrumentation >for his new 310! I do applaud him for "as real as it gets!" I know Lou has alternates for radio's............. as I refuse to use any radio without the newer digital displays and "flip flops"! It's just the way I am with any real life "rental" aircraft.The 310 is just in the designing stage, but we can sure make your statement known,..... as I agree! Even the 1944 P51-D Mustang I went up in, had a much newer attitude indicator.. :)L.Adamson

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>The main purpose of virtual cockpits is to remind us how >good 2d panels are I totally agree Jaap. :-)

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The purpose of a VC in my views is this:In Flight Simulaotr 2002, You have a 2D Panel, which most of the times in VFR weather your eyes are stuck on all the guages anyway, thats what a 2D panel does to you, instructors tell if you play MSFS by this in real life.I remeber when I took my introductory flight, my insturcotr said "You play Flight Simulator a lot, right?" . I asked him how he knew that, and he replied "Your eyes are stuck on the gauges, scan them every few seconds, and the rest of the time look outside for traffic, and enjoy the view."In real life, you scan the gauges every few seconds and have, while looking foward, a full view of entire panel, left and right corner views, and partial left and right window views. With a virtual cockpit, thats basically what you do. 2D panels do not let you do that. Have a great day!

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I second that Splash... 2D panels are very restrictive which is very unrealistic in real life. The VC allows you to scan the sky and not the gauges for 90% of your flight. We are just at the beginning of this new feature which I think is great.

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