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Essential for FS2K4

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Ok,I've given this a lot of thought recently, and I don't mean to (re)start a thread on this subject, but the one thing I realized that is absolutely essential for MS to design into FS2K4 is a proper autopilot and FMS.Think about it - until the Mad Dog came along, no add-ons (let alone the "stock" FS98) had both a thrust mode and a speed mode for the autothrottle (N1/THR/EPR and SPD/MACH) and multiple vertical speed modes (i.e. IAS Hold (LVL CHG/FL CHG for Boeing) mode vs. the V/S or Vert Spd mode.) I think that the next version of FS, before any upgraded weather, ATC, scenery, needs to have a proper working autopilot and a working FMS. Some people may argue that that is too complex due to the various types of FMS (Airbus vs. Boeing vs. any others) and the intricacies of each. I say that this argument is complete baloney - the various algorithms (or laws, as they are known) for determining the various vertical and horizontal autopilot modes and the thrust vs. speed modes of the autothrottle are, in real life, probably pretty similar, if not exactly the same. Sure each aircraft type may force the tweaking of the coefficients in a specific control loop, but they are about the same in terms of the overall desired results of the algorithms.Seeing as how various payware addon authors over the years have managed to independently come up with working autopilot modes (PSS, Dreamfleet, Lago's Mad Dog, 767PIC, etc.), this tells me that it is doable by MS. As far as the FMS portion, only the look and feel of different FMSs may be different. The actual guts of the FMS results in the same thing - managed autothrottle modes and managed vertical and lateral navigation modes, based on the specific A/C, temperature, etc. The actual navigation data is the same no matter which FMS is being modeled. It should be easy enough to create a generic FMS panel that can be configured based on A/C type (i.e. if you designate the FMS as being in a Boeing 737, then a Boeing-style FMS panel shows up - if it is an Airbus 330, then an A330 panel style is displayed.)Lemme know if I sound like a loon...

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I disagree with you,and this is why:just look at products like PIC767 and PSSA320: they bring out complete aircraft with FMS and complete Ap system and you know they're the best because it's their job.MS should put its time in areas at which it's good at, like scenery,ATC,weather,... so those developers can concentrate on the aircraft. I MS were to give us a fully FMS,other areas would be worse

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Although I see your point I guess that level of development does give me cause for concern. If MS installed such things as FMC's etc you may well find that functionality is locked and therefore no add ons featuring that device. In the end you dont end up with a simulation you end up with a game that has no upgrade path and is only MS's vision of how the world of aviation looks and works. I agree with the other post in this thread (not with the bit about ATC though) MS should stick with their development as they have through the years but give us a product that does allow for development by freware and payware producers. Careful what you wish for as you may just get it. I guess it all comes down to how much MS is going to invest in development as I guess if it is huge amounts developing integrated systems they have to try and recoup that money and one of the only way would be to charge for add ons.I really do see you point and it would be nice to have but I just get the feeling MS would not allow 3rd party add ons. But of course I am here to be proved wrong.All the bestLau Hu

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All I have to say is learn to fly the damn plane by hand man! So sick of the point and click croud around here.

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Hmm I think you will find that most people can and do fly their aircraft by hand, I will often (probably more times than not knock the AP off just to be able to do an approach on manual. But the real aircraft has an FMC as well as many other features and this is supposed to be a simulation so then why not use it. I suppose you dont use VOR's or NDB's either, just look out the window and study a map (bit difficult at fl350). Of course we should all be able to fly and navigate manually but I also like to plan and program a flight in an FMC. There are as many different ways of flying as there are flyers, surely what its all about is enjoying ourselves and helping others out where and when we can.All the bestLau Hu

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The problem I see with having MS do this is it will be on the Default planes. Who still flies the Defalt planes? I'm sure there are a few people that do but most of the people that would appreciate these types of systems will undoubtely be the first to leave the Default planes behind for the newest and greatest add of aircraft. That being said why should MS waste time in developing this when they could spend their time doing something else that we can all use for every aircraft we fly such as weather or scenery or ATC upgrades.Ken

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>I've given this a lot of thought recently, and I don't mean >to (re)start a thread on this subject, but the one thing I then why do you do it anyway?>realized that is absolutely essential for MS to design into >FS2K4 is a proper autopilot and FMS. >No it's not.The autopilot is quite good, and an FMS isn't needed.90% of users don't care about either, and the other 10% will buy an addon to suit their tastes.If Microsoft were to include an FMS (and of course a different one and a different autopilot for each of the 100 aircraft people want to have, else it's not realistic enough) that would increase the price of the product to a point where almost noone would be buying it, and all that for a small minority of users?>Some people may argue that that is too complex due to the >various types of FMS (Airbus vs. Boeing vs. any others) and >the intricacies of each. I say that this argument is >complete baloney - the various algorithms (or laws, as they >are known) for determining the various vertical and >horizontal autopilot modes and the thrust vs. speed modes of >the autothrottle are, in real life, probably pretty similar, >if not exactly the same. Sure each aircraft type may force >the tweaking of the coefficients in a specific control loop, >but they are about the same in terms of the overall desired >results of the algorithms. >If it is so easy to implement, go ahead and do it. Then ask Microsoft to hire you because you have a must-have addition to FS that they MUST include in the next version.Threaten them with legal action if they don't even, you know you're right don't you?>Seeing as how various payware addon authors over the years >have managed to independently come up with working autopilot >modes (PSS, Dreamfleet, Lago's Mad Dog, 767PIC, etc.), this >tells me that it is doable by MS. As far as the FMS >portion, only the look and feel of different FMSs may be >different. The actual guts of the FMS results in the same >thing - managed autothrottle modes and managed vertical and >lateral navigation modes, based on the specific A/C, No, the look and feel are just about all that IS similar.The functionality is all different and highly dependent on the aircraft.If MS were to introduce an FMS, they'd need (for the current FS set of aircraft) at least 4 of them (737,747,777,Learjet) and possibly more (I think some Caravans have an FMS as well).And of course people will then complain that there is no correct FMS for the freeware A380 they downloaded and cry foul against MS for not providing it...>Lemme know if I sound like a loon... yup, you do.

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Well, to address your (and everyone else's questions:)1. Seeing as how flightsim leaves room for developers, why do you have concern that adding in FMS and realistic autopilots would lock things up and wouldn't also be available for developers to tweak with? MS will probably never include an Airbus as a default aircraft. That doesn't mean that a developer couldn't modify the default FMS to look like an Airbus FMS, for use with someone's add-on A320. The algorithms that drive how an FMS works internally should be the same, even though the HMI (Human-Machine Interface) may look different (i.e. the buttons are labeled differently, the panel is blue instead of tan, etc.)2. The argument that MS shouldn't get involved in making realistic FMS and autopilots because 3rd party developers are expected to make complete aircraft add-ons is confusing to me - not every 3rd party developer makes a complete add-on, and even some of the payware ones don't do everything great - using your own example of the PIC767 - you do know that there is a merge file someone created so that the PIC767 panel could be used with the POSKY 763, right? Do you know why? because the POSKY model looks and flies better than the PIC767 default 767. Likewise, 3rd party developers can (and have done so in the past) chosen the parts of the default stuff that work for them, and created new stuff that the default stuff can't do (i.e. creating a panel and using some of the default gauges, but also creating new ones.) The second part of this statement (that MS should stick to doing what they do best - scenery, ATC, weather is really confusing to me. If MS does these things well, then why are there literally thousands of add-on scenery, the FSMETEO (and before that RealWX) and the previous add-ons of ProFlight, Radar Contact, as well as the original development of FSFS?3. As far as Lando's comment that we should all learn to fly by hand and not do point-and-click. Well - Lando, most of us do fly by hand, but anyone who has tools available and decides to be a Luddite is foolish at best. In fact, some aircraft, like the A320 were designed to *not* be flown by hand. I've never suggested that we throw a full FMS and multi-channel autopilot into the default Cessna, but if the real heavy iron has them (and almost all of them do, even if in the form of an old-style INS like the 742, L10-11 and first gen DC-10s had), then why shouldn't we expect to have them in the simulation?4. I'm also not saying to make the autopilots and FMS be Cat D simulator level of fidelity. Look at the differences between the PSS 747/777 FMS and the DF737 FMS. Sure the DF737 has more simulated functionality, but at the expense of framerates. The PSS FMS gets by just fine by being embedded in the panel and not having the ability to view the DPs and STARs graphically in the FMS.5. Finally, something that I think everyone has overlooked - if it is in the default code of flightsim, it will do two things: the first is that it will make development of 3rd party addons quicker and easier (once the SDK gets released) and the second thing is it will not eat up CPU cycles caused by running add-ons that have to run separately (take a look at how much slower the DF737 panel runs with the FMC running than without - in my case, I can't use this great panel and FMS until I upgrade from a Celeron 566 (O/C to 638) do to it running along at slideshow speed.)

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