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michal

Complaint about the Go Flight Review

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One complaint I have about the Go Flight Review is that is does not give you any feedback on the compatability of GF with addon aircraft. What I want to know before spending all of my money on this equipment is that it will work with 767PIC, PSS, etc. etc. It's a lot of money to spend on something that may only work with the default aircraft. I have e-mailed PSS who tell me they don't use GF and I have e-mailed GF who tell me they don't use PSS planes. No doubt this is a great product, but only if it works with the major commercial addons and this should have been clearly reflected in the review.Mark.

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The only problem is that the add-ons you consider essential are not neccessarily important to other people. And vice versa. Therefore to be fair, Avsim would have had to test the gear with just about every add-on that ever claimed to have decent market penetration and / or user appeal - not just the aircraft you mentioned. It just isn't practical to test new products with everything that is out there in the market. In any case I know my local GF retailer offer these hardware products with a money back guarantee. So if it doesn't work with your add-ons you could return it for a refund anyway. Perhaps you could find a retailer that does the same.

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Mark,Have to agree with you there, I must say I was a little disappointed that the MCP is unable to work with most add on aircraft.In fact I have yet to use it, as I fly mainly PSS aircraft.There is no mention of this on the GoFlight web site :-(GoFlight indicated they are looking into making the MCP panel work with PSS aircraft, but after reading the review it seems they are spending more time producing new products than supporting the MCP :-(RegardsBarry

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I just don't accept that notion that because an exhaustive test of every addon is impracticle that no testing will be done at all. A quick browse of the Avsim forums gives a very good idea of the most popular freeware and payware addons. Even if a sample of these were tested is would provide some useful information.Mark.

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Its not always possible to cover every aspect of the hardware's functionality when writing the review. I do not own aircraft like the 767 PIC or PSS aircraft, so it would be unfair to comment on it and make assumptions. To make a comment that it is not functional with "most addon aircraft" is a little strong. I do have a great deal of bought addon aircraft, and the GF range of products work flawlessly with them. Having about 60 or so aircraft in my Fs2002 folders, I have as yet to find one that is not compatible or does work with the MCP. When I wrote the review I could only comment on aircraft that I have tested it on. I can understand that people wish to know about specifics, but in lots of cases it is just not possible. RgdsAidanhttp://www.avsim.com/vfr_center/avsim_sig.jpg

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Aidan,I agree with you, but GoFlight not mentioning it on their web pages is something I find disappointing (and they can not say they are unaware of the problem).RegardsBarry

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Hi"Its not always possible to cover every aspect of the hardware's functionality when writing the review".Well maybe you were the wrong person to review it in the first place.It seems to me that folks that are willing to pony up the big bucks for this hardware are the same people that will try to use it with the better addons that are available in the the first place.The functionality issue should have been addressed but in defence of GoFlight their software is getting better and hopefully will continue to do so in the future.I really think that reviews should be taken with a grain of salt and the best way to determine the real values will still be found by asking about it in the forums.

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Hi Aidi and all,let me take the opportunity add some light about the "compatibility" issue and third party vendors then.To the prospective customer: what you have to know about ALL external hardware is that they are designed pirmarily to externally command the default set of available actions as defined in the stock FS2002. These actions are the ones, mostly, which are also available through a shortcut key (which is assignable with the help of the setup function within FS2002). As long as the aircraft you fly with relies entirely on the default FS2002 subsystem (for example, an autopilot which even if not ressemble a Bendix King, provides the same keys AND logic as the default Bendix King) then all works well. However, when more advanced gauges are offered such as the Meridian STEC 55X which work like an STEC 55X, not a Bendix King, then all of a sudden the external hardware fail short. Not because it couldn't work, but because, and it make sense to some extent, they only rely on what FS2002 as to offer as a standard key interface.Now, what is the trouble and how to solve this with other "non-compatible" third party vendors products?GoFlight and Elite DO provide their own SDK to allow a third party developper to "read" the current hardware state (position of a switch for example), to "react" to a hardware state change (you just moved the switch), and to "export" data (driving a led display). The major problem is that each vendor not only has to code, for each and any hardware vendor, the proper interface to it (which given the various implementations may also make some functions working on some hardware and some other functions not working on some other hardware - such as led display), but also has to purchase the modules to test compatibility. Which is quite expensive, and given the percentage of users having these hardware among the simming community does not justify the return on investement. Also, some of these hardware only work with the help of FSUIPC. Altough it is a great solution and that many users use it daily, and I sincerely recognize the outstanding work Pete Downson has offered for free to contribute to the community, it simply is not an option for some vendors to rely upon a "non supported" freeware as a central component of their "supported" and sold applications. Non supported in the sense that there is no contractual agreement between a vendor and its customers to support the solution (in this case the vendor being Pete Downson and the customer the typical Aircraft Third Party Vendor). As the end customer, if the solution fails, who to blame then and who is liable?What are the alternatives, how to help? if there should be a single uniform way to provide a universal interface to third party vendors, and not only to FS2002 stock functions, is in having the hardware vendors:1) offer "development" kits to third party software vendors to assess the capabilities of the solutions, and test bench their integration. Development kits includes sample hardware. If not offered ad vitam eternam for free, it could at least be lended for a limited time, such as 3 months.2) hardware vendors MUST build their own key interface to third party software vendors if they consider that the more compatible software there is, the higher their sales.3) offer and develop their own universal plug to the hardware, in its simplest form for the simplest yet effective compatiblity. In what form? the old plain Thrustmaster way: a "keyboard key press" generator.About the keyboard key press generator:the easiest way (and fastest for everyone - hard / soft vendors) to promote a compatible right out the box solution to any aircraft, is that they build their own software, which generate sequences of key presses upon the change of a switch position, or a push of a button. this is how Thrustmaster did it for his famous joysticks and HOTAS systems. Why is that easy? because it really is easy for GoFlight and Elite to build such a module which runs in the FS2002 address space, and it really is easy for a third party software vendor to hook a "keyboard intercept code" attached to the FS2002 window, which will scan which keys are pressed and then call the relevant gauge update code. Some vendors are already offering a keyboard shortcut configuration system, and certainly the way many others will do. As such, given the aircraft has the appropriate keyboard shortcut capabilities, it becomes instantly compatible with any hardware providing such a "key press generator" module! The user just have to configure which key press to generate upon fliping up a switch for example, and match this sequence to the aircraft keyboard shortcut configuration for the simulated switch. It can even go further in making the hardware instantaneously compatible with ANY aircraft with the use of the key2mouse program, which transforms a key press to a mouse click on screen (hence on any gauge clickspot). The ideal for the hardware vendor, to offer the largest compatibility. would be that they not only offer a module which generate key presses (such as CTRL+A) but more importantly for the sake of versatility, sequences of key presses which offer greater combinations, hence higher number of possible external controls.I forgot to add: if I'm mistaken and they already do provide such key press generators as standard modules in their offer, please let me know, this would be great news to me, and I'd be glad to be wrong in my above assumptions then!Hope this helps!

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>Mark,>>Have to agree with you there, I must say I was a little>disappointed that the MCP is unable to work with most add on>aircraft.>>In fact I have yet to use it, as I fly mainly PSS aircraft.>>There is no mention of this on the GoFlight web site :-(>>GoFlight indicated they are looking into making the MCP panel>work with PSS aircraft, but after reading the review it seems>they are spending more time producing new products than>supporting the MCP :-(>>Regards>BarryMan, this is unbelievable. I wonder how many people have purchased this and not known about this. I find the goflight products very cool, but too expensive for my tastes anyway.

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Aidan,OK, thanks, hopefully he will be able to say he has it solved and will be releasing an update to the GoFlight software at the same time as all these new products :-)Would it be wise to modify the review to add this as a "Negative Point" at the end of the review now you are aware of it?I will not complain if you do not, but it might save some people some grief (including GoFlight themselves) if they are aware of it.RegardsBarry

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"Well maybe you were the wrong person to review it in the first place." For a relatively new member of our forums, that is a pretty hostile statement to make to our staff. If you think reviews should be "taken with a grain of salt" as you state, then what difference would it make to you who did the review??? I find your two statements in opposition, if not conflict, with each other, and wonder if you are not just trolling.

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Well TomIs`nt the fact that Avsim sells these products and then reviews them a conflict as well?I`m not trolling I am just saying that most of the reviews that I have seen on Avsim have glossed over facts that do not become apparentuntil the purchase has been made.I`m sorry but that`s way I see it and speak with a great deal of experience when it comes to FS addons.It is also important to realize that a decent Go-Flight setup can run into multiple hundreds of dollars and for that kind of magnitude you would think a reviewer could be a bit more in-depth with the pros and cons of such a purchase.Just remember that it`s not a thirty dollar addon but a major commitment to simming for most people.I know because I have the better part of a thousand dollars invested in Go-Flight as well as the vast majority of third party addons.This is just a thought Tom but in the future you may want a more objective reviewer that is not part of your staff to do reviews especially if you happen to sell them in your store.It would do wonders for the credibility of the review.

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Tom,Well, I'm certainly not a new user of the forum and I have to say that I think Mr Claw is correct in his conclusion, even if it was somewhat bluntly expressed. I don't have the GF-MCP, but I do have the Aerosoft MCP together with more Go-Flights knobs and switches than you can shake a stick-shaker at and the problem exists with that A/P hardware as well. In the case of the Aerosoft kit, the issue is ameliorated considerably by the fact that it was designed from the off to work with the PS-1 product and PIC767 as well as the default MSFS a/p. Therefore, as a PIC user I knew I'd get my monies worth with it. The same cannot be said of the GF-MCP as it is limited to the MSFS a/p only. My experience of the Aerosoft device is that just about any payware except PIC cannot be controlled by it, as well as some serious freeware (Frolov Dash-8 for example).If the reviewer only flies aircraft with default MSFS a/ps then I would suggest that this is not representative of the user who is going to commit to hundreds of $$s worth of hardware.I think your reaction is a little unfortunate as it implies you believe that Avsim is beyond reproach and cannot be criticised. I think the point is extremely valid that if you review hardware, your set-up, review equipment and installation is at least representative of the target purchaser. Someone who doesn't use payware is hardly that.Tell you what, mail me a GF-MCP and I'll do a comparative review for you and I'll even test the two devices against every payware panel I own (just about all of them). 'Course, I might not let you have the GF back again .Kind regardsAndyEGTR

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Hey AndyLOL "Tell you what, mail me a GF-MCP and I'll do a comparative review for you and I'll even test the two devices against every payware panel I own (just about all of them). 'Course, I might not let you have the GF back again .".Get in line.Just joshing of course but I`m really not new to the forums just a change of persona due to a ip switch.I may have been blunt but you hit it right on the head and good post I might add.I have no real beef with Go-Flight and use them to their limits with any particular addon but the incompatabilities are enough to warrant mention as opposed to 4+ star go for it reviews that seem to be the rage.With the expense of the hardware addons they need to held to the highest standard of scrutiny to keep faith with the FS community.It`s the right thing to do.

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