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Hammerheadmike

Everyones favourite - the shared cockpit idea

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Well, more of a reality than an idea I hope.

 

Whilst I'm sure PMDG are very aware of the shared cockpit wishes of many virtual pilots, I thought I could dispel an earlier assumption by one or two forum members that this could turn into a networking nightmare and a support headache for PMDG.

 

Having flown the A320X with connected flightdeck - the networking was very simple to arrange, and the details of port forwarding is as hard as it got.

 

With correct flows, a sterile cockpit, and focus - the realism shoots off the scale. We've not tried abnormal procedures yet, however the prospect of real teamwork in your crew (with a human) is very appealing to those of us at the more "serious" end of virtual aviation.

 

Whilst I'm not suggesting "its all simple" - it certainly seems plausible, and I hope that PMDG would revisit the possibility. Perhaps they have, who knows..

 

This is feedback, and reflect my thoughts only - certainly not a demand, and not intended to ruffle feathers of the more sensitive forum participants.

 

Many thanks indeed.

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Having flown the A320X with connected flightdeck - the networking was very simple to arrange, and the details of port forwarding is as hard as it got.

 

...and you implemented this, how?

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Kyle,

 

Aerosoft released it several weeks ago as an update to an existing model (A318/319/320/321) and did a tremendous job. We've been pushing for this with several developers (currently scheduled for release by three more developers of high-end aircraft later this year - I'm barred from saying which due to NDAs).

 

I passed this info to Rob via a mutual friend two weeks ago.  He wasn't aware of it either.

 

Our group, OVPA, has over 8000 collective hours in Shared Cockpit / Connected Flight Deck using CRM and has long worked with developers to help implement this incredibly immersive and exciting feature.

 

PMDG has waivered back and forth on adding this feature and in deference to what Ryan said last year, I'd be more willing to bet it's really due to resources and timelines. 

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Kyle's question is still valid: In the Aerosoft forum there are quite a few CFD simmers who use Hamachi to enable connections ...   :huh:

 

BTW, Dave, thanks a lot for your comprehensive guide on the aspects of networks and network security associated with the CFD.

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PMDG has waivered back and forth on adding this feature and in deference to what Ryan said last year, I'd be more willing to bet it's really due to resources and timelines. 

 

I get that there are NDAs here, but the basics are pretty simple:

How are these people getting by the fact that the vast majority of the users do not use static IPs?

 

Looking at Aerosoft's forum, it seems that figuring out a connection method is left open to the customer. In my experience, that usually results in more frustration on all parts, as people fat-finger things, misconfigure them, don't read the instructions, or in other cases, aren't sure what they're doing. I get that everyone wants it, but I personally think that it's in everyone's best interest that a full solution be developed and delivered, if its decided that one should be delivered.

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BTW, Dave, thanks a lot for your comprehensive guide on the aspects of networks and network security associated with the CFD.

 

You are most welcome!  I'm very happy it's been of help to the community.  We'll be updating it as soon as we get a break from our testing schedule.


 

 


I get that there are NDAs here

 

 

Kyle,

 

I think you misunderstood.  Our NDAs prohibit me from sharing what upcoming aircraft will have this feature (the developers will release that info when they're ready).

 

The connection for Shared Cockpit / Connected Flight Deck is very well documented. The Aerosoft and Majestic (Dash 8/Q400 Pro - not released yet) connections are very straight forward (press of a button), using Port Forwarding.  Hamachi or other VPN software are HUGE security risks not not recommended.

 

You can read more about this in the OVPA Shared Cockpit Security Guide.  We considered releasing a companion document Shared Cockpit Connection Guide but frankly it's already too well documented and rather simple. 

 

Join OVPA (see our Computer Security Guide as to why that would be necessary) and I'll do a flight with you brother.

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I think you misunderstood.  Our NDAs prohibit me from sharing what upcoming aircraft will have this feature (the developers will release that info when they're ready).

 

Didn't quite misunderstand. I'd asked a question, and it was seemingly dodged. Since an NDA was acknowledged in the statement, I'd assumed that was the reason my question wasn't answered. That's all.

 

 

 


The connection for Shared Cockpit / Connected Flight Deck is very well documented. The Aerosoft and Majestic (Dash 8/Q400 Pro - not released yet) connections are very straight forward (press of a button), using Port Forwarding.  Hamachi or other VPN software are HUGE security risks not not recommended.

 

I don't have either (well, I don't have the pro version of the DH8D - I have the base), so I haven't seen the docs.

 

 

 


You can read more about this in the OVPA Shared Cockpit Security Guide.  We considered releasing a companion document Shared Cockpit Connection Guide but frankly it's already too well documented and rather simple. 

 

Would if I could, but the FAA, like most other agencies and businesses, blocks dropbox.

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Well- I'm the original developer of network based shared cockpit for pmdg aircraft. (Desk Pilot)

 

I'm not bound by any NDA's so go ahead and ask me anything. To address the issue of dynamic ip addresses- users can just simply use a dns like no-ip. We have other ways to solve the problem of dyna ip's and closed ports that will be added directly to our software to prevent mishaps. I won't be sharing any information about that feature for obvious reasons.

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Michael I think you have a very valid point.

 

Pmdg will start lagging behind the crowd if this wonderful feature isn't implemented.

 

Majestic have this feature in the pro and I would say that the majority of us have ips that are static not the other way round? (unless America does it differently)

 

Alex

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Majestic have this feature in the pro and I would say that the majority of us have ips that are static not the other way round? (unless America does it differently)

 

Most people (individuals) here have dynamic IPs, at least here in the States. Seeing that a Google search returns a bunch of ISPs advertising static IPs for an extra cost, I'm sure it's the same there, too. You might have static up to your router, but from your router outbound, it's most likely dynamic.

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That is correct, static ip addresses are 'normally' optional and cost extra through most service providers. I say normally because i have seen isp packages that offer static ip's by standard.

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Hey guys,

 

I'm a former telecom guy and network engineer.  I've also been working with a little over one hundred people world wide (most in the states) for the past eight years helping them with their connection.

 

I can tell you for personal experience (me logged into their computer numerous times) that while External IPs are Dynamic, most ISPs (I've worked directly with 4 of them here in the U.S.) utilize what is essentially a hybrid IP assignment. Since the user modems are usually always on, the IP Address doesn't change and in addition that the IP assignments are persistant for a number of days (often over 30) and this is done in the same manner as home routers handle IP Addressed assigned by DHCP.

 

So... if one owns a business they can reserve an IP that will never change, but most assigned IPs for a home don't usually change either - there is just a possibility that the will.  Outages are one of the most common causes of this.

 

Now I'm going to tell you why this doesn't matter one single bit.  You simply look up your external IP address prior to a flight (we do it for every flight, it's a part of our procedure) and enter that.  So it doesn't matter if the IP address changes every day.

 

Static IP's are important INTERNALLY on MOST home routers so that the port forwarding will work.

 

 

I hope I've shared some light on this.

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Kyle,

 

Aerosoft released it several weeks ago as an update to an existing model (A318/319/320/321) and did a tremendous job. We've been pushing for this with several developers (currently scheduled for release by three more developers of high-end aircraft later this year - I'm barred from saying which due to NDAs).

 

I passed this info to Rob via a mutual friend two weeks ago.  He wasn't aware of it either.

 

Our group, OVPA, has over 8000 collective hours in Shared Cockpit / Connected Flight Deck using CRM and has long worked with developers to help implement this incredibly immersive and exciting feature.

 

PMDG has waivered back and forth on adding this feature and in deference to what Ryan said last year, I'd be more willing to bet it's really due to resources and timelines. 

 

Dave-

 

You indicate that you "passed information to me through a mutual friend?"

 

I haven't a clue who or what you are talking about.  We don't have any mutual friends that I am aware of.

 

Also you indicate that PMDG have "waivered back and forth."  I find that statement curious since you aren't privy to our internal discussions, development agenda, etc.  I recognize that you are here participating in this conversation in order to market your corner and point of view- but please take some time to educate yourself before making statements that aren't factually accurate.

 

I have stated quite clearly all along that we simply haven't found the time investment required to be justifiable given the relatively modest ROI that can be expected in return.  In order to make the ROI work, we need to bundle the effort in with other work- which we have begun to do of late-  but the task is still considered to be a marginal one and is not recognized as a core product function.

 

Yes- I am coming off grumpy in my reply to you- but few things are more offensive to me than some unknown expert pontificating about how PMDG makes decisions.  I am firm believer in keeping one's mouth shut unless one is an expert on a topic- and as far as I know that means only members of our team are qualified to pontificate about our development process and decision making.

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Thank you for so much engagement and discussion.

 

I'm on a dynamic IP - and simply visit www.whatismyip.com before telling my crew mate my address... he then inputs it into his system - and presses connect. Everything works on the 320x apart from the qnh(!) which is odd.

 

One is master one is slave - and only the master is PF. You can swap control easily through the right MCDU.

 

A VPN on Hamachi is not a good idea for a number of reasons - far better to forward a port :)

 

Shared cockpit is more intensive to arrange, for the reasons detailed in Dave's document. However, there is evidently a wealth of documentation and procedures for those interested. There is also a beta vpilot just released to help handle the mutli-crew on vatsim.

 

Great news about upcoming releases supporting the same. I hope PMDG is one of them :)

 

P.S. Michael - I'd love to fly with your software, and probably will when you release a commercial offering? Just an idea to sync your CDUs - try using ipads on virtucalcdu pointing to the server IP address? It's another port to open, but... ;) Sorry if you thought of it

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Dave-

 

You indicate that you "passed information to me through a mutual friend?"

 

I haven't a clue who or what you are talking about. We don't have any mutual friends that I am aware of.

 

Also you indicate that PMDG have "waivered back and forth." I find that statement curious since you aren't privy to our internal discussions, development agenda, etc. I recognize that you are here participating in this conversation in order to market your corner and point of view- but please take some time to educate yourself before making statements that aren't factually accurate.

 

I have stated quite clearly all along that we simply haven't found the time investment required to be justifiable given the relatively modest ROI that can be expected in return. In order to make the ROI work, we need to bundle the effort in with other work- which we have begun to do of late- but the task is still considered to be a marginal one and is not recognized as a core product function.

 

Yes- I am coming off grumpy in my reply to you- but few things are more offensive to me than some unknown expert pontificating about how PMDG makes decisions. I am firm believer in keeping one's mouth shut unless one is an expert on a topic- and as far as I know that means only members of our team are qualified to pontificate about our development process and decision making.

Rob,

 

I will forward to you the name of our mutual friend via PM as well as the private messages with Ryan and a few forum posts.

 

I understand how you feel, I'd feel the same way. I'm sure the info I send you will demonstrate that your mistaken.

 

The private messages I'll send you will also demonstrate a few things. I'm respectful, I try not to make assumptions, I ask for facts before forming an opinion, and I keep things like your post private.

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Dear RSR, sorry - our replies crossed over by a minute (I was the later one).

 

I hope the ROI starts adding up - and this starts finding its way into the core product. I seem to remember an attempt at this in around 2006, on the back of a 747 update at the time. That could be my bad memory getting confused :)

 

Anyway I'm hoping, Rob - that you'll join me as my co-pilot in the 744. You'll learn a lot ;)

 

Best wishes all.

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