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Shared Cockpit Community Update (FSX/P3D)

 

When FSX (ESP) was created, Microsoft added some "Shared Cockpit" features for default or default compatible gauges, some switch positions and engine/flight controls.  This type of shared cockpit is very limited.  I generally refer to this as Microsoft Shared Cockpit.

 

Third party Shared Cockpit does not use the Shared Cockpit programming in FSX/P3D, but rather uses a standard network interface implemented by the aircraft developer and which will allow for all aircraft functions (including the FMS) to be shared between two computers.  This is the type of Shared Cockpit most people use for Third Party Airliners today.

 

As an introduction, and the qualify what I'm about to say, let me say that I was a senior Beta Tester and the chief Shared Cockpit tester for the Majestic Dash 8 Q400. I'm also a Beta Tester and Advisor for Aerosoft, and I work with many of the leading developers in flight simulation.  I've been in the flight sim community for over 30 years, and I have most every high end payware airliner for FSX/P3D, and I have roughly 8000 hours flying Shared Cockpit. I am the founder of the Online Virtual Pilots Association, a private group devoted to realism, high levels of immersion, and Shared Cockpit using CRM.

 

Presently, there are only three airliners with a Virtual Cockpit which are fully Shared Cockpit capable.  They are:

 

Leonardo MD-80 Maddog.  This is 1 of 2 of the best, most accurate and most realistic aircraft ever developed for Desktop Flight Simulation and is still at the front part of the pack. Not only is it Shared Cockpit capable, about 95%+ of anything you find in the real world FCOM (Operational Manual) will work correctly in this aircraft. Presently it is only FSX compatible.  This aircraft is so incredible that I recently reinstalled FSX:SE to fly her - usually in Shared Cockpit.  Also includes a weather radar, ground radar and ground map, and has the most complex/accurate GPWS of any FSX/P3D aircraft. It is also the only FSX/P3D aircraft that has a working predictive wind shear and audible wind shear alerts. Recently someone created a Virtual Cockpit Texture update for this aircraft which was terrific!

 

Majestic Dash 8 Professional.  This is the other 1 of 2 of the best aircraft ever developed for Desktop Flight Simulation, and is Shared Cockpit capable. Like the Maddog, 95% of what works in the real world FCOM will work in this aircraft, and it is the only FSX/P3D aircraft ever developed which in my opinion handles like a real aircraft due being the only aircraft using an external flight model (developed by NASA), thus is has more flight control variables which allow it to act/react as a real aircraft does.

 

Aerosoft Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 Series.  An impressive, cost affordable model of the Airbus. Aerosoft calls Shared Cockpit "Connected Flight Deck", and it works EXTREMELY WELL!  One is able to perform 90%+ of all operational procedures a real world flight crew would perform on the flight deck, and it's become a favorite of mine to fly (along with the Maddog and Dash 8).

 

In the coming months we will see at least 3 more Shared Cockpit aircraft.

 

Aerosoft A318 Experimental.  This aicraft is a test bed for the Aerosoft A330, and will be free to everyone who owns either the Aerosoft A318/A319 or A320/A321 package. It looks as if it will be more deeply modeled than the present A318/A319/A320/A321 series, though Aerosoft plans to back fit the A318/A319/A320/A321 series with programming from the A318 Experimental and A330. 

 

Aerosoft A330.  This will provide us with a wide body, long range aircraft that is Shared Cockpit capable, and I have a procedure which allows for a relief crew to take over on a long haul flight.

 

TFDi Design B717.  The Boeing 717 is actually the last of the MD-80 line. The Boeing designation came about as McDonald Douglass was purchased by Boeing during either the late design or early manufacture process of the B717. Replacing other digital gauges and DDIs are 6 large DDI (displays).

 

Aerosoft has expressed interest in making their upcoming CRJ-700/900 Shared Cockpit capable at some point after initial release. This is not a promise, but Aerosoft has committed to the Shared Cockpit genre and I personally believe we will see this.

 

There are other developers, including Quality Wings, who have approached me regarding Shared Cockpit, and I'm confident that we will see the list of Shared Cockpit aircraft grow considerably in the next few years. 

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Thank you Dave, 

Have you also approached the FSL team? I understand their upcoming PRO version will have cockpit sharing functionality.

John.

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Hello John,

 

FSL once expressed interest in Shared Cockpit (although not to me, I believe they posted it in their forum), however if I were to hazard a guess, I'd think that they might have moved beyond the point of no return with the A320 - which is to say it might take too much re-work to make it truly Shared Cockpit compatible.  I might easily be wrong, but but that's my opinion.

 

Best wishes.

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Desk Pilot is a add on for PMDG products that provides that functionality. I'm sure most of you are already familiar with it but I thought I would mention in the event that you weren't. 

 

I don't wish to speak out of turn so I won't mention the developer but one of them is implementing a feature that will allow far more than 2 people to share an aircraft. It's not really shared "cockpit" as I think only the host and one client can access the aircraft controls while the other clients are along for the ride so to say.

 

Imagine Tacpack, B-17's with all gunner positions manned, and a bunch of WWI fighters. Does anyone remember Air Warrior? 

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Karl, feel free to share any info my friend. I'm aware of this as well.

By the way, the Dash 8 already allows for 3 people in the configuration you mentioned.

Best wishes.

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