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I just got my very own 737-800...

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...or at least that is what it feels like after I bought a pair of Oculus Rift glasses and the FlyInside software.

 

I know there's already been a number of threads about this but I still felt this urge to share my experience with all you guys and I think the topic sums it all up very well because that is really what it feels like that I actually got my own real 737-800 that I can fly when ever and where ever I like...it's amazing!!!

 

I've tried some VR stuff before when my son got a pair of VR glasses with his Samsung mobile so I knew some of what it would be like but I could never have imagined what it would be like to use these Oculus Rift glasses in P3D and the NGX with the FlyInside software. This is TrackIR on stereoids and very strong ones let me tell you!

 

As many others said it's very hard not to say impossible to describe the feeling to someone who never tried it but the best way I can put it is it's exactly like you were sitting in the real cockpit with the only difference you can't touch anything with your own hands. I've been both in real 737 NG cockpits and also in full-motion sims so I can compare and the feeling really is exactly the same.

 

Sure...the resolution could be better as many mentioned and especially when you're spoiled like me coming from a good 48" 4K Samsung TV but IMO that really doesn't matter looking what you get in return...the sensation of actually being on the real flight deck of the aircraft you're piloting. And you can fly that aircraft where ever you like in the world with the sensation that you're actually going there for real and not only staring at a screen in front of you standing on your desk...

 

Another thing I noticed someone else saying and I fully agree...the whole simulator comes to life in a way I've never seen it before. Not because anything in there is new but because I never paid attention to it before in the same way I do now with everything around you in full scale and not just another object on your screen. Let's take the GSX catering guys for example. When they pull up by your aircraft and you lean a bit forward and turn your head to the right just like you would have done IRL to watch something out of the cockpit windows on the FO's side and you see the catering guy walking out of the catering truck and entering your aircraft it's almost like you need to stop yourself from standing up and walking out the cockpit door just to say hello to him :smile:

 

Same thing with all the airport ground vehicles like pushback trucks, cars and buses but also all other objects...they all appear 100% real and I think the simple explanation is they are all in full and natural size.

 

I also noticed how easy it is to both taxi as well as land right on the centerline pretty much every time now that you're actually sitting in the cockpit. Must be that you'll have a perspective that is totally different from when looking at a 2D display. I have lots of flying hours but I still often have a hard time nailing that centerline when flying on a normal display...now when flying the aircraft from "inside" the cockpit it's all of a sudden a piece of cake!

 

Last thing I will mention is I was a bit afraid I would find myself having issues with all add-ons bringing up menus, the vPilot client for Vatsim since I do all my flying online and so on but thanks to this amazing software FlyInside that is not a problem at all.

 

All add-ons that will present menus like AS16, GSX etc will present the menus inside the sim just like normally but in this virtual reality they will appear as "hanging in the air" and you can then drag them around to put them where you want them, change their size and pretty much do whatever you like with them. You can also move them closer to you or further away.

 

Then for applications that don't run inside P3D such as vPilot these applications can be "imported" into your virtual reality with just a few clicks without taking your glasses off (it's all handled inside your glasses using the brilliant user interface provided by FlyInside) and will then behave in the same way as the AS16, GSX etc menus where you can choose the size, location and so on.

 

You can also define a quick button on your yoke for example that you can use to show/hide all these menus and any other application you imported with a single click. This means if you for instance want to bring charts with you via the Navigraph charts cloud service that is not a problem...just go to the website as normal and then import the browser window and you can have any chart you like right in front of you inside the cockpit.

 

I could go on speaking about this forever because I'm totally blown away and can honestly say I never experienced anything like this before during all the years I've been within this community. This is the kind of thing that will almost let you know if you could handle the real thing because when you're sitting there in the virtual reality cockpit for the first time you will almost get a bit scared thinking to yourself "Oups...do I really dare to takeoff now when I'm actually in the cockpit rather than just looking at a screen on my desk...what if I don't manage to get down safely again..." That was the first thought I had when I tried this out the first time.

 

Yeah...one last thing...performance. I'm using a 6700K running at 4.5 GHz and a single 980Ti and with this setup I get the same performance I got running on my 4K screen meaning rarely below 30 FPS but more often somewhere between 40-60. However since this amazing FlyInside software has some smart method I forgot the name of to "convert" your in-sim FPS the FPS you will experience will be more than doubled or even more. I know in my case when I'm sitting in the NGX by the gate at Orbx ESSA for example I see how my sim FPS is somewhere between 40-45 where the FPS I get to see inside the glasses is somewhere between 90-95 FPS. I was afraid the performance would be poor but after doing some short test circuits I couldn't be more happy with the performance!

 

So...for anyone of you that just like me always dreamed about having the chance to fly a real 737NG...I would say this is probably the closest most of us will get!!

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Richard..

 

What a great post !

 

Your enthusiasm is pretty obvious - so much that I'll have to look into this.

 

I just love the NGX, and the FSL 'bus. I think that it would be an ideal system for them.

 

How about flying the A2A Cherokee or the JF Hawk 'locally'. Would that be as realistic I wonder ?

 

Regards

Bill

 

 

 

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Very nice post and very good information hearing all this from someone who flies the NGX and not just some performance friendly GA plane. Sounds very promising and most likely will be the future of simming...

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Great post!

One question. How do you 'deal' with the cockpit functions in a VR environment like this?

i.e. dialing in heading, switching on landing lights etc. I am a bit confused about that...

 

Sound very very interesting for sure!

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thank you very much for a very enthusiastic post

 

you have got me looking into this today

 

gonna look at prices now

 

my partner is gonna kill you

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I've been sitting heavily on my hands on VR due to a) the price b) the resolution and c) the next generation.  Usually second generations are significantly better as things are worked out and understood...also software continues to mature.  I too fly with a 4K TV without any external AA.  I worry that I'd have to add AA with the lower resolution which would hurt performance.  It's tough to see how it looks from the youtube videos I see.  Mostly, it looks grainy and bad.  I know you're adding 3D but I don't want unsmooth edges.  Lastly, I have worries about comfort...sitting there for 2-3 hours with a VR headset on seems like it'd be rather difficult.

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First of all, thanks for your many kind comments guys! Glad you liked my post/review.

 

I'll try to answer your questions below the best I can but as already said it's really hard to talk or write about this and make it any justice when it's all about experience. You really need to try out yourself to fully understand what it's all about.

 

I have a good friend who also is into flight sim and I told him how cool this was and he understood my excitement from what I told him (pretty much the same things I said here) but when he came visit me a couple of days ago and had a chance to try it out himself he had the very same experience I had...he was totally blown away and told me he could never imagined what it would feel like until he put the VR glasses on and felt how he was actually sitting physically in the real cockpit because that is again exactly what it feels like.

 

A couple of more things I realized I never mentioned that I think is important.

 

First when it comes to feeling sick since you actually "fool" your brain seeing movements that aren't there for real. I only did some rather short circuits so far none of them lasting for more than 30 minutes and during these sessions I haven't felt anything bad.

 

The closest I've got to it might be when I've been taxiing and step on the brakes to come to a full stop and the aircraft drops it's nose a little bit just before coming to a complete stop. When that happens I've realized how I almost lean a bit forward in my chair and it feels a bit weird but only for a split second. During taxi or actual flight I haven't felt a thing more than being amazed of everything I see both outside the cockpit windows as well as inside the cockpit.

 

Another thing is the 3D effect and I guess that also is what makes it feel so real. If you compare to being surrounded with normal 2D screens going 360 degrees around you that still won't even come close to what you realize using this kind of VR headset and the FlyInside software. Everything inside the cockpit is in perfect 3D and looking up on the overhead panel you will clearly see how all knobs and buttons stick out just like in real life. What is a bit annoying with this is you really want to raise your hand to touch them but when you do nothing is there although you have it just in front of your eyes :wink: Here's a link to the documentation for the FlyInside software for anyone interested.

 

Then the sensation of height and speed. When flying on a 2D screen I have never really "felt" any of these two but now I actually feel how fast I go down the runway during the takeoff roll and when I get up in the air and looking down on the ground you think to yourself "Wow...it's a long way down there..." I guess this is part of what makes it so easy to land now that you can really see and feel the height and I've seen other people saying the same thing.

 

The only technical issue I had when I first got the glasses was my 980 Ti only has one HDMI port and I need this one for my 4K TV and at the same time the Oculus Rift headset also needs an HDMI port. First I figured I would connect my 4K TV to the integrated graphics card on my motherboard and although this did work it didn't work 100% and I later found in the documentation for FlyInside both your main display and the VR glasses need to be connected to the same graphics card since information is shared between both. The solution was very simple though. I got this kind of converter that allowed me to connect my 4K TV to one of the DisplayPorts on my graphics card and using this kind of active adapter still allowed my TV to run in 4K @ 60 Hz.

 

Another thing I was a bit worried about before getting the headset was if I would be able to use my normal headset since I do all my flying online and need both the headphones and the microphone for my flying. That however turned out to be a non-issue because built into the Oculus headset is a pair of headphones and they are of really good quality. The headset also comes with a microphone also of very good quality. I've tried it both on Vatsim doing some radio checks and I also used it with FS2Crew without any issues what so ever. Funny enough I still don't know where the microphone is located :lol:

 

Lastly looking at the comfort of the headset IMO it's really great! There are three Velcro straps allowing you to make sure the headset sits perfectly on your face without causing any discomfort.

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Hi Richard. Great to hear some scandinavian experience.

 

Try out EKCH from ESSA. Also would like to know about how you control the NGX.

 

Resolution is 800x600.?

 

I am very corius for sure

 

Thanks

Michael Moe

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Richard..

 

What a great post !

 

Your enthusiasm is pretty obvious - so much that I'll have to look into this.

 

I just love the NGX, and the FSL 'bus. I think that it would be an ideal system for them.

 

How about flying the A2A Cherokee or the JF Hawk 'locally'. Would that be as realistic I wonder ?

 

Regards

Bill

 

Since I do all my flying in the NGX I can't say anything about other aircraft but I'm sure the sensation will be equally amazing regardless what aircraft you're in as long as I comes with a high quality v/c. I will actually do some testing using some of the default aircraft in P3D just to check it out :smile:

Nice one Richard. I will be looking more into this for sure

 

You should really do that, I'm sure you won't regret it!

Very nice post and very good information hearing all this from someone who flies the NGX and not just some performance friendly GA plane. Sounds very promising and most likely will be the future of simming...

 

Yes, I too think this certainly will be the future of simming and looking what is possible already today I can only imagine what it will be like in a couple of years! One thing I would really like to have is the ability to reach out with my hands and operate all buttons and switches like I would in the real cockpit. I guess this should be possible having some kind of gloves with sensors and a very exact tracking system.

Great post!

One question. How do you 'deal' with the cockpit functions in a VR environment like this?

i.e. dialing in heading, switching on landing lights etc. I am a bit confused about that...

 

Sound very very interesting for sure!

 

Good question and I was thinking the same thing myself before trying it out but it's actually really easy and very much like when you're using TrackIR. You will still have your mouse cursor with you inside the VR cockpit and to turn a knob or flick a switch you simply look at it and then move your mouse cursor over there just like you would using a normal 2D screen. It can be a bit tricky sometimes operating small switches but you'll get used to it in the same way you do using Track IR. Compared to TrackIR which I also have lots of experience with I think this is much easier.
 
You also have another option thanks to the FlyInside software. Using this software you will define one key as your main interaction button. Pressing this key you'll be presented by a menu in your glasses where you can do lot's of stuff but while this menu is showing you can also simply look at different knobs and buttons by moving your head and the different buttons and switches will then be visually highlighted and then by pressing the interaction key a second time you can operate them - very cool :smile:

thank you very much for a very enthusiastic post

 

you have got me looking into this today

 

gonna look at prices now

 

my partner is gonna kill you

 

Yep...it's not inexpensive but when you think about what you'll get for about the same money many invest in a new graphics card it's quite amazing! Another good thing of course is buying the headset from somewhere where you'll be able to return it and get your money back should you for whatever reason not like it. That's what I did and I still have until Dec 31 to try it out but there's no way it will go back now! I couldn't imagine going back to the rather boring 2D world after experiencing this VR world!

What you say Gregg could have been my own post before I got the VR glasses and tried it out because I had the very same concerns. The reason I decided to give it a go was that I found this local physical store close to where I live that would allow me to try them out with a 100% money back guarantee so then I figured what do I really have to loose and boy am I happy I took the chance!
 
To comment on AA. Sure, the resolution isn't the same it is when running on a good 4K screen but I think I already mentioned it briefly in my initial post and how the overall experience and immersion will make you forget about AA and resolution. At least that's what happened in my case but again we're all different so best thing is to try it out yourself if you have the chance so you can make your own decision.
 
As for comfort and sitting there 2-3 hours I fully agree, that is something I don't think I'll do. This however is not more of a problem than using TrackIR since you can simply remove the headset and follow your flight on your normal main display. When you're using the VR headset there will also always be a P3D window on your main display where you can follow your flight. The only limitation is the FPS for this P3D window is locked to 15 FPS by default and I guess that is to save resources for what is seen inside the VR glasses. You can however adjust this locked FPS inside the FlyInside settings should you want to.
 
So the way I see it when I start doing actual flight online using these glasses I will wear them during all stages of the flight except for duing cruise when I will just monitor ATC and the flight via the P3D window on my main display.
 
Looking at YouTube videos is something I did a lot as well before getting the glasses and my experience was the same as yours...it didn't look very nice really. Now that I tried it out myself I can promise you the experience simply can't be shown in any video clip...you really need to experience it yourself.

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Hello !

 

Feeling great to hear your enthusiastic review :) You really intrigued me by the idea of getting one. The closest I've been to VR is once used the red-blue glasses. The deck of the airplane seemed so big! I can't even imagine how much more immersive would be with the Oculus Rift. I must say that the limited view of my 24' screen and TrackIr is annoying many times during flight, and a 3D view seems like heaven in flight simming. I have some questions I'd be grateful if you could answer. One is what kind of scenery along with the NGX is giving a constant 30fps? Can we expect that with add-on scenery? A second question is about the low resolution. Is there any way to take screenshot out of it ? I understand that the trade-off for the 3D is not negotiable from your experience however is it possible to have crisp displays on the NGX? I wouldn't care for some shimerring in the distance if the displays are quite clear and I don't have to zoom in to read the numbers. Again, thank you for sharing that experience :)

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Hi Richard. Great to hear some scandinavian experience.

 

Try out EKCH from ESSA. Also would like to know about how you control the NGX.

 

Resolution is 800x600.?

 

I am very corius for sure

 

Thanks

Michael Moe

 

Funny you say it because doing ESSA-EKCH is actually the first flight I'll do and hopefully I'll find the time doing it tonight. Great addon scenery for both airports and good distance for a first flight and usually great ATC both in Sweden and Denmark!
 
You can choose the resolution yourself and you can go all the way up to 4K if you like but I think you might need an SLI setup for that using two very strong graphics cards. I'm currently using 2880x1620 which runs great on my single 980Ti as already mentioned.
 
For controls I'm using a CH yoke and pedals and a Saitek TQ but now since I discovered this new VR world feeling more realistic than ever before I have started thinking about getting at least a new and more robust yoke like the one from PFC because feeling the plastic CH yoke in your hands sitting in the cockpit simply doesn't feels as good anymore so I guess this might turn into a very expensive discovery :wink:

Thanks good review..it's on my to buy list.

 

You're most welcome!

Hello !

 

Feeling great to hear your enthusiastic review :) You really intrigued me by the idea of getting one. The closest I've been to VR is once used the red-blue glasses. The deck of the airplane seemed so big! I can't even imagine how much more immersive would be with the Oculus Rift. I must say that the limited view of my 24' screen and TrackIr is annoying many times during flight, and a 3D view seems like heaven in flight simming. I have some questions I'd be grateful if you could answer. One is what kind of scenery along with the NGX is giving a constant 30fps? Can we expect that with add-on scenery? A second question is about the low resolution. Is there any way to take screenshot out of it ? I understand that the trade-off for the 3D is not negotiable from your experience however is it possible to have crisp displays on the NGX? I wouldn't care for some shimerring in the distance if the displays are quite clear and I don't have to zoom in to read the numbers. Again, thank you for sharing that experience :)

 

I tried using 3D glasses myself and at that time it certainly was a cool experience but just as you say it's not even comparable to what you will experience using a pair of Oculus Rift VR glasses and the FlyInside software!

 

For scenery and add-ons I'm using all the Global Orbx stuff, AS16, FS2Crew, GSX FS Global Mesh and only high quality payware airports mainly from Aerosoft but also FT, T2G, UK2000 to mention a few.

 

For the resolution IMO it's quite good but of course not like when running in 4K on my normal TV. I don't find it hard to read the numbers on the MCP for example but to read smaller text on the PFD for example such as the QNH it's easier if I zoom in a bit simply by leaning forward just like I would do IRL. Fact is I can read most of it even without leaning in but it will get sharper if you do lean in a bit.

 

Speaking about leaning in things will be very sharp and crisp when you get really close. Looking at the overhead panel for example where the lower left part of it naturally will be very close to your eyes just as IRL when sitting on the left side objects such as the fuel pumps, the landing light switches etc almost look real! I noticed that with everthing inside the cockpit...if you move your head closer to the object it will be amazingly crisp and again almost look real. I'm sure the 3D effect helps as well to have that sensation.

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I tried using 3D glasses myself and at that time it certainly was a cool experience but just as you say it's not even comparable to what you will experience using a pair of Oculus Rift VR glasses and the FlyInside software!

 

For scenery and add-ons I'm using all the Global Orbx stuff, AS16, FS2Crew, GSX FS Global Mesh and only high quality payware airports mainly from Aerosoft but also FT, T2G, UK2000 to mention a few.

 

For the resolution IMO it's quite good but of course not like when running in 4K on my normal TV. I don't find it hard to read the numbers on the MCP for example but to read smaller text on the PFD for example such as the QNH it's easier if I zoom in a bit simply by leaning forward just like I would do IRL. Fact is I can read most of it even without leaning in but it will get sharper if you do lean in a bit.

 

Speaking about leaning in things will be very sharp and crisp when you get really close. Looking at the overhead panel for example where the lower left part of it naturally will be very close to your eyes just as IRL when sitting on the left side objects such as the fuel pumps, the landing light switches etc almost look real! I noticed that with everthing inside the cockpit...if you move your head closer to the object it will be amazingly crisp and again almost look real. I'm sure the 3D effect helps as well to have that sensation.

 

 

Thank you very much, really helpful ! :)

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So 1440x810 pr. eye i guess?

 

This is getting better and better. I was in the impression that you needed 70fps or more ro have a smooth experience.

 

How does the smoothneth feels compared to normal?

 

Seems like some training is all it takes to control the Mouse clicks.

 

Is flyinside a part of oculus or just some sort of P3D software?

What is the earliest P3D supporting version?

 

I dont thing SLI works with Oculus Rift.

 

Is it also easy to access the FMC?

 

Thanks Michael Moe

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