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Good morning all,

 

I wanted to start a new thread here to hopefully bring some attention back to the possibility of a True shared cockpit experience being supported by PMDG. Several plane makers now have their own shared cockpit software built into the planes, and many of the X-plane developers fully support programs like smart co-pilot that provide a fully functional shared cockpit experience, even down to FMC usage etc.

 

In my opinion, and I am sure many others here share the same, PMDG is at the top of the stack for payware aircraft quality. Their releases generally take time, but they release top notch products that you can guarantee are going to be the most realistic experience possible inside of a flight simulator. I really wish that PMDG would be willing to start building its own shared cockpit system into its airplanes. I have no doubt the PMDG shared cockpit system would be the best on the market, just like the rest of their products. 

 

Being a real pilot I really enjoy the proper use of cockpit resource management, and a huge part of that is having another crew member to help with the workload. I know that PMDG takes a lot of pride in being the most realistic payware aircraft developer out there, and I think a PMDG Developed, fully functional shared cockpit system would be the crown jewel to creating the most realistic experience possible on a simulator.

 

I know PMDG has briefly commented some on these boards in the past regarding shared cockpit, but it has been a while. I know you guys are currently very deep into the 747 v3 and the DC6 FSX/P3D conversion, but I ask that you please give this some additional consideration. I know for a fact that this would help increase your sales since you would have more people buy your planes in pairs. Yes, I do realize that it would be very difficult if not impossible to analytically predict exactly how much it would increase sales. I am one of them that would be even more motivated to purchase your products, as well as my stream partner, because it would be an amazing shared cockpit experience. I think that shared cockpit is very beneficial for this community, and not only does it provide top notch realism, but frankly it also creates some more entertainment value. In the streaming world typically shared cockpit streams get more turnout, and I think that is because it just adds in that last element of fun into the sim that people have been missing all of these years. 

 

That is enough for my soapbox for now. I would be very curious to hear other's thoughts and would love a sincere PMDG response. Thanks for being such a top notch developer. On closing comment, keep pushing plane development!!! :wink:

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Couldn't agree more, it would add a whole new level to simulation! Im sure, since other producers have done it, they can.  I would pay extra just for the feature.

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Couldn't agree more, it would add a whole new level to simulation! Im sure, since other producers have done it, they can.  I would pay extra just for the feature.

 

 

A PMDG level shared cockpit feature would definitely be worth the extra money. If they wanted to have it as a separate add-on for $20 or $30 bucks I wouldn't think twice. It would be such a great enhancement of the experience I would think a lot of others would do the same. Especially if they made it a very easy to use system, and it was simple for people to get together and fly with it.

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With all the amazing aircraft coming out of the PMDG hangars for P3D, is shared cockpit functionality part of the product development plan forseeably?

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With 64-bits, the possibility of shared cockpit is certainly greater because there should no longer be an issue with more software code being added due to VAS limitations of the 32-bit version.

I would also imagine that it may be necessary for Lockheed Martin developers to enhance the networking hooks and other capabilities of P3D to provide the resources these more complex PMDG aircraft would require. In addition, both LM and PMDG would probably need to do research to determine if there is a sufficient need for this additional capability, versus the investment cost?

But the mere fact that P3D is now 64-bits, I would hope this may remove any technical impediments to implementing this feature?

I would certainly like to see this done........but we will have to wait and see how things go as LM proceeds with more P3D v4 development. 

Bill Clark 

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1 hour ago, sbclark said:

I would hope this may remove any technical impediments to implementing this feature?

I doubt the technical hurdles had anything to do with 32b vs 64b.  The problem is more one of scope and complexity, imagine an app on your phone that doesn't work right but it depends on another app to work and the other app says it's working fine so the problem is your app.  But it isn't your app at fault but there is another programming running in your phone that is blocking the second app.

Starting to get the picture?  Talk to an IT guy about the ISO layers in network communications.  None of this has anything to do with register size.

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12 hours ago, downscc said:

I doubt the technical hurdles had anything to do with 32b vs 64b.  The problem is more one of scope and complexity, imagine an app on your phone that doesn't work right but it depends on another app to work and the other app says it's working fine so the problem is your app.  But it isn't your app at fault but there is another programming running in your phone that is blocking the second app.

Starting to get the picture?  Talk to an IT guy about the ISO layers in network communications.  None of this has anything to do with register size.

How would the challenges be  different for PMDG compared to what Aerosoft are doing for the A330 (and A320)  

Is the issue more about inherent connectivity vs third party apps (Hamachi) to achieve the same result?

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There is also another solution for a true shared cockpit out there, but that involves using another stand-alone 747-400 simulator, sold by another company.

I won't go into details here, but probably the major difference, development-wise, apart from being a stand-alone product not using FSX/P3D/XP is that is was designed as a networked product from the early design stages on, designed for cockpit building across many PCs and sharing all flight and cockpit data across the network, even the internet.

(Having open network protocols, hocking up FSX/P3D/XP as a visual system is easily set up, using this stand-alone simulator.)

My assumption would be that if you don't design that feature in from the very beginning, it might be hard to plug it in at a later stage. (Non-educated guess, of course.)

Markus

 

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For what it's worth (which is not very much): this is a feature I'd love to see and RSR's comments linked above are very encouraging.

If you've never tried flying 'multi-crew' -- it's well worth a try. The networking side (at present) can be challenging at times but once you are correctly configured it brings a whole new dimension to simming.

Flying, like golf, is a hobby best enjoyed with your mates; if you thought online ATC was a giant leap in immersion over the default, or even third-party ATC products, it ain't got nothing on operating an airliner the way it was intended: with two human crew members each looking after their own areas of responsibility, briefing, co-ordinating and monitoring each other. It really hammers home the fact that flying a modern airliner is all about teamwork!

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23 minutes ago, skelsey said:

Flying, like golf, is a hobby best enjoyed with your mates; if you thought online ATC was a giant leap in immersion over the default, or even third-party ATC products, it ain't got nothing on operating an airliner the way it was intended: with two human crew members each looking after their own areas of responsibility, briefing, co-ordinating and monitoring each other. It really hammers home the fact that flying a modern airliner is all about teamwork!

Shameless plug for the upcoming PMDG Sim Center. :P

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Agreed. Flying an airliner on your own is highly unrealitic and infact illegal IRL. And while you can perfectly fly highly automated airplanes like the 777 on your own, even with online ATC, try doing the same in the 737 or 747 and you'll quickly find yourself "behind" tha airplane and heads down in the FMS or adjusting the airplane's configuration when you should actually be looking outside, flying, navigating or taxiing. I think I am repeating myself at this point but I do think that at the current time the Majestic Q400 is the holy grail of shared cockpit flying. It's a very accurate full system simulation with excellent flight dynamics and performance. And you really need two people who know what they are doing to fly that thing properly. Another option out there is of course FS2Crew but I find using it is rather odd, as you're just following a script and feel like you're talking to Siri, who doesn't always pick up what you've just said. One solution I found to work rather nice is the scripted FO in the AS busses, since you don't really need to do or press anything for him/her to go through the flows and checklists during the various phases of flight. Especally aircraft configuraton changes after takeoff, on approach or when vacating/entering a runway work pretty well and you can focus on flying the thing as a PF. So yeah, maybe the best solution for PMDG would be do develop some sort of AI copilot that does all the normal flows and reads the checklists. I mean, there already is an AI flight engineer in the DC-6. Just needs some more advanced code and algorithms to adapt to an always changing and dynamic environment. 

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This feature is greatly needed definitely. I would dye to have this feature included in the PMDG planes or any other tubeliners as wlel.

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