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MCE devs need some help; new to simming and unsure how to proceed

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Hello everyone, I just got into flightsim, and am one of a small number of blind pilots who take advantage of voice-control addons. While Multicrew Experience does have rudimentary blind pilot support, there is one critical thing missing: landing support. At the moment, I am using, and recommending to other blind pilots Its your Plane (IYP) http://www.itsyourplane.com

for this kind of thing.

 

IYP, while still being maintained by Robert, is not being supported anymore by way of new aircrafts, etc. MCE is, however.

I guess the main thing that MCE doesn't want to do is automate too much. IYP pretty much does that, and we don't mind it. I know one particular blind pilot who actually uses no addon like this and just plays via the keyboard--I don't think I'd be able to do that. Robert's goal with IYP was to design a system where one doesn't have to touch a single key on the keyboard to complete a flight. The thing that I'm interested in is, if Takeoff is automated pretty heavily, why can't the same be done for landing? It is great that some blind support is in MCE, but why not finish it? It probably hasn't been updated in quite some time, blind support that is. IYP won't be around forever, and since I've started doing sim videos on Youtube, my blind friends are flocking to flight simming like it's the greatest thing inthe world, or at least it seems that way.

So, does anybody have any suggestions to improve our landing ability, even if automated? MCE support emailed me last week saying that they don't know what to do about it, and those who've followed up or asked about this landing support never came up with anything. So, I figured I'd ask the community instead of just letting what's already there go unfinished. What's already there is pretty promising, by the way, including a screen reader type mode that can read things like the ATC menus. Now if we can get it to read things like the current inaccessible FSCaptain fscom gage and things like that, it would really be great.

Thoughts?

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IYP, while still being maintained by Robert, is not being supported anymore by way of new aircrafts, etc.

 

There is a similar program called FS Flying School.

Might be worth investigating.

http://www.fsflyingschool.com/

 

gb.

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Hello, this is quite a question!

 

In a fully supported aircraft, MCE can access every switch. Even power levers. MCE is your First Officer, or Co Pilot. Voice command is a part of what It excels at.

 

As for reading gauges, MCE (First Officer) can tell you what your airspeed is, what your altitude and heading is and can even request a weather report from your designation airport.

 

Depending upon what the guys at MCE have interfaced, I bet the First Officer could even tell you what your engines are doing, from the engine map page ? 

 

I would think it all depends what aircraft you wish to fly?

 

Landing the Airbus can be achieved with minimal or no input from the pilot flying. With verbal commands to the First Officer, he/she will put the systems into the appropriate modes. All that's required is to reduce thrust levers to idle when the "Airbus Computer" tells you to "retard" (although even this could be done by the FO, just command "idle Thrust".

 

So my choice for you would be the Airbus. Also because MCE will annunciate many PFD display modes, ALT GREEN, SPEED GREEN, LOC BLUE, etc. Take off is a similar fully automated procedure. Engagement of Auto Pilot at 400 feet, then hands the entire flight over to its five on board computers. Leaving the crew to "manage" the systems.

 

Thanks for posting, makes you think doesn't it? How would you land your aircraft if you suddenly could not see?

 

Regards

 

David

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Hi all,

 

From what other blind pilots have said, the Airbus and other fairly complex sims are hard to use because the interface for the FMC requires sighted assistance. Someone specifically mentioned the problem of "discontinuities," though I don't believe that's the only issue.

 

MCE is able to read gauges, which is certainly helpful. It even seems to include voice commands for FMC programming, though I've not tried them myself, as I don't own an Airbus or PMDG plane.

 

Assume, for the moment, that we're mostly flying with stock FSX aircraft. How much of the landing procedure on those can be automated, I wonder?

 

It would be helpful to hear from the MCE developers, in terms of what they are comfortable doing. At the moment, as far as I'm aware, it's impossible for us to land planes using voice commands alone, at least using this program. If I'm wrong, I'd love to be told :)

 

THanks for your thoughts.

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VR Insight do a CDU Hardware panel. I believe this emulates the simulations MCDU functionality.

 

This would permit a person to use the alpha numeric keypad and function keys by touch. But then you would require some way to verify what you are typing in is accurate. So an on screen narrator, perhaps even the Microsoft narrator, would be needed. The VR Insight CDU is expensive, but there are posts in the Avsim forum with guys discussing it.

 

This is obviously a difficult series ofissues and would require a dedicated, systematic way of testing, not to mention time and money to test the methodology.

 

Since flight simulation as a genre is a niche market and Voice Activation is a niche within a niche market, this field is very difficult to envisage any developer investing in.

 

But I know a guy who has built an entire 737 flight deck in his attick,from real parts, so there's no limit to human achievements!

 

 

http://www.vrinsight.com/public_html/index.php?module=Board&action=SiteBoard_1&iBrdNo=14&sMode=SELECT_FORM

 

Good luck

 

David

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There used to be a FS2000 (or FS2002)  "bail me out" option in FS menu.

 

It has been removed since, but the software command that triggers it might still be there. 

 

However, that would only apply to default aircraft. Landing an A320 at the nearest grass field is obviously not a good idea. As a "crash type arrival" maybe OK.

 

With the heavies, decisions have to be made regarding suitability of a particular airfield, not to mention required fuel to reach it. And how would you handle CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain).

 

OK, will leave it to you guys to define and agree on what "automatic landing" would mean.

 

We'll monitor the thread, and if something is technically doable, why not.

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CFIT is an issue I'm definitely keenly aware of. I flew into a mountain on final not too long ago :)

 

More seriously, I don't know if we're looking for a "fully automated," landing," so much as a way to handle one without needing to see. I'm not sure how much of the process can be dealt with  by MCE already. 

 

That VR tool sounds interesting, though seems to solve only half the problem, as mentioned, we still need a way to read the FMC output. Perhaps I ought to try buying one of the airliners and seeing how far I can get with things as they currently stand.

 

I think that some of the problems mentioned earlier up thread with regard to runway suitability can be left up to our common sense: of course I'm not going to try to land a 747 on grass! :) I don't expect MCE to pick a runway for me, I just want it to help me land on the one assigned, or whatever I decide looks good according to the wind, length, etc. 

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That VR tool sounds interesting, though seems to solve only half the problem, as mentioned, we still need a way to read the FMC output.

 

Yes its the verifiability of your MCDU entry that would be a big hurdle.

 

Thinking about a favourite simulation of mine, the Majestic Dash 8 Professional. Here the guys at MCE have voice interfaced part of the MCDU. Namely the radio tune and the GPU disconnect/connect. The Dash 8 uses a system that's linked to the ARCDU. In the Airbus the radios are auto tuned, so you just need the route and then the active runway. As you fly, everything gets auto tuned. (Or it should do?)

 

In the Dash 8, the radio's in the ARCDU are linked to the MCDU, so a voice entry there inputs the numbers into the ARCDU. So provided you speak the correct numbers your radios get tuned. Following your command the FO repeats the numbers anyway. However the waypoint and navigation selection is another matter. It's a visual selection process from a menu?

 

What's needed is the computer from the star ship Enterprise. Then you would merely say, " Lay in a course from EGPN to EGCC, using high altitude airways."

 

PFPX is the program that does this, but at the moment, you need to see the route to select? PFPX will compile the route for you and permit you to enter SID/STAR/Runways in use. But again you need a way to select these with voice. I have no doubt there are some clever programmers out there who could build a voice activated navigation compiler program?

 

You guys who use the special voice to type programs will know better than I what's possible at this moment in time?

 

Hope I have given you some more food for thought? I watch a lot of Star Trek so in my mind there are no limitations to computer programs....in the future??

 

Cheers

 

David.

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