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rpowers

F18- Most realistic VC view setting?

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I was wondering if there are any real F18 pilots, or even people who have actually sat in the seat of an F18 who could tell me what the most realistic view setting is in the VC. Can you see any of the nose extending out, and do you see the canopy bow in your field of vision? Can you see the MFD's in your line of sight, or do you have to glance down? How large does the Hud appear in your view realitive to the windshield?Thanks,Bill

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I've been thinking a lot about this very question lately....First, I'm not a Hornet pilot (darnit!). But in my days training in the AF down at Sheppard AFB, a lot of us were able to hop into the cockpit of several modern fighters. (Because THAT is where the avionics are, and it's a training base.) My overwhelming, lasting impression: the real thing is "tighter" and more cramped than the views from within a 2D flightsim would make it seem. And I remember the HUD specifically occupying a pretty significant portion of the field of view (FOV)... the F-16's, especially... again, a greater FOV than the flightsim view settings would make it seem. The Hornet pit does not seem any more spacious, and... (see below for details)... but, the default eyepoint on the Acceleration Hornet is, I think, a little too far aft. Of course, the pilot is able to move his head around, so there's not *1* precisely correct answer, but in general I think there's more of a feeling of being "on top" of the main instruments and looking down than the sim conveys. (Makes me want to finally invest in TrackIR....)But, to get a little more scientific here.... The F/A-18 HUD can display 20 degrees of symbology, but has an IFOV of just under 17 by 17. That 17 x 17 degrees is what the pilot is supposed to be able to see with a still head, from within the HUD view box. The HUD is focussed at infinity, so, unlike in FSX HUD's, the pilot can move his head around a bit and still have the symbology remain conformal with the outside world. But, one important thing to note: the HUD glass and mounting hardware take up significantly more than this 17 x 17 degrees... they're closer to ~30 degrees vertically by ~25 horizontally, which can be easily confirmed by many HUD pics floating around out there. Now, at zoom 1.0, FSX displays 34 x 25 degrees of scenery. So that's 25 x 30 degrees of HUD glass / hardware on a 34 x 25 degree display of FSX scenery. So the HUD, at FSX zoom 1, should occupy almost the entire monitor. The HUD's symbology projection area alone (17 x 17) should occupy 70 percent of the vertical screen distance. Again, this is at FSX zoom 1.0. (FSX zoom 1.0 corresponds to zoom ~1.4 in FS9.) But is zoom 1.0 the "correct" zoom in FSX? Depends. If you want a realistic field of view, one that matches your actual view arc, and you want the appropriate perception of height and depth and the proper sensation of (forward) speed, yes, FSX zoom 1 is probably just about right for most of us. This can be easily confirmed.For a person with a 19" 4:3 ratio monitor (15" horizontal), who sits 24 inches (60 cm) away from it, a little trig shows that zoom 1.0 is very close to "correct" in the amount of scenery that it displays. (Of course, many prefer to zoom out to compensate for the lack of peripheral vision in the sim, so again, I use "correct" here only in the sense that the FOV of scenery being displayed on the monitor's screen matches the FOV of that monitor screen itself.) If you have a smaller monitor or sit farther away, zoom in a bit more; zoom out if you sit closer or have a larger monitor. None of this theory is perfect, obviously, because various distortions are introduced as zoom is changed, but these ideas can get you close.Hope this helps. You should be able to use the HUD apparatus values as the basis for your eyepoint tweaking. Oh, and one last thing: when you test, try to be flying as straight and level as you can, with speed as stable as you can keep it. Those virtual cockpit head-motion effects shift the eyepoint around a lot more than any of us might expect.Good luck!

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Snip: "(Makes me want to finally invest in TrackIR....)"Of all the add-ons that you could invest in designed to maximize your immersion factor in Flight Simulator ... I'd have to say that TrackIR is by far the best investment you could make.And that's saying a lot, as there are many fine programmers out there creating lots of software to improve the immersion factor (FEX, etc.) and they're producing some fine products.Track IR is pretty easy to install and set up, but I'll say this ... if you do invest, don't try to cheap out and get the "hat mounted" version. I did that, and ended up getting the more advanced version.The hat mounted version just makes you feel (and look) like a dork, and doesn't work as well (my view). The TrackClip Pro version, which I have mounted to my earphones, makes me look (and feel) like what I am, which is a big bad fighter pilot jet jockey with a big azz watch, a cool nickname and yes, I get the girls in bars with my wicked good karoke singing.(None of which is true, by the way ... so I'd say that is probably the best definition of "immersion" there is! :)Spend the $200 bucks and go whole hog. Although it's one of the more expensive add-ons you can do, I'd get this before I got anything else.Cheers,Kevin(I am in no way affiliated with Natural Point ... just offering a mini review here from my own personal use of their product.)(PS: You can use this hardware in other games too, which makes it not just an FSX add-on, but a gaming add-on you'll get other use out of. It's arguments like that you can use to overcome the wifey's objections! Oh, and remind her how expensive those shoes she just bought are ... that usually works!)

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>The hat mounted version just makes you feel (and look) like a>dork, and doesn't work as well (my view).I have the hat mounted version, and my wife can confirm your first criticism of it. But as for the second, I'd be interested to know what problems you found with it that are improved by the TrackClip?I find it works great as long as it's night time (there's a window opposite my PC) and the fire isn't lit (the fireplace is just within the range of the IR camera).I doubt if the TrackClip could do much about the fire, but do you think it would work even if there was daylight streaming through the window?Colin

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Colin,Whichever clip you use, doesn't matter as far as backlight (coming from windows, fireplaces, etc.) affecting performance - since that part of the track IR system is actually the infrared scanner that you place on your monitor.Even with the ProClip, I am unable to use TrackIR during the daytime, unless I close the drapes on all nearby windows.I could never get the hat thing to work well, just because I couldn't figure out how to place it effectively. That, plus the obvious dork factor, turned the tide for me.In about 2 minutes of switching, I went from :+ dork hatboy to :-wedge bad azz fighter jock!Easily worth the extra $40 bucks.

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Placing is definitely crucial. My monitor sits quite high so with the camera on top of it it works pretty well.I've a feeling my wife (thankfully the only person who ever sees me using the thing) would think I looked like a dork either way so I think I'll stick with what I have. :)

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So,is there a difference in performance between the hat and the headset version?I have the hat and everyone already knows that I am a weirdo that flys in my basement all winter.Thanks Ron

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