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Guest Pabra

Can We Revisit The Virtual Cockpit?

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After reading so much criticism of the quality of the default vc s, I've wondered if any 3rd party developer has provided the critics with one acceptable?I've lost track of the vc ac available by 3rd party developers. Other than the Yanick Falcon 50, does anybody offer aircraft for 2K2 with a vc with at least default clarity? I have no problem with the default clarity. And the vc really enhances the flight experience. It's a really nice option to have, especially if one does a lot of VFR flying, as I do. But hand flying the 737 up to cruise and sitting back to enjoy the scenery in the vc is also a great time!Don't you think?Rick

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Nuff said.It's the only way to enjoy the scenery. When was the last time you were able to sit on the tail of your airplane (spot view) and watch the world go by. Sure its fun to watch your AC now and then, but for realizim, VC is the only way to go when VFR.http://members.shaw.ca/dan_cyxc/canhalf.gif March 17,2002 Sgt. Marc D. L

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As for me, I will not download anything without a VC anymore. I am not an IFR fan and simply love to fly the pattern, or take VFR jaunts along the NW coast, and daytrips to mountain airstrips. I appreciate the work involved in creating a good virtual cockpit and am sometimes disappointed when I DL a great plane with a non-functioning VC. My favorites are the Bill Lyons' planes. Fantastic FM's and great, "used" and worn, but functioning VC's. I also have the FSD Commander, Piper Super Cub, the Falcon 50 and the new Piper Commanche, all great planes with fantastic VC's, but I find I fly the Canuck 80, and Cessna Bobcat the most. I like the '30's and up to the '50's planes. Guess it's a flash back to my childhood (well, not the 30's).I will say that for the first time since Flight Simulator 1, I am pleased with the planes, the scenery, and my new computer's ability to provide a very smooth and rewarding flightsim experience - the VC is the real key to making it a great experience.I'd love to see Bill Lyons create a Beech Staggerwing with full functioning VC - that would be Primo!

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Dreamfleet has an airbus with vc coming up, also phoenix, and the a340 vc from project airbus seems like the real thing. Think it's a matter of time before vc's are standard but it will really soar when the mouse can be used, thus the end of 2d. Anyone can make a decent looking 2d panel, a vc is a wee bit harder to accomplish so this leaves us only the gurus to supply us with goodies. I used to fiddle with panels but have no clue where to begin with a vc. There will be software to enable vc construction in time. This is just the beginning.

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FSD Commander 115 has the best, IMHO, Virtual cockpit thus far. The gauges are clear, readable, even the GPS overlay map is viewable along with the radio freq's.MSFT can take a lesson of how it should have been done from the folks at FSD. IMHORegards,Joe :-wavehttp://home.attbi.com/~jranos/mysig.jpg

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oh man, sometimes i think im the only one, the VC is only the way to go, i only use the 2d when i cant do what i want in the vc.i fly 98%VFR - it really gives such a visceral feel to desktop flight simming!and yes, i only d/l a/c that have a vc as well, uh.... i simulate an air charter/taxi company using small GA a/c i'm thinking about opening up as a va (not sure yet, ) but it will be very restrictive and im planning on using the new program from Lago, FSMaintenanceciao!Brian S

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You know, I think the VC is beginning to make an impression on veteran sim flyers. FS2K2 is the first general-commercial aviation sim I've bought! I've always been a combat sim flyer, and in that arena, being able to swivel the head 360 is a matter of survival. So my sim flying experience always has a virtual cockpit. FS2K2's VCs are just like CFS2's, Janes WW2 Fighters, USAF, F/A-18, etc. So I always use a VC over the 2-D panel except when I need to do things I can't in the VC.Overall, the option to use either when the need arises is the best aspect. And YEAH, flying VFR up the NW coast from N. California to Anchorage is a very visceral experience!Rick

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All FSD aircraft have VC's that far surpass the defaults. I often like to do it during the cruise part of the flight to get some nice scenery views.[TABLE BORDER=0][tr][td]

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[link:timsfsstudio.home.attbi.com]Click here to visit Tim's FS Studio!]

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Probably one of the best VC's that comes to my mind is the ancient EF-2000 by DID. Completely function and did the job just about perfectly.

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I also won't fly without VC. here's a shot i took last night out of Ithaca NY in FSD's Commander. tom t

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While on the subject of VCs, I must admit I love using them, too. One question though; has anyone worked out how to use them in other aircraft? For example, the Convair 580 has a pretty good VC, and I would like to use it in the new YS-11. Transferring the panel folder over works for the 2D panel, but no 3D is available. I've even tried copying the textures from the 580's 'texture' folder over, to no avail. This has been the same case for other VCs I've tried in the past. Can anyone please help?

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Yah, FSD has managed to surpass almost everyone with the clarity of their gagues, and the sharpness of everything else, and they do it using FSDS. Since most people have said that VC's are clearer and better when made in GMAX, one could only imagine what is possible in their future projects.Scott

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One thing that blows my mind is all the FS2k2 specific models that are out that dont come with a VC. Understandably that may be due to lack of photos. The other thing that blows my mind is most 3rd party models whos exterior is model excellently have really awful looking VC. Imean, if they are so good at modeling why cant they model and interior? Too harsh? I guess. I also am surpised at people who complane about the quality of the defaults. They all look pretty good. Better than any free 3rd party model that I've seen.And why anyone would want to remove them I just dont know. No plane that I've seen offers a clear foward view anyway. Besides, since the VC is created at the same time as the exterior I dont expect that its possible to eliminate that view.Pete

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"While on the subject of VCs, I must admit I love using them, too. One question though; has anyone worked out how to use them in other aircraft? For example, the Convair 580 has a pretty good VC, and I would like to use it in the new YS-11. Transferring the panel folder over works for the 2D panel, but no 3D is available. I've even tried copying the textures from the 580's 'texture' folder over, to no avail. This has been the same case for other VCs I've tried in the past. Can anyone please help? "To my knowledge this is not possible. As I understand it the VC is created and built into the same model as the exterior. MArried together permantently.Pete

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Well, the biggest reason I can find for that is that a VC is more of a panel in that you need to place gauges at certain coordinates, using no external tools (besides notepad), unlike with 2d panels (which there are numerous tools to help more novice panel designers. This means that even if a person is incredible at designing a visual model, they may not have the patience nor the skill needed to spend the time finding base pictures and then placing gauges.On the other hand, I agree that they should have more VC's in freeware releases, because otherwise the hobby won't advance. Hopefully we'll see more designers get into panel making, and see more VC's with freeware AC.Scott

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I've wondered about that too. Seems a VC would be an integral component of an aircraft design. Although, the patience and skill factors might deter even the best designer from developing one.Another factor might be the newness of the VC. I've read on the forum where someone wants to delete the VC. Oh well. It's a preference choice agreed. But in order for the flight sim genre to advance and bring in new flyers, I believe Microsoft has done a great service to us by introducing the VC into its latest edition. To enhance my view forward, I just use the Ctrl-Shift-Enter-Backspace keys, per the instructions, to look out over the top of the panel. No problem there, even on final. Having a hat switch joystick solves the up-down glance movements between instruments and windshield.But in general, I have to agree that sooner or later, most 3rd person developers will become skilled at providing a VC.Would designing a Boeing 727 with VC be too difficult, since the Boeing 737 cockpit is almost identical (except for the 3rd engine gauges)? Maybe Mike Stone would know.Rick

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Pabra: "Anyone can make a descent 2d panel..." Really? Where are yours? How come most of what I download looks like crap, has overlapping gauges, or gauges (like the default KingAir) with black box backrounds pasted on light coloured panel art?? A good 2d panel is rare as gold, as proven by FSD, the Falcon 50, the new ERJ-145. Personally, I could do without most of the VC's out there. They look like old tech resolutions (except FSD of course!) and in the end, though they are promising signs for the future, they are not functional. They are not "cockpits" at all.They don't work.They are eye candy....a frame for viewing the world.I'd rather be in clouds and turbulence having to "work" my panel, radios, AP, etc., and if I want to see, I'd rather be full screen.The wave of the future in panel tech? Absolutely. By hardly comparable to real VC's like in Jane's et.al. where you actually can use the gauges, buttons, etc.michael

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Check out the new Dreamfleet Archer. You can hardly tell the difference between the 2D and VC panels. It would sure be nice to also be able to adjust radios and such from the VC view, but that probably will be down the road.

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>They are not "cockpits" at all. >>They don't work. >>They are eye candy....a frame for viewing the world. >>"They don't work" ...... Sure they do! With a decent size monitor & use of the ctrl enter keys, they can provide a great sense of peripheral vision that really add's the sensation of motion when on final approach. Also works wonders for airport pattern manuvers. Just another way to enjoy the sim when not IFR in the clouds somewhere!L.Adamson

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>A good 2d panel is rare as gold, I agree. And until the VC can match the best 2D panels (say top 5) - either front or side views I will use them solely.Michael J.

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well I should have known you would find something to pick at!! :)Yeah, okay, they work. But you know what I mean. Even your own description of enhancing the sensation of motion does fit in with my description of a "frame" for viewing, agreeing that it's a pretty damn nice viewing improvement.But to me, if I can't adjust something, if everything is a picture and not a workable button/gauge, then it's just scenery.michaelp.s. the fact that we all have different tastes and yet this sim provides for most of them shows how little we really should be slagging MS.

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So I guess it all depends on what tickles your twine.I have a good friend who enjoys FS when he's flying a heavy in zero visibility, high winds, and rain. It's 2D panel for him except when he's taxing.For me, it's fluffy clouds and sunshine with light winds flying in the mountains or along a coastline. It's VC for me. I use auto tune and the keyboard keys to adjust things. Or, I bring up a window with the desired gauge (GPS, radio stack, etc) use it, then close it.My Dad and I used to fly a Luscombe 8E (N1181B)until it was sold for lack of funds. The guy it was sold to stalled it 500 ft above the ground and killed himself and his passenger 6 months later. The wreckage occupied the front page Sunday newspaper.I gave up flying.When I fly in the VC, it's just like old times. Smile on my face as I gaze at the world around me. CFS2 Warbirds in FS2K2 are really a blast!! Big honkin' radials and a set of silky turbo Allisons really put a smile on my face from the VC. VFR of course.The 2D panel is just work. I only use it when setting auto pilot settings when I pretend I'm flying a 737. Rick

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