||To get the most out of your flightsim software, there are
lots of add-on programs available, many of them freeware. For my cockpit
use I have installed and modified some flightsim settings that are described
in this chapter.
I started off with Flight Unlimited 3 which (still) has some distinct
merits compared to FS2004: Photorealistic Scenery, very
realistic flight, weather and wind modeling and nice ATC. Soaring is a joy
with slope lift and thermals. There are lots of add-on airplanes and
sceneries to be found in the library at avsim.com. The FU3 forum at
still very much alive, and the people are very helpful.
FS2004 has more features that are great for the cockpit builder:
Better interfacing of multiple joysticks, multi monitor support, and
possibility for parameter extraction.
There are also loads of add-on programs, utilities and tricks that I have only
started to discover.
Below a list of my favorites:
Soar website you can
download Cross Country Soaring 2004 that will enable you to make use of lift
generated on mountain slopes. Also random Thermals will be generated. It
needs to load lift files for specific areas, that you can generate yourself,
but there are ready-made lift files in the scenery download section at
Some of the lift files are generated using the high resolution mesh for New
Zealand, that can be downloaded at
|Some of the best Gliders for FS can be found at
http://www.fsglider.de/ Many of them
are VET equipped, which simulates a winch start. Also vario sound is
Most of these gliders also have proportional spoiler function, so that the
proportionally controlled speed brake cockpit
control works in a very realistic way.
|One of my favorite GA planes is the 1947 Beechcraft Bonanza A35 by John Recker.
It handles very realistic, has great sounds, and with some modifications, it's
fits nicely in my new visuals
setup. The file used to be in AVsim library, but is hard to find. Therefore you can
find a copy here. You also need
the panel mod by John Percy, which is here.
I made some modifications on the panel and sound files, see my
modifications here. |
|Building your own scenery in FS2004 can be done easily with RWY12
This great tool can be found in the AVsim library in the flightsimulator
2004 scenery design section.
|For building / modifying your own airport, AFCAD2.12 (search for
afcad221.zip) can be used. |
|For clearing a space in the
bush (to remove autogen trees etc) you can use the "exclude" command, as described in the
fs2004_downloads_sdk.asp What you have to do is measure out the
coordinates of your required clear space and add the "exclude
N-W-S-E" coordinates (in this sequence) to the scenery.cfg file as shown
|For optimizing the FS config settings with Matrox Parhelia card, check
Recommended FS2004 settings - UPDATE OCT 2004 (oops, link no longer
valid, no idea where that info went)|
|When flying with dual or triple monitor setup, the cockpit view can be
undocked and moved to a separate display. Outside view can then be
switched to virtual cockpit for easy panning. But since you already have a cockpit view
on the extra monitor,
the virtual cocpit can be a bit too much, so you may want to remove it.
Very easy way to remove a virtual cockpit how to do this.|
|For answering ATC in a more realistic way, you can use voice
recognition. This will enable you to "talk back" commands that are
converted to keystrokes to ATC, I use Shoot 1.6.4 : (do a search on
google) : It works very well, and you can have a "push to talk" option: I
use the trigger button on my flightstick, that will activate the speech
recognition, and also inserts a squelch pop sound:
start and stop.
My Shoot1.6.4 config file can be seen here.
Note: You need a headset with microphone for the speech recognition to
|For enhancing Force Feedback, there is a (payware) utility FS-force at
http://www.dirks-software.ca/fs-force/ that improves the MSFS force feedback considerably. |
|In some airplanes, the undocked cockpit leaves a big black space at
the top: (the area where the scenery was coming through). Moving this to
the second monitor leaves you with that empty black space. You can remove the
empty area by editing the panel in the airplane panel folder: |
Panel before and after
To shift the dials to the right place again, you also need to modify the panel.cfg file as shown here
(before) and here (after)
|FSUIPC is a great
utility when you want to connect lots of switches and rotary encoders to
your cockpit. It also has very powerful analog axis calibration functions.
You need the payware version this. |
This great FUIII Screenshot has been provided by John Lewis, the expert in FUIII
This is a combined screenshot in FS2004 with the Parhelia card, showing ridge soaring
I made a small bush airstrip for the ridge soaring area
Here a screen shot of Dash on Seattle approach, showing the advantage of
having a wide scenery view and full cockpit view on a separate monitor.
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