Having getting totally nuts with the point and click interface of XP I looked into some hardware to enhance the look and feel when flying Jason's planes. Try changing settings when flying through clouds.
I found 4 modules from GoFlight Inc that work great with Sandy Barbours GoFlight plug in. For now that's my basic setup of flight control hardware.
2. Toggle switches
3. Push buttons + rotary knobs
4. Multi mode Nav/Com display
Adding to the rig is easy: all USB based and made of iron casing. The AutoPilot unit (which is based on the B737 MCP) has presets that work out of the box, and can be adjusted afterwards. (The plugin is so flexible that the AutoPilot unit can be assigned non-AutoPilot functions, such as Taxi light, Strobe, Light, or EFIS mode selectors, to name a few possibilities.) The other 3 modules need function assignment for the knobs, buttons and modes. So that's what I'm doing to fit the Mirage for instance, the Starship, and later the EC135 helo. Settings are stored in a text file, so with a simple replacement of that file, it's easy to have a custom set of functions for each plane you fly. The magnetic labels that come with the modules will aid as a memory as you stick them in the recess faceplate. The modules have no internal lighting - that'd be even cooler.
The pic shows the current set up, except for the AutoPilot module, the 3 other ones only contain a faceplace and are supposed to be ready to be rackmounted: the circuit board is exposed at the back. It fits nicely under the 2 24" LCDs which I use with a 85 degree field of view and in HUD mode when cruising. When doing patterns I use 3D view to give me a sense of being in the front and better situational awareness. The 3 flight instruments left and right of the set are not connected btw, they're their for decoration. I'm exploring SimKits or similar simulated instruments, but a basic six + VOR would cost around 2500 USD.
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