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IFD540 integration into training simulators?

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MysticCobra View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Dec 2014 at 11:48am
I do a lot of IFR proficiency training with a CFII who has an FAA-approved ATD simulator.  It's an Elite rig, and it includes a software/hardware module for a 430W as part of the avionics stack (see here and here).

This has been a helpful arrangement in ensuring I remain proficient in the "buttonology" of my avionics as well as the other skills required for IFR flying.

Any chance you're working with any simulator companies to get your IFDx40s integrated into their systems?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brou0040 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 2014 at 8:05pm
I was thinking about that this weekend, but for MS flight simulator X.  I have a panel mock up of my airplane and although I can't log it, it really works well to keep the rust off when the weather is CAVU.  I know people can custom build modules for MS flight simulator, but the PC IFD540 sim would need some modifications to allow this to work.  It would need to be re-sizable, take inputs from MS rather from it's internal sim, and provide outputs for things like driving the MS CDI, etc.

I've never made anything for MS flight sim, but I'd give it a try if Avidyne updated their sim to make it compatible.  Something cool, but not anticipating will ever make above the line.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 9:13am
Is it safe to assume from the silence on this topic that the answer is "No"?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cactus_1549 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Sep 2016 at 8:18am
Foreflight is able to receive the aircraft position from X-Plane or MS Flight Sim X, allowing people to simulate it's use in the aircraft, e.g. on an iPad.  

Avidyne folks, surely this is a simple thing to achieve with a small mod to the Avidyne iPad app?  It would be immensely useful for training purposes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Sep 2016 at 4:47pm
+1

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 3:40pm
+2.  This would be very helpful
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cactus_1549 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Sep 2016 at 4:48pm
Our club recently purchased an IFD540 and I sent a link of this discussion to our Avidyne rep.

Do keep on showing your support and hopefully something will happen soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cavu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2016 at 1:23pm
Yes, this would be very, very helpful; even more so than the 540 sim itself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote centerforcekid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2016 at 4:25pm
I too use the foreflight app with x-plane to replicate my use in our Seneca.
Having the IPAD APP link like foreflight would be AWESOME and add a much better level of realisim.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TogaDriver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2016 at 12:13pm
To make the IFD540 iPad sim drive ForeFlight on the same device is not too hard.  Any app that goes to background, as the IFD sim would do when you make FF active, will lose its socket connections unless it is registered as NSStreamNetworkServiceTypeBackground.

I believe Apple has some restrictions on enabling this for an app.  Otherwise, all the IFD has to do is open a DGRAM socket to the IP of the device on port 4000 and send GDL90 protocol messages and FF will pcik them up.  There's a bit more secret-sauce required to make this work properly but it's not that hard.

EDIT:  I blame my head cold for getting this answer slightly sideways yesterday:
I think you wanted to know how to connect the iPad sim to x-plane.  Since I use x-plane I'd like this too.  If there is any wifi output from the sim I could not see it.  We'd likely need Avidyne to implement some common protocol.  NMEA 0183 would be ok for basic LNAV and x-plane already can read this protocol. Getting coupled approaches to work nicely, or GPSS course leading, might require actual ARINC 429 out that then must be transcoded into something x-plane can understand.

Avidyne can contact me if they want to implement this feature for the sim on iPad (or PC I suppose - much of the logic is the same).  Avi-folks?  Is there any data output from the iPad sim at this time?

Neil



Edited by TogaDriver - 29 Oct 2016 at 11:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviSimpson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Oct 2016 at 3:36pm
There is no data output from the Sim at this time. I will ask our resident sim guru if this is a possibility.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TogaDriver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2016 at 1:36pm
Simpson,  if the sim has the ARINC 429-out code still in it and they could stuff that out a port, I could grab it and transcode it into the x-plane commands required to drive their FMS data structures.  This would, in theory, drive the x-plane aircraft to follow the LNAV and VNAV outputs.

See: http://www.xsquawkbox.net/xpsdk/mediawiki/Category:XPLMNavigation

I've already written an ARINC 429 to NMEA 0183 converter a while back in c-like code.  It does all the binary-angular conversion math. This could serve as the basis for the project.  All i'd need is to get the output in 32-bit ARINC "words" on a UDP broadcast (so it'll cross from iPad to a PC or mac on the same sub-net). If they keep the rate at LOW it won't cause any issues for a home LAN.  (~52kbytes/sec)

Your ios app sim team would likely want add the port option as an on/off in the app settings.  If they could hack in the output and x-beta me I could try this out and give you better feedback on limitations.

Imagine programming your iPad sim and having x-plane follow all the ARINC commands.  Cool...

Neil
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Dec 2016 at 12:01pm
+1

Wow! That would really be cool!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skitheo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2017 at 4:12pm
+1 for X-Plane 11 integration
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2017 at 2:22am
Originally posted by AviSimpson AviSimpson wrote:

There is no data output from the Sim at this time. I will ask our resident sim guru if this is a possibility.


Does the year's silence on this mean that the guru said "no", or was the subject simply forgotten?

Edited by chflyer - 25 Oct 2017 at 2:23am
Vince
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2017 at 9:49am
I guess that answers the question.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviSimpson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2017 at 1:28pm
Thanks for the persistence Vince. Unfortunately, it was a no at the moment. Maybe that will change in the future.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chflyer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2017 at 7:00am
I have no idea, Simpson, how much effort it would be to get this output from the IFD sim. But from TogaDriver's comments, it sounds like the user base could take if from there to get x-plane integration if Avidyne could just give us this little feed....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andyboy_uk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2018 at 11:10am
Just wanted to register a +1 for being able to drive the IFD emulator using x-Plane 11 location coordinates or the IFD100 app on a tablet.  

Would be great for familiarisation with the kit on the ground.


Edited by andyboy_uk - 25 Mar 2018 at 11:10am
Kindest regards,
Andy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TogaDriver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2019 at 10:23am
OK, you all have me curious about this again. 

Avi-Steve (or Simpson)?  Can you ask what, if any, of the ARINC 429 OUT code is buried in the iPad Sim?  If it is there, and your sim engineer simply spits the sentences out as TCP/IP packets on a dedicated port, I can decode that on the plug-in side and deliver them to x-plane.

The other part of the puzzle is to tell the sim where x-plane is flying in some GPS location format.  That would require the port to listen for this - probably on 5HZ refresh - in some agreed upon format.

The last piece would be to add a switch in the app settings to enable this sim-port option.

If the ARINC code lives in the sim the OUT should be pretty simple.  Driving the sim from external GPS (and testing the feature) will be slightly harder.

OFFER:  I'm an app developer (iOS) as well.  NDA me to modify the sim code and I'll help on both ends to implement this. Another side-benefit is that it'll probably work with the IFR certified version of x-plane as well and might help transition/refresh pilots while actually letting them log the time with a CFI in the sim.

I could have used this the other day on my IPC.  I ended up with so many white lines on the screen from obsolete approach legs that I had trouble seeing the approach I was on...



Edited by TogaDriver - 07 Aug 2019 at 7:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2019 at 5:47pm
I wonder if the IFD sim can take a GPS input, which would be required for XPlane to tell it where the plane is. Normally, it would be the SIM outputting GPS coordinates, if it is to emulate a real IFD. You wouldn't be able to use a real IFD with Plane, since I don't think it is set up to take a position input.

It is a bit complicated to synchronize two SIMs to make sure both devices think they are at a given location. There has to be a way to tell both which one is the position source and both would have to understand each other's information being sent around.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TogaDriver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2019 at 6:59pm
Generally, sim code of a working device is a branch of the "real" code that goes in the box.  This allows the developer to update the sim periodically without too much fuss.  The sim also has autopilot mode so it is processing a LAT/LON in there somewhere.  Parsing an externally generated LAT/LON is probably not in the current code but if they can spit out ARINC 429 on a TCP port they can listen on the port for a LAT/LON.  

 SMOP (Simple Matter Of Programming). :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vancinad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Aug 2019 at 11:50am
"The sim also has autopilot mode so it is processing a LAT/LON in there somewhere."

I had the same thought. Somewhere there's a path through which the sim/autopilot in the trainer app is able to push position information. There's a good chance that path could be used by a software "shim" listening to XPlane or FSX position information and forwarding it to the IFD Trainer.

The training value here would be off the charts -- completely superior to anything Garmin offers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carlsonj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 8:13pm
Originally posted by AviSimpson AviSimpson wrote:

There is no data output from the Sim at this time. I will ask our resident sim guru if this is a possibility.

How about data *input*?  It's already possible to get position information out of X-Plane via UDP, and some iPad programs (such as WingX) can use this to display ownship on a map.

Would it be possible to get GPS data off the network and into the IFD simulator?  I imagine that this is probably easier than setting up a new output.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote vancinad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2019 at 10:47pm
That's a good point, and what I intended/expected. IFD Trainer needs to take position information from the flight simulator, not the other way around.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Sep 2019 at 8:59am
Would be awesome to be able to use this along with the new flight sim MS is releasing in 2020.  Neat...it would also be awesome if my 550 could drive my DFC90 in case of a PFD failure...haha just write it on the list..thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whiskykilo1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2019 at 5:02am
The UK Software Skydemon is able to get the Signal from X-Plane.

If you start the infligt Modus you must select the Source, X-Plane or location service.
EASA registered Beech Bonanza F33A located in EDKB Hangelar/Germany, Aspen 1000 EFD, 2 x IFD540
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2019 at 10:01am
Originally posted by Roger Roger wrote:

...Neat...it would also be awesome if my 550 could drive my DFC90 in case of a PFD failure...haha just write it on the list..thanks!


The STEC 55x can be wired to use either the "magenta line" feed from a GPS navigator, using its own GPSS circuitry OR using the output from an external GPSS unit or GPSS built into a PFD.

I would be surprised if the DFC-90 didn't have the same capability, given that it is a slide in replacement.

* Orest


Edited by oskrypuch - 29 Sep 2019 at 10:01am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2019 at 11:31am
Originally posted by oskrypuch oskrypuch wrote:

Originally posted by Roger Roger wrote:

...Neat...it would also be awesome if my 550 could drive my DFC90 in case of a PFD failure...haha just write it on the list..thanks!


The STEC 55x can be wired to use either the "magenta line" feed from a GPS navigator, using its own GPSS circuitry OR using the output from an external GPSS unit or GPSS built into a PFD.

I would be surprised if the DFC-90 didn't have the same capability, given that it is a slide in replacement.

* Orest

Unfortunately it does not.  You can continue to use the autopilot with a PFD failure in the STEC 55x but you cannot with the DFC90.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2019 at 11:37am
That is too bad.

* Orest
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2019 at 2:00am
+1 for simulator support.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TogaDriver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2019 at 11:47am
I suggested a possible way on my Aug-7 post.  I've heard nothing from AVI about implementing this feature.

I'm happy to actually help work with the sim developer if they'd like to try and support external location input from x-plane.  Since the auto-pilot mode in the sim must generate 3D location (lat,long,alt) that is where a hook would be added to optionally listen for on a port for that data instead.  It's likely already an optional code path since the sim auto-pilot mode is something that obviously does not exist in the main branch of the code for the IFD.

They can put an iOS settings option in for the sim so you can turn on external location or default back to the sim's internal auto-pilot behavior.

AVI folks - PM me if you'd like to discuss.  Making the sim work with x-plane would be a great learning aid.  

And, there are versions of x-plane that are FAA certified for IFR flight training.  hint hint...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote donemory Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2019 at 12:37pm
FYI, Avidyne requested help from our community last week I believe to help them to test a X-Plane beta version...did you not see that?

On 10/14/19, Avidyne posted the following on the Facebook Avidyne’s Pilot Club forum the following:

Looking for a couple of people to test our solution with Xplane. Please email marketing@avidyne.com if you would like to beta test for us.


Edited by donemory - 23 Oct 2019 at 12:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2019 at 12:37pm
Yes yes yes...please with X Plane!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TogaDriver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2019 at 1:51pm
wow.  No I didn’t see it. Why didn’t they post here? I don't do FB.  I did email to see about the beta.

Edited by TogaDriver - 23 Oct 2019 at 8:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Oct 2019 at 3:11pm
Any word on having it run with L-M P3D?

* Orest



Edited by oskrypuch - 23 Oct 2019 at 3:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AviSteve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 2:01am
I just heard from Kelly earlier this week that she had posted on FB about xplane.  I know there are at least a few here interested, so yeah post back, email me, or email marketing@avidyne.com if you're interested.  I'm pretty sure vancinad will be stoked...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vancinad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 8:37am
I'm half-stoked. I use FSX. :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 94S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Oct 2019 at 8:53am
Originally posted by oskrypuch oskrypuch wrote:

Any word on having it run with L-M P3D?

* Orest


+1, I hope Kelly is looking at more than just X-Plane.  Please, please include all the popular flight sims, FSX, P3D and X-Plane!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brou0040 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Oct 2019 at 8:25pm
I have FSX and I'm looking forward to seeing what FS2020 brings, but I'll switch to X-plane if I can model my panel including the 540.  I currently have a 750 in my sim panel...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2019 at 11:49am
So I just purchased a sim instructional how to video series from pilotworkshops on setting up a home sim. Obviously the videos are a little data as they recommended Flythissim for certified sim and we all know their recent issues.  Their message was to buy a non certified sim and then do an IPC every 6 months if you fly an expensive plane or having trouble keeping up with currency.  My question is can you log these approaches on a sim without a CFI present?  Can we do that with a non certified X-Plane?  Trying to decide what direction to go here for my sim.  And I am absolutely tickled to death I might have an option to have my 540 as a choice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HenryM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2019 at 6:38pm
lf you want to log the work in the sim, approaches or otherwise, it needs to be at least a Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD). FlyThisSim is based on XPlane, but has additional features required to get it certified as a BATD. 

XPlane, by itself, is useful for practice but you can't log anything you do with it. 


Edited by HenryM - 01 Nov 2019 at 1:53pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brou0040 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2019 at 12:29pm
Agree with HenryM, you can't log the non certified sims.  What I have found is that I spend much less time in the real airplane during an IPC or doing practice approaches to feel comfortable if I've been practicing on the sim.  That is worth the time and money of using the non certified sim.  The sim is way more sensitive than my real airplane so that helps me stay on my toes.  I also have it set up to have random failures at random times.  I think that adds a lot of value over the real airplane.

None of this is to say that a non certified sim is better than a certified one with a CFI, but I don't have access to that (or IMC) nearby so this works for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2019 at 1:31am

I'd love to test it on my x-plane sim (photo below).  I'm also a CFI/CFII and find simulators to be excellent training aids.  I think it's a great move by Avidyne to support X-Plane.  



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2019 at 8:38am
Originally posted by doog doog wrote:


I'd love to test it on my x-plane sim (photo below).  I'm also a CFI/CFII and find simulators to be excellent training aids.  I think it's a great move by Avidyne to support X-Plane.  

Nerd question, Doog-- what kind of monster hardware are you running to drive that display?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2019 at 9:50pm
I subscribed to pilot workshops video series on setting one of these things up.  I have not begun the workshop yet.  I realize I won't be able to log the hours, but I know from using Flythis Sim with a CFII in my training it was really helpful.  I would really enjoy having a nice flashy one like this one posted.  And having the IFD would just be abosultey perfect.  

I am newly IFR rated....Flying family to Disneyworld a week ago tonight from KY to Disney (KISM) was given the Leese2 arrival and then the DME Alpha approach.  That thing had a arc in it.  I DID NOT turn 10/twist 10/ on that approach.  I dialed it in...both the STAR and the approach and the trusty 550 and trusty DFC90 flew all that beautifully while I tended to other important high workload matters in the dark at 10:30pm.  Brilliant hardware and software...and if I could have a time to practice that approach again at home......or a sim to practice that before heading out on a trip like that across the country in the dark on a flight plan....would all work together in helping me be a safer pilot.  Who cares If I can't log it....(well actually I care) so long as I get really good practice and skills/confidence.  

When the controller issued the instructions I was confident and knew exactly what to do. This flight management system just makes it so intuitive and easy.  Thanks Avidyne....hopefully I will read a post soon that these navigators are integrated into a sim.  Ya'll don't miss much at avidyne....and this would be another gap to easily close and one I am looking forward to.  Keep putting out these great pruducts and I'll keep buying then!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Nov 2019 at 11:28pm
Originally posted by paulr paulr wrote:

Nerd question, Doog-- what kind of monster hardware are you running to drive that display?

It's a 4ghz i7 processor, 32gb ram, 1 tb SSD drive, GTX 1070 graphics card.  The main display is a 55 inch curved Samsung 4k HDTV and the panel is a 15.6 inch touch screen.  I also use a knobster to tune the GPS.  The flight hardware is precision flight controls Cirrus2 console but I just ordered the new Honeycomb Alpha yoke and am planning to switch out the PFC for the honeycomb and probably build a custom panel.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MysticCobra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 hours 39 minutes ago at 8:48am
I originally started this thread (five years ago) hoping that the IFD would be integrated into the Elite ATD software package.  My CFII is about to install the latest version, and it will include GTN device support, with the ability to use a touchscreen monitor to interact with the GTN.  


It's too bad that the IFD devices aren't available, as well.


Edited by MysticCobra - 18 hours 32 minutes ago at 8:55am
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