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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict skino's Avatar
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    Question Fsxpand (5.8) for Helicopters?

    Hello,
    I want to use Fsxpand for my Helicoptercockpit (Bell 206 on Floats). A few questions:
    -Is there a Bell 206 Fsxpand-Template (I do not mean the normal Fsxpand Helipanel)?
    -Can I use this image (BMP or JPG) as panel background, like a FS-Panel?


    -Can I run the Cockpitpanel and a radiopanel simultaneously and independently on the
    client PC, first monitor the panel, the second Monitor the radio stack?

    2 Pictures of the Centerconsole (Bell 206/R44 Mix)





    and with Copilot:



    Easter greetings from Germany

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: Fsxpand (5.8) for Helicopters?

    Pretty interesting read FSXpand.. Looks like a template isn't possible only a back ground color can be selected. As this software is mostly made to run on a 'In the box' monitor. That is you build your own template (wood/masonite/sheet metal etc) and then place a monitor behind and that becomes your panel. In essence you get the gauges but not the exterior frame work for them.

    You may want to take a look at this gentleman's Bell 206 Sim It's really quite cool.

    You're off to a pretty good start yourself. You should be able to use FSXpand to make your panel with if make your own exterior to your monitor. From what I've read you can create a custom panel (Instrument selection/placement). You will be limited to their gauges though. I didn't see to many 'helo' specific ones in there? You may know better then I though.

    To use FXSpand effectively you will need to build a frame (template / MIP Covering) for your sim. It's a pretty common practice around here. Especially in the GA area. So if you need help you've come to the right place. I'm planning on such a build myself.

    Best of luck on your build and keep us posted.
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  3. #3
    300+ Forum Addict skino's Avatar
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    Re: Fsxpand (5.8) for Helicopters?

    Hello Ronson2k9,
    thank you for your response. I am well aware how Fsxpand is to use. This helicopter is in my home office and is used to relax by between. I would like the Bell 206 on floats (For which I am building a large cockpit (http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/show...ess&highlight=), but also the EC135 (I fly in VATSIM) and R22/44. this ist the reason for the version with the background image. the FS2004 runns on my office computer The small cockpit computers is because only the instruments. He is unfortunately too weak for MaxiVista or Zonescreen, so the FS panels unfortunately can not move there.

    Can i set the Fsxpand background transparent?

    Greetings from Germany

  4. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: Fsxpand (5.8) for Helicopters?

    I took another look at their website. It appears that you can't get the background color on the panel to be a transparent color. As I had reported earlier they are expecting you to build a foreground for the panel so you would be covering up any background you have on the panel from FSXspand. You could write them and ask but I'm thinking that is why the background is so basic in their panels. It's essentially only there to hold the gauges.

    If you're attempting to create an FSX type panel that will run on separate computer that is holding the panel software. You can do that through FSX/FS9 and FSWIDE. Where FSXpand comes in is where you only want the variety of gauges and the lean and mean software (no FS9 overhead) to display them. So you can I would think run FSXpand and put the gauges on a much less powerful machine and still keep a high frame rate. So you have to think of FSXspand as a GAUGE software not so much as a panel software as you will be making the panel physically.

    That said you could have multiple panels and switch between them on your 'at work' equipment. You could use FSXspand for that. Duplicating what you have at home at work. You just won't have the cool foreground. Or you could construct a simpler version of you home version made from FOAM CORE then you could add your panel image via printout and adhesive spray or something like that which would be interchangeable but also quite in-expensive and portable. You can find foam core board at most big box stationary supply or art/craft stores (Staples/Micheals etc).

    FSXspand really is built with that kind of panel in mind. The panel you build to put the FSXspand gauges in to make it come to life.

    I love that you built a model mock up of your simpit. The EC135 is one of my favorite helicopters. There was a chap online that was building an EC135 cockpit but he has long since left the net or has moved on. Still it's quite a challenge to build one. When building a simpit I love as you're doing going for diversity in the aircraft of choice. As you are in essence building a home for your simulator. You really need all the 'Rooms' you can get in there for the various types of flying you are going to want to do. That's why I choose a (soon to be available/purchased) Cessna C185F Amphibious Skywagon. Carenado's model comes with floats both straight and amphibious and skis. So I can fly basically any where I want and not have to change planes (well cockpits) to do it. This as you have done also offers up a ton of different adventures in flying 'my house' as it were hehe.

    From my understanding. Floats on helos are a gentler way of landing on a ship. They will cushion that up down motion as the helo lands. Unlike planes landing on an aircraft carrier a helo needs to follow the motion of the ship as it lands. There is so much less room for error. The ship is like a moving rock your trying plant your helicopter on. If you descend while the ship is rising bad things can happen. Unfortunately this isn't simulated in FSX as it would make for an awesome challenge. It would probably eat CPU cycles for lunch though hehe. The other side of float equiped helo's is the over water safety factor. Where the need to ditch is possibility. Most helicopters doing that type of short range over water flight are now equipped with emergency inflation devices. Which act much like a inflatable life jacket. These will let the helo hopefully land on water long enough for the crew to get away safely. Ditching a helo in water unlike a plane has an extremely low survival rate. As the rotor is still spinning over your head when you try to get away. Add to that the pitching seas and you begin to see what could happen.

    Many private helicopters have a pretty low cargo cap as most of the equipment in a helo is there to keep it in the air. Not to much room to spare for cargo. Making floats a great option for helicopters with a high lift to weight ratio. Many of your smaller birds fit this category. Bell 47, Hughes 200 or 500 series. There was an awesome Bell 47 (with and without floats) model out there for FS2004/FS9 but I don't think it made the jump to FSX.

    Not wanting to get to far off topic hehe. I'm thinking you probably will need to build a simpler mockup to get the various helo type MIP you want to fly working with your FSXspand. Not a very hard proposition and in many ways this could help you as you continue your build at home. Trying stuff out with foam core will be a great way to experiment with sizes and so on to get it not only the way you want it but the way it will best work too.

    Cheers
    Ron
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

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