Saturday, March 31, 2007

AT&T True Natural Voices

Use VoxATC like I do? Tired of that robotic voice?

That is your answer. $35 gets you AT&T True Natural Mike and Crystal at 16khz. Awsome quality compared to Microsoft Sam and Mary!! Get them today! 

1. Install Cyrstal first
2. Install Mike second
3. After both are installed, open control panels, then speech. Set the default voice to either Mike or Crystal.



Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Friday, March 30, 2007

FS Flying School

I found a virtual flying school program which seems really cool!

It's called FS Flying School. What FS Flying School does is it gives you a virtual flying instructor. For a test I took off in a Cessna 172 from Chicago Ohara and then landed. During it the guy was barking at me and then told me to check the logbook. When I did, well.. read on:

Riggins piloting Cessna Skyhawk 172SP ended Friday, March 30, 2007 at 19:42
FSFlyingSchool Version 1.5 (Friday 23rd February 2007)
Using: FS2004
Visibility: 70.41 Miles Wind: 0 Knots

Aircraft: Cessna ID: N324CR Airline: Flight: 1
Flight plan: NAV1:
Failures: None at landing

Landing Score:0.00

Landing was successful in the following areas: 

Gentle touchdown.

Good landing speed - not too fast.

Wings were level.

Good pitch control after touchdown.

Good pitch at landing.

With flaps - good job.

Good controlled final descent to touchdown.

Landing included the following problems: 

No glideslope information was available on visual approach.

No runway alignment information was available on visual approach.

No glideslope - could not compare flare to glideslope.

Touch down not aligned with the runway - let's point down the runway.

Throttle(s) forward - should be idle.

Poor steering after landing - stay on the centre line.

Definite room for improvement...

Flight Score:88.06

Flight commended in the following areas: 

Smooth turns.

Nice banking.

Correct matching of flaps to speeds.

Comfortable G forces.

Smooth pitch control.

Flown within aircraft's maximum speed limit.

Gentle taxi turns.

Good take off steering.

Rotation was not late.

Appropriate position of flaps during taxi.

Smooth braking during taxi.

Well coordinated turns.

No stalls.

No flying dangerously close to stall speed.

Smooth comfortable descent rate.

Pitch not too high.

Pitch not too low.

Flaps down on time.

Approach speed not too fast.

Low altitude speeds not too fast.

Good clearance of obstacles.

Flight included the following problems: 

Poor attention to taxi speed - dangerous to yourself and others.

Loss of altitude during takeoff - climb smoothly.

Wings not level near ground - danger of clipping a wing.

Definite room for improvement... 

Pretty cool! You can check them out at:

You can download a demo that will let you fly around the Chicago area. The full product is $44.95

If you'd like to see a movie of the product, here it is:


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Vatsim Chart Finder

Another kudos to the network! They have a chart finder available for free to use!

Simply put in your airport's ICAO code (IE klax) for every chart listed!

Blue skies Vatsim!

(If you are not sure what vatsim is.... click below)


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

View the entire VATSIM.NET Virtual Network in Google Earth!

Do you have Google Earth installed?

If yes, then click here! 

This file shows every ATC controller and pilot online the virtual flying network we fly on!



Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cessna 172 Panels

For those of you wanting to print your own 172 panels, I've included two files available for you to download. I modified these for my own cockpit and then took a cd to Kinko's to print. If you view the Sim Photos 1 link on the website you'll see how it printed out and how I traced it with carbon paper.

Here are the panels!

They are commonly opened in Adobe Illustrator. If you don't have Illustrator I do not know how you'd open these, they come in a .dwg and a .dxf format. Please do not ask me for support on these files.



Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Sunday, March 25, 2007

GPS AND Weather Radar, one screen, and how to switch gauges!

I found a solution for using GPS and Weather Radar on the 7" GPS Screen in the simulator (so both gauges are stacked) and switch between them!

First, I found Reality XP, who makes a lot of various avionics gauges. Check them out at:

I bought their WX-500 Weather Radar, which is a gauge that is resizable in game. Great, but the problem was still how to stack two gauges on top of each other and switch back and forth between them. I found no way to do that originally which is why I was looking for a GPS/Weather all in one solution. 

Well I found the answer!

Here's what you do:

Go into your Microsoft Flight Simulator 9 folder and look for the Aircraft folder. Open that and open the folder of the aircraft you fly. Inside is a panel.cfg file. Open that with wordpad or the like. You'll see some various [window] sections, like



One will be your GPS screen. In the case of Reality XP they provide a program that auto sets up the panel.cfg to include a [window] section for the weather radar. In my case it was [window08]

Ok so if you go into the menus in flight sim and open up both gauges, they are on screen. In my case I get them over to the 7" GPS screen but one is on top of the other. How to switch? Well the secret is not to switch back and forth, but to TURN ON/OFF the one that is on TOP! You turn a gauge on/off by pressing SHIFT-X, where X = the WINDOW NUMBER! 

So I put out the weather radar screen (window08) and then on top of that the GPS screen (window03). If I press SHIFT-3 it will turn on/off the GPS gauge thus revealing the weather radar below! I assigned shift-3 to one of my GoFlight P8 buttons and now, I can switch back and forth between GPS and Weather Radar on the 7" GPS screen but turning on/off the GPS gauge! It works GREAT! I have not yet figured out if I can customize keyboard buttons to change weather radar functions but that is to come.

Click here to see a movie of this feature in action:


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Thursday, March 22, 2007

SimFlyer Products

So for those of you that are looking for alternate GPS gauges, weather, etc you should check out the SimFlyer line:

They have some really cool GPS/Weather alternatives that are worth looking into. I recently purchased their MDF/WXR because I wanted to have a GPS and Weather screen all in one solution for the cockpit. Unfortunately due to some limitation in Flight Simulator or a coding issue somewhere, it appears most gauges use an overlay on top of a GPS window for weather related information. This overlay can't be resized in flight simulator. That presented a problem with the MDF/WXR I bought because of unique circumstances in my cockpit. For me, I have to bring up the GPS on screen, move it half way off the screen towards the 7" GPS (tv) screen, close the GPS window, then reopen it for it to "pop" over to the 7" screen. Then I have to mouse over to the 7" screen and resize the GPS window to be full screen. Since the overlays for weather can't be resized in game (only via the panel's config file) it, unfortunately, does not allow me to use the cool SimFlyer MDF/WXR I purchased. 

But how cool is SimFlyer. I contacted them regarding this purchase, and first reply got some helpful tips. I tried those to no avail unfortunately, so asked if I could have a refund. They asked me for some info about my order and after emailing them that, gave me a refund! Very cool of them to do that. I removed the installed software, the wrapper and the registry entries. Naturally if I reinstalled I would get charged again. But I thought that was a cool thing for them to do.

If you use gauges on screen or have a secondary large screen where you store your gauges at, SimFlyer offers some sweet products! Check em out!


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vote for! (Free)

Hey everyone! I entered a sim contest and I'd appreciate it if you voted for my simulator!

It's easy and free, just click this link below and choose us for 1st place cockpit!

Click here:

1. Go to the VERY bottom of the page. (Where the Cast my Vote button is)
2. Scroll up, I am the 4th cockpit entry from the bottom of this page.

If you are not exactly sure which sim we are, here are the two pictures for you to match.



Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Saturday, March 17, 2007

iVibe Tactile Feedback

I ordered my iVibe Tactile Feedback setup today. Check it out at:

Basically it's a controller that connects to your computer via USB and gets information from Flight Simulator. Using a "module" as part of it's intellivibe system(and I'm assuming it uses FSUIPC) it sends information to one of three zones in a seat cushion unit that you place on your chair giving you all sorts of realist feelings in your back and legs. From the ivibe website:

"Contained within the TFSU are 6 powerful electromechanical actuators, arranged in 3 pairs: one pair in the back section, one pair in the left leg section, and one pair in the right leg section. All three zones can function independently or in unison. By having three independent zones, games that support intellivibe can render things such as vector based gforce, acceleration and braking cues, direction-based incoming flak, and just about any other thing you can think of.
Our tactile feedback actuators use heavy duty industrial brushless 26 volt Mabuchi DC motors. These are among the highest quality DC motors available on the planet. Each is expected to last for years of heavy use."

They have 3 demo videos on their website showing how the software pulls information from Flight Simulator and sends it to the correct zone. The movies are here:

I already own the Buttkicker Gamer which in itself is a magnetic actuator that sits on the bottom of your chair. What the buttkicker does however is takes the sound from your sound card, amplifies it and uses that amplification to power the actuator. So, any and all sounds "move the motor" per say. The only issue right now is it rattles the hell out of my chair, even at low volume which then vibrates the floor and bothers people.

The ivibe gets software input directly from Flight Simulator to power the correct "zone" based on what information is being sent to it. Much more intelligent it seems and I'm hoping less actual "floor" vibration.

We'll find out soon!


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

New flight cockpit movie!

Click the "Go" under Cockpit Flights, and view the KPDX - KHIO movie!


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Saturday, March 10, 2007


So while my simulator is a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, I recently installed GoFlights GF-LGT landing gear and trim control module.

Always wanting to play with things that I have no use for in a Cessna, I wanted to try out the landing gear handle. It also lights up the 3 LEDs when gear is up, down or in transition.

Not wanting to go to the heavies, I ended up flying a Beechcraft Kingair. Needless to say, the gear going up and down was awsome, and it's twice as fast as the Cessna 172. WIll probably fly it for a while just for fun.


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Propeller Torque Effect

So for a while now, I guess since I built the new sim rig, I noticed everytime I'd take off my Cessna would veer to the left. For a few days I figured this was due to the yoke/peddles needing calibration. So today, I calibrated them, and calibrated, and calibrated. No luck. Still, heads to the left.

Then, I remembered about engine propeller torque. And to confirm what I remember from so long ago, found on this post:

"Torque effect is the influence of engine torque on aircraft movement and control. It is generally exhibited as a left turning tendency in piston single engine propeller driven aircraft.

According to Newton's law, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction," such that the propeller, if turning clockwise (when viewed from the cockpit), imparts a tendency for the aircraft to rotate counterclockwise. Since most single engine aircraft have propellers rotating clockwise, they rotate to the left, pushing the left wing down.

Typically, the pilot is expected to counter this force through the control inputs. To counter the aircraft roll left, the pilot applies right aileron.

It is important to understand that torque is a movement about the roll axis. Aileron controls roll. Prop torque is not countered by moving the rudder or by setting rudder trim. It is countered by moving or trimming the aileron.

This correction induces adverse yaw, which is corrected by moving or trimming the rudder (right rudder).

On aircraft with contrarotating propellers (propellers that rotate in opposite directions) the torque from the two propellers cancel each other out, so that no compensation is needed."

To further backup the theory that Flight Simulator was actually doing this, I googled "fs2004 torque effect" and found this post:

Which confirmed that yes, my left banking is single engine propeller torque, cool!

(Note: Someone in that post mentioned you could "Press 5" to correct it) But since I want it to be a realistic as I can possibly make it, I'll let it torque left and use right airleron to compensate.


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

Sunday, March 4, 2007

The VFR Config File. PanelAsTexture=0

If you are using the VFR config file below and just so happen to have weird things happen to your panels, you can't use your GPS or Radio Stack panels, etc simply open the fs9.cfg file and under


remove the line that says


They added this in to increase FPS, but as a result you lose all access to any of your 2D panels.


Saturday, March 3, 2007

Universal Flight Controls

Mike Lehkamp, great guy and President/CEO of Universal Flight Controls has created a universal chart holder with overhead lamp for any aircraft!

Check it out:

I've already placed my order. This will look great in the Cessna!


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853

VFR Flight & Frame Rates

I built a new sim box recently (see specs at first post in this blog) and was bummed to see that while at KPDX, with Flight Scenery's KPDX package installed I was getting horrible frame rates. I'm talking 12fps on an Intel Core 2 Duo! Also, I hate blurries, which occures when you are flying and you see blurred textures in the distance that pop sharp when you are close.

I was changing an option in the fs9.cfg file called TEXTURE_BANDWITDH_MULT=30

30 is the default. Some put this up to 400 to remove blurries but then can get some shuttering, etc. I took mine to 400 and loaded FS9.

Suddenly while on the active at KPDX, my fps dropped to 1fps. I knew something was wrong.

I started looking up the option I changed and for one, noticed I had it twice. Once listed under [DISPLAY] and then once under [TERRAIN]. Both with different options and I remember specifically a post saying put it in [TERRAIN] and leave the one in display alone. Well, terrain was already 400. 

At this point, a light came on and I realized I was only running FS9 version 9.0. I had not updated. I grabbed the 9.1 updater:

Download Here:

And installed. For one, this fixes a memory leak with auto gen. That alone is a killer. But while doing this, I did some more research and came across this post stating to be what you want your cfg file to look like if you fly VFR in prop engine planes:

Naturally not all fs9.cfg files will work for everyone, but I dumped this text into a text file and loaded it.

AMAZING! KPDX full 19.6 average fps!

If you want to see what KPDX looks like (and note the top left FPS is 19.6, locked at 20fps) check out these shots from the sim;

I've zipped up the fs9.cfg file, exactly as it's listed on that site above (minus the comments). Download it directly here:

(Remember, always make a back up of your own fs9.cfg file!)


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853


In an effort to put as much useful information out to the sim community as possible, I want you all to check out this program for Flight Sim. It works in FS9 and FSX:

In short, would you like to talk back and forth to ATC within your flight? This allows you to do it. No more ATC on screen, no more push 0 through 9. Speak real ATC lingo and hear it back. NOTE: This uses Microsoft's Text to Speech in order to talk to you. Some people expect a real voice. You won't get that. What you do get is much better, REAL WORLD ATC lingo spoken to you, and you speak it back. Free demo download on their site allows you to use at 2 or 3 airports. In March they are expected to release a new deluxe version that incorporates two AT&T True Natural Voices (Which normally costs about $300 per voice) in their product. (Which is all of what, $50 dollars?)

AWSOME program, you'll love it.


Coral Airlines, N324CR
Pilot ID: 908853