Using the FSAviator Propliner Tutorial in FSX

READ BEFORE USING!

This information is not provided by FSAviator; he suggests you fly using FS2004 instead. This information is only for those who insist on using FSX but also want to fly realistically.

You must make these changes to FSX before flying as described in the Propliner Tutorial. This is due to unrealistic zoom levels coded into the default FSX program. You should also use these zoom levels for all your realistic flying.

NOTE: This technique will change the effective zoom values for all of your FSX planes. Thus you must make the changes described below to all of your planes, if you have already changed them to a lower zoom value. The default planes need no changing, to my knowledge. If you want the same view out the window as your previous view for planes like the default Cessna (using the 2D panel only), decrease the zoom (click the outside window, press the - key on the upper main keyboard) until your view matches the old view. For many widescreen monitors, this is three presses of the - key. Note that these planes do not have a very realistic view from the 2D panel in any case, and the VC is a much better option, using the zoom settings I describe below.

You do NOT need to change the zoom value if you use a widescreen monitor. Using this technique all monitors will use the same 1.0 zoom value.  There is a video that describes this technique in more detail.

1. First, we will change a setting in the fsx.cfg file. In XP systems it is found in C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX folder. Do a web search for its location with other operating systems. Find the fsx.cfg file in this folder and double click it to open it. Click the binoculars button and search for Aspect. You should find the line:

WideViewAspect=False

Edit this line to:

WideViewAspect=True

unless it already says that. :) Save the file and quit the editing program.

2. Open each of your Flight files (they end in .FLT) in Wordpad. Using WinXP they are usually located in your C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\My Documents\Flight Simulator X Files folder. Replace [username] with your user name on your computer. To open these files right click it and choose Open With, then select Wordpad from the list. If Wordpad is not on the list, select "Choose Program" at the bottom and find Wordpad in the list. You should UNCHECK the box marked "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file", unless you do not want FSX to start when these files are double clicked. Make sure to correct your default flight! Now look for the Camera sections:

2a. Find the Camera.1.1 section (this is the default 2D Cockpit view):

[Camera.1.1]
Guid={B1386D92-4782-4682-A137-738E25D1BAB5}
Zoom=1.0<< This should be 1.0
Translation=0, 0, 0
Rotation=12, 0, 0 << This should be edited to the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR value

Edit the Rotation= line to match the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR value in the panel.cfg file of the panel used by this Flight's aircraft. For example, if the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR value in the plane's panel.cfg file is 11.0,0,0 then the line should read Rotation=11.0,0,0. Note that if you have used a special value for FSX this must be returned to the original FS2004 value. Note also that if this is not a CalClassic panel you might have to determine the correct value first (see the Simulation Control Interface Tutorial). Any changes you make to this value from what is originally in the plane's panel.cfg file should be changed in that location as well.

2b. Find the Camera.1.2 section (this is the default VC view):

[Camera.1.2]
Guid={C95EAB58-9E4A-4E2A-A34C-D8D9D948F078}
Zoom=1.0<< This should be 1.0
Translation=0, 0, 0
Rotation=12, 0, 0 << This should be edited to the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR value

Edit the Rotation= line to match the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR value as determined in step 2.

2c. Save this flight.

2d. Repeat this for all other flight files you will be using to fly propliners realistically (and for those you want to have realistic zoom levels). Make sure this includes your default flights, found in your FSX/Flights folder.

3. Next, you need to change the zoom levels for each of your aircraft (if they have "extra" VC views). In the FSX/SimObjects/Airplanes folder you will find all of your aircraft folders inside. Only the flyable aircraft need the following edits, not AI-only aircraft. Inside the first flyable aircraft folder you will find a file called aircraft.cfg. Double click this file to open it in Wordpad or Notepad. Near the top you may find section(s) for the Virtual Cockpit that look something like this:

[CameraDefinition.001]
Title = "Right Seat"
Guid = {195EAB58-9E4A-1E2A-A34C-A8D9D948F078}
Origin = Virtual Cockpit << Look for Virtual Cockpit here
MomentumEffect = Yes
SnapPbhAdjust = Swivel
SnapPbhReturn = False
PanPbhAdjust = Swivel
PanPbhReturn = False
Track = None
ShowAxis = YES
AllowZoom = TRUE << Change this to FALSE
InitialZoom = 1.0<< Change this to 1.0
SmoothZoomTime = 2.0
ZoomPanScalar = 1.0 << Change this to 1.0
ShowWeather = Yes
XyzAdjust = TRUE
ShowLensFlare=FALSE
Category = Cockpit
PitchPanRate=20
HeadingPanRate=60
InitialXyz=0.5, 0.04, -0.1
InitialPbh=0, 0, 0<< This should be edited to the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR value (unless an unusual viewpoint)

Make the edits in red above if this view has an outside window view. Repeat for any other Virtual Cockpit sections that have an outside window view. Save this file.

3a. Repeat these aircraft.cfg file edits for every aircraft you want to fly using realistic zoom levels. Remember, anything else will result in a video game, not a flight simulator.

4. You will need to check all of your plane's panel.cfg files and change the VIEW_FORWARD_ZOOM lines in the Views section (if present) to VIEW_FORWARD_ZOOM=1.0, if different. You definitely need to change these if you use the Widescreen versions of any CalClassic panels.

5. If you have edited any of the CalClassic panel.cfg VIEW_FORWARD_DIR values from their original FS9 values, change them back to the now correct FS9 values. To calculate new values for other panels refer to the Simulation Control Interface Tutorial. The tutorial will describe how to check this value.

6. If you have edited any of the Eyepoint values in any CalClassic plane's aircraft.cfg files change them back to their original values.

7. (Optional). If you want to be sure that FSX has the correct zoom values when starting a flight from scratch (I'm not sure how this would happen, though), you can edit the default view specifications in the Cameras.cfg file (in the same folder as your fsx.cfg file). Edit the zoom values of the sections that match the GUID's listed above in steps 2 and 3 to 1.0. Save the file.

8. (Optional). Now that you have set the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR to the correct view angle, at least some versions of FSX will cause this value to revert to 0 if you press Ctrl-Spacebar to reset the view (i.e. the horizon will move to the middle of the screen). To avoid this problem in Cockpit View, use the 8 key on the Numpad (with NumLock on) to reset the view instead.
In the VC view, it appears there may be no easy fix. A workaround is to create your own VC Camera Definition in your plane's aircraft.cfg file. This will revert to the correct view angle when you press Ctrl-Spacebar. All CalClassic aircraft with VC's already have this section, but you need to edit the InitialZoom value to 1.0.

To do this for other aircraft, copy and paste this section into your aircraft.cfg file at the bottom of any existing definitions (many cfg files will have no definitions at all; you may then place this just under the General section):

[CameraDefinition.001] << Change this to the next higher number to those in your existing list
Title = "CalClassic VC View"
Guid = {41DA7BB7-64A7-475E-BA1E-B8FA7C0C8FE7 }
Origin = Virtual Cockpit
MomentumEffect = Yes
SnapPbhAdjust = Swivel
SnapPbhReturn = False
PanPbhAdjust = Swivel
PanPbhReturn = False
Track = None
ShowAxis = YES
AllowZoom = FALSE
InitialZoom = 1.0
SmoothZoomTime = 2.0
ZoomPanScalar = 1.0
ShowWeather = Yes
XyzAdjust = TRUE
ShowLensFlare=FALSE
Category = Cockpit
PitchPanRate=20
HeadingPanRate=60
InitialXyz=0,0,0
InitialPbh=11.0, 0, 0 << Change this to the VIEW_FORWARD_DIR value of your plane's panel.cfg file.

Use this view (titled "CalClassic VC View") when you want convenient view resets. In VC or Cockpit View, press the A key until it appears.

Now you are ready to fly with realistic zoom factors and VC window views at all times. However, you should monitor the zoom levels of your default flight on a regular basis, in case downloaded Flights or Missions have caused it to change from 1.0. Make the changes in steps 1-3 to any downloaded Flight. Also, be sure to make the aircraft.cfg edits to any new aircraft you download as well.

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