178: An Alternative Cockpit

For those simmers who would like to have a separate gauge display in their setup but don’t have a second monitor or any Saitek’s Flight Instrument Panel, Cockpit HD from RemoteFlight is a pretty good alternative.

The prerequisite: you need an iPad and it’s better to be the new retina one.

The Cockpit HD offers a high-resolution panel consisting of six standard gauges — Airspeed, Attitude, Altimeter, Turn, Direction, and Vertical Speed Indicators.   They are all touch enabled and run smoothly under my WiFi connection (note that I have a pretty good wireless routers).

Also, users can purchase an additional upgrade pack for some variations to these six gauges.

After spending so much time in creating my own gauges for the FIPs, I have to admit that I was shocked by the app’s stunning graphics, especially when comparing it to Saitek FIP’s low-resolution 240 x 240 display.   It’s installation and operation are very user-friendly, too.

So, have I regretted heavily investing on all those FIPs?

Frankly, NO.

They are two different products targeting different levels and types of simmers.

Except graphics, the FIP is still far more advanced than the iPad cockpit in terms of features, operability, flexibility, expandability, upgradability and self-customization.

For example, I’ve been customizing the FIPs for my favorite Centurion T210M to mimic a more realistic cockpit environment.   And accompanied with those switch panel, multifunction panel and radio panels, I am no doubt more serious about flight simulation via the flight experiences and cockpit interactions with it.

Putting an ipad gauge panel in front of the monitor, on the contrary, keeps reminding me that I am playing just a game.

Nevertheless, despite all these downsides, any simmers who already own an iPad and is looking for a simple way to add some professional touches to their basic cockpits, this Cockpit HD is still a pretty good choice.

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P.S.
The company’s Map HD is also a good moving map option for flight simulation.   Compared to FSWidgets’ iGMapHD for iPad I purchased many months ago, Map HD, similarly, excels in graphics.   Feature-wise, iGMapHD is still better.

Anyway, Map HD is now my choice.   Have given up the Map HD and put the iGMapHD back to work again.   The latter is still a better fit for flight operation requirement since it can display airport information as well as moving the map temporarily to any area on all directions outside the current focus.

Really hope to see a combination of both in future from either developers.

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7 thoughts on “178: An Alternative Cockpit

  1. BTW Tom forgot to say thanks for your site, it’s a valuable resource to the flightsim community, and your enthusiasm, time, and talent are appreciated by many I’m sure.

    Chris S

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  2. Good heads up for those that aren’t aware this exist. Also another option is the iPad G1000 http://www.simionic.net/ It works surprisingly well. FIP’s vs. iPad in the suspension of disbelief department for me is a toss up, all those buttons on the left side of the FIP’s has what’s kept me away so far, however I’m thinking it would be easy to fabricate a bezel to cover them up out of styrene, with the iPad your kinda stuck with the way it is. Personally I’m keeping my iPad on the side of my Cessna Yoke and using it with iGmap HD and Foreflight.

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    1. Again, iPad offers some added value to FSX system. However, using it as GPS or moving map is not a bad idea. Whether using it for gauges, it depends on the fact that you just play FSX or you take flight simulation seriously. Neverthelss, it is a handy solution indeed.

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  3. That’s a great find there Tom!!!

    I also came across something I was thinking of doing myself, here is a Youtube link and the PanelBuilder for Flight Simulation by simPlugins .

    http://www.rcsimulations.co.uk/shop/start

    Great and easy way to make a panel as you like and change as you go for different aircraft by using a simple monitor and even make a panel cover to go over the monitor for the different panels and attach it with either velcro or magnets. The gauges can also be customized for different AC.

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