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Flight Simulator Avionics

The Primary Flight Display (PFD) displays a large number of flight variables: airspeed, altitude, heading, flight mode, autopilot speed, autopilot altitude, auto pilot heading, climb/descend rate, attack angle, minimums, instrument landing system (ILS) glideslope and ILS centerline info. The center of the instrument contains an artificial horizon that displays the aircraft roll, pitch, and slip.

The right side of the instrument displays the altitude "tape" and the autopilot target altitude if set. The left side of the instrument displays the speed "tape" and the autopilot target speed if set.

The Navigational Display (ND) provides horizontal situation information. It can display location of airports, navigational aids, and waypoints. Depending on the Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS) setting, the display provides information about tuned and acquired VHF Omni Directional Radio Range (VOR) or Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) signals. If a flight plan is loaded by the flight simulator the ND can display flight plan waypoints located within the selected range of the instrument.

The next flight plan waypoint name and distance is displayed in the upper right of the instrument. Ground speed and true air speed of the aircraft are in the upper left of the instrument.

The Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) instrument provides information about certain aircraft engine variables, flaps position and gear status. It also provides oil temperature, fuel consumption, fuel remaining, and engine vibration information.

CrgSim also provides an EICAS tailored to the 737. This display has the 737 warning panel lights as well as a 737 style remaining fuel display. The CrgSim EICAS is capable of adjusting to the number and type of engines on the flight simulator aircraft.

The Control Display Unit (CDU) is a multipurpose instrument. It is an interface to the Flight Management Computer (FMC) and is used to enter flight plans for the aircraft and to set up flight parameters depending on weather, aircraft load, and runway surface conditions.

The flight data base associated with the CDU usually contains information for each airport as well as ground based radio stations and GPS waypoints and intersections. The CDU can be used to monitor progress towards a waypoint and to select an alternate airport in case of an emergency.

On commercial airline flights the flight plan may have been created by a computerized flight planning system and is automatically downloaded into the FMC. These flight plans optimize a number of variables for the carrier including fuel savings and potentially a reduction in international reserve fuel.

The Annunciator Panel is non-prototypical. It is a bonus display in CrgSim. The panel is capable of displaying the status of over 40 aircraft and system variables and is highly configurable. The number of rows and columns in the display is selectable as well as the order and type of annunciator buttons. In the image to the right the first row from the top shows the status of the CrgSim network. The next button down shows the aircraft type being simulated by the flight simulator. Gear and flaps occupy the next two buttons down the column.

Some of the annunciator buttons have configurable colors depending on the button state. A useful and colorful display for the flight simulator cockpit.

Another two displays that can be used outside of the cockpit are split flap displays. You may have seen and been mesmerized by these type of displays in airports and train stations. The motion and sound of the letters and numbers when changing on these displays is captivating. Previously used in many places their numbers are now down to just a few. The CrgSim split flap displays provide status of local AI flight simulator traffic.

The displays can be configured so that ground and airborne traffic are shown on one display or, for busy airports, airborne traffic is assigned to one display and ground traffic is assigned to the other display. Flight number, origin airport, destination airport, and aircraft status are available on the airborne display.

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