There's a wide variety of programs
available for customizing aircraft instrument panels and making
your sim more realistic and enjoyable. We'll only cover a few of
the more common ones here giving a brief overview of each. Some
are relatively inexpensive and some are not. None of these
software packages are that complicated to use.
Panel Builder 2
Builder 2 from SimPlugins is compatible with X-Plane, Microsoft
Flight Simulator, Prpar3D, DCS and Condor and comes in various
configurations for box purchase or download. The software can be
installed on a separate computer or even a laptop. It also
has the capability to be installed on the same screen as the flight sim program if you only
have one monitor.
A Typical Layout
instruments are designed to sit in any position on the screen.
This gives the option of dragging, repositioning and
adjusting the size of the instruments. The instruments can be
grouped to form a custom panel for any of the aircraft being flown. The
instruments are also configurable with such things as speed
ranges and dial markings being customizable.
Partial Glass Panel
The instruments work using a network protocol.
Information is passed the same way information is passed to
computers on a network using TCP. The software receives the
instrument data from the flight simulator and delivers it to the
is a detailed review of this product by Joel Lawford at:
are some screenshots of the product from the review.
Panel creation screens
Gauge selection screen
Building a Panel
The steps are
pretty straight forward with little complication. The current
version of this software is 2.9 which has some added
features and fixes to version 2.0. Check out the detailed
review for more information. Price is currently $49.95.
There is a free demo version you can download for evaluation at:
See the product
in action at:
Reality XP has been
around for some time. Although aged, it's a proven package.
This company offers its gauges and other instruments in various
packages. The Flightline T package includes 29 gauges which
represent the standard T stack found in general aviation
replace instruments on the original panel and don't offer a way
to display on a separate monitor so the native Windows multiple panel
support is used to accomplish this.
There are several
styles for each gauge that match a particular
aircraft. The software is compatible with Flight Simulator 2004 and FSX.
have a 3D look that rivals the real thing when view on the
configuring is pretty straight forward.
The manual includes several user guides and a configuration tool
which helps in understanding how the software works and how to
install the gauges.
The gauges are
configurable for each aircraft and are smoother than the stock
gauges when running the flight sim software.
One note of caution,
there's no Drag & Drop, if you don't own any panel design
software you will have to use the MFS config files to make the
changes for instrument installation. This could be a pain to
anyone not used to dealing with cfg files, not difficult just
tedious. The price of this package is just $29.95 foregoing the
panel designer tools.
Reality XP also
produces several navigation instrument packages.. The Flightline N package is a avionics package that adds or
replaces the avionics instruments in the standard aircraft in the
Check out a review at: http://www.avsim.com/pages/0506/XPT/XPT.htm
FsXpand is another
suite that can make use of a separate monitor for instrument
display. Itís compatible with MSFS 2004, FSX and X-Plane 10. It
also runs by networking PCs although it can be run on one PC
with a network card.
The gauges run on PCs containing the client and are displayed
through monitors connected to the computer. The combination of PCs and
monitors is almost endless, a couple of examples are shown here.
The gauges are
customizable as in some of the other software packages. You can drag
and drop to create a copy of any aircraft panel you desire.
The Installation of
FsXpand is straight forward. Setting up the other components may
require a little knowledge of IP addresses and assigning them
manually if need be. Below are some screenshots of some of the set up
Various bits of information is input into
the boxes. This information includes number of
clients, aircraft selection, sound settings and various
This package sells for $112.00 at the time
of this writing. It should be noted that this software also
requires FSUIPC which is an advanced interface by Fred Dawson.
It basically interprets input codes for the sim so that
expanded inputs can be used giving more control over the simulation
More iinfo and a downloadable demo can be
GA Panel is a Flight 1 product. This particular
package is designed for FSX and Prepar3D. It provides a set of
custom gauges that can be ran on a separate PC and monitor or
the same PC as the sim software but it can display the
instruments on a different
The gauges are in preset configurations
ready to use. You can use the configurations to customize a
setup by resizing and dragging the instruments with a mouse.
The current price for this package is
$124.00 as of this writing.
You can find more info here:
SimAvio from Fly This Sim is a
fantastic package designed for X-Plane. When combined with
separately available aircraft panel packages it produces commercial
quality instrument displays.
The software operates within X-Plane, it replaces the native instrument display panels with high fidelity
replicas of several modeled aircraft. The instrument display can
be moved to any monitor for display. The software is
priced at $39.95 and the various panel packages from
approximately $39.95 to $79.95.
If you are an X-Plane enthusiast this is
a must have package to increase the realism and fidelity
of the X-Plane instrument panels.
More information at:
There's a wide choice of software packages
to get those instruments displayed on a separate monitor for
anyone looking to add more realism to their simming experience.
Of course the perfect cockpit for any of
these packages is the KwikPit HomeFlite cockpit. It's built from
easy to follow plans and designed for multiple monitor support
in both standard and widescreen formats, It's perfect for
that ultimate setup.
Get Your Gear of Your Desk
Put Controls in a Realistic Position
Multiple Monitor Support
Easy Build Plans for Beginners
Room for Commercial or DIY Panels
EzeMod MK II
New Low Profile
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Update CH Pro Pedals!
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Add Realism To
For more information or to purchase got
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