Multiple pilots?

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Multiple pilots?

Postby Tailwinds » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:56 pm

Hello,

Is it possible to have multiple pilots in the same cockpit, so that instructor and student can fly together, or perhaps two students can fly together while an instructor sits at a desktop instructor station? It would be neat especially if everyone had at least avatar hands (or an avatar pointer for the desktop station), so instructor could point out things to the student more easily, or perhaps even pull out a checklist and hand it back and forth to the other pilot.

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Re: Multiple pilots?

Postby Tony » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:09 pm

Hi Eric and welcome :) myself and Robert tried multiplayer share cockpit back in the dk2 days and it worked very well. Sadly you cannot see the others hands in leap but you can see controls and switches being manipulated and it's very cool :)

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Re: Multiple pilots?

Postby Tailwinds » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:09 pm

That's so cool, Tony, thanks. I don't know a thing about any of this (I'm just jumping down the rabbit hole of "I wonder if..." tonight) but I do have some background in multi crew flight training, so I'm excited about the possibilities. Being able to fly as a trainee crew while an instructor can interact via a 2D cockpit and dial in failures and scenarios would be an incredible achievement. Can I ask many more questions?

* Does P3D/FSX use a separate computer for each player, or do you need a single impossibly fast computer?
* Can multiple players interact with a flight in different formats? One on VR, one on desktop, for example.
* Do the system windows exist for all players, so you could do something like hand a checklist or approach plate from one person to the other?
* Is it possible to orient the VR cockpit on real-life objects or controls? At the very least be able to say something akin to "this is my chair, consider it bolted to the floor of the aircraft and facing forward". If you had hardware that matched the VR cockpit could you align them well?
* The Leap demo on their web page looks like it has finer finger tracking than the demo on your page, which uses sliders and so on for controls that are difficult to grasp. Will this generation of tech actually allow fully touch interactive everything so such work-arounds are unnecessary, or is that a generation or two down the road? Being able dial in heading bugs by twisting or touch-type a CDU would be amazing.

Eric
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Re: Multiple pilots?

Postby Sharkku » Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:25 am

Hi Tailwinds, welcome to the forum!
Tailwinds wrote:* Does P3D/FSX use a separate computer for each player, or do you need a single impossibly fast computer?
A separate computer for each player is required.
Tailwinds wrote:* Can multiple players interact with a flight in different formats? One on VR, one on desktop, for example.
Yes, provided that the base game is the same version, VR users and desktop users can interact.
Tailwinds wrote:* Do the system windows exist for all players, so you could do something like hand a checklist or approach plate from one person to the other?
No, each VR player has their own windows. This is an extremely cool idea though! Something for Dan to consider down the road?
Tailwinds wrote:* Is it possible to orient the VR cockpit on real-life objects or controls? At the very least be able to say something akin to "this is my chair, consider it bolted to the floor of the aircraft and facing forward". If you had hardware that matched the VR cockpit could you align them well?
Theoretically possible, but practically very difficult. You wold need to fix the tracking camera very securely to the real life cockpit. On the DK2 it was virtually impossible due to tracking drift, on the CV1 it's a little bit better.
Tailwinds wrote:* The Leap demo on their web page looks like it has finer finger tracking than the demo on your page, which uses sliders and so on for controls that are difficult to grasp. Will this generation of tech actually allow fully touch interactive everything so such work-arounds are unnecessary, or is that a generation or two down the road? Being able dial in heading bugs by twisting or touch-type a CDU would be amazing.
I doubt that this generation of the Leap will achieve the necessary precision for heading bug twisting and such. Still, it's very usable with the Orion drivers. And I'm sure better alternatives will come along before long!
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Re: Multiple pilots?

Postby Robert » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:14 am

Hi Tailwinds, some stuff to add...

Sharing a cockpit is in the multiplayer menu. You can see where it is just by setting up a multiplayer session and in there is a check box for "Share My Cockpit" and you can even password protect both the multiplayer session and anyone able to share your cockpit.

Once you join a cockpit or someone joins yours, you can move around to the available positions. Sharing a checklist would actually be easy if you both have a copy of it in a desktop window since you both could pull it into the cockpit with FlyInside. They would each be in your own desktops/cockpits but you could both refer to them, discuss them, etc. Maybe not exactly what you had in mind but workable.

You definitely want easy voice communication when sharing cockpits. FSX allows voice but a program called TeamSpeak is much better, clearer, and very easy to use. We also have a TeamSpeak server (details in a thread in the Lounge on multiplayer flight) but there are lots of others that you can sign into as well.

I believe control of the airplane is "owned" by the person who shares the cockpit and the person who joins has to wait for the owner to allow them to fly the plane. Hazy here because I haven't done it much in the way you describe but details would be easy to find in a web search. But I do know sharing a cockpit is huge fun to do a ride along and I got to do this recently with an aerobatic team during a practice session: https://youtube.com/watch?v=vGgP_acIeCY

I wasn't trying to fly the plane but was instead just along for he ride but you can see the possibilities. Also, the other pilots were flying monitors while I was in VR. So we had a multiplayer session, mixed between VR and monitor, with a shared cockpit happening at the same time. When Tony, Bruce, Axel, and I fly, we are also mixed between Vive and Rift since I have a Vive and they all fly Rifts.

Shared cockpit is just amazing if you can do a ride along with a formation team. One of the most fun flights I've ever done. You just need to have the same kind of airplane in your aircaft library or else you'll see a formation of one of the stock aircraft. But shared for flight instruction and pilot/copilot complex aircaft would be a lot of fun too. Only thing is on many planes there are no pilot and copilot figures so the cockpit is a bit eerie at first.

On the orienting real life cockpit controls to match the virtual world, Sharkku is right that it is difficult but maybe worthwhile if you only fly one plane. Second best is to use a stick/yoke/throttle with lots of buttons/switches/knobs where you map common functions so they are handy and just don't mind they are out of place. There have been some people experimenting with green screen techniques to blend real and virtual worlds so you see all the stuff you want to see that is real and the rest of the cockpit and outside are virtual. There is a post here somewhere that shows an amazing video some guy did where he has a soda bottle, his own steering wheel, and other things in the virtual world with him.

It's an exciting time and some things have just been here all along waiting for other tech to catch up. Shared cockpit is a blast and so is multiplayer. Have fun!
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Re: Multiple pilots?

Postby Robert » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:31 am

About the chair bit, I think we all do that to some extent. When you center your view in the cockpit you have essentially collocated and aligned the chair you are sitting in and the virtual pilot or copilot chair. I like to get up and move around before flight or after to check out the airplanes so since the real and virtual chairs are aligned, in the virtual world I know where my real chair is and it works really well. Kind of freaky too to wander around some in the virtual world and then go sit in a virtual chair and have it match my real chair. Good thing no pranksters have thought to move my real chair though. :D
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Re: Multiple pilots?

Postby israelz74 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 5:38 am

Hello

Just saying, I would love to see a shared cockpit implementation.

Why?
Because if we want it to be as realistic as possible, we need to permit co-piloting. In reality airliners are operated by a team.
Because there are more and more vr apps that show avatars of other vr partners communicating with you, and also your own avatar or reflection. Realism there is achieved by inverse kinematics where your body pose is reconstructed by hmd and controllers.
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