[jhb_airlines] Re: Aztec panel

  • From: Gerry Winskill <gwinsk@xxxxxxx>
  • To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2005 20:21:46 +0100

For your own satisfaction' cos that's the main reason for doing any design work. That probably will drive you to do both.As you know, I'm not into individual gauge design. I am, and have been for years, an incorrigible panel meddler. Recently, motivated by GA magazines' reporting of current avionics developments, I've started further to modify the panels that have so far kept me happy. The move to glass cockpits seems irreversible, even in GA. Since the cost of doing it in FS is zilch, it's almost a case of having to justify not going that way. The one regret I have is that the steam instruments of my erstwhile favourite panel sat in a very Jaguarish walnut veneer panel. Removing analogue instruments left indentations, where the panel had been recessed for them. I've had to redo the surface and, since piecing together, stretching, etc, veneer makes it look very unrealistic, I've had to switch to a metal background. Very sad, but then, "you can't get the wood, you know" isn't a new problem.

So, when will we all be able to get our grubby little hands on what is now to be a pair of new panels?

Gerry Winskill


Bones wrote:

I think I am going to scream...

Having got well on with the panel rebuilt for the Aztec I was stuck at a
couple of engine gauges because I had no decent pictures of them. G-CALL has
been away for two months on sub charter to OS in N. Ireland so I wasn't able
to remedy this - but I got impatient last night and rang John to see when it
was coming back. What he told me made me groan..

I've know G-CALL since it was new (30+ years) and I've flown the aircraft
for a fair bit of that time. It's hardly changed in that period - just a
couple of replacement radio's and that was it.  The panel rebuild was
therefore based on my intimate knowledge of the aircraft. But it has now all

All the old Collins kit is gone and in its place are new slimline Garmin
NAV/COM units, a King KMD150 GPS and a Filser Transponder. I've already got
pictures of these units and have made a mock up of the new panel - see my FS
page for screenshots.

I'm now torn. Do I continue with the old panel rebuild or start afresh and
make the new one? Or do I make both?

The rest of the panel is almost complete. I now have most of the engine
gauges finished - seven made in the last week - and the only dial left to do
is the EGT gauge. I still have slight code problems with the flap lever,
autopilot and fuel selector but I hope I can iron these out without too much

I must admit I have learnt a lot over the last few weeks. Gauge design isn't
all that difficult in XML and it brings the art into the laps of those of us
with no programming skills - I could never have made an old GAU file in C++.
Those dials that just present information like the ASI and fuel gauges, are
very easy indeed. Those that interact with mouse click (switches) can also
be easy but some are trickier. The flap lever is an example because the
default lever runs through a series of linear indents - one position for
each flap setting - whereas I am trying to make a spring loaded lever that
just has three positions.

If anyone is tempted with gauge design then have a go. All you really need
is a good paint program and, if you want to zip the dials up into a CAB
file, a program like VCAB (this make distribution a lot easier).



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