On Sunday, 2 January 2005 00:13, David Megginson wrote:
> We can probably manage the left display.

Maybe ...
That left PFD will probably turn out to be a MFD with lots of display modes 
besides just the PFD mode.
Most of the glass cockpits nowdays allow you to direct info to just about any 
display on the panel. The entire cockpit is one integrated system.
For instance the Avidyne Entegra PFD has a spilt screen mode that allows you 
to display navigation data in the lower half.

The displays in the cockpit are nearly impossible to recreate without the 
required info. I hunted all over the Net for G1000 information for 2 weeks 
last month and came up with nothing usable.

There is a Garmin G1000 simulator that runs on workstations.
Cessna have such a simulators but they are only available at select Cessna 
Pilot Centers and Cessna Sales Team Authorized Representative locations.
"Cessna's G1000 orientation program spans two days. Each customer is assigned 
an individual workstation and a computer equipped with a sophisticated, 
Garmin G1000 simulator program."

> but it's
> appearing in so many planes that we'll have to bite the bullet some
> day.

Even new, single engine, piston powered aircraft are using glass cockpits now.
Piper 6X, Cessna 182, Diamond DA40, Cirrus SR22, etc
We will have to bite the bullet before FG ends up being a VINTAGE aircraft 
simulator.  :P

> The 3D part is easy -- there are relatively few moving parts to
> animate.  The challenge will be creating dynamic textures to show on
> the displays, and that's going to require rolling up our sleeves and
> doing a lot of C++ OpenGL coding.

I discussed this with Melchior a couple of weeks back.
We don't have to use OpenGL to generate the textures.
We could possibly use a powerful 2D rendering library like libagg to generate 
the dynamic textures and just get OpenGL to render the textures. That way 
panel designers don't need to learn the complexities of OpenGL.
It's a lot easier to use a feature filled 2D rendering library that is built 
for rendering vector and text graphics than messing around with low level 
OpenGL calls.

If you haven't looked at libagg I suggest you take a look. 
http://www.antigrain.com/
Download the source, compile and check out the examples - they are jaw 
droppingly fast and pretty.
Sub-pixel accuracy, anti-aliasing, free type fonts, b-splines, color 
gradients, image transformations and distortions, lense effects, alpha masks, 
perspective correction ...
It's software rendered but may be fast enough. Most moving map/GPS units only 
update every couple of seconds so we don't need to render new textures for 
every frame.

That is just the graphics side - how are we going to route data between 
instruments that are physically separated but share common data?
Not simple data like autopilot data but complex stuff like weather overlays.

Paul

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