How to create your cockpit panel layoutsFsXPand is based on the idea of total flexibility by displaying cockpit panels and gauges on flatscreens, working as a server-client application consisting of FsXPand, the server, and FsClient, the client, processesing data from your simulator software, displaying this data on the gauge configuration of your wishes. More on cockpit concepts here.
This gauge concept is generic, and dial values may be changed at will. Alternatively, the versatile built-in option of using bitmaps offers a highly realistic environment, that can be tailored according to a real cockpit.
A number of cockpit templates are available in FsXPand. The panel sets in them consist of a combination of user selectable gauges. All gauges present in the library can be used anywhere in your panels. Ready made templates are present for Cessna, Baron, Kingair, Caravan, and Dash-8, along with a few generic cockpits.
FsXPand offers a 737NG glass cockpit as well. With the PFD and the ND in 7 modes, and the EICAS in 5 modes (even combined with the required standby-instruments) on an additional panel, there is no limit to creating a realistic flight deck. The Basic version alone will offer these screens. For those who want more, there is the FMS version featuring a completely stand-alone FMC for the 737, with a 28-day cycle updatable database. See the overview of versions functionality.
In FsClient, you can select your cockpit panels from a droplist. By default, there are just a few present. By pressing the New acft button, you can select a set of cockpit panels from a lot of available templates, maybe rename it and open it from the list.
From a second droplist you can select the subpanel you want to display on the screen. This list contains different configurations, like basic flight instruments, engines, radio etc.
Please note that you will have to do the same in the server program FsXPand, to allow FsXPand to make FsClient load the appropriate cockpit panelset automatically. FsXPand will send your selection to the clients so they know which panel to display on startup.
Using the setup button, you can select the gauges you want, and choose display options like background colours, frames, black startup cockpit etc.
Laying out your gauges is simply done by dragging.
A few basic properties of each gauge, like type and size, frame bitmap, gauge background bitmap etc. can be set by R-clicking or double-clicking the gauge.
Details are in the Howto section, panels manual.
Whenever you edit or resize your panel, the result is saved. If you want to return to the original, just create a new one from the library templates we just described. You can also save your panel as a template for future use when you are done.
FsXPand features mainly pre-configured gauges based on bitmap elements.
Of course you can add your own bitmaps to your gauges. New types are created regularly.
The glass panels are created completely from script. But while the PFD and ND displays seem to be panels, they actually are just a gauge (be it a complex one) EICAS panels are really panels, with separate gauges.