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Explaining Our FSElite Magazine Quality

If you’re still unsure as to whether you should pick up a copy of our third edition of the magazine (you should), this short video is intended on demonstrating the quality of the product we are producing.

We’re excited to announce the third edition of FSElite magazine is on the way and it’s our best issue yet! But while the team puts the finishing touches on the magazine, I want to briefly show you the quality and feel from our previous issue.

Each page is printed on super high-quality premium paper stock. Using 170gsm paper for the inner pages and premium 300gsm for the cover, this is more akin to a brochure than just your usual magazine. Each page is then finished with a stunning matte lamination which really makes those colours pop. Perfect for those amazing flight simulation imagery featured throughout.

Issue 3 will be packed with timeless original content. Perfect your landing skills with our tips and tricks guide, community interviews with real-world pilots and YouTubers, and exclusive interviews from leading developers such as Orbx, Virtual-Fly and more.

Ordering today will give you the benefit of receiving a free digital copy, a discounted rate and being the first to get your hands on a copy. Finally, those who pre-order get an exclusive flight sim related A3 poster to pin to their wall.

Get yours now from our dedicated website. Full details on what to expect can be found on the store page.

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The Flight Sim Deck: Head Tracking With A Webcam And $3 [FYC]

Constantly scanning the sky is an integral part of flying.  It’s for safety but also to take in the sites all around you. With that in mind, I want to show you how you can get awesome head tracking in your flight simulator with just a webcam and $3. You might wonder how this method compares to TrackIR. The short answer is that it’s not as precise as TrackIR, but still an excellent alternative that’s left me with almost no complaints.

For those who don’t know, TrackIR is the leading head tracking device on the market costing $149. TrackIR uses a camera and Infrared to track the movements of your head. It’s accomplished by mounting a camera in front of you and wearing the infrared light on your head. This allows you to look all around the cockpit and lean towards your instruments.

The method we’ll talk about today uses your web cam to track the movement of your face rather than infrared light. This is done with software called FaceTrackNoIR. This software tricks the simulator into thinking TrackIR is being used. The camera I’m using is the HD Pro Webcam C920, but any modern webcam will do. Your monitor should provide enough light, but if not, try to light your face as much as possible. This will increase the accuracy of the head tracking.

Once you open FaceTrackNoIR for the first time, you’ll need to configure your webcam. Click “Options” at the top left of the window and then proceed to “Webcam Utility.” From there, click “Devices” and your webcam should be recognized in the drop down menu.

Now that you’ve set up your webcam, you can go back to the main window. Here you will see various options that you can apply to the tracker. “Profile” allows you to save your settings and load them in at anytime. You might want to do this if you have different configurations for various sims. I use “faceAPI V3.2.6” for tracker source, “Accela Filter Mk2” for filter and “FreeTrack 2.1” for game protocol. I also set my smoothing to 30 samples and I invert the pitch axis. Lastly, you can adjust the curves for each axis.

When everything is set, you can click “Start” under GO!. You should now see a black and white video of your face with a yellow overlay tracking your head movement. This shows how your face is going to be tracked in the simulator. Always remember to click “Start” prior to opening the simulator. Otherwise it might not recolonize that you are using head tracking and you will have to restart the sim.

When it comes to compatibility, I’ve tested FaceTrackNoIR on Prepar3D v4.4, X-Plane 11, Aerofly FS2, DCS World 2.5, and IL-2. Each sim functions slightly different but they’re all very close in functionality. This is where you might want to start saving profiles for each sim. The head tracking works right away upon loading Aerofly FS 2, DCS World, and IL2. With Prepar3D and X-Plane 11, there is just a couple of extra steps to make the head tracking work.

For X-Plane 11, it helps to have the plugin X-Camera, which is free to download. But if you want your settings to save, you do need to purchase a license. Otherwise the free version works great for Track IR, as long as you’re okay with re-positioning the camera each time you open X-Plane. To turn the head tracking on, simply open the X-Camera control panel and check the “Enable Track IR” and “Retain Mouse Look Position” boxes. If the camera is not aligned correctly, you can use the arrow keys and mouse to center your view.

Prepar3D follows nearly the same process. The most efficient way to use head tracking in P3D is with camera software called ChasePlane. The head tracking should work automatically, but if not, click “Preferences” on the left and make sure “Enable Head Tracking (TrackIR)” is checked. Again, if the camera is not aligned correctly you can use the arrow keys and mouse to center the view.

From dog fighting over the Persian Gulf, or turning base onto final; FaceTrackNoIR has made a world of difference in my flight simulation experience. TrackIR can be a costly investment but if you already own a web cam you’re just a few dollars away from turning your head inside the virtual cockpit. Have fun out there everyone, see you in the skies!

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FSExpo 2019 Interview With Honeycomb Aeronautical

In this interview, we’ll speak with Nicki from Honeycomb to get an update of their current hardware and future plans. You can find out about the upcoming Alpha yoke and also what plans are to come in the future including new hardware.

This is part of our FSExpo 2019 content from last month in Orlando. Be sure to check out our archive hub to catch up on anything you may have missed.

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Virtual-Fly Yoko the Yoke PLUS: First Look Video (Plus Chance to Win @ FSExpo)

Join us as we take the first look at the Virtual-Fly Yoko the Yoke PLUS. The new Yoke is an upgrade from the original and features even higher quality details and brand new features such as an eight-way hat switch.

In our unboxing video, we show you what’s inside the box, how it feels and also just how easy it is to set-up.

Your Chance to Win a Yoko the Yoke PLUS (FlightSimExpo attendees only)

We have partnered with Virtual-Fly to be able to offer attendees of FlightSimExpo to win a FREE Virtual-Fly Yoko the Yoke PLUS. We’ll have the fantastic yoke displayed on our stand (#601) during the event and we’ll be giving those there all the details they need to enter the draw.

The prize will include a Yoko the Yoke PLUS and will be shipped free of charge to anywhere in the US.

Still not bought a ticket? You can pre-register still with just a few days to spare. Head to FlightSimExpo’s website for ticket details.

What about a full review?

Our review for the Yoko the Yoke PLUS will be published first at FlightSimExpo 2019. It will then appear online on Monday June 10th 2019.

 

 

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Virtual-Fly RUDDO Plus Pedals: FSElite Video First Look

The guys at Virtual-Fly were kind enough to send us a set of the Virtual-Fly RUDDO Plus flight simulation rudder pedals. During this video look over the pedals, we show you how easy it is to set them up, install them to your simulator and offer our experience with using them.

Our full written review can be found here. Here’s a snippet from that review:

“Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the pedals. They offer a really rich experience regardless of flying type. I feel completely in control of my aircraft when using them and the use of load cells in the toe brakes makes a whole world of difference to input. They cost a lot of money but deliver on the promises made.”

If you’re keen to find out more, or buy them, you can head over to Virtual-Fly’s website. They will set you back €872 if you’re interested in buying them.

Head over to our Virtual-Fly Hardware hub to find our reviews for the complete Virtual Fly hardware set, as well as videos from some of our video partners.

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