Simulator for a DA62

Any DA62 related topics

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Re: Simulator for a DA62

Post by gordsh »

Wayne thanks for sharing. I am planning to build a SIM for when I start IFR training. VR is very interesting. I tried a VR headset once and was amazed on how immersive it is.
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Re: Simulator for a DA62

Post by oconnellpe2599 »

I have been using a G1000 simulator that I designed and built over the last three years. I use it to practice approaches and low IFR flying before scheduled flights. It keeps me relatively sharp and current in using the G1000 functions and menus. Good luck!

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Re: Simulator for a DA62

Post by jprhode »

There’s a very nice X-plane model for the DA62 available. And, it takes a little tinkering but it can be made to work with the Simionic iPad app for the MFD and PFD. Simionic also makes G1000 hardware bezels -you drop the iPads into the bezel, so then you have all the physical knobs and buttons. Simionic really doesn’t have anything modeled that is close to the DA62, so you have to look at the X-Plane G1000 to see engine parameters etc, but loading and flying approaches and all the instrument stuff worked really well.

Slightly off topic but this also worked really well with the DA40 when I did the instrument rating.
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Re: Simulator for a DA62

Post by Scotsman58 »

I have X-Plane and the DA62 model, and agree that it is very nice. However, a consideration that I now have in mind is that the FAA's IFR currency regulation was changed this summer to allow currency approaches to be logged on approved sims without the presence of an instructor. The sim has to be at least a "BATD" (basic aviation training device") that has been approved by the FAA in a letter to the manufacturer (so a do-it-yourself X-Plane set up won't cut it). The cheapest BATD I have been able to find so far is the Touchtrainer from, at around $5,400. I would prefer not to spend that money on another computer (the one I am running X-Plane on is a fairly new high performance rig), but it would be the only way I can see to enable me to log currency approaches.

Before anyone flames me -- no, I don't think one can stay IFR proficient on a BATD. While I don't get to do too many approaches in actual IMC, I go up about once a quarter with my instructor and do some approaches under the hood (and always hand fly them). But if I were coming up on a currency deadline and were one or two approaches short of the required six, it would certainly be nice to be able to do them on a sim at home.

Also, I think a decent sim might permit practicing some emergency scenarios that one wouldn't attempt in the plane.

Anybody have anything to say about the Touchtrainer (or any other approved BATD)?
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Re: Simulator for a DA62

Post by Decibel »

Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 have one with a nice mod ... imulations
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Re: Simulator for a DA62

Post by nworthin »

Since this topic has popped to the top again, here's what I've learned...

For non certified simulators, you basically have two well supported and mature choices: X-Plane (versions 11 and 12) and MSFS 2020. A third party developer (Aerobask) makes an excellent rendition of the DA62 for X-Plane and it runs in both X-Plane 11 and 12 (pay one time). MSFS offers the DA62 as a built in plane but there's a 3rd party improvement mod called "DA62X" (search it). Here's what I've found about each of these:

--- With regard to visual experience and flight model ---
1. The Aerobask model running in X-Plane 11 provides the aerodynamic model that's closest to the real airplane. X-Plane 11, however, offers the worst "out the window" experience of all of the options. If you are flying VFR you may want to choose another option. However, X-Plane 11 and Aerobask is my go to for OEI, hand flying, and abnormal/emergencies training. Also, X-Plane, at least for now, seems to get actual airport layouts better (useful for "pre flying" to an unfamiliar airport).

2. X-Plane 12 was just released and it's an attempt by the developer to match the excellent "out the window" experience of MSFS. However, the flight model is not as accurate at the X-Plane 11 version and, for some reason, has the plane jumping all over the sky even in light winds. And, it's not as pretty as MSFS. If you want pretty go with MSFS and if you want flying realism, use X-Plane 11.

3. The MSFS application is very pretty. However, the flight model is, shall we say, very optimistic. Like 450 FPM OEI climb rates hot and heavy (it's really hard to kill yourself even if you kill the left engine immediately after rotation). Power settings on approach seem way off. So, I would not recommend MSFS if practicing hand flying (VMC or IMC) or single engine simulation or trying to get a feel for "power, configuration, performance" settings. I've also found that runway configurations often do not match the real world (but are very pretty). I would say that, based on the (mostly) superior implementation of the G1000, IFR training (other than hand flying in the clag) works best in MSFS. MSFS also has excellent configurable weather (X-Plane isn't bad but MSFS is better) so, again, for IFR training it's better. Also, the TKS simulation in the DA62X is superior.

--- With regard to failures/emergencies training ---
The clear winner here is X-Plane and Aerobask. It simulates most of the major and minor failures and does so mostly correctly. For example, all of the circuit breakers have an option to fail. Fly for greater than the AFM certified 5 minutes at 100% power and you might cause an engine fire. Fly above 12,000 without turning on O2 and your vision will fade. And, so on. MSFS has a much more rudimentary failure model and also some CAS messages that don't actually exist in the real world (but I wish did like an "ALT AIR OPEN" message!).

---- With regard to the computing requirements ---
Get something big and bad. Fast processor, best or nearly best GPU and you will need lots of USB ports (you can use a hub too but I've found those sometimes are a bit glitchy).

My unit has three primary displays with the left and right angled in a bit, repurposed from a FlyThisSim setup that never really worked, to simulate peripheral vision.

To support the displays and the physical controllers below this means I need USBs for:

1. Joystick
2. Throttle
3. Pedals
4. RealSimGear X3
5. Headset

If you are not using a wireless mouse and keyboard that's two more... I'm probably forgetting a few...

For video, there's 3 outputs from the NVidia card for the main displays and then the RealSimGear displays run off of the onboard Intel graphics on the motherboard (in 2d mode).

X-Plane single threads its processing (which limits some aspects of its capabilities) but MSFS does not. When running MSFS, the fan goes into maximum and my little uninterruptible power supply started screaming and gave up (I had to move some of the ancillary devices to a separate circuit).

Even so, for all of that, with some tuning I only get about 24-27 FPS on X-Plane and 35 on MSFS. These results are at very good but not best video settings.

IOW, go big and bad for best results.

--- With regard to Instrument/Avionics practice ---
1. X-Plane implements a simulation of the G1000 that is incomplete and, in some respects, incorrect or buggy. It's VNAV options, for example, often do not level off at intermediate altitudes (like you would find in a "descend via the arrival" instruction or an approach prior to the FAF.) It offers the ATK OFST option but disallows it in certain circumstances where it should allow it. If you fly a localizer only approach you will still get a GS indication. There are no visual approaches. And so on. Easy enough to ignore or work around but if you are hoping to use the sim for ab initio training you may learn some bad lessons. One good thing about the Aerobask DA62 is they did an excellent job of implementing the EFIS (with the exception of AUX tanks displays); the MSFS "X" version displays this same info but not in the format used in the real DA62.

2. MSFS gets the G1000 much more accurately (However they did not implement the ATK OFST option at all which seems odd). There are many more features implemented and, for the most part, they are accurately modeled. Plus the outfit building the G1000 is actively taking bug reports and feature requests and issuing continuing updates (by comparison the X-Plane developer apparently thinks that their G1000 implementation is "good enough" even though they have always branded themselves as the "simulator for real world pilots".

--- With regard to physical controllers ---
1. My configuration uses a Thrustmaster "Airbus" joystick. I found a special mount that extends the joystick off of the desk and lowers it so it sits roughly in the same relationship to me as the actual joystick in my real world DA62. This setup also means you can move the keyboard closer and don't have to "reach around" the joystick. This joystick implements buttons for GO AROUND, PTT, TRIM, CWS and AUTOPILOT DISCONNECT. So, very similar to the DA62 except the HAT switch is not split. There are, in addition, a dozen additional buttons on the device for other functions. For example, I use two buttons to toggle the electric fuel pumps. Recommended.

2. I use the Logitech throttle combo but you could also use the companion quadrant to the Thrustmaster. I like the Logitech because there are buttons below the power control levers that I use for gear up/down, flaps up/down, parking brake on/off. The Honeycomb Bravo quadrant also gets good reviews but I have no personal experience with that.

3. I splurged and got the Thrustmaster TPR rudder pedals. Very good, and oriented in the right way but also about $550. You can get away with a Logitech set for about 1/3 the cost.

4. Corsair HS60 Pro headset. Used with general flying but more specifically with Pilotedge (see below).

5. RealSimGear G1000 Suite. This is a real world, knobs, dials and displays simulation of the actual, in our planes, G1000. After a bit of configuration, you can control the G1000 in the "plane" using this device. It enormously reduces the frustration of trying to manipulate the onscreen G1000 using a mouse and, since the G1000 screens are fully realized, you can set the display "out the window" to be a top of console view. The RealSimGear unit works with both X-Plane and MSFS. Used this way, these devices send data messages that essentially simulate mouse clicks and mouse scrolls and then"reflect" the onscreen displays. There's another option called Simionic that mounts two iPads (they can be older models) in some bezels and also has those same buttons and dials. The Simionic version, by contrast, actually implements a separate version of the G1000 logic and then "forces" the simulator to reflect its view of the G1000 state. This setup looks like it's come a long way but I have not tried it. You can download a very low cost copy of the PFD/MFD for an iPad from the app store if you want to give it a try (sans real world buttons and dials of course). Neither of these options are inexpensive. The RealSimGear option is $2,200 (and includes the G1000 displays). The Simionic version is $1,600 (but you supply two iPads which can be very early models). Although either of these is very expensive, I consider one of these a "must have" if you want to really practice IFR flying using the G1000 and build the muscle memory for using the avionics in real world flying.

--- With regard to "real" ATC training ---
There's an outfit called Pilotedge that hires real ATC controllers (and others who might as well be real ATC controllers) and, for most of the west coast of the USA, have created a remarkably accurate recreation of how you would file and fly (VFR and IFR) a real world flight. You interact with ATC just like (with very few exceptions) you do in the real world. They have their own ATIS system. You use the actual frequencies you would use in the real world (and you will be speaking with a live controller and hearing other pilots). There's a training curriculum (which I found very helpful because after 10 years of flying 99.5% of the time IFR, I had forgotten the rules for VFR). You have the option of flying real world weather and time of day or you can custom set it (for flying weather or night time); all you do is indicate on your flight plan form you are using Zulu weather. The controllers will generally support all legal requests so if you want to fly the full procedure followed by the published miss, you just ask. There's a way to see yourself as you are "flying" on the Foreflight app (unfortunately there's no equivalent to the Flightstream for flight planning on Foreflight and then transferring to the G1000). I've found it to be, using the set up above, to feel extraordinarily life like and a very good way to keep sharp especially for IFR and abnormal/emergency procedures. Or, to get a quick 1 hour "flight" in when you can't get to the actual plane.

Hope this is helpful. BTW, on the various Discord chats, the most popular airplane (other than the 172 which the rank newbies fly) is the DA62.

If anyone wants more, including specific sources of gear and configuration info, let me know....
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Re: Simulator for a DA62

Post by N157DA »

My biggest complaint with the RealSimGear is that is has a BC button for the GFC700 and no YD button. Would be nice to get a run with the proper button-ology for that price.
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