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Aug 09, 2017, 09:36 AM
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FlightZoomer's Avatar
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Recreation of a 787 Dreamliner cockpit to fly like real pilots fly

Hi all,

This is my first post in this forum, so I first want to tell you, that already many years ago I was fascinated by your airliner projects. I really like airliners and scale RC flying, so this forum must be the number one place in the internet, where these two things met.

Red Navy Lime Red DeepSkyBlue

The Problem
There is one thing that puzzled me for a long time: comparing real aviation with RC flying, there is a big discrepancy, how pilots handle their planes. And, I would assume, the gap is the exceptionally large in the area of RC airliners.

A real Boeing pilot, e.g. taking off from runway 16 in LSZH (see page 13, WIL 2R departure), will initially climb in runway heading for some dozens of seconds, kick in the autopilot soon, start turning left at a particular altitude or distance (whichever is earlier) for a roughly ~275 left turn, the turn will take 90 or more seconds, he will overfly the airport then and leave the airport area for WIL VOR.

If you consider for a moment, this is 100% different to how RC airliners are flown.

It can be solved?!
At first sight, there is no way, how we could overcome the discrepancy and fly an RC airliner the same way. But is this true? The whole initial stage of the mentioned example flight takes place in close proximity of the airport. So we perfectly "could" fly an RC airliner like the real one, if we just would have available rudimentary instruments and possibly an autopilot.

The Solution!
So in order to address the mentioned discrepancy there is a project I launched 2013 to program an avionics stack, that can be added to any RC aircraft, that supports RC pilots in flying more realistically.

The avionics stack consists of a Cockpit-app, that runs on a tablet. In the aircraft, a smartphone is attached, that acts as communication endpoint. The system works supplementary to an Arduplane flight controller, that provides the elementary flight controlling features.

The following system context diagram shows the components:
Attachment 10264628

Offered features

Using this system, the following features can be offered:
  1. Instruments in the Cockpit app, that closely recreate the instruments in a real Boeing 787 dreamliner cockpit
  2. Ability to fly according to instrument flight rules
  3. Support by a copilot, who speaks with a synthetic voice
  4. Possibility to integrate the video feed from an FPV camera
  5. Synthetic outside view in full HD/3D:
    Synthetic & Classic FPV combined - FlightZoomer 3 Feature Preview (7 min 15 sec)

  6. Virtual Air traffic Control offers guidance to fly approach patterns
  7. Instrument Landing System that is intercepted and followed automatically
  8. Control the camera of the onboard smartphone to record photos or videos while flying
  9. Working autopilot with 14 modes, like in the real Boeing cockpit: Set a heading, arm an altitude and set a positive vertical speed, see how the autopilot captures the armed altitude -> procedures like this can easily be flown with any RC aircraft using my system. Other autopilot modes are: follow flightplans laterally and vertically, follow radials of virtual radio navigation aids (VORs, allowing radio navigation), adjust either vertical speed or climb/descend angle, adjust turn rate:
    FlightZoomer Version 2.0 in a nutshell - 14 new autopilot modes (12 min 20 sec)

  10. Elevation maps of the surrounding terrain (the whole map is colored like this: red = terrain is higher than current altitude, yellow = terrain is as high or marginally lower than the current altitude, green = sufficient clearance between aircraft and terrain):
    The ultimate terrain view for drone pilots! - FlightZoomer 3 Feature Preview (5 min 4 sec)

  11. A Vertical Situation Display shows a vertical cut through the current flight path and the terrain
  12. Fly and control all the autopilot modes with turn knob (Surface dial), just like real pilots do:
    Fly With A Single Rotary Controller - FlightZoomer 3 Feature Preview (4 min 26 sec)


Why am I posting this now?

The reason for introducing the system today, is that the development has progressed very far, and a release of all the components in Q3 2017 is realistic.

The system is called FlightZoomer and has earlier already been released as version 1.5 and 2. These two versions only contained a smartphone based groundstation. The upcoming Version 3 on the other hand for the first time is tablet- (or PC- or notebook-) based and brings many extensions and new features on the table.

What I can proudly present today already today, is the Version 3.0 Simulation Edition. It is published and freely available in the Windows App store. The simulation edition allows, to try out all the features on a Windows 10 PC without any additional preconditions. You can use the following video as how-to guidance and complete your first FlightZoomer flight on your PC in under 10 minutes!

The following video shows a walkthrough, through the simulation edition:
"FlightZoomer Version 3 - Simulation Edition" Walkthrough (5 min 48 sec)

Last year, the system was already presented in the largest Swiss newspaper/media channel Blick (in German):

What do you think? How helpful would you consider such a system from RC airliner pilot perspective?
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Aug 11, 2017, 04:00 AM
Registered User
Rudi's Avatar
Originally Posted by FlightZoomer View Post
Hi all,


What do you think? How helpful would you consider such a system from RC airliner pilot perspective?
Very cool Sir, respect. From my point of the view it would be very interesting !


Aug 16, 2018, 02:57 PM
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FlightZoomer's Avatar
Thread OP
So, happy to announce that the apps have been published and can be installed with a hefty launch discount for free at the moment!

More details are available in the main thread about the system:

Let me just tell you so much: if you want to fly your Boeing RC aircraft like Boeing aircraft are flown, take a good look at FlightZoomer!
Nov 01, 2018, 03:15 PM
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FlightZoomer's Avatar
Thread OP
Version 3.1 has been released.

For RC airliner pilots a new checklist feature has been added, that simulate the workflow how checklists items are checked:

In reality the co-pilot is reading the checklist items and the pilot in command check and acknowledges each items.

With FlightZoomer a synthetic voice is articulating each checklist item and after you confirmed it, the next one is spoken.

See in this video, how this works:
Exemplary FlightZoomer checklist handling (0 min 35 sec)

The content of the checklists, as well as the hierarchical structure, how they are ordered, can be entirely customized by the user.

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