How To...Use The Fanda Dash 8 Panel And Sounds With Other Dash 8 Aircraft
By Nigel Grant (31 January 2004)
But there are very few liveries available for this aircraft (either in FS2002 or FS2004) although fellow Canuck Vern Opperman is doing a great job of trying to fill this void.
So I eventually worked out a method for using the Fanda panel and sounds with other add-on Dash 8's. There are several good looking Dash 8's in FS2002, Bawden and Blaisdell to name a couple, and Barry Blaisdell has now come out with a nice version in FS2004 based on the MS default model. This article relates to FS2004 using the Blaisdell Wideroe Dash 8 (D8WID_24.ZIP), but the same principles will apply to FS2002.
I am not an aircraft designer but I think I am correct in saying that the aircraft visual properties are set in the model and texture folders, the aircraft flying and operational characteristics are set in the .air file, the whole of this being tied together by the aircraft.cfg file.
So copy the
Wideroe model and texture folders into the
Fanda folder (probably called "Dash 8-Q300_2" if you followed
its default installation), and rename them as "model.blais" and
"texture.WDR". Open the Fanda folder, then the aircraft.cfg file
and copy one of the total aircraft entries below the last aircraft
entry and give it the next fltsim number, (i.e. copy):
[fltsim.0] title=Dash 8-Q300 V1.004. Tyrolean Air livery. sim=DHC8Q3 model= panel= sound= texture=TYR checklists= reference= atc_id_enable=0 atc_id=Tyrolean atc_id_color=Tyrolean ui_manufacturer=AUSTRIA ui_type=Dash 8 ui_variation=Tyrolean Air description=Dash 8 - 300. Tyrolean Air livery. copyright by Oleksiy Frolov 2002. Version 1.004 atc_heavy=0 atc_airline=Tyrolean atc_flight_number=0059As a couple of asides, the "flight number" I use is the last 4 digits of my phone number, I use this for all my flying aircraft because it is easy to recognise when called out by ATC. Secondly, the "ui manufacturer" name I use is the country of the airline, i.e. if I am going to fly in Austria the first choice would usually be an Austrian airline.
Now I change the new entry as follows:
[fltsim.11] title=PAD_DeHavilland Dash 8-103_Wideroe sim=DHC8Q3 model=blais panel= sound= texture=WDR checklists= reference= atc_id_enable=1 atc_id=D-BLEJ atc_id_color=0xffffffff ui_manufacturer=SCANDINAVIAN ui_type=Dash 8 ui_variation=Wideroe Airlines. description=FS2004/FS2002 Pro DeHavilland DHC8-Q200\nTwin Turboprop Regional Airliner\nVisit the Premier Aircraft Design Web Site\nwww.flightsimnetwork.com\/premaircraft\nAll Files Copyright 2003 atc_heavy=0 atc_airline= atc_flight_number=0059You will notice the "model=" and "texture=" entries refer to the visual characteristics of the Blaisdell aircraft. I retain the Fanda "DHC8Q3.air" file as well as the rest of the Fanda aircraft.cfg file (and of course the "sim=DHC8Q3" entry referring the sim to this "air" file), all of which control the panel, sound and flying characteristics of the new aircraft.
One caution, some of the Blaisdell aircraft have different names for the *.mdl file inside the model folder, so you will have to import their model folders with different extensions where this is the case, so as to avoid conflict.
In summary, you use the Blaisdell model and texture files, and the Fanda air and modified aircraft.cfg files. This should work for other add-ons, I got the Brad Disher Qantas Dash 8 for FS2002 to work in FS2004 using the Fanda panel and sounds. I don't think I am stepping on any copyright provisions by this process, I sincerely hope not.
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AddendumThis is not my work but was posted on the forums a couple of years ago by Gord Noseworthy, and it considerably eases the readability of the Fanda panel:
"This is what I change in the panel.cfg file in order to make the panel more readable:
In the section: Window01
window_size= 0.590, 0.440to:
window_size= 0.80, 0.60Under Window02:
window_size= 0.140, 0.160 window_pos= 0.010, 0.830To:
window_size= 0.30, 0.340 window_pos= 0.010, 0.60Under Window03:
window_size= 0.220, 0.280 window_pos= 0.000, 0.720To:
window_size= 0.40, 0.510 window_pos= 0.000, 0.480Under Window04:
window_size= 0.470, 0.120 window_pos= 0.540, 0.000To:
window_size= 0.60, 0.150 window_pos= 0.38, 0.000Under Window05:
window_size= 0.450, 0.580 window_pos= 0.54, 0.410And finally under Window07:
window_size= 0.370, 0.660 window_pos= 0.630, 0.340To:
window_size= 0.50, 0.90 window_pos= 0.250, 0.08You can also change your screen resolution to 1280 x 1024 (I think?). This will also increase the font size and make the gauges more readable. However, your card and monitor must be able to support this. Hope this helps!