• How To Use The Fanda Dash 8 Panel With Other Dash 8 Aircraft

    How To...Use The Fanda Dash 8 Panel And Sounds With Other Dash 8 Aircraft

    By Nigel Grant (31 January 2004)

    Oleksiy Frolov (Fanda) Panel Probably one of the best loved aircraft for flightsimmers has been the freeware DeHavilland Dash 8 by Oleksiy Frolov (aka "Fanda") and Thomas Herger, particularly for its panel and throaty feathery sounds. It is a complicated aircraft to start and fly, and it is necessary to thoroughly study the manual. But this effort is well worthwhile and I now find it my favourite aircraft to fly.

    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.

    Barry Blaisdell Wideroe Dash 8 The basic premise here is to import the Blaisdell visual model into the Fanda Dash 8 folder and make some modifications to some folder names and file paths to allow use of the Fanda panel and sounds.

    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=0059
    
    As 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=0059
    
    You 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.

    Good luck!

    Nigel Grant
    ngrant35@shaw.ca">pngrant35@shaw.ca

    Download the original Frolov/Herger Dash 8 package.
    Download the FS2004 update.
    Download the Blaisdell Wideroe Dash 8

    Addendum

    This 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

    Change:

    window_size= 0.590, 0.440
    
    to:
    window_size= 0.80, 0.60
    
    Under Window02:

    Change:

    window_size= 0.140, 0.160
    window_pos= 0.010, 0.830
    
    To:
    window_size= 0.30, 0.340
    window_pos= 0.010, 0.60
    
    Under Window03:

    Change:

    window_size= 0.220, 0.280
    window_pos= 0.000, 0.720
    
    To:
    window_size= 0.40, 0.510
    window_pos= 0.000, 0.480
    
    Under Window04:

    Change:

    window_size= 0.470, 0.120
    window_pos= 0.540, 0.000
    
    To:
    window_size= 0.60, 0.150
    window_pos= 0.38, 0.000
    
    Under Window05:

    Change to:

    window_size= 0.450, 0.580
    window_pos= 0.54, 0.410
    
    And finally under Window07:

    Change:

    window_size= 0.370, 0.660
    window_pos= 0.630, 0.340
    
    To:
    window_size= 0.50, 0.90
    window_pos= 0.250, 0.08
    
    You 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!

    Regards,
    Gord Noseworthy