• Review: Freeware Boeing 787 Panel

    Review: Freeware Boeing 787 Panel

    By Ron Blehm

    You may have seen my preview article on the CamSim 797 concept (picture left, below). In that article I said that I was using a 777 panel and that's true. Shortly after writing that article, I was online looking for possible upgrades to my 777 panel (it is an upgraded aircarft afterall) and I came across a panel by Gavin Munro that looked great. I downloaded and installed it and immediately discovered that with my mouse over the numbers I could only turn the heading or speed LEFT. "Lame!" So I deleted the file but almost immediately found a 787 panel that he had done as well. Since CamSim's 797 concept is based on the 787 model I figured a 787 panel would be an, "appropriate stretch."


    Much like the 777 panel from Mr. Munro, the 787 panel comes with a 66 page PDF which describes in some detail all of the features of this panel. (I hadn't even opened the 777 PDF as I just wanted to try it out). One of the great things about this 787 panel was the HUD; that was a main attraction, a feature I've been looking for for quite some time (picture right, above).

    I again downloaded and installed the panel and discovered the same, only scrolling down/lower numbers on the autopilot. As I hadn't done on the 777 panel I went to the PDF Mr. Munro had provided. I must say that the information "thoroughly" covers all aspects of the panel. One of the first things I discovered was that the left mouse button turns autopilot numbers down and the right mouse button turns the numbers up. Also, use the roller-wheel to adjust the rate of climb or descent. You can also use the roller-wheel on the throttles too. Now this is some brilliance!

    Once I got over my shock at that little upgrade I set off to check out all of the aspects of this beautiful panel. Basically, everything can display anywhere! I'm not quite sure how to explain this so there are plenty of photos.



    One of my recent patients was a long-time ATP; he's been flying Embraers (which I love, so we were talking flying and cockpits!) and he noted that while he still likes to feel the rudder and react to the wind, many of his young FOs want to continually read out every little bit of info. This is certainly a panel that can give you TOO MUCH INFORMATION.

    Favorite Things:

    I love being able to actually SEE the AI traffic on the scope (some panels make you turn TCAS on but you get nothing out of it.) The range and terrain features on the Nav Display is nice; too bad there isn't a way to see actual weather. Basically, this is a new favorite toy for me! I'm still an E-190 pilot but the 797-concept with this panel is certainly attractive.

    1. swanny's Avatar
      swanny -
      I've got it!
      Put the cockpit NAV display on full circle, "rose".
      Even in GPS-mode (with radio properly tuned), the green arrow WILL point you to the VOR/ILS.
      My problem was that it's not shown on the HUD or the arrow is "off the screen" when NAV is on that 90* view.
      So, fly the panel onto approach, then switch to HUD where you can still use Otto if you like.
    1. Destructor1337's Avatar
      Destructor1337 -
      Just an FYI to anyone using the panel. If you know some basic coding, it is possible to change the behavior (eg using mouse wheel instead of clicks to change VS/Altitude/HDG) within the autopilot XML file. As of the floating NAV Display, I did a small fix, that eliminates the problem, however leaves one side (Captain or FO) in that wide NAV display at all times -- it is my preferred setup though. Overall, still an amazing freeware panel!
    1. jimkanejr's Avatar
      jimkanejr -
      When I saw this post on the main page and clicked on it, I saw what i liked. I often fly Camil Valiquette's 787s (CamSim) and wanted a panel that was for a 787. I downloaded this one and installed it in one an AA 787. Wonderful! Thanks Ron for alerting us to this and Gavin for creating it!
    1. swanny's Avatar
      swanny -
      Quote Originally Posted by Destructor1337 View Post
      I did a small fix, that eliminates the problem, however leaves one side (Captain or FO) in that wide NAV display at all times -- it is my preferred setup though. Overall, still an amazing freeware panel!
      Given my aging eyesight I too prefer the bigger NAV display. Sounds like a great "fix"!
    1. USC293's Avatar
      USC293 -
      Look great! is this panel designed to fucntion with TDS 787?
    1. F70's Avatar
      F70 -
      This panel is "special" for the TDS 787-8 or 787-9

      And my AI traffic is in yellow.
    1. kenwig0556's Avatar
      kenwig0556 -
      This panel isn't configured for the TDS 787 variations. To do that, the user will need to add in the TDS control and animation .xml folders for the particular platform (783/8, 789, or 780) and edit the panel config accordingly. TDS will help you do this at it's FB group, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TDS.SkySpirit.B787/
    1. samrong01's Avatar
      samrong01 -
      Authors Comments:
      Thanks very much for your review of my panel.
      I tend to agree with you that there is too much information on this panel: this panel is closely based on the Boeing Operations Manual and I also feel that Boeing is risking information overload for pilots in this cockpit design. I think the Boeing 777 layout is simpler and easier for pilots.

      The NAV display was an accident during development. I considered finding the cause and fixing it but then thought perhaps it was a nice feature since it can easily be cancelled by switching the display.

      I am surprised your AI traffic is pink - its meant to be yellow. Possibly the colouring is due to the monitor used.

      It was my philosophy that if you do not know what EICAS or MFD are then perhaps you should not attempt to fly a Boeing 787.

      In regard to the limitations on using the HUD - the HUD is as close as possible to the Boeing specification as are its limitations. In the Boeing specification there is no ILS direction (although the specification itself is not infallible).

      The panel was mostly tested on the TDS model and does not interface to any TDS modules so no additional TDS software is required. The TDS model itself has some faults but I could not find any better model for testing. The panel should work with any Boeing 787 model as it is a fully self-contained panel with no interfaces to other modules. Note changes to the aircraft.cfg detailed in the manual for the TDS model to work correctly.
    1. Bjartie's Avatar
      Bjartie -
      I love this panel, thank you Gavin! One slight problem, how to you change the transponder frequency? I use VOXATC and they are telling me to change the transponder all the time; its driving me crazy!
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