vPilot Documentation

The vPilot 2.0 Open Beta documentation can be found here.

Click one of these links to jump down to that section:

Translations:


System Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows XP, 7, 8, or 8.1
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
  • DirectX version with DirectAudio support. (Click here to download the Microsoft DirectX installer.)
  • 100 MB free disk space on the drive where application data and user documents are stored (usually C:)
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X with Acceleration or Service Pack 2
     - and/or -
    Lockheed Martin Prepar3D version 1.4 or 2.1

Note on Prepar3D (P3D) Compatibility:

vPilot was designed to work primarily with Microsoft Flight Simulator X. However, vPilot has also been used successfully with Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D v1.4 and v2.1, due to the fact that P3D supports the same SimConnect client library that comes with FSX. This means that in order to use vPilot with P3D, you'll need to have FSX SP2/Acceleration installed, or manually install the FSX version of the SimConnect library which comes with P3D.

To install the FSX-compatible SimConnect library, run the installer which by default is located here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2\redist\Interface\FSX-SP2-XPACK\retail\lib\SimConnect.msi

Again, this only needs to be done if you don't already have FSX SP2/Acceleration installed.

Installation

After you download vPilot, double-click on the downloaded file to start the installation. You do not need to specify an installation location. vPilot is always installed into the local application data folder (similar to Google Chrome) so that there can be no file permission problems.

When the installation is complete, you will have the option of launching vPilot.

In order to ensure proper voice functionality, you may need to forward port 3290 (UDP) through your router to the machine running vPilot.

Starting vPilot

To start vPilot, double-click the desktop icon (if you chose to create one during the installation) or locate vPilot in your programs list and launch it from there. vPilot runs externally from FSX so it is not launched from an FSX menu like some other pilot clients are.

The first time you run vPilot, you will see a popup window with a message indicating that you have not yet fully configured vPilot. Click the Yes button to open the Settings window and configure vPilot.

After vPilot starts, it will immediately attempt to connect to FSX via SimConnect. If FSX is not yet running, it will keep trying every 10 seconds and display a message in the main message area when the connection is finally made.

Configuration

The General Tab

General Settings

To configure vPilot, click the Settings button. You will see the screen shown at right.

The items in the Notifications section allow you to chose which events will cause the task bar to flash when vPilot is not the active window. The checkbox labeled "Show incoming text messages in FSX" allows you to have any incoming radio messages or private messages displayed as text within FSX. This can be handy for users with a single monitor when vPilot is obscured by FSX.

In the Miscellaneous section, you can choose to have vPilot automatically squawk Mode C when your aircraft becomes airborne. You should leave this checkbox unchecked if you are using an add-on aircraft that features SquawkBox transponder integration, since vPilot will then be able to read the transponder mode directly from the aircraft's panel.

The checkbox labeled "Keep window visible" allows you to keep the vPilot main window on top of all other windows. Note that this does not work if FSX runs in full screen mode.

The checkbox labeled "Check for vPilot updates" allows you to enable or disable automatic version checking when vPilot is run. Refer to the section on Downloading Updates for details. This option should be left enabled to ensure you are aware when a new version of vPilot is released.

The checkbox labeled "Check for model matching rule set updates" allows you to enable or disable checking for newer versions of your model matching rule sets when vPilot is started. If a newer version of one or more of your rule sets is found, a tone will sound and a message will be displayed in the main window. You can then proceed to the Settings window to download the updated rule set(s).

The Network section is self-explanatory. Enter your VATSIM credentials and choose a server to connect to.

The Performance section allows you to limit the number of aircraft that vPilot will inject into FSX. If you find your frame rate suffering when in a crowded area, reduce these numbers.

The Audio Tab

Audio Settings

Here you can choose the audio device you wish to use for your microphone to talk to VATSIM controllers, and the audio device to use as the output device for listening to voice transmissions from the controllers and other pilots. If the device is not yet plugged in, you will need to close the Settings window, plug in the device, and then re-open the Settings window.

Once you have selected your microphone device, click the Calibrate Mic button. This will walk you through a few short steps where vPilot will detect the amount of ambient background noise and determine an appropriate "Squelch" level to use when transmitting your voice to the network. This helps cut out background noise and make your voice more understandable to other users.

If you check the box labeled "Enable VHF simulation for audio output" the incoming voice will be filtered to sound more like a VHF radio. This can make the controllers and other pilots easier to understand if your audio device has a lot of bass response.

In the Push to Talk (PTT) Assignment section, you can choose which keyboard key or joystick/yoke button you wish to use for PTT. Simply press the button labeled "Set new PTT Key or Button" and then press the keyboard key or joystick/yoke button. vPilot will detect the keystroke or button press and update the "Current PTT Assignment" accordingly.

Note that if you want to use a keyboard key for PTT, and you run FSX as an administrator, you must also run vPilot as an administrator for the key press to be recognized.

If you do not wish to use voice on VATSIM, press the "Clear Current PTT Assignment" button.

Note: On some computers, if FSX is running as an administrator, PTT keystrokes cannot be read by vPilot unless it is also running as an administrator.

The Model Matching Tab

Model Matching Settings

"Model Matching" refers to the process by which vPilot selects which 3D model and texture to use when displaying other user's aircraft in FSX while connected to VATSIM. vPilot's model matching is based on a set of files refered to as Model Matching Rule Sets. Refer to the Model Matching Rules Explained section below for details on how the rule sets work.

On this tab, you can see a list of the rule sets you already have downloaded and selected for use. You can also see a list of rule sets that are available on the server. The first time you run vPilot, there will be no entries in the list of downloaded rule sets. You will need to download one or more rule sets from the vPilot web server in order to see other aircraft using the correct model.

The vPilot web server has a set of rule sets available for most of the popular third-party AI traffic sets. Some of them are organized into folders, such as the World of AI model sets. To download rule sets, find the AI traffic set(s) that you have installed, and check the box next to the name. If you want to select all files in a folder, such as all of the World of AI European Airline sets, check the box next to the folder name. The checkbox next to each individual airline file within the folder will be selected. You would do this if, for example, you have downloaded and installed ALL of the World of AI European airline packs.

If you do not have any of the listed traffic sets installed, you can just select the FSX Default Aircraft set, and vPilot will only use the aircraft models that come with FSX. If you are a Prepar3D user, then you could download the P3D Default Aircraft set.

Once you have selected the rule set(s) you want to download, press the "Download Checked" button. After a confirmation prompt is shown, a popup window will be displayed, showing the download progress. The files are downloaded to "My Documents\vPilot Files\Model Matching Rule Sets". This folder will be created if it doesn't exists. The rule set files are relatively small, so the download progress popup may not remain on screen for long. When the downloads are done, a message will be displayed telling you how many files were successfully downloaded. You will see those rule sets listed in the Downloaded Rule Sets list at left.

Note that downloading the rule sets does not download the actual AI traffic packages! You need to have previously purchased or downloaded the AI traffic sets in order for vPilot to make use of them. Also note that vPilot does not attempt to verify that you have the AI traffic sets installed when you download the corresponding rule sets. If you install a rule set for an AI traffic set that you do not actually have installed, you will see errors on screen when vPilot tries to make use of those models.

If you have more than one rule set installed, you may want to adjust the order in which vPilot scans through the rules looking for a match whenever a new aircraft is encountered. To re-order the rule sets, click on the rule set name to highlight it, then press the "Up" or "Down" button to re-order the rule sets. See below for more details on how the rule set priority works.

To remove an installed rule set, click on its name and press the "Remove" button.

If the server has a newer version of one of your installed rule sets available, that rule set's name will be highlighted in red in the Downloaded Rule Sets list. Click on the rule set you want to update, then press the "Update" button. The selected rule set will be downloaded from the server and updated.

You can also add a custom rule set by loading the file from your computer's hard drive. You might do this if you created your own file, or if you received a file from another user, or downloaded it from your VA's web site. Custom rules files can be re-ordered just like the rule sets downloaded from the vPilot web site.

To run a test of your downloaded model matching rule sets, press the "Run Model Matching Test" button. This will display a new window with a "Start Test" button. If you start the test, vPilot will quickly run through all of the loaded model matching rules and create an aircraft within FSX using each model referenced in the rules. Obviously, the simulator must be running in order to perform the test.

In the Default Model section, in the "title" box, enter the name of the model you wish to use if no suitable match is found in any of the installed rule sets. By default, this will be set to "Airbus A321" which is the default white Airbus that comes with FSX. The two buttons below the title box are shortcuts for entering the title of the Airbus A321 from FSX or the white Bombardier CRJ-700 from Prepar3D V2. To use a different aircraft as the default model, find its title and enter it in the title box. For example, to use the default blue & gold Cessna 172 included with FSX as your default model, you would enter "Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint1". This value can be found on the "title=" line of the following section of the aircraft.cfg file located in the SimObjects\Airplanes\C172 folder within your FSX installation folder:

[fltsim.0]
title=Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint1
sim=Cessna172SP
model=
panel=
sound=
texture=1
kb_checklists=Cessna172SP_check
kb_reference=Cessna172SP_ref
atc_id=G-BAFM
ui_manufacturer="Cessna"
ui_type="C172SP Skyhawk"
ui_variation=" Blue, Gold"
ui_typerole="Single Engine Prop"
ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
description="A stable and trustworthy plane, most pilots...

Model Matching Rules Explained

vPilot Model Matching Rule Sets are XML files (with a .vmr extension,) each of which contain a set of rules. Here is an excerpt from one of the Ultimate Traffic 2 rule sets:

<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="BAW" TypeCode="B733" ModelName="F1UT2_733.BA.BA" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="COA" TypeCode="B733" ModelName="F1UT2_733.CO.CO" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="UAL" TypeCode="B733" ModelName="F1UT2_733.UA.UA" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="AWE" TypeCode="B733" ModelName="F1UT2_733.US.US" />

Each rule has a CallsignPrefix, a TypeCode, and a ModelName. When a new aircraft is encountered while flying online, vPilot scans through all the rule sets you have installed,line by line, until it finds a match. In order for a line to be considered a match, the aircraft's callsign must start with the CallsignPrefix defined in the rule, if any. The TypeCode must also match. If both of these match, the aircraft will be added to your FSX session using the model name specified in the rule. The model name for your installed model sets can be found in the "title=" line of the aircraft.cfg file.

Rule sets can also specify a Callsign value instead of a CallsignPrefix. This is for when you want to use a specific model for a specific callsign. The aircraft's callsign must match the Callsign value exactly for this rule to match. This can be useful for VAs that use a specific callsign for each member, and you want to use a specific livery for each member.

For non-airline aircraft, such as general aviation aircraft, you can leave the CallsignPrefix blank, or omit it completely, in which case vPilot will match only based on the TypeCode value. For example, the following rule will match ANY C172, regardless of the callsign:

<ModelMatchRule TypeCode="C172" ModelName="Cessna Skyhawk 172SP" />

You can also specify multiple values in the ModelName field. vPilot will choose one of them at random if the rule results in a match. This is useful for airlines that have multiple liveries for the same aircraft type, such as JetBlue or Frontier. The model names must be separated by double backslashes. Here is an example from the MyTraffic3D rule set for JetBlue:

<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="JBU" TypeCode="A320" ModelName="A320 MyPaint52//A320 MyPaint82//A320 MyPaint119//A320 MyPaint120" />

This also works for rules that have no CallsignPrefix. Here is an example from the FSX Default Aircraft rule set which will cause one of these C172 paint jobs to be chosen at random for any C172 encountered on the network:

<ModelMatchRule TypeCode="C172" ModelName="Cessna Skyhawk 172SP//Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint1//Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint2//Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint3//Cessna Skyhawk 172SP Paint4//Cessna Skyhawk 172SP G1000" />

Rules can also contain a flight number range, to allow for airlines that fly for multiple larger carriers, using a different range of flight numbers for each carrier. Below are some example rules for SkyWest Airlines and their code share flight numbers for Delta Connection and United Express. Notice that you can specify multiple rules if there are multiple flight number ranges for the same carrier:

<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="SKW" FlightNumberRange="4439-4858" TypeCode="CRJ2" ModelName="AIM CRJ200_Delta Connection_Skywest" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="SKW" FlightNumberRange="9780-9784" TypeCode="CRJ2" ModelName="AIM CRJ200_Delta Connection_Skywest" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="SKW" FlightNumberRange="4965-4974" TypeCode="CRJ2" ModelName="AIM CRJ200_ual skwywest nc" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="SKW" FlightNumberRange="5156-5269" TypeCode="CRJ2" ModelName="AIM CRJ200_ual skwywest nc" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="SKW" FlightNumberRange="5480-5659" TypeCode="CRJ2" ModelName="AIM CRJ200_ual skwywest nc" />
<ModelMatchRule CallsignPrefix="SKW" FlightNumberRange="6190-6539" TypeCode="CRJ2" ModelName="AIM CRJ200_ual skwywest nc" />

vPilot also makes use of a text file called "SimilarAircraftTypes.txt" which is found in the vPilot installation folder. This file contains lists of aircraft type codes that look similar to each other. vPilot will use entries in this file to find model matching rules for similar aircraft types if an exact match cannot be found. For example, if an aircraft is encountered with callsign "DAL123" and type code "B733", but no matching rule can be found, vPilot will look for rules with a CallsignPrefix of "DAL" and a TypeCode of "B732", "B734", etc.

Note that vPilot will make multiple passes through the installed rule sets, looking for more specific matches first. The logic for each pass is as follows:

  1. Look for an exact CallsignPrefix or Callsign match, plus an exact TypeCode match, ignoring any rules that don't specify a CallsignPrefix or Callsign.
  2. Look for an exact CallsignPrefix or Callsign match, plus a TypeCode match for a similar aircraft type, ignoring any rules that don't specify a CallsignPrefix or Callsign.
  3. Look for an exact TypeCode match, ignoring any rules that specify a CallsignPrefix or Callsign.
  4. Look for a TypeCode match for a similar aircraft type, ignoring any rules that specify a CallsignPrefix or Callsign.

Continuing with the DAL123 B732 example from above, during pass #1, vPilot will look for a rule with a CallsignPrefix of "DAL" (or a Callsign value of "DAL123") an a TypeCode of B732. If none is found, vPilot will make another pass, looking for a rule with a CallsignPrefix of "DAL" and a TypeCode matching one of the codes listed as similar to the B732, such as B733, B734, etc. If no match is found, another pass will be made, looking for a rule with no CallsignPrefix or Callsign specified, and a TypeCode of B732. If no match is found, a final pass will be made, looking for a rule with no CallsignPrefix or Callsign specified, and a TypeCode matching one of he codes listed as similar to the B732. Finally, if no match is found in any of these four passes, the aircraft will be added to the FSX session using the Default Model specified in your Model Matching Settings.

To assist with setting up your model matching rules, vPilot maintains a log file of all cases where it could not find a matching rule. This file is contained in "My Documents\vPilot Files" and is named "ModelMatching.log".

If you are building your own model matching rule sets, and you want to know exactly which rule was matched for each aircraft encountered online, you can enable additional logging detail by using the /mmlog command line switch when starting vPilot. This will cause a line to be written to the ModelMatching.log file for every aircraft, telling you which file the matching rule came from, and on which of the four passes the match was made.

Creating Your Own Model Matching Rule Set

To build your own rule set, create an XML file using the following template:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ModelMatchRuleSet Folder="" UpdatedOn="3/1/2014 6:40:00 PM">
</ModelMatchRuleSet>

Insert your rules between lines 2 and 3.

The Folder attribute is for grouping the files together in the settings window within vPilot. Leave it blank to have your rule set appear in the top level of the tree.

The UpdatedOn attribute is only for rules hosted on the vPilot web site. It is used to compare your downloaded version against the version on the vPilot server, to see if a newer version of the rule set is available for download. For custom rule sets you create yourself, it can be set to any date and time. It must follow the format shown, however.

Be sure to save your file with a filename that is different than the files available for download from the vPilot web site.

Once you are finished creating your file, add it to your list of rule sets by pressing the Add Custom File(s) button on the Model Matching tab in the Settings window.

Connecting to VATSIM

Connect Window

To connect to VATSIM, click the Connect button. This button will be disabled if FSX is not running, or if you don't yet have a flight loaded in FSX.

After you press the Connect button, assuming you have fully configured vPilot, you will see the Connect window. You can choose from recently-used aircraft or enter new information. The SELCAL code is optional, but the callsign and aircraft type are required.

Press the Connect button when you are ready to go online. If the connection was successful, you will see a message in the main message area, and the Connect button will light up in green and its label will now read "Disconnect." If there are controllers within range of your location, they will appear in the controller list, and you can tune their frequency in order to communicate with them.

Controlling the Transponder

While flying on VATSIM, you will need to toggle your transponder between Standby Mode, and Mode C. Mode C is used when you enter the active runway and any time you are airborne. Mode C allows controllers to see your altitude on their scope. Mode C is also used on the ground at some airports if they are using an airport surface surveillance system such as ASDE-X. This will be noted on the airport diagram or in the controller's ATIS information.

There are three ways for you to set your transponder mode with vPilot. If the add-on aircraft you are flying has SquawkBox transponder integration, then vPilot will detect transponder mode changes when you toggle the mode using the aircraft panel within FSX. If this happens, you'll see the Mode C button on the vPilot main window light up in green when the transponder is in Mode C.

If the aircraft does not support SquawkBox integration, then you'll need to manage the transponder mode yourself, simply by clicking the Mode C button on the vPilot main window. Mode C is indicated by this button being lit up in green, otherwise it is in standby mode.

There is also a checkbox in the General Settings which allows you to configure vPilot such that it will automatically squawk Mode C (also referred to as "Squawking Normal") when your aircraft becomes airborne.

The final way to manage your transponder mode is by using the Add-ons menu within FSX. When vPilot is running, there will be options added to this menu, allowing you to squawk Mode C or Standby.

These three options also apply for squawking ident. A controller may ask you to squawk ident when you first check in on a frequency. This causes your data tag to appear differently on his scope, helping him locate you in his airspace. If you are asked to squawk ident, you can press the ident button on your aircraft's panel (if the add-on aircraft has SquawkBox transponder integration,) or you can press the Ident button on vPilot's main window, or you can choose the Squawk Ident option from the Add-ons menu within FSX. The Ident button on vPilot's main window will light up green when vPilot has sent the ident signal to the network, at which point it will revert to the regular color.

Communicating with Controllers

When you connect to VATSIM, all controllers in range will be displayed in the controller list along the left side of vPilot's main window, grouped by facility type. Each entry has the controller's callsign and frequency. If you hover your mouse over the entry, a popup label will be displayed containing the controller's name.

In order to communicate with a controller, simply tune the controller's frequency in your aircraft's radio panel using either the COM1 or COM2 radio. The radio must also be selected for transmit and receive. (Or you can tune a controller for receive only if you wish.) At the top right corner of vPilot's main window, you will see the TX/RX labels turn white when transmit and receive are enabled for that COM radio. Note that your aircraft's avionics must have power in order to communicate with controllers.

Radio Panel Showing Connected to Voice Channel

If the controller whose frequency you tuned has voice enabled, vPilot will attempt to connect to his voice channel. If successful, you will hear a tone and the frequency will appear in a light blue color at the top right corner of vPilot's main window. (See image at right.) While connected to a voice channel, the TX/RX lights will light up when you are transmitting or receiving voice on the frequency.

Radio Panel Showing Text Only Frequency

If you are on a frequency for which there is no controller, or the controller is text-only, the frequency will remain white. (See image at right.) If you try to transmit (by pressing your PTT key/button) while you are not connected to any voice channels, you will hear a buzzer.

You can be connected to more than one controller at the same time, by tuning one controller's frequency on COM1, and the other on COM2. Only one of them can be enabled for transmit at a time, though.

If the controller logs off or goes out of range, or you tune a different frequency, you will hear a tone when vPilot disconnects from the voice channel. The frequency will revert to a white color as shown above.

To communicate with a controller via text radio messages, ensure you have the main Messages tab selected, enter your message in the command line at the bottom of the message area, and press enter. This will send your text message out as text radio on whichever COM frequency you have selected for transmit.

Incoming text radio messages are shown in the main messages area. If you are listening on more than one COM radio, the text radio messages will be prefixed with the frequency it arrived on.

If an incoming text radio message is directed at you specifically, a tone will sound and the message will appear in a light blue color. text radio messages directed towards other pilots (or toward no one in particular) will appear in a gray color.

Radio Panel Showing No Avionics Power

Remember, your avionics must be powered up in order for comms to work. If your avionics are not powered, the TX and RX lights will be grayed out for both COM radios, as shown in the image at right.

SELCAL

If you specified a SELCAL (Selective Calling) code when connecting to VATSIM, controllers have the ability to send a SELCAL alert to your aircraft using that code. This is used to get your attention during long flights over areas where standard VHF radio doesn't have enough range, and noisy HF frequencies are used instead. The pilot will typically turn down the volume so he doesn't have to listen to the HF static, and controllers will send a SELCAL alert to get his attention when they need to talk to him over HF. VATSIM does not simulate HF frequencies, but oceanic controllers will still simulate the SELCAL process for the purposes of realism.

If a SELCAL alert is received for your SELCAL code, a tone will sound and a message will be displayed in the main messages area.

Requesting Controller Information (A.K.A Text ATIS)

Each controller on VATSIM maintains their controller information, also known as the controller ATIS. To request this information, double-click on the controller in the controller list. The information will appear as green lines in the main message area.

You can also request controller information using the .atis command. Refer to the section on Dot Commands for details.

Filing a Flight Plan

File Flight Plan

In order to create and file a flight plan, press the Flight Plan button on vPilot's main window. You will see the window shown in the screenshot at right. The fields on this form will contain whatever values you last entered on the form during a previous flight. You can fill out the form even when not connected to the VATSIM network, but you will not be able to file the flight plan until you connect.

If you check the "Heavy Aircraft" checkbox, vPilot will prefix your aircraft type code (as specified in the Connect window) with "H/" to indicate to controllers that you are flying a heavy aircraft.

The Equipment Suffix you choose from the dropdown list, if any, will be added to the aircraft type code when the flight plan is filed. Be sure to choose the right equipment suffix so that controllers know what type of navigation instructions you can accept.

Be sure to choose the correct voice option before filing your flight plan. Based on your choice here, vPilot will add the appropriate tag to your flight plan remarks in order to tell controllers whether or not you have voice capability.

Press the Load or Save button to load or save a flight plan in either vPilot or SquawkBox format.

If the VATSIM servers already have a flight plan on file for your callsign, you can download it by pressing the Fetch From Server button.

Private Messages

During the course of your flight on VATSIM, you may wish to contact other users (pilots or controllers) via private message, or they may contact you by private message. When a new private message arrives, a tab will be added showing the sender's callsign, highlighted in light blue. When you click on the tab, the message area for that chat will be displayed and the tab text will turn light gray. The first line of the chat messages will show the user's real name. If a new message comes in while the tab is not active, the callsign will turn light blue again.

To send a private message, type your message in the command line at the bottom of the chat tab, just below the message area, and press enter. Your outgoing messages will appear in the message area with in light gray. Incoming messages appear in light blue.

You can initiate a private chat session by right clicking on a controller in the controller list and choosing "Open Private Chat" from the resulting popup menu. This will create a new tab (or switch to the existing tab if any) and you can then type your message.

You can also initiate a private chat session using the .chat command. Refer to the section on Dot Commands for details.

Dot Commands

vPilot supports the following dot commands, which can be entered on the command line just below the main message area or at the bottom of any private chat tab:

Command Description
.chat CALLSIGN Opens a new chat tab (or switches to the existing tab) for the specified callsign.
.close Closes the current chat tab.
.atis CALLSIGN Request the controller information for the specified callsign.
.msg CALLSIGN message Sends the specified private message to the specified callsign.
.wx STATION-ID Requests the weather (as a METAR) for the specified station ID.
.metar STATION-ID Requests the weather (as a METAR) for the specified station ID.
.wallop message Sends a "wallop" to all supervisors on the network.
.copy Copies the contents of the active tab to your clipboard.
.clear Clears the contents of the active tab.
.reloadrules Reloads the model matching rule sets.
.x SQUAWK-CODE Sets your transponder to the specified code. Can also use .xpdr, .xpndr, .sq, or .squawk.
.com1 FREQUENCY Sets the COM1 radio to the specified frequency.
.com2 FREQUENCY Sets the COM2 radio to the specified frequency.
.com 1 Enables the COM1 radio for transmit.
.com 2 Enables the COM2 radio for transmit.
.com both Toggles receiving on both COM radios simultaneously.
.testmodelmatching Opens a window where you can run a test of all the model matching rules you have loaded.
.debug Displays a debugging window.

Disconnecting from VATSIM

When you are ready to disconnect from VATSIM, simply press the Disconnect button on vPilot's main window. The controller list will be cleared and all aircraft that vPilot added to the FSX session will be removed. You will also be removed from any active voice channels.

Note that vPilot will automatically disconnect from the network if you shut down FSX. You will also be temporarily disconnected and reconnected if you switch airports or load a different flight in FSX.

Downloading Updates

Download Update

Each time you start vPilot, it makes a request to the vPilot web server to see if there might be a newer version available. If there is, you will be prompted with a message similar to the one shown at right.

If you choose to download an avilable update, vPilot will download the updated installer, showing a progress bar. When the download is complete, vPilot will exit and the installer will be run. After the update is installed, you will have the option of starting vPilot again.

Running vPilot Over a Network

vPilot can be run on a remote machine in your network, separate from the machine running the flight simulator, provided you have the correct version of SimConnect installed on the vPilot computer, and you have configured the SimConnect.cfg file correctly.

vPilot requires SimConnect version 10.0.61259.0, which is the version that is included with the SP2 or Acceleration SDK. The installer can be found in the following folder:

<SDK INSTALL FOLDER>\SDK\Core Utilities Kit\SimConnect SDK\lib\SimConnect.msi

You can also download the SimConnect client installer here.

For instructions on configuring SimConnect in a network setting, please consult one of the many guides found online.

In order to get smooth movement of aircraft when running vPilot on a remote machine, you will need to run the vPilot TrafficProxy program on the machine that is running FSX. You'll see a shortcut to run the TrafficProxy in the vPilot folder in the programs list on the start menu. The TrafficProxy can be run on the FSX machine either before or after vPilot is started on the remote machine.

Note that you must install vPilot on both the remote machine and the FSX machine. On the remote machine, you will run the main vPilot program. On the FSX machine, you will run the TrafficProxy program. The two systems must have the same version of vPilot installed.

The TrafficProxy also allows you to configure a keyboard key or joystick/yoke button on the FSX machine to be used as your Push-To-Talk (PTT) button. The TrafficProxy will watch for the button/key press and send it to vPilot via SimConnect. To configure a PTT button this way, press CTRL-S while the TrafficProxy window is active. You will see a Settings screen with options to configure a PTT button. The configuration works exactly the same as within vPilot itself.

Shared Cockpit (Observer) Mode

vPilot supports the ability to connect in observer mode so that your aircraft does not appear to other users on the network. This feature is intended for use with shared cockpit operations. To use this feature, the first pilot should connect to the network normally, and the second pilot should connect in observer mode. The second pilot must use the same callsign as the first pilot, with a letter appended to the end.

For example, if the first pilot's callsign is JBU123, the second pilot should use JBU123A. (Any letter will do, it doesn't have to be A.) By doing this, the second pilot's copy of vPilot will not try to display the first pilot's aircraft in FSX.

Getting Help

If, after reading the documentation, you still have a question about installing, configuring or using vPilot, please post your message in the vPilot support forum or on the VATSIM forums.

  © Copyright 2013-2016 Metacraft - All rights reserved.