A GCA add-on will be uploaded today to Sim-Outhouse.com and FlightSim.com that should work with many, maybe most, not necessarily all FSX and P3D aircraft. [Will add links here as soon as they're live.]
To use it you'll only need to add a couple of files to your Panel folder and make three cut-and-paste additions to your panel.cfg file.
Once installed, the add-on will provide, at any airport, an Approach Pattern Controller who will provide vectors to the GCA final approach course, and a GCA Controller that will talk you down using simulated Precision Approach Radar.
There are a few limitations, the most significant being that Approach will not provide terrain clearance. She (most early GCA controllers were women) will cheerfully tell you to descend to intercept height regardless of what may be under or ahead of you. One other issue you'll face is GCA will not provide trend information such as, "Above glideslope coming down nicely." But you will hear on, above, or well above glideslope and similar heading calls.
A short history of GCA is available here. (PDF 5.5Mb)
Promo (1 minute)
Tutorial (9 minutes) A new compact Monitor panel replaces the large one shown here. And my call to approach isn't required, just click the APC button. The downwind is a little wider than shown in this video to accommodate faster aircraft. (Yes, there are some operational no-nos depicted because I can't talk and chew gum, or fly and make videos, at the same time. I'm a pilot, after all. )
C-97 landing (1:35)
Eager to hear all comments, suggestions, problems, successes here.
Last Edit: Feb 5, 2019 12:06:58 GMT -5 by tailspin45
This gauge is based on the Synthetic ILS gauge by Karol Chlebowski which is available on Flight Sim. The description there states that it works in FS2004 and so indeed it does, apart from one glitch. The button marked RWY at top left allows one to choose the end of the runway upon which one wishes to land. Unfortunately, when you click on it there is no response. The GCA gauge also seems to work - certainly one hears the voice - but with the same issue. I have e-mailed Karol asking if he can throw any light on this problem but have not yet had a response. I mention it here because the Synthetic ILS is immensely useful in allowing landing in poor visibilty on runways which had no ILS but which did have Talk Down, and because I wonder whether some minor alteration to the gauge might solve the problem. I illustrate the Connie Team Super Connie, but it doesn't work in the default Cessna either.
Last Edit: Feb 9, 2019 5:08:47 GMT -5 by connieguy
I was wrong , this instrument does not work in FS2004 . That puzzles me , it will take some considerable time to investigate why it is not working , hopefully in future I can get it to work in FS2004 . My apologies to FS2004 users .
Post by Tom/CalClassic on Feb 9, 2019 17:32:55 GMT -5
These are the other problem variables I can find. I do not know if they are needed or not, because I do not know what FSX is using as the "default" units for these variables in the original gauge. I am assuming that the (L:ApprOffsetDistance) variable uses nmiles as units, since none of them have units in the original gauge.
Note that I do not know if the gauge will work with these changes - it might rely on these errors.
This is great news, Tom. It is early morning in the UK now and I will try fixing the ILS gauge on the lines you suggest. I have not had a reply from Karol, but do not find that too surprising given that the runway select problem has been aired in the Flightsim thread linked by Manfred. The fact that you now seem to have the APC working as well is a major thing for FS9 people and (it is not for me to tell you what to do) I hope you will consider contacting Manfred Jahn and Karol (perhaps through Manfred) so that it can be released properly. Many thanks indeed,
Update 9:30 UTC. I have made the changes to the ILS gauge mentioned in Tom's first post and the runway select button now works. Flight testing to follow.
Update 10:23 UTC. The only negative point so far is that if you switch from full screen to windowed mode the selections are cleared and you have to input them again. I have known this happen with other gauges, for example the Beaumont and Bitzer sextant, but it is not normally a problem. I took off from Paris Orly, headed north and then landed on R20. Tuning in the Orly VOR on 111.20 allowed me to keep a check on what the gauge pointers were doing and they seemed to be doing the right thing, though this is a complicated gauge and achieving everything it is capable of will probably take practice; especially when trying to land a Super Constellation at the same time, so the Cessna might be an idea. You can try it for yourselves if you download it from Flightsim and make the changes Tom suggests. I would suggest the following entry in your panel.cfg. 120,155 are Karol's original settings, which I found too small. It is a brilliantly conceived piece of work, though a little more flight testing will not go amiss.
I have just done a flight from Orly to London Heathrow with the Heathrow VOR 113.60 tuned and the ILS of runway 28 tuned at 110.30 on a bearing of 273 (the one I have always used). The first screenshot was taken over the Thames estuary and shows the orange needle of the gauge pointing to the same spot as the VOR needle (more or less, because the VOR is not on the runway threshhold). You will note that the runway heading is shown on the gauge as 274.
The next shot is just before the landing. All seems well. The panel ILS and the gauge ILS show the same thing, although the gauge now has the runway heading as 274.6. Increasing precision as one gets nearer? Clearly I am a little south of track and need to turn slightly to starboard.
The next shot is when I am almost upon the runway, and now the gauge ILS vertical and the panel ILS vertical diverge. I am inclined to attribute this to the fact that the gauge targets the runway threshhold and the ILS a point further down it, but would be grateful for thoughts on this. By this stage in a normal landing I would not be looking at the ILS anyway, but the alignment of the actual runway. The next thing is to give it a proper trial on a runway that does not have ILS. These screenshots, nevertheless, may give people a decent indication of what this gauge can do for any runway in FS9.
Last Edit: Feb 10, 2019 12:44:32 GMT -5 by connieguy
Post by Tom/CalClassic on Feb 10, 2019 14:42:53 GMT -5
My current problem with the ILS gauge is displayed in your last image. The Synthetic ILS localizer needle is to the right of center, while your panel ILS gauge is pointing to the left. The Synthetic needle is reversed. It is correct when you are in the right quadrant, but when my plane moves to the left quadrant the needle goes right again, instead of going left. I think this might be an FS2004 vs FSX problem, since I haven't noticed any complaints from users of FSX. This doesn't seem to affect the GCA approach, though.
Yes, there is something not right about the ILS display. I saved the Heathrow landing a few miles out so I could re-fly it. When I opened the flight in windowed mode the vertical ILS bar was not there at all, then I switched to full screen and suddenly it worked, but as I performed the landing it got stuck to the right of centre. It perhaps looks as though there is more wrong than can readily be fixed, but if the GCA gauge works many would regard that as more than compensation, because I guess a lot of people would prefer that anyway.