Cloudy's Rational Panels for FS2004
When I started using FS2004, perhaps the most successful PC flight simulator ever, I was annoyed by the insufficiencies of the aircraft panels:
• VC panels may seem realistic at first, with their immersive 3D virtual reality, but once you start to fly the aircraft you have to continuously spend time to move around the panel searching for a switch to click of for a gauge to read: in many cases you have to zoom-in just to properly read the gauge.
• 2D may be too static, but with the present-day large monitor resolutions of 1920x1080 or even larger, a single panel can be designed to be, both photographic and complete, including all the gauges and switches needed, with top-quality resolution.
I also noticed that most FS2004's 2D panels, whether original or downloaded, have the following serious deficiencies:
• Gauges are spread over different "windows", forcing you to continuously click icons (or press Shift-2, Shift 3 and so on) just to get throttles, switches and other gauges you frequently need.
• Those additional windows cover either parts of your main panel or else the external scenery view.
• Sometimes an "IFR panel" includes indeed all the gauges in a single view, but leaves no external view at all!
• The layout of these panels is often unlike any real-life panel.
• Many gauges are seriously unhistorical.
• Most panels miss quite a few essential gauges, which are reproduced by FS2004 and also needed during flight.
Indeed, when many years ago I scrutinised 39 Cessna panels I had downloaded from the web, I found that every single one of them showed one or more of the above inconveniences.
I eventually produced a full set of "Cloudy's Rational Panels for FS2004": they only have additional "windows" for the GPS and for a few non-essential overhead panels and calculators. A few of my panels show minor-scale reworkings, but most of them are full redesigns. My only unrealistic additions are the digital Mixture and Elevator-Trim gauges, which however I find a necessity in a PC simulation, as well as a gauge that simply shows which livery one is flying. Please find below screenshots of my panels, which I keep updated. Please feel free to download the images: they show below in resolution 1280x800 but will download at their full resolution of 1920x1200.
Unless otherwise specified the panels below are redesigns of those for the default FS2004, others however apply to downloaded and even payware aircraft. The same happens with the gauges used. This is why these panels (and the necessary gauges) are not available for download at present.
115 Curtiss JN-4D Jenny
126 Lockheed Vega 5B and 5C
133 Boeing Stearman 75 Kaydet - for the freeware aircraft model by David Eckert dated Apr'05
134 de Havilland DH-88 Comet
138 Piper J-3C-65 Cub
140 Piper J-3C Cub Clipped Wing - freeware aircraft by Lyons dated Aug'03
217 Vickers F.B.27A Vimy
226 Ford 4-AT-E Tri-Motor
231 Lockheed L10A-E Electra - freeware aircraft by First Class Simulation dated Aug'08
233 de Havilland DH-89 Dragon Rapide - freeware aircraft by Dave Garwood dated Apr'05
234 Douglas DC-3 Dakota
235 Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina - freeware aircraft by Bob Chicilo of AlphaSim dated Apr'13
235 Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina - freeware aircraft by Bob Chicilo of AlphaSim dated Apr'13
237 Beechcraft Beech D18S - payware aircraftBeech 18 by Aerosoft dated Jan'06
318 Cessna C152 II - payware aircraft by Carenado dated Dec'08
321 Extra 300S
322 Zenith CH801 STOL - payware aircraft included in the SeaPlane Adventures by Abacus dated Nov'03
328 Piper PA-28 201 Arrow IV - payware aircraft by Carenado dated Jun'10
331 Cessna C182RG II Skylane - payware aircraft by Carenado dated Jun'05
333 Mooney M-20M - TLS Bravo
336 Cessna U206G Stationair 6 II - payware aircraft by Carenado dated Nov'05
444 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver - payware aircraft by Aerosoft dated Jan'06
445 Piper PA-44 180 Seminole - freeware aircraft by Rien Cornelissen Jan'08
446 Piper PA-34 200T Seneca II - payware aircraft by Carenado dated Jun'10
455 Beechcraft Baron 58 - payware aircraft by Dreamfleet & Reality XP dated Dec'05
480 Cessna C208 Caravan Amphibian
490 Cessna C208B Grand Caravan
499 Pilatus PC-12 - payware aircraft by Flight1 Software dated Dec'05
512 de Havilland Canada DHC-6 - freeware aircraft by Premier Aircraft Design dated Jan'13
514 Beechcraft King Air 300 - freeware aircraft by AFG (Finland) dated Aug'07
516 Beechcraft 1900C - payware aircraft by PMDG dated Aug'05
517 Beechcraft 1900D - payware aircraft by PMDG dated Aug'05
523 Shorts Sherpa 330 - freeware aircraft by Premier Aircraft Design dated Apr'09
549 ATR 72-500 - payware aircraft by Flight1 Software dated Jan'11
554 Bombardier CL 415 Amphibian - payware aircraft included in the SeaPlane Adventures by Abacus dated Nov'03
601 Fiat G91 R1 - payware aircraft by Lago dated Nov'04
602 Gates Learjet 25D - freeware aircraft by Lars Roennig dated Feb'08
603 Bombardier Learjet 45
711 Schweizer SGS 2-32
714 Robinson R22 Beta II
726 Enstrom 280 FX Shark - freeware helicopter by Eagle Rotorcraft Simulations dated Apr'12
790 Maverick Trike Ultralight - freeware aircraft by John Cillis dated Jul'08