1 ProSim737 MCP
The ProSim737 MCP (Mode Control Panel) module contains the autoflight logic of the aircraft. The main purpose of this module is to calculate steering commands inputted by the MCP panel and Flight Instrumentation System (EFIS) panels in the cockpit. The steering commands are either fed directly to the aircraft (autopilot system) or sent as guidance information to the pilots through the Flight Director cues on the Primary Flight Displays. A graphical representation of these panels is shown on the screen that is fully functional and controlled by mouse. Many inclusive drivers communicate directly with the MCP hardware, in addition, the module also contains drivers to control throttle quadrants by most manufacturers which in turn, allows realistic autothrottle movement.
1.2 Module instances and directory names
Only one hardware MCP can be configured and one instance of ProSim737MCP should run in the simulator setup. ProSim737-MCP needs direct access to the simulator platform so it needs to run on primary computer.
1.3 Specific hardware connection
Currently, following specific hardware MCP+EFIS are supported, follow the links for setup instructions:
Following TQs (throttle quadrant) are supported and needs to be configured in ProSim737-MCP, follow the links for setup instructions:
Flight Simulator Center (FSC) / Poldragonet
1.4 Non-specific hardware connection
By default the autopilot is tuned to fly correct for most aircraft models. If it is found that the aircraft is rolling left and right slowly it may require some firmer aileron control. This can be set in the “tuning” tab of the configuration screen. The Aileron tuning value shown is in percentage. The default value is 100. Increase to 150 to have firmer control. Keep increasing the value until the aircraft flies correctly.
1.7 About the autopilot
The ProSim MCP autopilot is an advanced simulation of a real Autopilot Flight Director System (AFDS). The autopilot has been written from scratch without using any components from Flight simulator. Because of this, it is important that no other autopilot systems are active when ProSim MCP is used.
Some knowledge of this system is required to use the panel to its full potential. Below are some hints on using the autopilot:
CMD and CWS mode can only be engaged above 400 feet radio altitude. CMD mode does not know or understand anything about currently active flight modes. Its only job is to fly the aircraft towards the flight director cues. LNAV can be engaged when the Perf Init CDU page has active data (ACT PERF INIT shows as the menu title) and there is an active route (ACT RTE shows on the route page). LNAV can be armed on the ground and will become active at 200 feet radio altitude. Do not look at the lights on the MCP to determine what mode is active. Always look at the FMA display at the top of the PFD for this. The lights on the MCP indicate modes that can be switched off. Active modes that cannot be switched off indicate this by turning off their light on the MCP. VOR/LOC mode uses the NAV1 radio when FCC1 is master (yellow MA light on the left side of the panel). It uses the NAV2 radio when FCC2 is master (yellow MA light on the right side of the panel). When a glideslope capture occurs, both FCC’s will become master and this may cause Flight Director cues to disappear on the side that has not tuned the active ILS frequency. All FMA modes are switched off when there is no master FCC. This occurs when there is no active autopilot and both flight directors are switched off.
CWS mode, or Control Wheel Steering, is a lower operations mode of the autopilot that is used to hold a certain bank or pitch. In the real aircraft, during CWS operations, bank or pitch can be set by applying force to the yoke. When the force is released, the aircraft holds the current pitch or bank. CWS can be active in the pitch axis, the roll axis, or both. The FMA displays the words “CWS P” when CWS is active in the pitch axis and “CWS R” when CWS is active in the roll axis.
CWS can become active in two situations:
CWS mode has been selected on the MCP panel. Both axes will revert to CWS operations. CMD mode is active on the MCP, but one or both axes do not have an active flight mode. CWS will be active on the axis that has no active flight mode. This happens for example, when flying in HDG SEL mode the HDG SEL button is pressed to disengage the mode. Because of limitation in the current flight simulator hardware, there is no way to detect pressure on the yoke. ProSim therefore simulates CWS by looking at the position of the yoke. When the yoke is in the centered position, CWS assumes no force is applied and will take over the axis. When the yoke is moved from its centered position, CWS will allow new pitch or bank to be selected. It is therefore important that when the yoke is released, its output is near the (0,0) position. Make sure the yoke is correctly calibrated and when it feels CWS mode is not keeping the aircraft on it current pitch or bank, check the calibration settings.
With a little practice it is quickly found that it is easy to fly CWS in ProSim737. Simply apply little input to the yoke to bring the aircraft to a new bank and/or pitch and release the yoke. Play with this, as it provides interesting ways to fly, especially in bad weather conditions.