Posted by Lee Baker on Thursday September 11, 2014
PlaneCommand is a plugin that adds voice command support for many common controls. Commands can be voiced in a pretty flexible way, and are read back when completed. For instance, you can say "Please lower the landing gear" or "landing gear down, please" and might get a response of "the landing gear is already down" or "landing gear going down", depending on your situation. Here's a video of what it looks like:
I've long been frustrated by having to use the keyboard at really busy times in the cockpit, in particular tuning radios. Time spent hunting for keys to arm speedbrakes or set up a radio for an ILS landing distract me from flying the plane in the first place. Though I don't know much about real flying, I figure in real life, you can tell your copilot to do some of this for you. Managing the workload and delegating tasks must be an important part of piloting a real jet, so why not do it in the simulator?
The Oculus Rift really excites me as well but having it on prevents you from seeing the keyboard. PlaneCommand seems like a natural way to control some systems of the plane when flying with VR headets. Ideally, I would like to be able to keep my hands on the stick and throttle at all times.
Development continues on a regular basis; I'm adding a ton more commands, and welcome suggestions. I'm planning on adding some additional commands very soon (brakes, autopilot modes, and x737 support).More blog posts