PlaneCommand blog

PlaneCommand version 2 is released

Posted by Lee Baker on Wednesday February 18, 2015

Version two adds support for a ton of new commands, including full support for the autopilot, navigation equipment, brakes and more. Support has been added for the aftermarket DA-42 and x737 aircraft. Even more flexible voice recognition means you don't need to memorize commands-it's a lot more fun to fly with.

Pro users get all the features as a free upgrade. People using the free version get better accuracy, and can now control the parking brakes and more lights than in version 1.

More systems

Lots of new systems were added in this release. The most obvious are the new autopilot and navigation radio commands- turning on and off different autopilot modes. Super handy for cross country flights, this makes VOR-to-VOR flying much less of a hassle.

8 different autopilot modes are supported. This almost everything that X-Plane or x737 provide. There is a lot more detail written up on the commands page.

It's the simple systems that are most exciting to me. Starting and stopping the engines. Setting / releasing the parking brake. Turning the APU on and off. Things you do every flight, but might not have a button assigned on your joystick for.

There are 5 different types of external lights that can be controlled now- beacon lights, taxi lights, landing lights, strobe lights and navigation / position lights. These are all available in the pro and free versions.

More flexibility

Existing commands are also a bit more flexible. I put a lot of work into ensuring that number recognition accuracy is a lot better, and more natural. In the previous version each number had to be read out individually, like "one zero three degrees"- now you can say things in more natural english like "one hundred and three degrees" or "one oh three degrees". It's not quite perfect yet, but it is a lot better than it was in version 1.

The flaps are also a lot more flexible. For such a simple system, there are now a ton of different ways to get the setting you want:

More aircraft

The two aircraft I end up flying the most are now supported in PlaneCommand. The EADT x737 is a free 737NG that replicates many more details of the plane's systems than you would expect. Custom autopilot functionality adds to the realism of the plane. It only has a 2D cockpit, but the team has a great looking 3D cockpit in progress.

The payware DA-42 by Aerobask is a twin engine, four seat modern composite aircraft, and is ultimately where I spend them most time. The G1000-based cockpit provides a really nice experience, but relies on knobs for many functions- luckily PlaneCommand lets you skip out on the knobs for most navigation or communication related functionality (transponder, radios, navigation, etc). I've used it in the latest demostration video, taken from the front page of this website:

I hope you enjoy all the new features in version two!

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