Approx. 4 minutes of reading time
Dear flight simmers!
It’s been almost a month since we’ve revealed the SimpleFCU project. It’s time to announce a big update!
We thought it would be a great idea to start a blog, because we have a lot to say. So why wait? There’s no reason, so let’s do this!
As we are in the process of printing additional prototypes for our marketing efforts, we’d like to give you a look back to the initial idea that brought us here. The “Behind the scenes” section on our blog will be dedicated to interesting stuff that we’re dealing with on daily basis. And we don’t want you to miss it!
Are you scared of the funny looking thing up there in the picture? That’s not a V2 in progress, don’t worry, it’s actually an alpha version of SimpleFCU 😅 But let’s take it from the start.
Back in 2020 I was closely following the release of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator and preordered it very soon. I couldn’t wait for the moment when I was able to download it.
Sure enough, I couldn’t install it within the first 24 hours, there were a lot of bugs and I even had to change my GPU later on (thank you Cloud update SU5). When I finally switched to FlyByWire A320, I knew there’s something more than the original Asobo A320.
I’ve always been fascinated by flying, but last year, it swallowed me completely.
However, by that time I got tired of scrolling in the cockpit. Especially when configuring the aircraft for landing. This brought me to the idea of having an autopilot module.
Firstly, I found replicas on the internet that are super expensive. But I didn’t need a replica, I’m not a real pilot (🥲) . I don’t want to build a whole home cockpit either. I just love to fly virtually and would love to have a few knobs and switches available.
I also didn’t like the generic products that were on the market. The choice was obvious, I have to build it.
But do I have to spend A LOT to get an autopilot module?
What I found first was a software called MobiFlight. It’s an awesome piece of open source software with an even greater community around it. There are so many tutorials and if you join their Discord, everyone is willing to help. And most importantly, it works great! So I started building my own module from scratch.
If you’re asking whether we’ve built SimpleFCU on top of some GitHub examples from MobiFlight, the answer is no. And I can tell you why.
The reason is a little funny….we had done almost all the work by creating the whole module we wanted and only after that I’ve found the GitHub examples😅 Yep, true story.
Autopilot module alpha version
Once I was finished with this funny thing (it was fully working, though!), I realized a few things.
Push & Pulls are a must.
The low cost push buttons are not as nice and definitely not a neat solution.
LED indication needs total rework.
The 7 red segments look very cheap. (why are they red anyway?)
I want to know the status of the Flight Director, Parking Brake and Landing Gear!
With all this in mind, I started reworking the idea from scratch.
It took me almost a month to rework everything according to my ideas. Then I presented them to my fellow mechanical designer and we started brainstorming. It took another month (most likely a bit more) to finalize the idea. Also, it took approx. 4 spools of filament to make things just right.
But here we are!
We’re in the phase of fine-tuning things and almost everything for accepting preorders is ready.
We invite you to become a subscriber today. You will be the first to receive updates and there’s also a chance you might get a surprise from us. Also, you won’t miss the preorder launch date! And so much more, you’ll thank us later.
Feel free to join our Discord server or contact us anytime. We love to hear feedback and your thoughts.
Thank you very much for your support. We appreciate it! Don’t forget to follow us on our social media channels and spread the word!
Safe travels & happy landings ✈️
For the whole SimpleFCU team
Since pour first information about fcu project, there has been a major event on MSFS : the a320 Fenix release. So my first question si quite obvious. Will the simple FCU be a320 Fenix compliant ?
Yes, Fenix A320 is a huge one indeed! Current status is the mentioned aircraft can be controlled with the external hardware, however FCU displays cannot be displayed outside the aircraft. There’s an ongoing discussion if this will be available, we’re in touch with Fenix relative and will post updates accordingly. We can’t promise anything for now, sorry.
Feel free to join our Discord for further chats!
Hey guys! I was pretty excited with this since the first time i saw it. But after reading the last comment that this will only be available for the FBW A320 is a huge let down for me. Since the launch of the amazing Fenix A320 i can´t see myself coming back to the FBW at least for now and i think most of the community would have much more interest in something like this if you guys manage to make it compatible with the Fenix. I hope you guys can work something out with them, because i really really like what you guys are doing here. Fingers crossed, because if you guys manage to make it compatible with the Fenix its an instant buy for me! Cheers!
Mike here 👋 Thanks for your comment, I completely understand your point, let me add our two cents here.
We’re currently checking what can be done. The situation is pretty tough for all home cockpit builders out there. There are some licensing issues on Fenix´s side, thus not all the info from the aircraft itself is available. You can read more about it here -> https://discord.com/channels/736572376967282769/864947685924012032/982963089672650762 (Fenix´s Discord)
We’re also in touch with one of the Fenix´s relative and are closely following the evolution of the discussion.
Just a heads-up – the configs can be easily editable by everyone. So even if we’re at the point of already selling SimpleFCU to customers and Fenix at decides “Ok, let’s have fun”, we’ll jump on it just straight ahead and create a new config for Fenix A320. In this situation, we would provide the config free of charge for everyone who purchased our product, of course.
Also, this can be done or fine-tuned by everyone within our community 🙂
Hope this helps and thanks for your support!