How to use Virtual Reality

  • I am new to both Aerofly and VR. I have an Oculus Rift S which I am trying to use.


    I am trying to fly the Cessna, and can see my blue hands in the cockpit. I have worked out that I can move the stick and throttle using the thumb wheels on the hand controllers but cannot work out how to press the buttons to raise/lower the flaps, tune radios etc. Similarly, I have tried to fly the F-18, again I can move the stick etc but cannot find how to use the blue hands to move the flaps or the gear.


    Am I right in thinking my Saitek X-52 joystick or keyboard is now redundant and I can control the plane using my blue hands? If I have to use the stick or keyboard for basic actions I am not sure VR is what I expected it to be. I can accept using the keyboard/stick for "complicated" actions but not for adjusting the flaps.


    Is there a YouTube showing how to use VR in Aerofly? It would be very useful


    Thank you,


    Tregarth.

  • Hi Tregarth and welcome to AF2 world!


    I also have the Rift S. I use it in conjunction with my Gladiator joystick and CH Products Pro Throttle, You can indeed try and fly using the virtual blue hands, but I'd strongly recommend using your hardware for flight controls. I also have some of the common functions (flap, gear etc) bound to my Throttle hardware and I also use Saitek panels to control heading bug etc for navigation so I can access most of the funcionality I need without having to leave the VR world. It can take a little getting used to, but muscle memory soon kicks in.


    I love the VR aspect for the view and immersion it affords, but I do prefer hardware for controls. I do still use the virtual hands for some not-so-common stuff as and when needed, but that feels somewhat artificial for me, but to each their own :)


    To use the Blue Hands to control stuff like flaps, press the button on your controller to get it to "point a finger", then flick the control up or down. To turn a knob, get the controller into "pinch" mode to "grab" the control knob, then twist left or right etc. You should be able to do everything you want entirely within VR using only the VR "hands", I believe, if that's your wish.

  • Dear Psionmark,


    Thank you for your welcome and very helpful reply. I will now have a go in the Cessna and see if I can control the plane.


    I find your reply surprising; I had expected that, once someone had paid UKP 400 for a VR headset they would abandon all their hardware and concentrate on flying "virtually". The retention of keyboard, mouse and stick makes me think that head tracking is as useful and significantly cheaper. Buying an Oculus may be a decision I will reget - but that is for me alone to decide.


    The people at IPACS must be a bit puzzled; they have put so much effort into making a hand operated cockpit and yet many users still use a mouse etc. (Or at least they seem to on YouTube.)


    I hope you continue to enjoy your set up and have many happy flying hours. Thank you for your time and help.


    Best regards,


    Tregarth

  • Hi Tregarth,


    Do let us know how you get on.


    For me, the Rift adds an incredible feeling of immersion - far better than I’ve ever managed to achieve with head tracking. For example, flying the R22 helicopter is a completely different experience in VR than with a 2D screen. Almost all my “flying” now is with VR, as I find the lack of immersion on a flat display too limiting now, so I definitely don’t consider my purchase of the Rift a bad decision. Quite the contrary. It literally takes things to another level for me.


    As for the controls, that’s just my personal preference. I’m sure others here may well only use the VR controls and are very happy with that. One of the great things about our hobby is that we can generally find a setup that works well for us.


    And of course the Rift can be used for other things. Project Cars 2 in VR is simply incredible :)

  • My vision for VR flying is that device manufacturers develop a new system so that you can reach out in VR and put your hands on authentic feeling flight controls perfectly aligned with what you see in the headset. I think there is no substitute for tactile feedback either via a physical device or haptic simulation by people like ultrahaptics or VR gloves with haptic feedback neither of which are yet available for consumers. As a side venture I am actually working on a solution myself as i have no time for the current generation of VR controllers.

  • I find your reply surprising; I had expected that, once someone had paid UKP 400 for a VR headset they would abandon all their hardware and concentrate on flying "virtually".

    Don't overlook the simple fact that holding out your hands in front of you, in "yoke holding position", with nothing to rest them on and take the weight is really, really uncomfortable even for 15 minutes.

  • My vision for VR flying is that device manufacturers develop a new system so that you can reach out in VR and put your hands on authentic feeling flight controls perfectly aligned with what you see in the headset. I think there is no substitute for tactile feedback either via a physical device or haptic simulation by people like ultrahaptics or VR gloves with haptic feedback neither of which are yet available for consumers. As a side venture I am actually working on a solution myself as i have no time for the current generation of VR controllers.

    I fly in VR with my actual joystick/throttle and pedals. I always have them in the exact same spot (mounted). I have tried virtual controls in VR and found the lack of tactile... disturbing.

  • Thank you for your replies. It is amazing what a difference the instructions can make! I would put the link to the instructions web page in big letters on the Aerofly front page. It would prevent a lot of disillusionment.


    It is a challenge, I agree holding my arms out is tiring. I can understand why almost all the YouTubes use a stick. Learning the hand grip commands takes practice. I will have to spend time on the ground making the hand grip positions second nature. Fortunately the Cessna is approved for aerobatics.


    Another thing which complicates matters is flying the Cessna from the right hand seat. Even when I was training for my PPL I was in the left seat.


    Best regards,


    Tregarth

  • Sorry to be a pain but I can't see how to make the seat switch. I am looking in Settings / Controls / View but don't see anything about switching seats. Could you please send a screen grab of your View screen?


    Thank you,


    Tregarth.

    No problem at all - I’m not at my PC at the moment so will send tomorrow but from memory, the setting is something like “Cycle internal views” I think. You can assign a key or controller button.


    Will send screenshot tomorrow if you’re stuck.

  • Unfortunately, I’m way up North from Gatwick - right next to EGNT - but if I do find myself in the area at the right time I’ll certainly pop my head in :)