What do you think about the 2D panel? I’m not asking about the 2D panel of any specific aircraft, just the 2D panel in general. Do you love it? Hate it? Don’t care? The reason I’m asking this question is because the DC-9 could very well be the last aircraft I make with a traditional 2D panel.
Now, I’m not saying the DC-9 is definitively the last aircraft I make with a traditional 2D panel. But dropping the 2D panel does seem to be the trend if you look at the flightsim world as a whole. More and more developers are either not making 2D panels at all or are reducing their efforts on the 2D panel creating simplified versions.
The focus seems to be on the virtual cockpit. Over the last few years we’ve seen some pretty impressive and highly detailed virtual cockpits come out from multiple developers with a user experience and immersion factor that just cannot be provided by the 2D panel.
The 2D panel does have its strong points too though. You’ve got a fixed layout, as opposed to a moving view, where all the switches, knobs and instruments are located in known fixed positions. This can be beneficial when using the flight simulator as a procedure training tool.
Moving around the virtual cockpit can be difficult or awkward, unless you have a TrackIR device. I bought a TrackIR 4 a few years ago and I have to say it changed my perspective on the virtual cockpit from moderately interested to hey-this-is-cool! Moving around the virtual cockpit with a joystick hat switch or even worse the keyboard, just doesn’t give the same user experience.
The DC-9 comes with a full 2D panel. Two forward views, two views of the pedestal , two views of the overhead panel, four circuit breaker panels, numerous training windows and an assortment of sub-panels and pop-up windows for all your cockpit needs. I actually hit the limit on how may panel windows FSX will allow in one aircraft with the DC-9.
The 2D panel has been my preferred view position when flying for a long time. But I’m not so sure there is a future anymore for the old traditional 2D panel.
So, what do you think about the 2D panel in general? Do you love it? Hate it? Don’t care? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section below.