Oculus First Impressions

I started to set it up mid-afternoon and spent a few hours getting things going. I’m doing this in the cockpit so I can use my yoke and pedals, and the sensor setup seems to have gone pretty well actually, given the cramped confines. I have one sensor at the top front left corner pointed at the pilot’s seat, and the other at the top back right corner pointing at the panel. I still have quite a bit of work to do to get the visual alignment correct so that when I’m sitting in the chair using the yoke things match up well with the X-Plane visuals, but it’s a starting point.

As for the visuals … things are juddery. I’ve been tweaking settings per what I can find online, but so far, I’d call it un-flyable for anything other than testing so far. I have things pretty smooth, but there are judders and lags and it’s just not where it needs to be. Looking at the XP graphics settings (which I’ve turned down a lot) I still had two monitors set to show the sim even though they were turned off physically. I deactivated them. Next I’ll delete preferences, and do some research on how to use Lasso to set CPU affinities and how (and if) to use hyperthreading. Doing all that stuff is one of the reasons I left P3D, but so be it. Candidly, the 908ti still holds it own as a beast of a card. Mine runs 30-50 FPS running four screens in the physical cockpit and when I only run one screen I get 90 FPS. It should be able to run the Oculus at 45. So I have more learning and tweaking to do.

THAT ALL SAID … I get it now with VR. Just the Oculus training program had me grinning ear-to-ear. And once I had the sim running at least fairly well, it blew my mind to look out the left side of the windshield and see all the wing, and it REALLY blew my mind to open the door in flight and stick my head out the door and look down at the left-side gear. And when I set things to nighttime and all the stars came out? WOW.

From a safety and training perspective will it replace my physical sim? No. At least, not yet. It’s too impractical to manage charts, write down clearances, etc. But I can already tell you where the Oculus will be helpful from a practical training perspective: pattern work. I did one landing in it and it was much more like the real thing. I can’t wait to get it dialed in and get started.

In the meantime, I’ll be starting a Virtual Reality forum in the forums section so VR users can share tricks and settings …

UPDATE: That forum is up and running here.

7 thoughts on “Oculus First Impressions

  1. Nailed it. WOW factor? For sure. Circuit training? Absolutely. But for sketch pad work, EFB usage, etc, I prefer the monitors. I tried the sketch function on my iPad with FlyQ in VR, but it just takes too much away from the process of flying, imho. (Lift the headset, think about *how* you’re doing something, instead of *what* you’re doing, take precious seconds away from the situation. It’s complicated enough while focused.)

    As far as matching controls to visuals, bite the bullet and move the physical controls to align. (Yay jigsaw!) I don’t know that you’ll ever get the visuals to match your controls.

    Off subject – try Dead and Buried. It’s a cartoonish western shoot-em-up, and it’s a total blast. (Except for getting smoked by a 10 year old British kid in a quick-draw duel, lol.)

  2. I will have to take a look at FlyQ, but if you use Foreflight or WingX Pro on your iPad, you can use a screen mirroring program (I use LonelyScreen) to mirror your iPad to a window in Windows, and then using the Oculus dashboard you can import that window into your Xplane VR session and can size it and place it wherever you want. It is really cool to have your flight program in Xplane, but it is still a little problematic as you have to use it by touch or lift the headset.

  3. Before you run out and buy either an Oculus OR or Vive, you need to check out the Mixed Reality headsets because;

    1.Windows Mixed Reality headsets are compatible with both Vive and Oculus programs and games and apps through SteamVR.

    2.neither Vive nor Oculus are compatible with any Windows Mixed Reality games or apps.

    3. The Dev team are getting WMR headset(s) today, and they don’t think that it will be an onerous task to include WMR to the mix, since they are ALL current PC HEADSETS are based upon SteamVR.
    3.a Revive has just released a new version in the last day.

    Below, a quick trip from and two of my WED Airports, Carnes Farm K69, my fictitious, but geographically-correctly-placed on our property in Flat Lick, KY…lots and lots ‘o hills, and Bell county Middlesboro airport, 1A6; I’m running X-Plane Native VR and Windows Mixed Reality headset by Lenovo .
    https://youtu.be/7y6tsmWQr9Q?t=5m30s

    A, I tried posting this in your new virtual reality forum but for some reason could not get in or was not allowed to reply or post… If you could move this post to where it belongs, and take care of my access, I would be most appreciative.

    Chas

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