Tuesday, 30 October 2012

GoFlight GF-LGT

I bought my first GoFlight module last week, a GF-LGT. I picked it up on eBay for under £40 which I'm very pleased with as the new ones are around £190!

Admittedly mine is the older model, black rather than grey and without the rudder and aileron trim or extra 3-way switch. As I have only ever used elevator trim and have plenty of switches this seems like a good trade off :)

My GF-LGT has an elevator trim wheel and a big ole landing gear lever linked to three LEDS (green is down, red is transitioning, off is up). It also has a switch for flaps.

I've decided to go with the older black GF modules as they are cheaper to pick up second hand and will match my MIP which will also be painted black.

After building and configuring several switch panels myself I was impressed by how easy it was set up the GF-LGT. After mounting the module in my MIP I dug out a USB cable and connected it up, then downloaded the latest GF software from their site.

I ran the GF config programme which detected the module and displayed a picture of it with dropdowns against each switch. All I needed to do was select the appropriate function for trim, gear and flaps and I was good to go.

Previously my gear, trim and flaps were mapped to the switches on my yoke. It's much more satisfying to slap a big lever up to raise the gear, and seeing the LEDs change from green to red gives me an absurd amount of pleasure. I really need to get out more.

Using the trim wheel is far more precise than the yoke switch, and gives a much greater degree of control. It really is a joy, and very close to the real world Cessna trim wheels I'm used to.

The flaps switch is a bit meh though. It's a feeble little thing which seems to be configured in reverse, so UP lowers the flaps and DOWN raises them. I'm sure this is easy to correct but the switch itself will always be naff. The GF-LGT-II has a proper paddle lever for the flaps but I'm sure this is still just attached to a two way momentary toggle switch.

What I would like is a lever that can be physically positioned in a detent for each flap setting, so you can see at a glance which position your flaps are in without having to display a gauge on the instrument monitor. Of course this poses problems in a generic cockpit, as some light a/c only have two flap positions while larger aircraft have five or more.

A project for the future might be to make a lever like this, or perhaps adapt a throttle quadrant for the job. I'm sure some imaginative labelling and profile specific axis mapping in FSUIPC will cope with all types of aircraft.

For now though I'm very pleased with my bargain purchase. I'll keep using the flaps switch (it's no better or worse than my existing one) and the elevator and gear lever (and LEDS!) are fantastic.

Highly recommended.

Next: GoFlight radio and transponder avionics modules.

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