panel.cfg

The panel.cfg file is a critical file when it comes to defining aircraft, and would go in the panel folder in the root directory for the aircraft (along with the model, sound, etc... folders). This file is used to create the different virtual cockpit elements by referencing one or more XML, HTML or C/C++ gauges.

 

If the panel.cfg file is for a livery or a variation, then it's worth noting that it should go in a folder that has been named using the following convention: panel.<name>, where <name> is an identifier for your livery/variation.

This file will also need to be referenced in the aircraft.cfg under the [FLTSIM.N] section panel parameter, eg:

[FLTSIM.0]
title = "My Aircraft Variant"
model = "01"
panel = "01"
sound = "01"

 

Below you can find information on the different sections used in the panel.cfg file as well as what parameters and values are expected within them.

 

 

[VARIATION]

This section is only used when you are creating an aircraft that references another "base" aircraft, for example when creating a livery. Basically the panel.cfg file for a livery/variation will follow these three rules:

  • if the livery/variation doesn't include a panel.cfg file then the "base" panel.cfg file will be inherited and used.
  • if the livery does have a panel.cfg file, and doesn't have the override_base_container parameter (or the override_base_container parameter is set to 1) then it needs to contain ALL the required data as it will override everything in the "base" panel.cfg.
  • if the livery has a panel.cfg and also has override_base_container set to 0, then it will use the "base" file and add in the extra sections from the livery/variation (or overwrite any sections that already exist in the "base" file).

 

Parameter Description Type Required
override_base_container Whether to override the "base" panel config file or not. By default this is 1 (TRUE).

Integer

No

 

For further information and an example of use, please see the following page:

 

 

[Window Titles]

IMPORTANT! This section is legacy only and has no effect on Microsoft Flight Simulator. As such it can be omitted.

This section permits you to give a title to each of the different panel windows defined in the config file. Windows are numbered from 0, and each [WindowN] section, should have it's own corresponding title parameter in [Window Titles]. The parameters available to this section are as follows:

 

Parameter Description Type Required
WindowNN The name (title) of the panel window defined in the config file for the aircraft. This string is used as the display name for the panel in various places within Microsoft Flight Simulator so you should ensure that the label you use for each window is appropriate. Also note that the order in which you assign panel windows does not matter, so long as you start with Window00.

String

Yes

 

 

[WindowNN]

IMPORTANT! This section is legacy only and has no effect on Microsoft Flight Simulator. As such it can be omitted.This section permits you define a panel window for gauges within an aircraft. NN is the window number (numbered from 00) and each new window section should increment by 1 (so Window00, Window01, Window02, etc...). Available parameters are:

 

Parameter Description Type Required
file_1024 The bitmap file to use when the screen width has been set by the user to more than 800. String No
size_mm

A definition of the unit size used for placing and sizing gauges on this panel. For example, if the size_mm is 200 x 200 and a gauge's size is 50, 50, it will take up 1/16th (¼ x ¼) of the panel window. If no size_mm is defined, the size of the panel's background bitmap (not the gauge's background bitmap) will be used. If no background bitmap is defined, a default size of 100 x 100 is used.

If window_size is not specified, the size of the window on screen will be size_mm divided by the size_mm for the first window specified in the panel.cfg. For example, if the size_mm for a given panel is 200, 200 and the size_mm for the first panel in the panel.cfg is 1024 x 768, the given panel would occupy 19% of the screen in the x dimension and 26% in the y dimension, or a total of 5% of the total screen area.

1D table of 2 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

No
window_size The percentage of the screen to be taken up by window, from 0 to 1. If this is set, the size of the main panel is ignored for this panel and size_mm becomes irrelevant for determining the size of the panel window (note that size_mm is still used for calculating the relative sizes of the gauges within the window).

Float

Yes
windowsize_ratio Determines the width of a panel window as a ratio of the client area of the main window. If not specified, 1.0 is the default. Float No
visible Set to 0 if the panel is not visible by default. The default is 1 (visible). Bool No
update_rate This parameter can be used to change the default update rate, in hertz. The default update rate is 18hz, and note that this is the default rate for the whole panel, and this can be overridden by the update rate for individual gauges. Float No
position

Specifies the relative position of a panel window to the main window, expressed as an integer value. Default value is 7.

Integer:

  1. 0 = upper-left corner
  2. 1 = upper-middle side
  3. 2 = upper-right corner
  4. 3 = middle-left side
  5. 4 = middle
  6. 5 = middle-right side
  7. 6 = lower-left corner
  8. 7 = lower-middle side
  9. 8 = lower-right corner.
No
background_color Use for a background created with no background bitmap. Use 0,0,0 for a transparent background.

1D table of 3 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

No
alpha_blend The percentage (from 0.0 to 1.0) to blend the panel window with the background scene when the panel is docked. Float No
ident

Specifies a unique identifier to define the panel window. If your panel windows description does not fit any of the enum values listed, use any number between 10000 and 19999 (lower and higher numbers are used internally). There should be a MAIN_PANEL for every aircraft, otherwise other panels may not be rendered correctly.

Enum:

  1. MAIN_PANEL
  2. MAIN_PANEL_ALTN
  3. (where N is 1 to 9)
  4. THROTTLE_PANEL
  5. RADIO_STACK_PANEL
  6. COMPASS_PANEL
  7. MINI_CONTROLS_PANEL
  8. ANNUNCIATOR_PANEL
  9. ANNUNCIATOR2_PANEL
  10. IFR_MAIN_PANEL
  11. COLLECTIVE_PANEL
  12. GPS_PANEL
  13. OVERHEAD_PANEL
  14. PARKING_BRAKE_PANEL
  15. FLAPS_TRIM_PANEL
  16. FUEL_PANEL
  17. ELECTRICAL_PANEL
  18. TRIM_PANEL
  19. LANDING_GEAR_PANEL
  20. MISC_POPUP_N
  21. (where N is 1 to 10)
  22. MINIPANEL
Yes
gaugeNN

Specifies which gauge file to load and the X,Y position of the gauge. The Panel system starts loading gauges from gauge00 until it reaches gauge99. After that, it loads gauge100, gauge101, and so on until it finds a break in the progression. This comma-delimited parameter exists primarily to specify which gauge DLL file to load and the X, Y position of the gauge, in millimeters. This will override the size_mm setting.

The basic format is:
gaugeNN=gaugefile!gaugename, X, Y, W, H, parameters

where:

  • gaugeNN indicates the order in which the gauge is loaded
  • gaugefile! indicates the specific *.xml file in which the gauge is found.
  • gaugename displays the name of the gauge you assign in your gauge code via the GAUGE_NAME variable (C based), or the file name (XML based).
  • X, Y indicates the X and Y position of the gauge, in millimeters, relative to the panel background.
  • W indicates the width of the gauge in millimeters.
  • H indicates the height of the gauge in millimeters.
  • Parameters are passed to the gauge as a text string argument.

Note that if you have set size_mm to be 1024, the above values are also the pixel values, which can be much easier to deal with.

1D table of mixed values

(see Data Types for more information)

Yes
draw_orderNN

Instructs the renderer to draw certain sets of gauges in a specific order. In any draw order list, the gauges are drawn in that order.

For example:

draw_order00=gauge50, gauge60

This simply means gauge50 is drawn before gauge60.

1D Table of Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

No
zorder Determines the order of appearance of the panels on the screen. Takes values from 0 (bottom) to 100 (top). Integer No

 

 

[VCockpitN]

The [VCockpitN] sections provide you with a way to define the different virtual cockpit panels. Each panel should have a single [VCockpitN] entry, where N starts at 1 and each new entry increments it by one, without skipping any values. Note that for a correct VCockpit setup, each entry must have at least one gaugeNN or htmlgaugeNN parameter set up.

 

The parameters available in this section are as follows:

 

Parameter Description Type Required
size_mm

A definition of the unit size used for placing and sizing gauges on this panel. For example, if the size_mm is 200 x 200 and a gauge's size is 50, 50, it will take up 1/16th (¼ x ¼) of the panel window. If no size_mm is defined, the size of the panel's background bitmap (not the gauge's background bitmap) will be used.

If no background bitmap is defined, a default size of 100 x 100 is used.

1D table of 2 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

Yes
pixel_size Sets size of window in pixels. If not set, and sizeable is false, window pixel size will be set to background image size. If size y is set to 0, it will be generated from the aspect ratio of background file. If no background file is used y will be set equal to x.

1D table of 2 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

Yes
texture

This is the material ID of the screen where the instrument will be drawn.

IMPORTANT! Previously - in FSX - this string needed to be preceeded with a $ sign. However in Microsoft Flight Simulator this should not be used as it is now used to indicate to the engine that the material is a collision material, which is obviously not the case for gauges.

String Yes
background_color Use for a background created with no background bitmap. Use 0,0,0 for a transparent background.

1D table of 3 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

Yes
hud

This parameter provides a way to offset the HUD texture UVs on the quad mesh that displays it. The parameter requires 5 input values in the following format:

hud = is_hud, yaw_offset (or displace_x), pitch_offset (or displace_y), width_angle (or width), height_angle (or height)
  • is_hud: When set to 1 or 2, this specifies that the panel is a HUD. If it is 1 then it uses the legacy shader for rendering. When set to 2, it uses the modern shader. All new aircraft should set this value to 2 if using a HUD, and the legacy value is only there to preserve backwards compatibility with older aircraft.

When the is_hud value is 2 the other values are:

  • yaw_offset: This can be used to displace the HUD texture around the X axis, (a float, in degrees).
  • pitch_offset: This can be used to displace the HUD texture around the Y axis (a float, in degrees).
  • width_angle: Set the angular width of the HUD element (a float, in degrees).
  • height_angle: Set the angular height of the HUD element (a float, in degrees).

When the is_hud value is 1 the other values are:

  • displace_x: displace the HUD texture along the X axis (a float).
  • displace_y: displace the HUD texture along the Y axis (a float).
  • width: the HUD texture width (in pixels, a float).
  • height: the HUD texture height (in pixels, a float).

1D table of 5 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

No
render_on_screen

This parameter provides - when supplied - a way to render the VCockpit panel directly to the screen at a given position. The parameter requires 7 input values in the following format:

render_on_screen = posX, posY, width, height, xoffset, yoffset, cameraFlag, hideInVR
  • posX: This is a float value between 0 and 1, where 0 is the left edge of the screen and 1 is the right.
  • posY: This is a float value between 0 and 1, where 0 is the top edge of the screen and 1 is the bottom.
  • width: This is a float value between 0 and 1 and is used to set the width of the panel as a percentage of the screen width. For example, 0.5 would set the panel to be 50% of the screen width.
  • height: This is a float value between 0 and 1 and is used to set the height of the panel as a percentage of the screen height. For example, 0.5 would set the panel to be 50% of the screen height.
  • offsetX: This is a float value between 0 and 1 and is the offset for the panel "origin", where 0 is the left side of the panel and 1 is the right side.
  • offsetY: This is a float value between 0 and 1 and is the offset for the panel "origin", where 0 is the top of the panel and 1 is the bottom.
  • cameraFlag: This is an integer value that sets on which camera set the panel should be displayed. The following values are permitted:
    • 0 = none
    • 1 = cockpit only
    • 2 = outside only
    • 3 = both cockpit and outside
  • hideInVR: This can be used to hide the panel when in VR by setting it to 1 (true). The default value is 0 (false), meaning the panel will be be visible and follow the camera in VR.

The following example would be used to display a panel in the center of the screen when using the cockpit camera:

render_on_screen = 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 0.5, 1, 1

NOTE: The width/height should be set to a 16:9 aspect ratio to ensure correct support in VR.

1D table of 6 Floats and 1 Integer

(see Data Types for more information)

No
emissive Specify whether the gauge is emissive or not. This is set to 1 (TRUE) by default, so use 0 (FALSE) to disable. Bool No
backlight Specify whether the gauge is backlit or not. This is set to 0 (FALSE) by default, so use 1 (TRUE) to enable. Bool No
gaugeNN

Specifies which XML gauge file to load and the X,Y position of the gauge. The Panel system starts loading gauges, starting from gauge00 until it reaches gauge99. After that, it loads gauge100, gauge101, and so on until it finds a break in the progression. This comma-delimited variable exists primarily to specify which gauge file to load and the X, Y position of the gauge, in millimeters. This will override the size_mm setting.

The basic format is:
gaugeNN=gaugefile!gaugename, X, Y, W, H, parameters

where:

  • gaugeNN: indicates the order in which the gauge is loaded
  • gaugefile!: indicates the specific *.xml file in which the gauge is found.
  • gaugename: displays the name of the gauge you assign in your gauge code via the GAUGE_NAME variable (C based), or the file name (XML based).
  • X, Y: indicates the X and Y position of the gauge, in millimeters, relative to the panel background.
  • W: indicates the width of the gauge in millimeters.
  • H: indicates the height of the gauge in millimeters.
  • parameters: these are passed to the gauge as a text string argument.

Note that if you have set size_mm to be 1024, the above values are also the pixel values, which can be much easier to deal with.

1D table of mixed values

(see Data Types for more information)

No

(Yes if no htmlgaugeNN is specified)

htmlgaugeNN

Specifies which HTML gauge file to load and the X,Y position of the gauge. The Panel system starts loading gauges, starting from htmlgauge00 until it reaches htmlgauge99. After that, it loads htmlgauge100, htmlgauge101, and so on until it finds a break in the progression. This comma-delimited variable exists primarily to specify which gauge file to load and the X, Y position of the gauge, in millimeters. This will override the size_mm setting.

The basic format is:

htmlgaugeNN=[html_file_path]?optionalParameter, X, Y, W, H, wasmParameter

where:

  • htmlgaugeNN: indicates the order in which the gauge is loaded
  • [html_file_path]: indicates the specific *.html file in which the gauge is found.
  • ?optionalParameter: Additional HTML parameters are passed to the gauge.
  • X, Y: indicates the X and Y position of the gauge, in millimeters, relative to the panel background.
  • W: indicates the width of the gauge in millimeters.
  • H: indicates the height of the gauge in millimeters.
  • wasmParameter: if the gauge is part of a WASM module then you may also supply an additional parameter as the last argument. This parameter is a styring and will be passed to the gauge when it is created, where it is up to you what you do with it.

Note that if you have set size_mm to be 1024, the above values are also the pixel values, which can be much easier to deal with.

String

No

(Yes if no gaugeNN is specified)

 

 

[VPaintingN]

This section controls the drawing of registration numbers by the aircraft livery. Available parameters are:

 

Parameter Description Type Required
size_mm The size of the texture to use, given as width,height. 1mm corresponds to 1 pixel of the texture image.

1D table of 2 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

No
texture

This is the material ID of the texture to use for the livery painting.

IMPORTANT! Previously - in FSX - this string needed to be preceeded with a $ sign. However in Microsoft Flight Simulator this should not be used as it is now used to indicate to the engine that the material is a collision material, which is obviously not the case for livery text.

String No
location Where the texture should be located on the aircraft.

Enum:

exterior

interior

No
paintingNN

The path to the HTML that defines the number look/layout. To use the default settings, please use the following path:

Registration/Registration.html

At it's most basic the full path should look like this:

paintingNN=[html_file_path]?optionalParameter, X, Y, W, H

Here you give the path, then a comma separated list for the dimensions of the area to paint. The area is defined using the relative (x,y) coordinates to draw from, plus a width and a height . Note that the maximum for the width/height values should be the values defined in the size_mm parameter.

 

Additional settings can be added to the path like this:

painting00=Registration/Registration.html?font_color=0xe6ed01&stroke_size=120&stroke_color=0x3be0db, 0, 0, 2048, 512

The full list of settings that can be added in this way are:

  • font_style - can be one of: "bold", "italic", "bold-italic"
  • font_color - this is the color of the font
  • font_scale - this is a scale multiplier to be applied to the text
  • stroke_size - this is the text outline size
  • stroke_color - this is the text outline color
  • back_color - this is the color of a rectangular background under the text

All colours can be either a CSS predefined color like "red", "black, "blue" or a hexadecimal color code like "0xFF00FF".

 

String No

 

 

[Default View]

This section controls the default view for the default 3D window. Available parameters are:

 

Parameter Description Type Required
X Specifies the X position of the default 3D window. Float No
Y Specifies the Y position of the default 3D window. Float No
SIZE_X Specifies the width of the default 3D window. Float No
SIZE_Y Specifies the height of the default 3D window. Float No

 

 

[Color]

This section controls the default color lighting settings. The Day and Night colors effectively determine the maximum and minimum brightness of the panel. The Luminous value specifies the color that can be applied to the luminous sections of the gauges. Available parameters are:

 

Parameter Description Type Required
Day The lighting color applied during daytime (comma separated list where each item is a colour component from 0 to 255: R,G,B).

1D table of 3 Floats

(see Data Types for more information)

No
Night The lighting color applied at night (comma separated list where each item is a colour component from 0 to 255: R,G,B).
Luminous The lighting color applied to gauges that are luminous (comma separated list where each item is a colour component from 0 to 255: R,G,B).