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xCIGI


Update:  Please note that work on xCIGI has been started after a many years break. The next  version will run on current X-Plane Installations, the general concept will remain the same. We ask for some more patience and ask you to check back for news.  Since the provided version is quite obsolete today the files have been removed. GFT, 2022


What is xCIGI?

Short answer: A plugin module for the X-Plane computer game to connect it to a professional flight simulator and use it as Image Generator

Long answer: xCIGI concerns a specific part of a flight simulator: the interface from the main computer (host) to the software which is rendering the out-of-the-window scene (OTW). Usually this software runs on a separate machine, the image generator (IG) consisting of a single or multiple PCs. Simple simulators or part task trainers often use a single channel whereas more complex simulators feature large multi-channel displays.

Boeing's flight simulation group had proposed an open protocol for this interface named CIGI. By implementing this interface any host computer can connect to any image generator.  Many commercial IGs support this CIGI interface parallel to their proprietary solution.

However, since IG's tend to be rather high cost items, for many use cases low cost solution would be more than sufficient, such as a computer game. This was the purpose of developing xCIGI, the CIGI 3.2 implementation for X-Plane, a commercial flight simulation computer game. Many years have passed and X-Plane has grown visually to cover many more use cases than ever before. Simple training devices have been qualified using X-Plane as simulation software but still no one seem to provide a standard interface to link a simulator to those grown graphical capabilites.

Why should I use it?

Basically mostly people with professional flight simulation background. You must have a host computer that talks the CIGI protocol or capable to write that. Of course CIGI also works with other simulation domains like land and sea-based simulations.

As a private user, like you are building your own simulator, why not use the same interface the professionals do? The CIGI specification comes with a development package and a library, so its not too difficult to include that into an own project. Its open source and available for free download. Its quite well documented. Should your project go well, you may switch over to a professional IG some day - by just plugging in your Ethernet cable off you go, isn't that cool?

Any Limitations?

xCIGI 0.3  was provided as a partial implementation targeted for testing. It was provided as plugin for MS Windows with no use restrictions. It was compatible with X-Plane 8 (and did not run with newer versions).

Information about the new version will be published at a later time.

For testing we recommend to use the CIGI Host Emulator 3 (HEMU3) before using you own CIGI implementation.

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