Well, You voted for it! I'm pleased to announce the Builder of the Month interview from our recent Poll announcing Norwegian737Project as the preferred winner we'd like to hear more about.
So therefore see the fantastic interview i had with Kjetil below!
Hello everybody. My name is Kjetil Mathisen, I live in Norway in northern Europe where I live with my wife and three children. Iím 30 years old and have been into everything that has to do with things that can fly ever since I was a kid, such as model airplanes, helicopters, flight simulations and so on. I work as a truck driver on a daily basis and I enjoy it as every day is a challenge. Also I have a state license as a Heavy vehicle mechanic, but I only did this education to have something to fall back to if I ever needed in the future. In 2007 I moved to Florida and got a full education to become an airline pilot. So when I was done I had my flight instructor license. Iím not done with the education yet, and I really donít know when Iíll be done either. I need to convert my licenses to European for me to be able to start working as a pilot. But one day.. I would also like to introduce my buddy Stian Alexander Hoddevik. He is my best friend I guess you could say, and we have stuck together for quite some time now. Stian Is a first officer on an offshore supply boat in the oil industry. Stian is 30 years old now, lives in a small village called Selje. Itís a beautiful little place in the most western part of Norway. We went ahead and bought all the equipment together, so I guess we are partners in this madness together.
1. How did you get into flight simulation?
I started with MS Flightsimulator back in 2004, and got nearly obsessed with the beauty of the flight simulation. As I time went on I started to buy more and more ad-ons to the sim. In the beginning I mostly only cared about the airplanes being as real as it gets, so I guess I ended up spending thousands on the different payware planes. Hehe.. I think I bough every single payware ad-on on the market back then.
When I was satisfied with the airplane packages I had, I really started to work on the graphics. With the help of my buddy Stian, we were mixing different freeware sceneries with different mesh, water, textures and so on and so on. The sim ended up looking as real as it gets. My favorite simulator is still FS2004. I have been messing around with FSX too, but the only thing better in FSX compared to FS9 is really just the water. So I stuck with FS9. I just need to say this, Stian Alexander is a freaking GENIOUS when it comes to tweaking the simulator. Give him a few hours to screw around with your FS9, and you will never go back to FSX again Thumbs up for Stian.
2. Why did you choose the Boeing 737 to base your flight simulator on.
Well thatís really a good question, and easy to answer. First we wanted to build an McDonnell Douglas MD88. But we gave this up as we realized how hard it would be, as nearly all hardware for it would have needed to be built from scratch. Besides, there arenít really many MDís left out there anymore. So going for a Boeing 737 really shaved a lot of work of a project like this as there is so many options available for the B737 to buy when it comes to hardware and everything else. And donít forget, the B737 is still an awesome and beautiful plane.
3. If you could give one tip to home cockpit builders old and new, what would it be?
Well the number one thing in my opinion is to remember this.
-Spend just as much time planning out what you want to achieve, as you spend carrying out you plans-With that said, there is one major thing you need to remember:
-Making one shortcut leads to another shortcut-
Make sure that you have already planned out how to reach your end result and follow your original plan. Making the smallest deviation from your plan will result in having to make other deviations to your next step, and it will in most cases not be a good thing as it will be kind of a chain reaction effect where it gets worse and worse until you reach a point where you have to go several steps back to correct something, only to find out you have to start all over again. (I had one of these experiences with the window frames)
4. How much time have you spent to date building your sim, and could you give us a breakdown of how it developed.
Well, I think I spent around three hrs a day for two weeks in the beginning just researching the Boeing 737, and scanning the net to find all the references I needed to make a complete set of drawings for the shell. I needed a top view, profile view, and a topside view scaled correctly against each other. When I was satisfied with everything and was sitting there with the drawings in a 1:20 scale, I measured up everything using the plans, and ordered up all the wood I would need to start building.
The next step was to transfer all the measurements and parts over too the wood. That was pretty hard, but with some basic math, some clever thinking and lots of coffee we got it done. In the initial two months of building, Iíve spent around 4 hrs a day, every day. Stian came over to help out as often as he could.
5. Have you had any help from friends, familly, how interested are they that you have a boeing 737 in your house?
I am really surprised of how well people are taking this. My family thinks itís pretty cool, and my grandfather is really eager to see it done, and to try it out. My wife was kind of hesitant in the beginning to the whole project, but changed her mind pretty fast. She thinks it is nice to see how many people that are watching our YouTube channel, and she is actually wearing our t-shirts quite often. She promised me that she would help me out with sanding the shell, to get it ready for paint. Iím going hold her too it, lol
6. What would be the best thing you have found out on your build experience so far?
I guess it would be that I realized that building one of these simulators is not an impossible thing to do for anyone. If you want something bad enough, you can do it.
7. What part of the sim are you starting on next?
Well, when itís been painted and all the exterior is up to par and to our set standards, the next logical step would be to fit the MIP inside. When the MIP is fitted, I can start working on everything else that surrounds the instrument panel, like the side panels and the interior window linings. I canít wait
There needs to be some major investment too when we come to the next step of the process. We need to buy a complete pedestal as we sold the old worthless one, and also a new throttle needs to be purchased. The only option in our eyes is the Revolution Sim Products throttle. Also we need new EFIS panels and a state of the art Mode Control Panel ďMCPĒ.
8. If you didn't build the boeing 737, what would be your close second and why?
Well as I mentioned earlier, the MD 88 is very close to my heart. This is because of the feeling of flying a commercial jet with a nice combination of new technology and old fashion mechanics. It really attracts me, and so I just might start building one of those in the future some time.
9. Which airport/ approach/ departure do you most enjoy flying into/out of and why?
Being a real world pilot, I really do appreciate a long and thoroughly planned approach, with a minimum usage of autopilot. Flying in mountain terrain combined with low visibility makes it even more exciting. I get kind of a rush when you see that all your planning and understanding of your surroundings pays off.
Living in Norway there is lots of challenging airports to land on, but I guess my favorites is an airport close to my home-town in Alta. The airport code is ENAT. I normally fly short legs between this airport, to Tromso airport ďENTCĒ. Itís lots of fun without having to sit on cruise for hours. I like to get lots of things thrown at me in a short period of time. And I am pretty sure I talk for Stian too when it comes to this.
What is your time schedule for completing the rest of the sim?
Well, both me and Stian have very time consuming jobs, and so an estimate would be almost impossible to make. But you never know, maybe there will open up some unforeseen opportunities to complete it in a very short time, but then again it might take longer than expected. Weíll take it as it comes, and try not to worry too much about it. The two most important things is to have fun while working on it, and not to go bankrupt
Thank you all very much for making us builder of the month. It is much appreciated, and a great motivation factor. I promise to start making more updates when we are good and settled in our new location.
Until then, we wish you all the best.
Kjetil Mathisen and Stian Alexander Hoddevik.
Thanks Kjetil for your excellent interview!