MyCockpit: Robert, I have seen some impressive products from Engravity - 737cockpit.com, and every time you introduce a new thing it is closer to perfection.
Before we get into the details of you and Engravity let's hear more about Robert Van Triet as a person. Would you tell us a little about your background and how you started your cockpit building company.
Robert: Where do you start when you have to tell something about yourself. Well to start, I was born 38 years ago in a small town in Holland. I lived very close to Amsterdam Airport and we went over there very often, just to see the planes taking off and landing. Ever since that moment it was obvious that Aviation would play a big role in my life.
Since then I knew I was going to become a pilot. So when the time was finally there to take the course, I ended up finding myself at the university studying law and business administration. So instead of flying around the world from the left seat, I took a different road and decided to start a business. However, aviation never lost my interest ad I still look at the skies when I here the engine sounds of one of those big birds.
A couple of years ago I finally had the change to take some flying lessons. This was of course very addictive, and when the weather allowed me to fly, I could be found at the flying school. I still remember my first solo as on of the most exciting moments in my life. Flying is like the ultimate freedom you can experience. Unfortunately due to my very busy schedule, I don't have that much time anymore to go up.
So aviation is like a red line in my life.
Like said, I decided to start my own business and founded Engravity in 2002. I started with the newest generation of laser engraving equipment and did lots of work for he advertising business in the first two years. However I received more and more requests from customers building their own cockpit, for custom made panels. I liked their enthusiasm and decided to further explore the possibilities. In close cooperation with Europe's biggest aviation store, we developed the first 737 building kits. Ever since then our mailbox never had one moment of rest.
MyCockpit: Robert, can you tell us about you Flight-Sim experience?
Robert: My flightsim experiences go way back to FS5. I still remember that a friend of the families Fs installed on his computer. I spend many hours trying to take off and land the Cessna by using the arrow keys.
When I finally bought my first computer, the first program I installed was Flight-Sim. Getting tired of the keyboard I soon bought a joystick, which of course was so to be replaced by a CH yoke ad pedals soon.
MyCockpit: Have you started building a cockpit? If so what type?
Robert: My idea of starting to build my own cockpit was born when I purchased 767 Pilot in Command. The 767-300 is still my favourite plane, so I started to build a 737.
After building cockpit panels on a professional level, my own project was pushed forward in time. Now we build many set-ups and every cockpit is still very much fun to build.
I promised myself that I would finish the 767, as real as it can get.
Robert: One of the fortunate things of my job is that I can visit many aircraft simulators. It is always a thrill when you are in level-D Sim, and see everything fully functional.
The most impressive simulator is still the 737NG with full visuals. Even with motion off, is feels like you are actually flying the real thing.
In a couple of weeks the Engravity team will follow a procedure training on a 737 with 4 hours on a level-D sim. You can imagine the smiles on our faces we have for weeks now.