Thread: Another insane aviation freak
09-11-2007, 05:44 PM #1
Another insane aviation freak
What am I doing here? Why am I here? When do those voices in my head stop whispering to me "go for it... yeah, one day you will find out how to build that [insert random cockpit component here]..."
Some months ago I stumbled over a breathtaking site on the web - there was a crazy guy who built an entire cockpit in his cellar. Fully functional, of course. Still fiddling arround with mouse and keyboard this was kind of a 14 years old boy
Ok, the next weeks I spent beating the **** out of uncle google, collecting every byte I could get about homebuilt cockpits. Costs? Get lost, don't bother me! Very soon I discovered the first very important - ehrm - thee most important question: what aircraft should I build? Now here's the story of my odyssey:
I work as a system engineer in Salzburg/Austria. Part of my job is to keep servers and clients up and running at Hangar 7 and Hangar 8. Catch the drift? That's where those insane people called Flying Bulls reside, including their incredible collection of old and new aircrafts. So I'm a very lucky aviation freak, almost every week I see the Corsair F4-U, the DC-6B, the Mitchell...
Of course one of the old aircrafts was my first candidate to build: the corsair. It's just so cool... BUT:
It was built to kill human beings. Standing in front of this evil beast looking into those 6 holes in the front edge of the wings you unmistakably realize you're at the wrong end. And of course you'll never be able to simulate the view out of this cockpit - it's a fighter where you can glance in every direction outside. And not to mention flying maneuvres like rolls, loops etc.
So this was a short intermezzo. Conclusion: no fighter, no aerobatics.
Ok, next one. What's that standing right beside the F4-U? Yeah... 72 cylinders of raw power... charged to 10k horsepowers with water/methanol injection. Probably the sexiest aircraft the Flying Bulls have: Douglas DC-6B. The Princess.
I shot several hundreds of photos of the cockpit, trying to get a starting point for a homebuilt approach. At that time I discovered a very nice freeware model of the DC-6B built by Tim Gibson/California Classic.
Well, it is very well done. BUT: to get the real feeling of this aircraft when starting those 18 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines the floor should shake the **** out of your a** 20 metres away. It does. Really. You won't get this approved by any wife/neighbour in this galaxy. Another fact: there's no electronic on this plane, the cockpit is 100% steamdriven. Well, if I'm still alive in 100 years I could get it together perhaps
While researching for this plane I also discovered minor itches in the model, some switches didn't act absolutely accurate. This is absolutely not important, and it is a freeware aircraft - but it's an itch. At this point I decided to find out what it is about those high praised addons like PMDG 737, Level-D 767 etc.
So I ordered the PMDG 737-800.
I installed it, read the fantastic manual by Jens Albert Schenk through and through and gave it a shot. I started my first flight in that huge airliner and was like O-M-F-G... ok, now I understand that thing about accuracy, standards, system simulation and so on. And as a bonus there are hundreds of 73x builders out there, so getting information and help would be easy. BUT: the pit is too big...
Studying the measurements of that pit I recognised I'd need a room with at least 2.20m height, 3.5m depth and 3m width. No chance. That was the time my wife told me "no cockpit in livingroom, bedroom or elsewhere I'm doing any business...". She had that "try it.." face, so I didn't try to discuss any further
Ok, a smaller one. What do the Bulls have?
Oh yeah, a sexy Citation 550B and a Falcon 900EX. Now you know how I got here, right? Searching the web I immediately discovered Trev's website (great work!) and had the audacity to email him asking tons of (stupid) questions about his project. He answered. I was stoked. The answer was hyper friendly, pointing me to very important things and last not least to this forum.
So now I'm here, writing loads of spam...
Status of my cockpit plans:
I got IOCards from OpenCockpits somewhat running for lights, flaps, trim and throttle controls, and today I got a nice package containing the Citation X by Wilco. I'm trying this aircraft and will of course do some more research in the 900EX, I'm pretty sure now one of these aircrafts will get the job.
Phew... if you read through this posting entirely you must be really bored
Cheers, head for the barn
Last edited by Yoshi; 09-11-2007 at 05:44 PM. Reason: 4x18 is NOT 92... me stupid...
09-11-2007, 05:55 PM #2
Like Trev, many of us send lots of people here to this site. And because of that, you will find that building your own cockpit is really not as hard as it looks at first. Because we have so many members, we also have a HUGE base of knowledge to pull from.
Yes, there is a lot of work involved, but it will all be nothing once you have it running and take that first flight where you flip REAL switches and turn REAL knobs.
WELCOME to the Funny Flight Farm!God's in command, I'm just the Pilot.
09-11-2007, 06:07 PM #3
OMG another aviation freak, I don't think I can handle anymore.....
Yoshi, WELCOME to our madness Look forward toward your input and participation, we need all the help we can get so we can maintain our madness
09-11-2007, 06:18 PM #4
Hi Yoshi (should I say "Irashimase" ?)
Welcom to the insanity. You found a great place to hang your hat.
09-12-2007, 10:34 AM #5
Welcome, and some other considerations
Yoshi, Hi and welcome. I love the Citation X, but alas there's really no easy way to build it. If you are really interested, I have TONS of info on the Learjet 45, not to mention a much better airfile that you can actually handfly believe it or not. Another great thing is that it's not only a default aircraft (which is to a degree easier to interface) but the FSX version flies even better than the FS9 modified airfile does.
Fortunately, there are real-world plans available for the Throttle, throttle ped, flaps, spoilers and I have drawings for the MIP, FGC, EFIS, Landing Gear Knob, Landing Gear annunciator Block, Center Ped, and Fuselage also. There are a growing number of us Learjet 45 builders, and so it's getting easier to build using Project Magenta's RJ software which is a decent Honeywell Primus immitator, with some differences. The Learjet also can be built in a much smaller place than other aircraft. Im looking at my sim base being 8' long by 7' wide by 6' high (which includes 1' clearance underneath for access).
Feel free to check out my site at the link below and let me know if you would like more info.Eric Tomlin-
Learjet 45 Builder
09-12-2007, 10:48 AM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- Holley, New York U.S.A.
Welcome Yoshi. Do you know that one of the machnics to the Bulls Mitchell when it was here in the States is one of the founders of this site? Larry or W9XE. Yup use to work on her here! Trev's cockpit is top notch and right now is under major renovations to make it better! You start out slow, do a TON of research and tinker. As your project grows, so will your skills and there is always this place to get answers. Please share pics of the project when you have some and I look forward to watching another Falcon grow!Bob Reed
09-12-2007, 11:40 AM #7
Wondered if you got my email. Glad you stopped by. This is the place to be, and now your a big part of it. Welcome, feel free to PM me any time you like. Or post int he forums, Apparently I am a fixture here. LOL
Great to see you and I can't wait to see pictures of your progress.
09-12-2007, 06:16 PM #8
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- Perth, Western Australia
Hi Yoshi, check out my website for a low cost PMDG 737 set-up on 1 PC.
737NG using Prosim737, Immersive Calibration Pro, Aerosim Solutions motorized TQ & cockpit hardware, CP Flight MCP & FDS SYS1X, SYS2X & SYS4X, FDS PRO FMCs, AFDS units & Glarewings, Matrix Orbital ELEC display, Pokeys Landing & Cruise alt display, Buttkicker Gamers, 3 x BenqMW811ST projectors with a Matrox Th2Go
Supporter of MyCockpit.org, please join me in donating!!!
09-13-2007, 05:08 AM #9
thanks very much for your welcome! This is a very nice community from what I could see yet. Of course absoutely insane, mad and highly dangerous to family life and bank accounts.
I already realised this is an incredibly high amount of work, and I'm not even sure which aircraft I should choose. The space I could use is quite limited:
A room in the cellar, about 2.4m x 2.2m and 2.2m high. Damn small.
Eric, you mentioned your Learjet Cockpit is about these dimensions, does this include visual systems as well?
I enjoyed the Lear very much, too - but what kept me from flying this bird more is the incredible system accuracy of other products, PMDG to name one. No default aircraft could compete ever, too bad...
I'm going to try the Citation X for the next weeks/months, so far it seems to be a phantastic airplane (and the model by Wilco seems to be really great). But I already realised it is quite difficult to get documentations about this plane, which makes planning a hard job.
Gwyn: very nice project! How much space do you use for your cockpit?
Bob: LOL - once you're into aviation you know everybody, right?
Trevor: As soon as I start the real business I'll spam you all with photos, I promise! How far did you get with your Project Magenta hacks yet? And - my most important question at this time - what are the dimensions of your cockpit?
Another important question:
When building a cockpit, is it correct that you don't have to care about systems accuracy of the used model as you're going to use different software for this part? Project Magenta for example, or is there any alternative?
09-13-2007, 08:19 AM #10
As for your second question. I am concerned about the accuracy. But I do know that there will be some limitations. I have no other option but Project Magenta, but I feel they were the number one choice for my project anyway, especially if I decide to pick a different aircraft down the road.
Talk to you soon buddy.
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