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  1. #1
    150+ Forum Groupie Jake 747 400's Avatar
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    Best material for cockpit shell?

    Hi guys,
    just wondering whats the best material for building a cockpit shell.
    Thanks,
    Jake.
    Boeing 744ever jakes747sim.webs.com

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie choffmann's Avatar
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    Re: Best material for cockpit shell?

    Not easy to say, as it depends on what your expectations are:
    Generally, most here use wood or some metal/steel for the "skeleton" and cover it with wood or metal, preferentially aluminium. There are other materials, of course, e.g. fibreglass or plastic mouldings, but these are more difficult to shape (IMO). Fibreglass also might have some health issues (?).
    I myself thought very long, if I use wood or metal. Finally I decided for wood, as it is cheaper, easier to model (certainly depending on your skills and available tools). Metal skeletons are better for heavy duty flightdecks, I would use this, if you intend to put the shell on a motion platform. Weight is another factor. Then durability might be better with metal than wood (do you want to still simfly in your retirement time, LOL?).
    Optically, I believe, all materials can be judged similar, as a good paint finish will work on all these materials, thatīs more a matter of even appliance of the paint.

    Cheers
    Chris

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  4. #3
    500+ This must be a daytime job BHawthorne's Avatar
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    Re: Best material for cockpit shell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake 747 400 View Post
    Hi guys,
    just wondering whats the best material for building a cockpit shell.
    Thanks,
    Jake.
    Define "best"? What are your goals for the shell?

  5. #4
    75+ Posting Member HansJansen's Avatar
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    Re: Best material for cockpit shell?

    Quote Originally Posted by choffmann View Post
    ...

    (do you want to still simfly in your retirement time, LOL?).

    ...
    Why not? I myself am still building since I retired!
    Hans

  6. #5
    150+ Forum Groupie choffmann's Avatar
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    Re: Best material for cockpit shell?

    Hallo Hans,

    was just joking and NOT thinking. Sure, you are right!
    Would love to enjoy my sim when retired, but for me: unfortunately some miles to go. And I dunno if my building skills will produce "enduring stab trim".

    Chris

  7. #6
    150+ Forum Groupie flatlandpilot's Avatar
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    Re: Best material for cockpit shell?

    Hi there,
    I'm trying to build a small Airbus look-alike with some Boeing panels because I like them a bit more

    anyway 18mm construction plates is what I use.
    and cover that up with 4 mm. MDF
    then I fill the holes up with epoxy filler,
    and start sanding painting, sanding painting etc.

    because I want some movement in my pit later on
    I use a lot of PU glue in the construction, more than 2 liters now.
    I just dont want to hear my pit making any "wood cracking" noise
    later on

    here some photos from "before the painting"






    it can do +-20 degr. over x and y
    When once you have tasted flight,
    you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward

  8. #7
    75+ Posting Member
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    Re: Best material for cockpit shell?

    skills?...wood working or metal?...most lean one way or the other.

    sheet metal or aluminium is best. borrow a little mig or tig welder.

    if you have limited skills ie..not a tradesman or trade orientated by vocation maybe wood and mdf might be best....but be warned....over a period of three years a wooden simulator does tend to droop just a bit...especially if it is made from mdf and say...pine.

    mdf....chop/hack wood with jigsaw and glue/nail to hearts content. very easy and good for beginners or non-tradies.

    don't worry about it looking good on the outside....but try to seal it on the outside...maybe flat planes and not airliner looking curves. the only part of the shell that has to be right is the windows and the main dimensions, so that the interior can follow correctly.

    exception...Ivar....his shell is portable and stow able and lots of people are going to see the outside.

    1. get measurements...
    2. draw up front and rear bulkheads on cardboard template and cut them out of 16mm mdf with jigsaw
    3. stand them up on your new 200mm thick pine frame base.
    4. draw a footprint of the sides of the shell on the base/floor from front bulkhead to rear.
    5. away you go!!

    if you are asking that question...id go with pine and mdf.

    best of luck. pm if you need help.
    www.flightfacsimile.com
    Select Boeing 737 Simulator Components from Australia

  9. #8
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    Re: Best material for cockpit shell?

    Hi,

    I personaly use MDF panels.
    I used also MDF panels with precuts in the opposite side ( used to make furniture with rounded corners.
    Have a look at " www.aileszelles.be " there are some " how to "

    good luck

    Gerry

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