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  1. #1
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    New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Hi everybody,

    A few weeks ago I visited Joe's simulator (project727.xsn.net). I was really

    amazed how realistic a flight simulator can get. Few days later I found my self

    getting FSX. I have been playing for a while with it and I just love it. I was

    able to add Yahoo Maps texture through tileproxy. In the end I wanted more so I

    decide to build a simulator for myself.


    While searching through the internet I found that there are some planes that you

    can find plenty info, like b737 or A320, but there are others that are more

    difficult to replicate because of lack of information. I decide that I want to

    build a Cessa 172/Skyhawk, maybe the glass cockpit version. I'm an electrical

    engineering student and I'm very familiar with CAD software like Solidworks. I

    was able to find some CAD files for the C172 panel but I wasn't able to get CAD

    files for the cockpit cabin or shell. I have some idea how to start building the

    panels but I have no idea how to build the cabin/shell. I will appreaciate if

    somebody could give me a hint or could tell me where to find info about the

    cabin/shell of a C172.


    My goal is to build a very realistic C172 simulator at a price less than $5,000. I

    found these plans (The CS-1 "Stallion" Dual Seat Trainer -

    http://www.simsamurai.net/Sim_Samura...IY_Sim_Co.html) for $30. I beleive

    that it doesn't have the exact dimension of a C172 but it provides a good staring

    point. Also it provides a very cheap, less that $300 in materials, way to build a

    cabin/shell. If a keyboard provide more keys than the total inputs(toggle switches

    and push buttons) of a cessna 172, you can easily emulate all the input without an

    expensive board and software by a simple keyboard hack using capacitors and

    relays. I'm still thinking about how to deal with the outputs (lights, leds, etc)

    in a cheap way. Any additional help will be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Very interesting site. Could be worth the cost for the blueprints. Just by examining the design though you could perhaps make your own. As you are quite familiar with CAD shouldn't be to hard. If you take a look here Free Cessna Manuals you will find the manuals for the 172. The owners manual in many cases and the POH (Pilots Operating Handbook) will have the dimensional information (interior) of your aircraft model. The parts catalog though is the one that's of bigger importance when building however. That will show you nearly every part of the aircraft. While there is no dimensional info there are excellent drawings. Showing you how the parts work in the real aircraft. This is important if you don't have access to one.

    One of the things you should consider first off is FSUIPC. This extends the range of controls nearly 10 fold over that of the 'stock' FSX. It's a free download but to get the full benefits you'll need to pay for registration. Well worth it from a sim builder standpoint. On the other side of that - The input side. A hacked keyboard may seem like a cheap way to get all the inputs you need but there are many that you will need to convert from a conventional 'knob or toggle' to that of a keystroke. The BU0836X by taking it off of the keyboard side and making it a joystick input lets you add all the rotatably controls and there are plenty.

    Trims
    Rudders
    Yoke
    Radio Knobs
    Instrument Adjustment Knobs
    Flaps
    Toggles and Switches.

    These can all be accessed easily with the unit mentioned above instead of trying to rig up something and because it's USB you can add them till you run out of inputs to make for your sim. This becomes even more important if you plan on making the Garmin G1000 cockpit as that interface is mostly knobs.

    When you are working with a keyboard input you have all the keys and thats it. With a joystick you have a great deal more fidelity as your turning a knob not pushing a key. As well you can only add one extra keyboard to your computer say. As each keyboard will show up as another keyboard. Same keys. So you don't gain the extra 'keys' by adding more of them. You get duplicates. A joystick however can be assigned as you see fit.

    FSUIPC and the BU0836X are a quick one two to get things rolling. From there you can add all you need with very little hassle.

    Hope that helps out some and welcome to MyCockpit.org
    Ron
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  3. #3
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    I check with the 172 POH pdfs but i did not find any measurements of the cabin at all. I did find it for the 180. Thanks anyways.

  4. #4
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Not sure if you've run across this guy's simulator in your research, but it's pretty awesome http://www.youtube.com/user/Cessna172sim

    He has another site with info that might be able to help you out.

    Cheers

  5. Thanks Matt Olieman thanked for this post
  6. #5
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Yep your right. Looks like someone made a custom version of the POH for the 172 and uploaded without all the figures. No worries though I found a version online that fits the bill. It's a 1978 Cessna 172N POH that has the figures in there. I uploaded it here for others just in case someone else can use one later. However if you can't wait for the file to get out of the moderation que here is a link to it.

    1978 Cessna 172N Pilots Operating Handbook.pdf

    Section 6 part 8 has the dimensional info for the interior of the aircraft for balance and loading.

    Hope that helps
    Ron
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  7. #6
    150+ Forum Groupie Cessna172sim's Avatar
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Hi,

    Welcome to this interesting hobby. C172 is a great choice for first project.

    Check out our project site:
    http://www.lentosimulaattori.1g.fi/kuvat/

    web-site:
    http://www.lentosimulaattori.com/index-eng.html

    and feel free to contact me directly:
    robots@jippii.fi

    Also, check these measurements:
    http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/show...2-Measurements

    From a -20 degrees frozen Tampere, Finland.

  8. #7
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Thanks Vectro and Ronson2k9.

    I downloaded the new PDF and found the measurements. I also visited the website you recomend me Vectro and found the pictures with the measurements.

    This question is for Vectro, in your Cessna 172 Simulator Project, did you build the entire cockpit from scratch or you start from a real used Cessna 172 cabin?

  9. #8
    150+ Forum Groupie Cessna172sim's Avatar
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    We were lucky enough to find a real 172 shell. I would say that by using the real fuselage there is so much more job.

  10. #9
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Vectro,

    In terms of difficulties, do you recomend me to build the cabin or buy a used C172 cabin?

    In terms of money, do you recomend me to build the cabin or buy a used C172 cabin?

    Thanks again.

  11. #10
    150+ Forum Groupie Cessna172sim's Avatar
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    Re: New Cessna 172 Simulator Project

    Quote Originally Posted by ElektroPR View Post
    Vectro,

    In terms of difficulties, do you recomend me to build the cabin or buy a used C172 cabin?

    In terms of money, do you recomend me to build the cabin or buy a used C172 cabin?

    Thanks again.
    In our case the shell was pretty badly damaged. The dural as a material is very tricky. Once it has lost it's original shape it is very hard to force it back to it's original place. It basically bends once, then cracks. We had to cut large segments of the the shell parts away and replace them with a plywood.

    I suggest you go for a real one anyway if you have a change. We were lucky enough to get the twisted fuselage for free so I cannot say anything about the costs really. It took appr. 2 years to repair the fuselage as a part time hobby.

    Our fuselage was written off from duty when a hangar roof collapsed on top the plane during wintertime. There was too much snow on top of the lightweight hangar roof.

    Here is from where we started, september 2006:
    http://www.lentosimulaattori.1g.fi/k...006+september/

    http://www.lentosimulaattori.1g.fi/k...ptember++2010/


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