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  1. #1
    10+ Posting Member Simbuilder's Avatar
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    A short introduction of my project

    My name is Esko, I am 49 years old, and I live in Sweden.
    This is my Piper Pa-28 181 simulator project that started in 2011 when I got the opportunity to purchase a scrapped Pa-28 fuselage in good condition.

    It did miss some important parts, like Yokes.
    Theese items had to be bought on E-bay.

    Iv'e been working on the project for about 10 months now.
    And are making slow progress. I'm in no hurry.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38815422/SE-...1%20SE-KOA.JPG


    Put in new floor carpets.
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38815422/SE-...loorcarpet.JPG


    New seat fabric.
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38815422/SE-KOA/DSCF7160.JPG


    Rc car shockabsorbers used as brake cylinders

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38815422/SE-...0brakes%20.wmv

    Connected flight control cables to horns at the rear of fuselage.
    Later I'll use force feedback motors to enhance the feeling.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38815422/Pa-...512_165154.jpg


    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/38815422/Pa-...trolcables.wmv
    Last edited by Matt Olieman; 05-13-2012 at 07:07 PM. Reason: embedded images

  2. #2
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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    Awesome project!!!! If there is any way to get your hands on a real plane, that is always far and away a better option. What sim software are you using? What are your plans for gauges?

    I'm curious where you got the fuselage.....I am stuck looking around ebay, but all the scrapper folks there strip the thing more or less down to bare metal (few panels, no seats/switches/instrument panels, often the glass is missing, no flight controls, etc). For now I am building from the ground-up. If/when I ever get my hands on a real plane, I will probably keep my current sim comoplete and build the real fuselage as a separate sim.

    I happen to be near an aircraft scrapyard but they are the same as the ebay guys......an entire Lear fuselage is only $1,500 but has not a single thing inside it. :/

    Matt

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  4. #3
    500+ This must be a daytime job Ronson2k9's Avatar
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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    First I'm loving your project looks awesome. Surprised you haven't been here before Anyway great stuff. Keep them pics coming.

    The newer the plane the more valuable the contents. Just like anything. So the shell is often just scrap not really worth that much from a put it on a different airplane standpoint. It's one step away from becoming gas cans or other such recycled product. However that is part of the fun of getting something like that. It's like the frame of a favorite car. You start with the frame and add the things you want to add to it. After market parts can be had pretty readily and so starting with a frame gives you the chance to start fresh. If you had say a complete cockpit of Lear jet 80% of it you couldn't use from a flight sim standpoint. Displays and gauges would need to be swapped out for ones the computer can work with. Same with seats and flight controls.

    If there is the Lear cockpit (front section) available at the scrapyard you might be able to get some of the other parts there but beware. Actual aviation (reusable) parts aren't cheap and you may be able to find much cheaper replacement parts or build them yourself. If the scrap guy will let you take pictures of the parts though that would be a great first step.

    Cheers..
    Up Up and away in my beautiful my beautiful - Amphibian

  5. #4
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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    Well here's the basic rundown: from my local scrapyard, the entire fuse is basically scrap metal pricing at $1,500. If the yard does the cut for me and gets me just the nose, it's more like $5k.....allowing for the time and tools (going through diamond blades) to cut the nose from the rest of the fuse. Of course I would just buy the entire fuse and do my worst with a sawz-all.

    As far as real parts.....I'm finding I can do a surprising amount with real parts. In fact, most of the real parts can be used:

    - Glareshield and annunciator panel - relatively easy to interface and use without modification. This assembly is a big part of the Lear's "look".

    - Instrument panels - critical for providing a realistic look, I *could* make some decent replicas if I had to.

    - Throttle quadrant - fairly easy to interface via potentiometers and simply reading button and switch states.

    - All systems switches and the subpanels they mount to - again, very easy to interface, there are just a lot of them.

    - Ducting and vents/nozzles - since I will be running some sort of ventilation system, it only makes sense to use the real stuff.

    - Analog instruments - primary flight instruments are a challenge but not insurmountable (I have already hackerized a real turn coordinator), engine instruments like voltage and temp gauges are much easier, and can sometimes be controlled with no modification at all (as is the case with my current flap gauge and outside air temp indicator). What primary instruments I don't do mechanically would be running my instrument display software on a monitor, which means I still need the actual instrument panel.

    - Seats and flight controls - again, yokes and pedals are fairly easy to interface, and require little engineering since they are already part of the cockpit.

    - Lighting systems - lots of stuff runs on 5v or 12v and thus is a piece of cake to run. Strange bulbs can be swapped for standard automotive lights which run off 12v (and AC/DC does not matter here).

    - If the cockpit happens to have analog control heads (such as the Gables units), all one needs is a very basic understanding of how they work and the ARINC 410 standard, to interface them to a PC and actually read the analog frequency from them. I'm already doing this on my own sim with Gables parts from ebay. It requires no modification to the real control head, unless you don't have the female connector (still requires no internal modification to the head).

    - Whatever existing upholstery the cockpit has is certainly going to be more authentic than whatever I can cook up to replace it.

    So you see, there is actually almost nothing in the real Lear (or similar) cockpit that you *can't* use...it really comes down to how determined you are to make it work. Even though my current sim is not based on a real cockpit, I try to use real instruments, radios, and controls as much as possible (limited mostly by what I can pick up on ebay). "Just like the real thing" is great, but why not just get "the real thing"? Even if you totally gut an instrument and use it just for the bezel or faceplate, sometimes that's all you need (as is the case with my weather radar, which is a real Bendix unit that has been totally gutted).

    You are dead-on about serviceable parts, and that's what you run into with the scrapyards. For instance, a light twin or airliner's throttle quad might go on ebay, in unknown condition, for a few hundred dollars. A yellow-tagged throttle unit from a Learjet? Locally they want around $8,500. I did find a place in Arkansas that will sell me a mostly complete nose section for $10k.....still out of my budget for now, but definitely more in reach than the local yard.

    Not to wander too far off the original post (sorry Matt/SimBuilder!), I do want to mention to the OP that if you are using X-Plane, I have a bunch of code for working with X-Plane and real hardware and would be happy to help out if you need it. I'm very interested in seeing how the OP interfaces to the real hardware in the Cherokee fuselage.

    Matt

  6. #5
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    Quote Originally Posted by xplanematt View Post
    Well here's the basic rundown: from my local scrapyard, the entire fuse is basically scrap metal pricing at $1,500. If the yard does the cut for me and gets me just the nose, it's more like $5k.....allowing for the time and tools (going through diamond blades) to cut the nose from the rest of the fuse. Of course I would just buy the entire fuse and do my worst with a sawz-all.

    Matt
    Matt,
    You will be surprised how easy it is to cut through an aircraft fuselage. I used an angle grinder and cheapo blades and it still cut like a knife through butter.
    The skin is so thin, that it has made me scared to go on a plane again. The real problem is the particles of aluminium it gives off. I had to do mine in the garage and got a lovely lung full of Ali dust for my troubles. Great fun to cough up black lumps, even with a mask.
    So if they want an extra 3,500 just to cut it for you they are full of poop as it is remarkably easy.
    Allan.

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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    That's encouraging. Ya I kinda wondered about the diamond blades etc, I can only assume that they were talking about cutting it to the usual highly precise specs that actual aircraft operators require. I would be more than happy to go at it with my angle grinder.

    I've gotten the black stuff before working on various metal bits here (including T6 aircraft aluminum). I've since gone to using a basic respirator which has proven so good I can't even smell anything while I have it on......after a few mins of wearing it, taking it off reveals a world full of smells! :P

    What sort of fuselage did you work on? Got any pics?

    Matt

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    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    This is from my previous update.
    http://www.mycockpit.org/forums/show...a-business-jet
    It was from a business jet.
    Allan

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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    Great job on that nose section! Very nice. It looks like you got the same thing I am finding at the scrapyards: a stripped cockpit with nothing but bare metal and maybe the yoke columns? You did a real nice job on it though, congrats! Looks like a Dassault Falcon of some variety.

    Matt

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  11. #9
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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    Matt

    I am using X-Plane in my PA28 Sim and I am very interested in code for working with x-plane and real hardware.

    Tom B

  12. #10
    10+ Posting Member Simbuilder's Avatar
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    Re: A short introduction of my project

    I'm not the person to ask, sorry to say, I havent started coding anything yet. Just working on the hardware at the moment...

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