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  1. #1
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Project BACKCOUNTRY - Douglas DC-3 Build

    Hey guys!

    It has been a while since I have made any posts around here at MC. I've been busy flying my B727 sim and having it be used for various training purposes. The biggest reason for my absence is the fact that I have been super busy finishing up my senior year of high school and starting college.

    My two friends who always flew with me in the 727 have now left for college, leaving me here in Memphis alone! I have started classes at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Memphis and things are going great.

    Now that my friends are gone, my focuses turn towards online flying with them. We have always enjoyed online bush flying because it is a casual way to enjoy the world of aviation in a care-free environment. So with that, I initiate my SECOND cockpit project: "Project Backcountry"

    I have decided to take on the build of a bush plane simulator. Right now I am in the decision making process. I am split between a few different aircraft types, and am trying to decide which route to take. Currently on the board is:

    Douglas DC-3
    Piper PA-18 Super Cub
    Cessna 185 Skywagon
    Cessna 208 Caravan
    Maule M-7

    I am trying to find the best happy medium as to lowest price, and build practicality. I really dig the idea of a DC-3 but the complexity of the control wheel and column is quite intimidating.

    I have a completely empty walk in closet that I will build the simulator into. As you can see, I already had this projector screen on hand and plan to use it. I am quite confident that I could accommodate the size of any of these cockpits into this space.

    photo (1).jpg

    I'm open to any ideas and suggestions so let me know what you guys think.

    P.S. It is good to be back!

    -Will

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    Hi Will,
    You 727 is amazing, a real inspiration....
    I built myself a pretty decent 737 pit and am now enjoying flying the thing rather than building, hence my reasons for a recent lack of posts but I find myself in a similar situtaion as yourself.
    The 737 is great and I do enjoy flying using all the airline procedures BUT I find it boring in the cruise so tend to stick to flights of no more than 2 hours. I dont use accelerated time as that just seems wrong in a sim......
    I also would like the bush pilot option when I just feel like firing the sim up and hauling a few campers to some Alaskan wilderness airport with dodgy weather and wind that will blow your wig off.
    Maybe I will build a another sim pit but think the wife will remove my testicles whilst I sleep if I mention I want a second pit.
    Anyhow,,, Not much help and I didnt answer your question at all - just that I understand where you are coming from and good luck with the new build - It will obviously be fabulous whatever you decide.
    Allan.

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  4. #3
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    Allan, thank you for the very kind words my friend!! Those airliners are great for what they do, but every now and then we've gotta have a couple landings into a 950 foot runway made of gravel and surrounded by evergreen trees!!

    I have been thinking about it since I made my first post on this thread.. and as daunting as it seems, I have selected to build the epic Douglas DC-3.

    This will obviously be a very, VERY challenging build, as it will require some complex fabrication on my part, but I am ready to take it on. I have no time deadline, so I am prepared to take my time, go little by little, and do it right. I will do my best to obviously keep the budget as low as possible. I will not let the sim end up looking "cheap", but I will be conscious of my materials and costs.

    The plans for the cockpit is to build a mostly 1935 era-correct DC-3 cockpit with some possible modern conveniences such as digital radios and avionics. Hopefully when I am finished I will have something that looks like this:

    N34---Douglas-DC3-Cockpit.jpg

  5. #4
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    Will,
    That do look like a nice challenge to get something looking that realistic, but that is what life is all about - challenging yourself.
    Keep us posted and I will look on with interest.
    Allan.

  6. #5
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    I have made a dedicated page on my 727 website for the DC-3 project. It can be found here.

    I've made the first official purchase of the build. I bought two reproduction 1945 Jeep steering wheels for around $60 USD each. I am going to cut out the top portion of them and add the proper electronics to make them resemble DC-3 wheels, These are a little bit larger than DC-3 wheels and not so lopsided, but I think they will look pretty good once they are in place.

    wheels.jpg

  7. #6
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    About 10 minutes of work out in the garage with the cutoff wheel and these are starting to look more like DC-3 control wheels. I am now going to be looking for something to use for the PTT switches.

    wheelscut.jpg

  8. #7
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    Well progress continues today on the DC-3. I started the construction of the cockpit today! The base is built from MDF and is 4' x 4'. (I know, small, but it was as big as I could go!)

    I then built up the panel platform that will act as the base for the instrument panel and house the LCD displays that will be behind the gauge cutouts.

    The seats are a junkyard pick. They are from an Infiniti sedan and have been recovered with some sheepskin covers I got off of Amazon.com. YES, these aren't close to genuine DC-3 seats, but we will play that this one got upgraded..

    So I made up some basic plans and went to cutting out the ribs. I got most of them cut and installed on the base. Next time I get time to work I will begin to build the window frames and will begin to apply the stringers to the ribs.

    Here are the ribs all cut out


    And here are two views of the simulator build as it stands from today's work. I promise this will eventually look like a DC-3!


  9. #8
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    Framework continues...




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  11. #9
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    Day 3 of framework. I ditched the front ribs when I realized they served no purpose. This will be a blunt nose shell since my space is so confined. I will begin to skin the shell soon.



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  13. #10
    727 & DC3 Cockpit Builder skyline223's Avatar
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    Re: Project BACKCOUNTRY

    Today I skinned the shell and started painting the interior with zinc chromate aircraft primer. The exterior will be painted matte black to reduce any projector reflection off of the shell. Soon I wil begin the monstrous control column project... I have never built dual linked yokes, and building some with a big L bend makes it even trickier...

    This photo is awful, my phone did not do a good job with lighting conditions. I will get a better pic with the next update.


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