04-05-2013, 05:23 PM #1
Boeing 737-800 Fixed-Base Home Cockpit - Feasibility?
I'm registered to this forum since 2008, but never had the time to start my project... until now. However, the project still is in the very early planning phase right now.
As the title of this thread mentions, I'm going to build a Boeing 737-800 fixed-base (of course...) home cockpit. I already have a rather clear concept as well as lots of details in my mind (a few of them already on "paper", i.e. on large bitmaps). But there are a few questions which I can't answer myself since I don't have any experience in building a home cockpit yet.
At first I should introduce my project and the intentions behind it.
The cockpit is supposed to be an almost 1:1 high-detail replica of a Boeing 737-800. It will be mainly made of wood. My idea is to create 1:1 graphics, collected (via tons of screenshots) from the virtual cockpit of the PMDG 737 NGX addon for MS FSX, in order to print it out and paste it on 1:1 scale MDF-panels for use as the primary background. Gauges, MDF frames, panels/tiles etc. will be printed out a second time, and pasted on 5mm 1:1 MDF templates to create a realistic look of the instrument panels (debth and contour). There will be adhesive foil pasted on top, for protection and an even more realistic look. Real screws (each single one where it belongs) will improve the realism. I made a small test only with paperboard, screws (not the correct ones though) and black and white printings to illustrate how the panels are going to look like:
As you can guess, there won't be any integral panel lightning, but panel flood lights below the glare shield and at the overhead panel (for pedestal / center console lighting). Most of the panels won't have any functionality. The intention behind the project basically is to build a low-budget but high-detail mock-up to create the sense of sitting in a Boeing 737-800 cockpit and fly it. What is supposed to work are: the MFDs, a dual-yoke system (self-made and connected to a Logitech Attack 3 Joystick), a self-made dual-pedal system, a working self-made throttle quadrant, as well as light switches (exterior lights) on the overhead panel. As an option, there might be a working MCP and EFIS control panel from Opencockpits later on. But that's only an option for the final stage.
Aside from the controls, MFDs, and light switches, the simulation will be controlled via a 19" LED display on the pedestal (to access and use the virtual cockpit of the PMDG 737 NGX as usual). So, this means 4x 19" LED displays for the instrument panel (3 behind the main instrument panel, and one on the pedestal). Additionally, my idea is to use 4 LED displays for the cockpit windows: one 27" display each for window 1 for the pilot and first officer, and one 24" display each for window 2 for the pilot and first officer. Windows 3 as well as the eyebrow windows will be used for "daylight"- lighting. I just don't like the darkness one can see in almost any home cockpit, which is also the reason why I won't use projectors (this also solves further cost- and space-issues).
And now my goal: all this based on only 1 PC (Intel i7, one Nvidia GTX660 for now),
and my questions:
- is it possible to connect 8 screens to one computer in order to get 4x flying views, 3x MFD/gauge views for the main panel, and 1 screen to use the simulation as usual?
- which additional hardware and software do I need in order to get the screens working this way?
Thanks in advance for any advices/help!
Greetings from Germany
PS: the rest of the flight deck will be made as well, high-detail and fully closed (acrylic windows and a cockpit door). Possible thanks to the highly detailed virtual cockpit of the PMDG 737 NGX."Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."
Lord Kelvin, 1895, president of The Royal Society