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Thread: Going to build full scale cockpit sim. Any suggestions, advices...?

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    Question Going to build full scale cockpit sim. Any suggestions, advices...?

    Hello people.

    After long time of "flying" on MS FS, recently I got b-day gift - flying experience in real cockpit simulator of big commercial airliner. You know, those semi-professional full scale realistic imitation of cockpit used for public and also training pilots...

    I was so excited from this experience, that I could not sleep for few days and more and more realized, that I want something like that in my home. Now my "flying room" with ordinary joystick and monitor looks suddenly so dull...

    So... Any suggestion what I should do, what should not, what I need to be aware of and so on...?

    I can honestly say that I am skilled with tools like screwdriver, soldering iron and such DIY things... I understand electric scheme and signature of components well enough that I can build or complete electronics components or wiring by myself, so I do not need to purchase expensive already-made panels or hardware parts. If I get proper detailed guide of building this or that, I can do it. However, I cannot made my own PCB's and programming is also my weak point.

    Oh, maybe I should mention I have 3D printer, so there is another advantage to build many parts cheaply.

    I also still not decided, whether to build Boeing or Airbus cockpit. Personally I don't mind, I am happy with both, but I have no idea of advantages and disadvantages of each that aircraft cockpits.

    Well, price is not everything, but I am not millionaire, so cut expenses as low as possible is important part of what and how I will build.

    I would go as close as possible to imitating real cockpit layout, but it don't need to be perfect.

    Another question - possible to use laptops for avionics? I have two spare Dell Latitude E6400 laptops, so I hope I can use them for avionics. Both have VGA+DisplayPort. How many computers I need? And how many displays for projecting scenery I can/need/should connect?

    Thank you very much for any advice and direction.

    Jan H.

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Re: Going to build full scale cockpit sim. Any suggestions, advices...?

    For you project you can at most have two out of the next three: fast, good, cheap.

    You're the one to choose which compromise(s) you'll make, there's no silver bullet and your definition of each of them is not going to be shared by anyone else

    Between boeing and airbus, I would go for airbus. It's much easier to recreate (no yokes, linked controls, moving throttles, etc) and there's an amazing free (as in free beer) software, jeehell FMGS. You will still need to do a lot of reading but you can use your laptops to drive extra monitors for avionics and you'll be already far further than most people in the FS hobby.

    If you can't design hardware you'll need to buy it, there are many solutions there but take your time and consider how the interfacing goes especially when extending it in the future.

    I see you're in Ireland, if you're in Dublin there's a great hackerspace ( where they host days for electronics beginners. Learning to use a soldering iron and basic electronics will come much handy down the road.

    My only advice would be to just start flying your sim and improve it step by step, don't spend too much time designing or thinking about it waiting till it's complete, it will probably never happen.

    And welcome!

  3. #3
    Executive Assistant Geremy Britton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North,East England

    Re: Going to build full scale cockpit sim. Any suggestions, advices...?

    I would echo the advice given by spillot, start with something you feel confident with and can afford, e.g. main instrument panel. and work from there. Most importantly make sure you still fly whilst your building because at times you can become bogged down with overcoming the difficulties of building.
    Good luck
    Geremy Britton
    Executive Assistant, MyCockpit Inc
    Head of GLB Flight Products

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