The Arrow makes it’s VATSIM Debut!

After getting my headset working well, I thought it was time to get the Arrow online on VATSIM.   Squawkbox 4 installed, fired up at Wigram and headed off to Birdlings Flat for some aeros…

Christchurch Tower was online, so I requested a “practice ILS” while a Dash 8 landed, then missed approach and back to Wigram.  0.7 in the logbook, and a successful test!


Big News! Sim Performance boost!

I have managed to secure replacement FS PC’s for all three sims!  The old Core2 Duo’s bite the dust, to be replaced with nice near-new (and done very little work) i7’s.  This may lead to the Skyhawk going FSX/P3D with TacPack for much shooting happiness!

21 Squadron Patch

I was involved in the design of these patches back in about 1985, the final artwork was done by David Ragen, a fellow cadet and schoolmate.

At the recent squadron reunion I mentioned that I didn’t have one of the patches, and my CO, Paul Walker offered to send me one!

This is going on the man cave wall next to my 50 Mile Walk, and Solo Certificates!

New Skyhawk Instructor Console

I am involved in parting out an ex-Air NZ ATR 72-500 Simulator, and scored the Instructor Console for my sim.  The unit contains two 17″ touchscreens, an aviation clock/timer, audio panel and speaker, plus some useful push buttons for Pause and Flight Freeze.  I am sure I can find uses for more of the buttons!

Arrow technology update

My medium-term plan for the Arrow is to get it online on VATSIM.  To do this I need to add a few IO items:
– Transponder Mode Switch (STDBY and ‘C’).
– Transponder IDENT button.
– Radio Push-To-Talk
– Working Headset interface.

First part to arrive was this awesome headset interface from Flight Sounds which acts as a separate sound device, and connects to my aviation headsets, or to my helmet/mask setups.  It works  so well that I am pretty sure I’ll be buying them for the Skyhawk and 737 projects!

Since the IO requirements for the Arrow don’t warrant the use of one of the Leo Bodnar boards, I bought a cheap joystick controller off Aliexpress.

This is a simple enough board, with 12 digital inputs, which all share a single ground, making them capable of operating with rotary switches.

It also has 2 sets of “joystick” inputs, for use with microswitch style joysticks, but show in windows as axes which move to full travel when clicked.  Could be useful….



Some more nice old bits for the 737 arrived today.  Some cockpit liner sections from a 737-200, and some more panels for the pedestal!

This will fill in the gap at the front, just missing one part which *may* turn up yet.  Also got the “Bat Wing” which houses the compass.

Audio panels, Cargo fire and ACARS Printer!  This will help fill out the pedestal!

I *think* there are only 3 or 4 dummy panels in the pedestal now….


21 Squadron ATC Reunion

What a fabulous weekend!  Catching up with people I haven’t seen for close to 30 years!

Paul Walker (CO During my time at the Squadron), Mike Waugh, Pam Nelson, Roger Nelson and myself

A formal dining-in, an informal breakfast and an open day at the Squadron helped bring back many *many* memories!

After the reunion I met Nick and headed to Ohakea for a quick look through the fence.

An old friend, the gate guardian Vampire at Ohakea.


Nick’s sim visit

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of working on, and flying Nick’s Sim.

Captain Nick at the controls of the 737-800

The simulator is built around Saitek/Logitech modules, in a really nice enclosure.