For this week’s ‘Sim Work Night’ it was time to give the Arrow a little love. She has been sitting in the corner not doing very much for a while with a non-working pilot seat stopping anyone from going for a fly.
So with power tools at the ready I embarked on a quick and dirty mod to the seat base to get her flyable again.
The base I used was from one of the seats rescued from the original 767 home cockpit at work. It was built from MDF, and had re-purposed car seat rails mounted to the bottom of the structure. I simply modified the fixing points of the old base to match the mounting points on my new ex-737 passenger seat frame, then fabricated a pair of aluminium brackets to secure the two parts together.
Since the base uses car seat rails, they are not designed to attach to a flat floor I then made spacers and special over-sized washers to allow the rails to be secured to the floor of the sim. During the modification process I found that the years, and use that the base has had have not been kind, so I had to add screws and glue to strengthen the structure.
Securing the seat to the floor turned out to be a much tougher job than I had expected, with the spacing and alignment of the rails being super-critical to how the seat moves.
After much sweat, possibly some bad language and much much more time than it should have taken, the seat is finally in place.
With everything in place I fired up the sim for the first time in ages and went for a quick test flight around Tauranga, where I’d obviously left it last time… The good news is that the seat height is about right, the bad news is that I am now back to the drawing board on the seat base. The rails are not working effectively, and the structure is still a bit wobbly, despite my strengthening efforts… So the next night I spent sketching up ideas for a much more solid base/rail assembly which will hopefully make for a far better seat setup!