New Seat Design

I spent a bit of time playing with the 737 seat design this evening.  Primarily I was trying to make the design stronger, by creating a solid “backbone” as the primary structure of the seat.  I also moved up to 18mm MDF for the main parts, and 12mm for the seat back and Seat Pan parts.

The new design is much cleaner and simpler, which hopefully means it’ll be cheaper to make!

After getting to this point I’ve decided to add a solid base to the seat, which will allow for fitting castors to it..

Today is Old School IFR day

Today I re-located the Arrow and Skyhawk to Christchurch, from Ohakea.

First up I took off in the Arrow in pretty awful weather, and headed South flying old fashioned IFR, via Ferry, Cape Campbell, Kaikoura, Woodend, then visual from the New Brighton Pier, around the city and in to Wigram for a touch and go, circuit and landing.

The awesome South Wairarapa coast.  From Robin Corn’s Wellington scenery

Turning short finals for a touch and go, runway 03 Grass, Wigram

Then later this evening, after having fun (well, hung-over fun!) flying IFR in the Arrow, I decided to do the same in the Skyhawk.

The weather at Ohakea had improved dramatically, but from Wellington South it deteriorated rapidly!  This time the route was via Paraparaumu, Wellington, Kaikoura, Eyrwell, Burnham, then ILS02 into Christchurch,  Challenging crosswind approach and landing, ending up with the stick all the way to the left on the roll out to stop it toppling over!

Magnificent weather at Ohakea in the morning… this was just about the time I was taxiing out in the Arrow!

Cruising along at FL310, M0.85 and such a strong crosswind from the right (North West) the flightpath vector marker is right off the left side of the HUD!

Old School… like I said.  Good old enroute chart for the trip down the East coast

And finally, the big Nor-West crosswind on approach!

All in all a pretty great days flying.  I had no reason to bring the Sims South today… and who knows where they might head next!

New Playground for the Arrow

Calvin sent me a video of a landing on a mountain strip in Puerto Rico which looked like a lot of fun!  So… after a quick (well, quick-ish) visit to I downloaded about 500Mb’s of scenery for the island ready to install and start exploring!

Gottfried Razek, of Blue Sky Scenery did an FS2004 photoreal for the entire island, so I should have a great VFR exploration!

And finally;  BluePrint Simulations do a Free San Juan scenery!


Worth the wait

After more than 15 years the Skyhawk finally has ejection seat cushion covers! I built the seat back in 2001/2002, and it has been used in 3 different sims, yet it has never had cushion covers!  Today, in a weird twist, while I worked on jobs around home my darling wife Jenny sewed the two covers out of some O/D fabric I bought at Army and Outdoors a while ago. Looks pretty sharp, just need to paint the seat pack, and add some stencils.

A week of small projects

Over the past week or so I’ve completed a pile of small projects, things that have been sitting around for a while….

  • I finally got the insulation into the ceiling above the desk in the loft, making for a *hopefully* better working environment…
  • The 737/Saitek Throttle Quadrant is now mounted on it’s 45º offset mount, making it a bit more 737-ish
  • The stairs have all their “risers” in place, and a trim panel along the edge.  Just needs a couple of gaps filled before winter…
  • The loft has gained a 20″ Monitor as a cloned display from the laptop (for MotoGP watching, or Control Tower views…)
  • After *another* throw-out the 737 panel has now moved closer to being ready to bolt together in the loft.

All-in-all, lots of little things, but things are nicely ticking along 🙂   Not much to show graphically, but still good to see.

iBNet issues

After much *much* work, manual reading and experimenting, I am no further ahead with getting effects working properly across players using ibnet.  And since ibnet is an FS9 tool, it is unlikely I will find anyone who can help me!

I have one last line of investigation to pursue this evening… hopefully that will make it work!


More Comms work

Another evening of experiments and testing.  I now have a rough “fold back” happening in the Skyhawk so that pilot and instructor can talk on open mics, then by activating a push to talk (from either cockpit) both mics transmit to the other sims via TeamTalk.

Now we have pilot and instructor in the Skyhawk, pilot in the Arrow, and the Laptop upstairs in the ManCave…

TeamTalk v5 is an awesome, light weight VOIP/Conferencing package which works really well, and has features which really work for my sims!

BearWare – Home of TeamTalk

Comms system check

Nathan and I spent some time this afternoon repairing, configuring and testing headsets and helmets in the Arrow and Skyhawk sims. The Skyhawk pilots helmet needed a bit of rewiring and re-soldering, but is now working well.   Sadly my GA headset adapter didn’t work, only providing a “buzz” when the mic was touched. Swapped the headset and adapter out with my old faithful PC headset and it all worked beautifully.

Final testing was successful, with Skyhawk pilot and instructor as well as the Arrow pilot all being able to communicate well.  Nathan and I went flying and tested the system in “action” 🙂

The helmet also got some TLC and a clean, and had the visor cover removed.  Without the cover it looks a bit like an Alpha, so maybe it will stay like that… not sure