Big weekend on the 737

Lots done this weekend.

Rudder pedal “canoe” completed, with a sub-floor built for the foot/heel plates to attach to and the whole lot painted.

Then, with it all looking nice, I started stripping out the panels to allow for mounting of the 20″ LCD for the displays.  Apart from a little bit of metalwork to trim down the structure of the 3 panel components, I will have to make low-profile replica’s of 4 annunciators, and 3 switches which will be in the way of the screen.

The 20″ 4:3 screen is an almost perfect fit, and will allow me to run all the main gauges, and possibly some of the standby’s.  In an interesting twist, the screen I am using started life in the main panel of one the NG sims built at work!

Next step is to borrow an angle grinder, and complete the surgery on the structure, then make a suitable mount for the screen….  once that’s done I think I will have to get the gauges running and see how it all looks!

Wheels down and locked….

Dragging the 737 panel module in and out of the garage to work on it has gotten a little old already, and as more bits get added it is only going to get harder…  So, a quick visit to Mitre10 for some castors I now have a simple dolly to move the sim around 🙂

Change of direction for the 737

Ok… I know I said before that I had the plan sorted for the 737 avionics etc etc…. well… the plan has changed somewhat this week, due to a few fortuitous events;

My real Sperry SP177 MCP from a 737-200
CPFlight’s replica SP300 MCP, which is correct for my 737-500

I *may* have done a deal to trade my real Sperry SP177 MCP, which is not correct for a -500, and would be a bear to integrate, for a CPFlight MCP737EL, which is a replica of the SP300, which *is* correct for my -500!
Next…. I may have secured a second hand, and in need of repair CDU for cheap.   This is the older version of the ones we use at work, and are notorious for breaking their USB and/or power connectors.  Hopefully I can pick it up cheap and repair it without too much hassle.

And then….  while searching for a PC to use as a basic terminal server ( I’m playing around with Thin Clients… but that’s a whole different discussion!) I discovered a PC which I liberated from a sim upgrade we did some time ago, and it contained a fully working, fully, legally licensed copy of Project Magenta!  So… I can now use PM glass cockpit, MCP and CDU software, running in 767 EADI mode (which looks identical to the 737 classic layout).   This is a massive step forward, and means I’ll be able to fly way more realistically, while still keeping to my end goal in terms of what I want to be able to do in the sim.

Now the PC requirements have changed;  I’ll have the main FS box rendering the out-the-window view, and running the engine displays (PM doesn’t do 737 classic engines), and the recently discovered “Glass Cockpit” box running PM, plus interfacing to the MCP and CDU.

This week has been exciting, and the project is now leaping ahead!

Arrow Background

Doesn’t show very clearly in the photo, but I messed around sketching what the background might look like on the Arrow’s shroud..
It’s supposed to be “reminiscent” of the ramp at Wigram…..  Due to my complete lack of artistic skill, it is going to be block colours and black stripe outlines….  but should look ok… I hope

Passenger view anyone?

One of the ideas I’ve had knocking around in the back of my mind has been at least one “passenger window” in the 737 sim……  I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it…. but after some messing tonight I got it working, in principal at least!

Not a terribly exciting photo, but it shows the “737 FS” PC flying along happily, and the passenger window view (looking out the left side) happily synced together 🙂
Now my mind is running away with me at 100mph thinking up all the possible applications for this……    Garmin 500 GPS for the Arrow?  Airborne Radar for the 737?  The mind boggles!

Non Sim work

Tonight I spent a bit of time in the workshop, not on “sim” work, instead I was turning old aircraft parts into a funky Star Wars themed gadget for Nathan. It was a good excuse to dust off the lathe and turn some parts!

737 MIP Paint

Today I put a first coat of paint on the MIP support structure.  The paint; Resene “Shuttle Grey” looked quite “light” as it went on, but dried quite a bit darker.

Possible parts source

Today, after finishing work on a customers sim at Bankstown Airport, I drove around being nosey, and found a business that scraps GA aircraft.  They had this Arrow 2 parked outside, not necessarily to be scrapped, but has been sitting there for a long, long time!
I am going back tomorrow to talk to the owner of the business about some interior parts for my Arrow….

This was just one of the aircraft sitting around in the long grass.  There was even a Chieftain (I think) fuselage sitting in front of the hangar which had windscreen, flight controls, throttle quadrant and even some instruments still in it!


Even more 737 MIP Work

Tonight, I continued the MIP structure work.  Added a “floor” module and left side bulkhead.
Next I added a “stiffener” from the new bulkhead to the underside of the glareshield, and finally bolted the MCP in place which tied the complete glareshield structure together.

The centre rudder shroud has been ‘tacked’ in place to get an idea of what I’ll need to make for the foot boxes.

Not a great photo, but it shows where I’m at