About 3 weeks ago I got the bright idea that I would build my first sim cockpit and after showing my wife drawings (on napkins) and pleading with her she finally let me start it on fathers day weekend 🙂
The wife had a few requirements.
1. it be as small as possible
2. able to be torn down quickly
3. I only had fathers day weekend to build it
I decided on a simple setup. Two 30 inch deep, 27 inch tall, and 4 1/2 inch wide side walls with the cockpit panel sitting on top at 38 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and 15 inches deep. Trying to keep it modular I made the monitor mount 6 inches deep and the panel 9 inches deep but I should have built it as a single unit and when I redo it I will make it a single unit.
I really struggled with how to get the curve on top and it’s no where near as drastic as I wanted but again, it’s a prototype so I was trying to work quickly.
Here’s some pictures of the sides. Simple construction using 1×4’s with 1/4 inch plywood on the outside. There is some structure inside to boxes to give me locations to screw into.
Here’s the first test fit of everything after I put the face on the panel and cut out the spots for the chproducts yoke and saitek pro flight panels.
It was at this point that I realized I needed something to assign keys to as I didn’t make a place for the keyboard. I found this little gem on amazon and they actually shipped it to me the same day 🙂
I realized after that arrived that I needed more than the 4 1/2 inch area to mount the thing on so I made some arm rests out of some scrap. I also started looking at where to mount the throttle quadrant.
I got the location figured out and mounted it with some scrap 1×4 and it works great. Pulled it out towards me about 2 inches more to keep room for the controls. If I had made the panel taller I would have mounted the pro panels higher but oh well. It works well. I also got everything hooked up and started testing it out to make sure the 10 port USB hub works out for all this stuff. It does 🙂
Finally I got to do some flying with it.
But I right away realized I had made a serious mistake in my design but I did find something to rectify that 🙂
All that is left is to finish painting it. I coated the arm rests with plasticoat spray on plastic. Looks pretty darn good and gives a good not slip surface for the nostromo to rest on. I am going to get a track ball for the right side so I don’t have to pull the mouse over there. It would be nice if the nostromo had the ability to control the mouse. I couldn’t find one for a decent price that could.
I’ve really been enjoying it. It really does help feel more realistic. I want to add 2 more monitors to the setup when I get some more funds.
Now that I’ve been able to use it I think I made it a little to tall and should have made the base sides 25 inches tall with a 10 inch cockpit panel but it was a prototype so I’m pretty happy with how it turned out :). If I ever get the chance to do another one I know what I’ll change.
Thanks for taking a look at my project. It’s been fun and I can’t wait to get it all painted up. Trying to decide between a GA scheme or an old WW1 style paint job.