Hi all, I'm starting this thread to show you all what I'm going to be working on for a little while. It's a flight sim cockpit (obviously) but I wanted to do something a little different.
First of all a little bit of history if you will put up with it. A long, long time a go a friend and I built some cockpits, actually he designed and built them, I just sat in them and went 'wow'. The cockpits were what should be called Allen Pawley's Mk I cockpits. If his name sounds familiar it's because his Mk II design formed the basis for the Ackers-Barnes cockpit. We formed a Virtual Fighter Squadron called the 82nd Sydney Hawks, we flew digital SU-27s around, made some friends. We attended an airshow with the 62nd Fighting Falcons and basically had a great time.
A long time passed (I don't want to think about how long) I moved cities, Allen moved too (to the same one!), more time passed. This year a group of us decided to dust off the old flight-sims, throw them out, drool over the new ones and go for a virtual flight.
Allen drew up a new cockpit based on the Mk II, a little wider (the wood of the old one must have shrunk in the intervening years because it didn't fit as nicely) and optimized for modern controllers and screens.
Something to know about me is that I work from home in the shed so I sit around all day looking at the stack of wood and my tools. I started thinking about what I wanted in a cockpit and one day I started up Google Sketch Up and took some measurements from the updated MK II drawings and put a different shape around it. I don't have the design goal of portability so I'm a bit more flexible with construction method. Because instead of slots I could use screws and wood to put the thing together I had some more options.
Eventually I had a free afternoon so I took out the jigsaw and started cutting.
Ok, so that's that for the history.
Now a little about what my aims are with this design.
I wanted a cockpit that wasn't specific to a particular aircraft. Right now we have A-10 and Black Shark, a P-51 is on the way form DCS too. There are modern airliners, vintage airliners, GA aircraft, helicopters and everything else that flies being released every week for FS X and X-Plane. There is COD, Condor and I'm sure many more that I've missed.
I think the best way to enjoy all of these is through optimizing the virtual cockpit experience, so as an experiment I'm going to build a generic a cockpit as I can and customize it for each aircraft that I want to fly.
It's going to have two engine controls (throttle plus two analog inputs for each engine), a center mount joystick, some common physical controls (switches, gear, flaps) and a customizable touch panel or two (iPads).
In use, controls that need to be accessed NOW will be physical, so obviously the flying surfaces, mechanicals like gear, flaps, emergency controls like fire extinguishers, all of these will be able to be operated while still looking outside the aircraft or at the instruments.
Controls that need speed but can be heads down will go to the touch panels, MFDs for example. So when the time comes for programming weapons for an attack run I'd zoom into the panel, lock the Track IR view and now lean forward and start operating the avionics from the iPad. The iPad can show many different screens of customized buttons so I think this will work well.
Controls that are not urgent will be relegated to virtual cockpit only, startup procedure controls for example. A touch-pad and keyboard will operate these while the view is slewed around the cockpit with Track IR.
The controls will be home-built except for the rudder pedals.
Ok, I'm going to post this now as it is and then try to add some pictures.
Edited by oldbeamer2 (04/24/12 05:46 AM)