Construction Update

Week 3

Beginning to look a little more like 'something'!  

I began building the pedestal cover panels. The Captains side will be fixed in place cannot remove the panels on this side and they will be sealed and painted over. The F/O side will be removable since we will have a fair number of components housed in this area (FMC computer, MDC access, Throttles and Power Quadrant). 

I was also able to begin on the Main Instrument Panel (fondly known as 'MIP'...or 'DIP' when it gets tough!). The key here is to get the right ANGLE. Took many measurements to try to get it accurate...finally just decided to go  with what looks best. 


Drawings: (n/a)

Dimensions: (n/a)


106-0644_IMG.JPG (310780 bytes) 1/4" plywood panels cut to fit the frame. Joined with drywall screws...after drilling a pilot hole and countersinking each hole so that the final layout is flush with the panel. 

106-0639_IMG.JPG (324411 bytes) The back of the pedestal is very difficult...I basically created all the other panels to fit to the frame, then this rear panel is the final 'catch-all' to make up for my measurement differences. Requires angles and repeated measurement.

106-0643_IMG.JPG (307094 bytes) Captain side done. Gaps will be filled with wood putty and sanded to match the rest of the frame.

106-0635_IMG.JPG (272404 bytes) F/O side panels are removable. I found these fasteners at Home Depot. They allow me to attach and remove panels as often as I like, using machine screws. You cannot do this with regular wood screws.

106-0642_IMG.JPG (305911 bytes) Removable panel attached. Note the 4 round head machine screws holding it in place.

106-0632_IMG.JPG (363595 bytes) Cross member put in place to provide structural support as I work on the rest of the cockpit. 

106-0637_IMG.JPG (305122 bytes) Framing in place to support the Main Instrument Panel (MIP) work

106-0633_IMG.JPG (285157 bytes) Attempting to create a 30 degree angle on the MIP using level and a pre-cut wedge. 

106-0634_IMG.JPG (210954 bytes) My genius at work!  I have no protractor or angle tool. So, using trigonometry, I cut a wood wedge with the correct angles and used the level to get to the end result.  Probably easier ways to do this...but let me bask in the fact that I FINALLY used trigonometry for something useful in life!!

 106-0636_IMG.JPG (266857 bytes) The lower support arm in place. 

106-0631_IMG.JPG (343692 bytes) Starting to look recognizable as a cockpit.  Without the F/O side, it is a little odd...but we'll get to that in due time.

106-0638_IMG.JPG (317345 bytes) Captains side of the pedestal. Lot's of screws...but they will be filled and sanded over in the final stages.

106-0641_IMG.JPG (316112 bytes)  Here we are for this weekend.  I left a few pieces of wood in place to hold the MIP in place as I build the rest of the cockpit. Not a bad job!

Reflections. (this is where I sit on my work stool and stare at my creation for a few long minutes and visualize flying through the air in the finished product...I usually am covered in sweat, sawdust, blood and pizza crust...but I am in 'the zone'!  I also admit my failings to myself, and try to learn for the next phase of the project...or just blow it off and keep moving!)

- I originally intended to make only the Captain's side of the simulator. I think I will be overcome with the desire to be 'real' and will end up making the full thing. 

- Clean up after you are done. Especially when working on carpeted areas. If you leave dust and items on the carpet, they gradually get pressed into the fiber of the carpet and NO amount of brushing or vacuuming will take it out! The impact of a clean workspace cannot be understated...

See you next week!