• Terry's 737NG Cockpit Project - Page 5

 

March 2010

I took the opportunity to buy a second Fly Engravity FMC/CDU (www.flyengravity.com) from PC Pilots Ireland member, Jon Stratfull who was selling most of his hardware because he decided to build a Fokker F27-500 simulator. Check out his progress at www.g-bvob.net. Like the first FMC/CDU, I had to get an angled power connector and use a bendable USB cable to get it into the bay. I haven't got it working yet as I'm concerned about the amount of USB devices plugged into the single PC, but I'll try it some day.

 

Michael Collins had been working on the shell for the cockpit since January - we settled on the design after he made the window frames to the Boeing specs but they didn't suit due to the shape of the DST. So, I decided that the windows should be made larger and shaped to suit the DST. Michael also included space for the Overhead Panel in the design, so when I get it, it can be easily installed. He also fit two overhead dimmable LCD lights in the roof just behind the seats.

 

When it was ready, I went over to Michael's and painted it with him - Michael had it fully assembled and ready for painting. It was my first time to see it and I was delighted with it and the workmanship that went into it. We painted the outside in white, the inside walls, the window frame, the overhead panel in Boeing Grey and the inside roof in white. The following day I went over again to collect it in my van. Ian helped me carry it upstairs and by the time Michael arrived, all the sections were upstairs. Michael and I then started installing it and I was amazed that all we had to do was move the DST slightly and cut a few millimetre slots to get the shell to fit correctly. Within 2 hours, it was fixed in place.

 

Michael in the shell, almost ready for painting

Ready for paining

 

The shell is made of 18 mm Birch Plywood and has a lot of intricate angles, which Michael had to cope with. As you can see, it is open at the back and the sides don't extend completely to the rear of the floor of the cockpit. The reason is to have room to get in and out of it. I'm considering removing the wardrobes behind the cockpit and then I can extend the sides all the way back. The night it was installed I flew on VATSIM, I was like a kid with a new toy and was delighted with it - my thanks to Michael!

 

Me at work during the installation

Michael at work during the installation

 

View from the Jump Seat

The Overhead Panel and Lights

My next consideration was to block seeing the bedroom door and the bedroom wall (as in the above photos) and block the light. I bought some black fabric to drape down each side. I made two frames from 50 x 25 mm for the side screens, and I used the bases from the Saitek Yokes columns for the bases of the uprights, which I screwed into the floor (I no longer have a Yoke on the First Officer side). The top of the frame was screwed at one end onto the upright, while the other end rests on top of the screen so I can move it. I cut the fabric so that it hangs over the top and meets the floor. I also stuck a plastic A4 pouch over each Eyebrow window, which stops you seeing the bedroom wall. I bought a 72" (6ft) Blackout Blind from Argos (www.argos.ie) for 14.99 for the bedroom window to block any light. Because the screen does not fill the width of the cockpit window, it's a bit like being in an old cinema, but it works.

Frame for the side screens

With side screen

The second FMC

 

 

While flying I use my Laptop for VATSpy (www.metacraft.com/VATSpy) and my Navigraph Charts (www.navigraph.com). When Ian comes over for a flight, he does PNF (Pilot Not Flying) and needs to use my Laptop, which won't fit in the cockpit. So, I put the Laptop behind the FO, mounted a monitor on the cockpit wall beside the FO and connected it to the Laptop. A wireless mouse allows us to use the Laptop from the FO seat or when I fly alone, from the Captain's seat.

 

 

With the side screens and the eyebrows covered

The monitor on the side wall connected to the Laptop

VATSpy on the monitor

 

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