This Blog is about building a cockpit simulator yourself. Most people are more or less familiar with the multimillion dollar Flightsimulators used by professional Airlines to train their pilots. These Flightsimulators represent real aircraft in ultimate detail, a blindfolded person who enters the simulator would (almost) not notice that she or he entered a simulator and not a real aircraft. But did you know that it is possible, within the confine of your own house, one could recreate such a Flightsimulator with as much detail you like including motion and visual systems? It’s just a matter of investment in terms of time, knowledge, space and not the least…. money. The recreational simbuilding market has exploded during recent years from an extremely niche market to a serious business. The products on offer are countless but, as it is still a very specialized market, prices are high. Even commercial airlines discovered this market and often simplified (static) simulators, which are a fraction of the price of a ‘real’ certified one, are utilized to pre-train flightcrews before they enter the real simulator. For these airlines it’s a nice method to minimize the necessary hours for pilots on the expensive (certified) simulator.
I have always been (and always will be….) an aviation addict. I became a recreational pilot years ago and have flown the Dutch skies for several years, mostly in single engine aircraft. Not only powered aircraft but also gliders, Ultralight aircraft and even delta wings are part of my experience. But it stopped, for various reasons one of it being lack of money as flying for leisure in Holland is still an expensive hobby. Lucky enough I discovered the world of flight simulation years ago when I decided to buy Sublogic Flighsim on the Amiga computer. I think I grew with it through all of its ‘reincarnations’ until FSX which is the most recent version. The hobby was growing out of control when I purchased all kind of hardware addons and at a certain moment I decided to integrate all individual addons into a ‘real’ cockpit. I started building a B737-700 flightdeck because I already owned a number of components and most of the parts avaialble on the market at that time were Boeing 737 parts.