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Help me build a cockpit please.


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Hello, people of FlightSim.com I'm in the process of trying to find a cockpit pre-built would be nice.


Im really in to aviation, and this is a project I've been looking into doing for ages.


My Budget:

$1,400 minimum 3,200$ maximum.

(Monthly payments or something is also nice, no critsim please.)


Let's see what everyone has.

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If you have no experience building a cockpit. Start small. Buy a few Go-Flight items. They can be found used on eBay or some forums.


If you understand electronics you might try buying something like Leo Bodnar's BBI-32 Button Box or the BuO360X and hooking up a few switches and buttons in a panel.


I will also recommend you visit Mike's Flight Dexk (http://www.mikesflightdeck.com/) and puruse his site for many many valuable ideas and tips.


Understand that a cockpit usually takes years for research and building. I am on my third. I never finished the first two. They were always WIP, as I added new items and reworked old ones. I doubt I will ever finish this one either. No matter, half of the fun is the journey.


Lastly, whatever you do. However complicated you project might become. Do it in stages. The fly the sucker between stages. I believe cockpits were meant to be flown, not just impress your friends. Flying it will keep you fresh and wanting to do more.


I hope this helps,






My first SIM was a Link Trainer. My last was a T-6 II

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  • 4 weeks later...

This kind of project can literally be as complicated as you want or as simple. You didn't mention if you were going for an aircraft-specific design or generic - or small aircraft or wide-body jet. However - to start, I'd check out the products at Roger Dodger Aviation.


He has lots of videos on Youtube and of course those are totally free. He uses PVC pipe and fittings to make a cockpit framework. I'd start with keeping the framing simple and focus the initial expense on flight controls.

You learn a ton of stuff with every flight sim project. I'd be careful not to sink too much money into the first one. Start simple and learn from your experience. You learn what you want, what you do and don't need, what works and what isn't worth the effort ...

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I am going to build a bit on ednixon's reply. I have built a flight deck doing everything from scratch and my current one which uses commercially available equipment I modify (only as needed). And I can say, I did not really find it cheaper to custom build my own instrumentation and it takes a whole lot more time and effort. With this said, the important thing first is to decide:


1. How do I want to limit my simulator: stick to twin engine jets or do I want to be able to "fly" anything from a single-engine Cessna to a four-engine 747. Do I need levers for props or will I stick to just jets. Do I want analog ("steam") gauges modelled or will I stick to EFIS ("glass") instruments. You get the idea, there are many choices and none of them are wrong, but the more you are happy limiting your scope the easier things can be.


2. Depending on your choices from "1" above, you have to decide are you going to try to model a flight deck in perfect look, feel, placement, and dimension or will you be happy having the tactile functionality you need to be a competent sim-pilot without perfect replication of any particular aircraft. So you need to decide, and this can change a bit as you build out, what tactile switches, levers, and displays do I want to increase my realism/competency. One of the first things I got tired of as a sim pilot was grabbing a mouse to turn knobs or flip switches. Getting the arrow aligned just took far too much focus away from flight.


3. And finally, most of us are limited by funds. So prepare for compromises you will make along the way. For example, you may initially accept a plastic desktop yoke or stick and then months/years later switch to a heavy metal column yoke, etc.


Expect that you will grow with your flight deck project. At first you may hear about something such as FSUIPC, and it will seem complex and maybe you will shy away from it. Then, as you have much equipment up and running but a burning desire to get specific functionality from a switch that is not available; you may end up delving into FSUIPC.


One member encouraged looking at Go-Flight gear. I second that. Their stuff is not cheap but it has a pretty high-end quality and is quite flexible. You can usually get much functionality going strait out of the box with their software. But... you will ultimately need FSUIPC and most likely Lua coding to really make things work like you need.


I hope this helps. Be ready to let your desires grow at the pace of your time and money. These things are a work in progress and do not happen overnight. There is plenty of help here. I learn every day from the folks on this forum.

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