• Rays Aviation Project Home Cockpit


    I had an amazing time building this rather complex home cockpit, and I discovered that even though I am not a computer wizard or an engineer I was still able to finish this project. I of course had a lot of lessons learned throughout the project, but I am certain that I would not be scared to dive into a similar project again.

    It does take an incredible amount of time doing such a project, but for me it was just as much fun to build the home cockpit as it is using it afterwards. One thing that I believe is very important if you start a project like this, is to prioritize your time and concentrate on what is important in your life; hereby I mean that if you are a family person, don't forget your family! In my case family always come first, then health, then the professional job that puts food on the table and first then hobbies, fun, etc.

    I am very fortunate that I have a daughter (3 1/2 years old) that is extremely interested in my hobby, simply because it features a huge number of things (switches, etc.) that can move, and she really likes to go to my "office" and play. Quality time yes?

    I also found that setting up some simple goals was a great way of keeping me going. Building or going through a project with a long time schedule like this, did at times seem to be too much and I found myself just wanted to tear the project apart and say "that was it - that was a too big and complex project for me" but simply by setting small goals such as creating the top panels for one of the consoles or figuring out a way to support the TFTs gave me the sense of success and that boosted my confidence and gave me more energy and devotion for sure.

    I have already thought about potential upgrades to the setup such as building a shell or mounting a B737 overhead but to be honest that will probably not happen - I have now finished the project and the next step I think will be to take the home cockpit apart, and start all over with a new design or a new project.

    One thing is for sure - the TV is not the best solution for a display. Even though it is a 42" plasma, the resolution is not high enough (my TV does not have HD resolution), so a future solution will certainly be to add an HD projector providing a full 120" screen instead.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people that have been a part of this project - either as a sponsor, a contact or just an advisor. I am very fortunate to have all of you in my network and I really appreciate your help greatly!

    I would also like to thank www.Flightsim.com and www.DanSim.dk for publishing this article which I hope could encourage other people to enter the flightsim community or even to start other projects to add to the realism of the flightsim idea.

    Ray Andersen
    Rays Aviation

    Additional Pictures


    1. aarmin's Avatar
      aarmin -
      Congratulations on a project well done and above all getting joy and fun out of it.
      Many happy landings!
    1. henrystreet's Avatar
      henrystreet -
      Thanks for the in depth look. Will likely use some of your ideas
    1. dgsmith37's Avatar
      dgsmith37 -
      Awesome results. I can see your next project being a wrap-around screen. It's amazing how much you learn building a project that requires more knowledge than we start with. Thanks for the write up and pictures.
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Quote Originally Posted by sammonsb View Post
      Don't see a tailhook lever. Must be a softie pilot not able to land on a boat.
      Well - actually on the Rays Aviation light and mission panel on the left side console I have a switch on/off/on named HOK => that switch controls hook up/down ... I could only fit 3 letters in the legends when cutting the panel with the water cutting machine.

      But you are right - my skills for landing on a carrier are not excellent

      Merry Christmas All

    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Thanks for the feedback all - if you need guidance in a similar project or just has questions, I would very much like to help out and share my experience with home cockpit building.

    1. jpgregg's Avatar
      jpgregg -
      This is fantastic! I love it. If you like, check out my setup (link below). It's very similar, although your interfaces are much more advanced. Do you have a website? I will be checking back with this article often as I upgrade my system. Thanks for posting!


      Happy New Year!

    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Quote Originally Posted by jpgregg View Post
      This is fantastic! I love it. If you like, check out my setup (link below). It's very similar, although your interfaces are much more advanced. Do you have a website? I will be checking back with this article often as I upgrade my system. Thanks for posting!


      Happy New Year!


      Hi Paul,

      You have a really cool setup!

      3 projectors gives an awesome view - what specs do your projectors have?

      My website is www.RaysAviation.Mono.Net and you are very welcome to visit :-)

    1. jpgregg's Avatar
      jpgregg -
      Thanks Ray. I will check out your website.

      I bought the projectors used, on Craigslist, for roughly $80 each (it's been a little time and I don't remember exactly). They are not identical. I have two 3M MP8670s, and one Panasonic. Also, my youtube vid says I'm running two 9800 GTs, but I upgraded a while ago, and am now running a single GTX660 (much better performance, as might be expected). Since I'm running 4 monitors off a single card, I run the projectors at XGA resolution, to keep frame rates in check. I also use megascenery, with autogen turned off - which also helps keep my frame rates in check. The projector screens are shower curtains purchased at k-mart, stapled and taped in the back, and stretched flat with a heat gun... works quite well.

      Thanks again for the link to your website, I'll be checking back often!

    1. TheSchwartz's Avatar
      TheSchwartz -
      Absolutely fabulous. I have been toying with the idea of doing something like this, but maybe on a smaller scale. Is there a tutorial somewhere on interfacing hardware to flightsim programs (particularly X-Plane)?

      A link would be appreciated
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