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Thread: P-51D cockpit build

  1. #21


    Hello everyone

    Over the weekend I finalized a lot of the work on the pit. It is not complete yet (will it ever be?) but it is to the point that it can be moved from the shop to my office/hanger where it will reside. I took advantage of the great weather and moved the pit from my shop to the main part of the garage so I could take some pictures.

    The pit is 3½ ft. wide by 6 ft. long and 4½ ft. tall and was built in my 10 by 12 ft. shop. That sounds like a lot of room to work until you figure in the 10 foot long counter top on one side and the workbench, tool chest and file cabinets on the other. That allows 5 feet of workable space and with this project I found myself moving 1-2 things to get to the third. The shop was built for small projects like models but this 1:1 scale model pushed the limits!

    This pit has to go through an opening in the house 29 inches wide. It will break down into 2 sides, the back, a main base, seat, windshield and dash and be reassembled in my office. You will see some of this in the pics below.

    Take care

    The “office”

    Left side opened as a door showing the caster supporting the non hinged end.

    Next to the seat you can see a small latch. This is used to pull the side tightly closed.

    Right side separated from main frame for assembly. Just below the O2 regulator in the white area you can see a rod sticking out of the frame. There is a corresponding hole in the side frame. To install the side I position it on the rod and slide it forward.

    When the back section is pushed toward the frame it sits on a small ledge for support. There is a 4 inch bolt that goes through the side into the ledge locking the side in place and a 3 inch screw holding the top to the rear section.

  2. #22


    Continued from above............

    The notch in the cowl allows the lower frame of the 46 inch screen to sit lower.

    Since the right side will be against the wall and not seen I chose not to install aluminum. The green you see is cardstock painted to match the interior which shows around the controls panels. This was also done for the left side so bare metal would not be seen.

    At the right you can see an old desktop control box I modified to handle the 120v needs of the pit. I removed the original switches and ran their wires to the lower left where you can see the back of the “environmental” panel. I added a toggle and light to the pit’s electrical panel that will let me turn this system on/off with one switch.

    And, “The End.”

    Here you can see the rear fan installed to pull air out of the pit. There are also 2 smaller fans installed at the front under the dash (not shown), separately switched on the environmental panel, to push air into the pit. Years ago when this was my racing pit I found that it can get warm and stuffy. The same fans were installed as a solution. I also have a portable A/C unit in my office with a remote for those days when I fly too close to the sun and get too hot!

  3. #23


    Hello everyone.

    Well, the pit is in the house and I have started the setup process for the controls. This is taking a LOT longer than I expected! I only have a few controls left to setup but they are giving me headaches!

    Setting up the gauges using Air Manager was very straight forward. The camera makes the gauges washed out but they are actually darker in the sim. The MIP is displayed on a 27 inch LCD and the oxygen and floor fuel gauges are 7 inch LCD screens.

    Take care

  4. Default

    Raceguy, you are nuts! But a craftsman! I thought I spent a lot of time beautifying scenery files - but this is fantastic. (Will confine my efforts to scenery) BTW, enjoy FA40 when you get the chance.

  5. #25


    Hi Fred

    Nuts! You betcha. Craftsman? Nope, just learned to hide my mistakes better.

    I have been working on the control setup and running into a few issues like 4 switches performing as they should BUT also activating the landing gear. Still trying to find that one. I did get a little air time the other day and I REALLY like the feel of the extended control stick. It feels so natural!

    I'm looking forward to my P-51 lifting off soon from FA40. The initial takeoff has been delayed due to life getting in the way but I hope to make the inaugural flight in a day or two.

    Thank you for the kind words and FA40!


  6. #26


    Hi guys

    Since my last update I've been fighting gremlins and control setup issues. Right now I'm down to 3 controls that are not setup correctly; the flaps and 2 ram air controls. The flaps need 6 positions/detentes and will be setup in FSUIPC and the air controls just need the right L:VARS to work.

    In the pics below I’m temporarily using a 32” monitor instead of the 46” so I have access under the hood while I trouble shoot the issues. The first pic is using an LED floor light so some details are washed out. You can see my TrackIR camera in the upper left (2 yellow dots on a slant) sitting on the cowl held in place with its magnetic base. The landing gear and lights are finally working and you can see the lights are inverted to reflect a tail dragger.

    For the second pic I turned off the floor lamp so the pic is a little blurry but you can now see that the MIP is lighted by the two dash lights mounted under the shroud. These are 120V chandelier bulbs in a housing I made from PVC pipe and the lights are controlled by 2 dimmers, one on each side of the pit.

    Thanks for looking

  7. Default

    Unfortunate the images are gone. Maybe re-upload to the posts less detailed images to directly. This thread is worth it.

  8. #28


    Thank you il88pp!

    Just like many others I am frustrated with the changes made by PB but I'm trying to move on. As time permits I hope to re-post the previous pics and add a few more as I transition to Imgur.

    A few days ago I decided I needed/wanted a moving map and weather radar so I added another screen. Here is a pic I took yesterday with just the weather radar as I flew my Mustang around Tampa dodging the daily PM thunderstorm.

    Take care

  9. Default

    Hi, I have no words for your jewel, fantastic.
    I am a cockpit builder, unfortunately not as good as you, but for 10 years I have been flying with my cabin of cirrus sr22 built in my house. I want to change planes and think about the fantastic P-51. I've already started designing and programming my new toy.
    I will write to you because you want to understand.
    I have read that you use "Airmanager" for panel gauge.
    Have you planned or found already made?
    I ask so to know whether to buy "Airmanager" or what to get gauge in question.
    Thanks a lot.

  10. #30


    Hi Luigi and thank you for your kind words regarding my simpit!

    Yes, I use Air Manager P-51 gauges for my pit that were made for me by a friend. They are not available from Air Manager but I believe they now offer a P-51 set. Also, I'm flying the A2A P-51 in FSX/P3D and you need the A2A L:Vars for these gauges which you can find by using FSUIPC.

    Air Manager is sold by Sim Innovations found here.

    The full details about my build can be found here.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Take care

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