All posts for the month December, 2008

This past week I began working on the instructions for how to build this project.

It is now officially named the DIY Cockpit, Series One.  The Series Two project will be started after I’ve had a chance to work on the F-15 some more. 🙂

As part of the documentation writing process, I needed to build another complete cockpit based on the final version of the plans.  Here’s what all the parts look like:

With the exception of the center core and the skins, this is all there is to the project.  I tried to design it to be as easy as possible to construct and I think I’ve accomplished that goal.  Only time will tell I suppose. 🙂


Barring a massive design error, the image below shows the two types of instrument panels you can make in your DIY cockpit.

The two available instrument panel designs.
The two available instrument panel designs.

The panels don’t differ that much.  The one on the right is the original design that I did, the one on the left is more “109-ish” with the sharper arc that defines the top of the panel.

When released, I’ll make CAD files of both panels available so you can design the layout as you see fit.  I may also offer a cutting service for those that want me to cut their panel for them.  They’ll be from 1/8″ tempered hardboard, just like the prototype. 

The four instrument holes are just reference marks for my design work.  At some point I’ll design “my” panel and you’ll be able to see what it looks like populated with whatever random junk I’ve got laying around the shop. 🙂

More to come…

A ton of work got done today with essential help from Rob my Sanity Checker. 🙂

This thing is so near done, I can just about taste it!

Canopy closed:

Cockpit with canopy closed.

Cockpit with canopy closed.

…and with the canopy open!

Cockpit with the canopy open.

Cockpit with the canopy open.

All the skin is now on the cockpit, the windscreen is completed and bolted down and the new canopy is completed.

The skin on the side visible was glued & nailed in place with 5/8″, 18ga brads.  It will be “arted up” with rivets at a later time.

The cockpit is essentially completed.  I need to finish the instrument panel shape, but that’s pretty much it!

I hope to start work on the printed plan set and the instructions tomorrow.

Here are a set of videos I made over the past couple of weeks that illustrate some of the construction details that need to be compled when you’re building one of these cockpits for yourself.

There are 8 videos total for this run.

The canopy rails are inset from the outside edges of the cockpit ribs, so additional material has to be added in order to give the top edge of the skin a place to attach to…

Continue Reading

Got me this new fangled bloggy thing and I haven’t a farking clue as to what I’m gonna do with it. *laughs*

Here’s a few things I’m going to try to get accomplished over the next few weeks…

I’ve nearly gotten the prototype for the new cockpit completed.  When it’s done, I’ll get the instructions written up for it so those that are interested can build one for themselves.  I’ll be selling a full size plan sheet and the instructions for somewhere south of $50.  For an additional fee, I’ll provide 1/8″ hardboard templates for at least four of the cockpit components.  There may be more, but there’s really only four that would be a real help to the building process.

Here’s a couple of pictures from Saturday’s (11/28/08) work:

As you can see, it’s just about there. 🙂  I’ve got the framework for the canopy done and they’re waiting to be turned into a complete canopy this weekend.

After the cockpit is done and the plan sets are available, I’ll be starting to work on the F-15 once again…

I’ve got 1 panel to build out and 5 to build from scratch.  They’ll take more time to design and lay out than to build, unfortunately.

This is the first of what I hope to be many simulator related blogs.

The below text also appears on the main blog. was at the bleeding edge of home-built flight simulator projects when it got started in 1999.  Over the years, my ability to keep current content on the site has been steadily eroded.  With a total lack of submissions and competition from great sites like,  I had to decide what to do with

I had to either kill it, strip it down to the basic file database or actually do something with it.

I really didn’t want to kill it. has been a great resource for a lot of people and I didn’t want to just shut it down.  Stripping it to just the file database was a viable but not very attractive option for me.

In the end, I decided to make a home for both the old content and new content in the form of project blogs.

If you have a cockpit project of any kind that you’d like to have a blog for, I’ll host it here for free.  Any kind of simulation project is welcome.  It doesn’t have to be about a flight simulator cockpit – it can be anything related to simulation.  An add-on to an existing software package or something like my ongoing cockpit plans project.  If it’s simulation related (space, boat, whatever!) you’ve got a welcome home here.

I’m using WordPress as the blog engine for this site.  Each person will have their own WordPress installation that they can change as they see fit.  The url will be in the form of, where “username” is a name you’ve chosen.   Any freely available themes will be made available on request – I can’t download them all at once, but I’ll be happy to grab whatever you need and add it to the public pool.

You won’t have any restrictions on the amount of drive space your site needs – space is cheap and I can always add more. 🙂

Each blog will have a link on the main page.   Announcements of system changes and new blogs will also be posted there.  I will ask that you not add any ads to your blog that don’t advertise something you personally provide.  I’m providing this service at my expense, so it’s not fair to myself and the other users if you’re getting ad-revenue for something I’m paying for. 😀

If you’re interested, please contact me at and I’ll get your blog set up as quickly as I can.

C’mon!  Don’t just sit there, let’s go! 🙂