Project Description

The manufacturing of a Life-size Cessna cockpit for Flight Simulation is a large-scale project. The purpose is to get as close as possible to the reality and to the sensation of flight. I will detail here the various stages and my differents choices….

The Panel choice :

The 1st stage was the choice of the dashboard. Did I have to choose the classic Cockpit Panel or a more modern Glass Cockpit one ? After reflection, the choice of the Glass cockpit stood out for several reasons. the future of Aircraft Panel are in Glass Cockpit rather than in classic instruments, thus it became obvious that the choice of Glass Cockpit was a forward-looking choice and which was going to allow this simulator to be fashionable.

Glass Cockpit

Analog Cockpit

3D views for a better visualization :

So as to better visualize the project I decided to realize 3D views of the future cockpit. These views allowed me to better explain to the various builders of different parts of the Cockpit the desired final rendering: Whether it is the Carpenter for the wooden structure, or Ruscool Electronics, the company which realized the dashboard, the 3D views were very appreciated.

The manufacturing of the Cockpit :

When the manufacturing of the wooden cockpit began, the dashboard had not still arrived. Even by measuring everything, the risk of making an error of measure was relatively important…

The cockpit began to take shape at my joiner factory. It was then painted in White and decorated with Stickers to belong closer to the real cockpit of Cessna.


Installation of the Cockpit :

Once the cockpit was ended, it was completely dismantled then reassembled in my Garage, totally closed and fitted out for the Simulator.

All the stickers were then pasted on the Cabin.


Finishing :

My tapestry-maker then dressed the whole simulator of Beige color Imitation leather for the inside and a carpet for the Ground. The ceiling light was also covered with Imitation leather to be close as possible as the real Cessna inside. I have also installed 2 LED 3V color White Cold (as in real Cessna) on Overhead with 2 small buttons to light each of them …

Assembling & Installing the Panel :

Once the cockpit was finished, it was necessary to install the Panel and the Pedestral. To have a statutory height of the Panel, we had to dug in the cockpit so as to lower the Pedestral of 5cm. We then fixed the Yokes on a wooden board under the hood and made the electronic connections.

Installation & Software settings :

Once the Panel and the Pedestral perfectly fixed, the part which took me most time began: the configuration.

I start installing the 2 Simulators : XPlane 11 and Prepar3D v.4. Then I have installed and set the different Addons of each Simulator : (For XPlane 11: Orthophoto + XPFR Airports + Airports + Prefab Sceneries for X plane + SkyMaxx 4 + Maxx FX + Sound Maxx + XEnviro + World Traffic 3 … For Prepar3D v.4: ORBX Bases + ORBX Vector + ORBX Open LC Europe + ORBX Open LC NA + ORBX NA Regions + ORBX NA Airports + Night Environment + REX + Active Sky P3D v.4 + Carenado and A2A Cessna …).

It was then necessary to install the various software of the Panel and to make them work with 2 Simulators, and the operation is sometimes complicated: (software for TRC Gauges + Software for Flight illusion Yokes and Radio Unit + Ruscool software for the various functions of the Panel + OPUS FSI for Buttckicker (P3D) + SimShaker for Aviator for Buttckicker (XPlane) + FSUIPC and WideFS (P3D) + XPUIPC and XPWideClient (XPlane) + G1000 Project Magenta and Flight1Tech G1000 Student Pro + FS-FlightControl for the Instructor Station).

After more than 200 hours of installation and setting, the first flights could begin….

Présentation of the Simulator :