Discover our full-size Airbus A320 cockpit and its 180-degree field of view across three large 4K TV screens. The cockpit is fully functional for both the Captain and the First Officer, allowing two virtual pilots to experience the joy of flying as a crew.
The cockpit took roughly four months to build and has already accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours over 500 flights.
A list of the main parts is available here.
Our flight simulator currently uses three computers. The main one, which is the most powerful, runs the simulator environment and generates the images for all three external views displayed on the large TV screens. The main computer also runs the A320 flight model and the server responsible for the communication with the other two networked computers. One runs the displays for the captain side (PFD and ND), the captain MCDU, both ECAM displays (E/WD and SD), the standby instruments, as well as the GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) logic. The other one runs the displays for the PFD, ND, MCDU, and DCDU on the first officer side.
All electronic modules, as well as all audio inputs and outputs, are connected to the main computer. I lost count of the total number of USB devices connected to that computer, either directly or through three additional USB hubs.
All structural components for the cockpit are from Vier-Im-Pott, including the rudder pedals, side sticks, and tillers. They resell the electronic modules from Skalarki. The electric seat replicas are from OpenCockpits. Both the rudder pedals and the brakes are mechanically linked between left side and right side, providing feedback on their position to the other pilot. All hardware is mounted on a wood platform custom-built to match the exact size of the room.
The external visual system is composed of three 75” TVs mounted at 60 degrees from each other to offer a full 180-degree field of view.
Two independent speaker systems provide a rich sound experience. The first system, with its 5.1 surround speakers, creates all aircraft, cabin, and external sounds. The second system, with its two speakers mounted right behind the Main Instrument Panel (MIP) generates all in-cockpit sounds and aural alerts.
For audio communications, the captain and first officer each have a dedicated headset with a boom microphone connected to the fully-functional intercom system. A third headset is also available through the extra radio mounted in the overhead panel. The entire system can be connected to VATSIM and Discord.
All electronic equipment includes backlighting with various potentiometers controlling different parts of the equipment. As the aft overhead is not present in the cockpit, additional LED lights have been mounted on the side of the front overhead, providing top down illumination. Reading lights located under the glareshield provide lighting to the area around the tray tables. The four small lights located towards the back of the glareshield, right above openings on top of the MIP, are also available to illuminate the MIP areas that don’t include any screens.
The pedestal includes a functional ACARS printer, allowing to print weather information, loadsheet and other data received in the cockpit.
Lockheed-Martin Prepar3D (P3D) provides the external visuals and the simulator environment. However P3D does not render any “virtual cockpit” or instruments. A freeware geared towards cockpit builders, named JeeHell FMGS, provides the A320 flight model, system logic, and rendering of all instruments displayed inside the cockpit.
The simulator environment is enhanced by ActiveSky P3D (with ActiveSky Cloud Art) for the weather rendition as well as TOGA EnvTex and EnvShade for improved visuals. Additionally, the combination of PSXTraffic and RealTraffic recreates real-world traffic around the aircraft, both on the ground and in the air.
Numerous airport addons and regional sceneries further improve the realism and complete the immersion.
Building the Cockpit
Find more pictures about the build here or just enjoy the short video below.