Let the Fun Begin!


The wait is indeed over. The large two crates with all the electronic equipment and structural parts for the cockpit recently got delivered. What an exciting day it was! We couldn’t bring the heavy crates directly into the garage, so we had to open and unpack them in the driveway.

The smaller crate included a lot of boxes stacked up like a very elaborate Tetris game. On the other hand, the larger one only had a few parts, but these were all the big and heavy pieces: rudder pedals, consoles with sidestick and tiller, overhead stand, as well as the sliding table and footrest for the captain side! After opening the crates it took a few hours to just move all the boxes and parts into the garage for temporary storage.

I was up at 6:30 the next day to start taking a full inventory…

Continue reading “The Wait Is Over”

The Waiting is the Hardest Part…


After finalizing the overall design and ordering all the equipment in February, the last three months have mostly been a waiting game.

Cockpit Parts in Crates and Ready to Ship

I purchased the cockpit parts and seats from companies in Europe. Based on their size and weight, I decided to have the crates shipped by ocean freight. This typically takes six to eight weeks but is quite cheaper.

The seats, which I ordered from Opencokpits, were able to ship within a few days. The rest of the cockpit elements are supplied by Vier Im Pott and required several weeks for manufacturing. The picture shows the two crates ready to ship at the beginning of May.

Continue reading “Line Up and Wait”

The A320 Cockpit is Moving Forward


On the day of the anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson, I finalized the plans for my A320 cockpit and placed the order for all major cockpit components. I decided to go with the products offered by Vier Im Pott and chose their open trainer solution as space in the dedicated cockpit room is limited.

I also wanted to keep my current setup so that I can continue flying a variety of aircrafts. To make as much space as possible, I removed the closet doors and tucked in my existing desk cockpit halfway into the closet (yeah, go ahead with the closet jokes…). It will be tight for sure, but I almost see this as a benefit, simulating the cramped environment of real cockpits!

After quite a few iterations, here is the configuration I landed on.

Continue reading “A320 Project Kicked Off”

My New Full-Time Job


Yesterday was the last day of my 30-year professional career as a research engineer in Belgium, then as a software engineer and applications engineering manager in the US.

This makes today the first day of my “passion” job, full-time developer of flight simulation cockpits. Although this has been a hobby of mine for quite a while already, as you can see from past projects, I look forward to having even more time for new and challenging projects.

Continue reading “First Day on the Job”

Airline Captain

Welcome Aboard


A very warm “welcome aboard” from your Captain. I hope you will enjoy our journey together as we prepare for our initial takeoff. Our first destination should be a relatively short hop, mostly documenting my existing cockpit setup, from its original paper design to its current state. The weather has cleared up and it should be a pretty smooth ride. So, come along and enjoy the ride.

After that initial segment, we will be catching our connecting flight to a much farther and even more exciting destination. My next big thing is a project that has been with me for the best of the last 20 years. It started more as a dream, but then crystalized in my head little by little. The time is now! This will be my most ambitious project so far, building a full-size Airbus A320 cockpit.

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Cockpit Desk

The Cockpit is Moving


In order to better accommodate the space needed to build our next major project, we have decided to move the current cockpit to a new room in the house. It is just across the hall, but required swapping what is currently our guest room with the cockpit room.

This is also an opportunity to take additional pictures of the various cockpit elements built over the year. I certainly intend to use these when documenting our past projects. For now, here is just a quick comparison, before and after the move.

Continue reading “Moving to a New Room”