The throttle quadrant installed in the simulator is from a B737-300. When I initially converted the throttle for flight simulator use, I choose to not have full automation included; automation being at the time fraught with issues in relation to correct and accurate operation.
Technology rarely remains stationary and after one year of operation I’ve been reliably informed that automation can now be implemented without the problems previously experienced. Therefore, I’ve crated the TQ and it’s now on its way to the US via DHL courier for conversion to full automation. A process I am told that will take a few weeks.
LEFT: B737-300 throttle (formally used by South West Airlines).
Automation will include, at the minimum, the following:
- 4 speed trim wheels dependent upon aircraft status (as in the real aircraft)
- Accurate trim tab movement
- 9 point speed brake (speed brake operation as in the real aircraft)
- Full automation of throttle thrust handles as per MCP speed window and/or CDU
- Hand brake release by depressing brake pedals (as in the real aircraft)
I don’t mind admitting that that my building abilities don't include complete knowledge on how to convert a B737 throttle correctly - especially in relation to automation; therefore, this task has been outsourced.
The method in which automation will be achieved is slightly different from the usual way throttles are converted, and includes some "magic" programming of chip sets and machining of parts to allow compatibly with ProSim 737. Taking into account Christmas and New Year, I'm hoping that the machining, installation, configuration and testing will be completed by January (2013) and the throttle will be re-installed into the simulator by February.
In a future post I'll explain the process of conversion, and how automation has been achieved with minimal use of add-on software.
Although the throttle quadrant and pedestal will be absent from the simulator for a short time, work will not be idle. The conversion of the twin real B737 yokes and columns has been completed and I'm finalising installation of the second platform which incorporates linked B737 rudder pedals. I am hoping this will be completed by mid-November. I have discussed the new platform in a previous post.