One aspect that everyone strives for when building a flight deck is authenticity. We try to mimic the real flight deck whenever possible. This isn’t possible with everything, and different people have varying perceptions to what is a suitable aesthetic compromise. Equally, flight simmers become fixated with certain aspects of their flight deck.
I know simmers who fastidiously try to replicate the switches of their overhead to replicate the real B737 switches, or try to mould their glare shield so they fit and look “just right”. I have always been fixated on the MCP unit; I wanted the unit to mimic the appearance of the real unit as much as possible.
I was a little disappointed when I discovered that the CP Flight MCP and EFIS unit I was using, did not fit snug into the FDS MIP. There was small vacant gap along the edge of the unit when fitted into the MIP. Further, at certain angles the MIP and AFDS flood lighting could be seen along the edge of the MCP. I thought the latter was particularly unrealistic. I was incorrect….
I recently came across a selection of photographs taken inside the flight deck of an Alaska Airlines B737-700 (image above). I was very surprised (if not pleased) to observe that the MCP and EFIS unit had a gap around the edge of the unit and the MIP and AFDS flood lighting could be seen shining along the edge of the MCP unit - exactly the same as in the simulator.
I now can sleep soundly knowing that what I look at in the simulator is very similar to that of a real aircraft. :) "just kidding - I can sleep anywhere"
I've made the image larger than normal to show the detail I am referring. Please note that this photograph is copyright and cannot be used without permission.