The B737 Cockpit Companion is a well known guide within the flight simulation community, having been published in several formats; each dealing with a specific release of a Boeing 737 aircraft series.
The guides, written by retired airline Captain Bill Bulfer, are very specialized and unravel each of the many B737 aircraft systems. The 737 NG Cockpit Companion 600/-700/-800/-BBJ & BBJ 2 investigates the following subjects:
LEFT: The companion may look small, but the information it includes is detailed and informative. The small size allows easy storing in the throttle side pockets. In my opinion, this guide is essential reading and answers many questions often asked by flight deck builders and virtual pilots.
- AFT Panel
- Forward Overhead Panel
- Glareshield Panel
- Captain’s Panel
- Centre Panel
- First Officer’s Panel
- Forward Electronics Panel
- Control Stand (throttle)
- Aft Electronics Panel
It’s important to note that this guide provides much more information than just indicating a name for something. Each system area’s functionality is explained in detail along with comprehensive sketches, diagrams and fold out schematics.
For example, in the Captain’s Panel section, there are several pages that explain, the elements that make up the Pilots Flight Display (PFD) and Navigation Display (ND). There are two pages that deal only with the speed tape providing information dealing with the various options indicated by the tape during ascents and descents.
Another page details the intricacy of Navigation Performance Scales (ANP and RNP) providing operational information on how to read and decipher the scales in relation to whatever flight mode is set on the MCP.
A final example is several pages that detail the functionality of the EFIS unit and what exactly occurs when you push a button on the EFIS unit.
Flight Deck Builders
The guide is essential if you’re putting together a flight deck simulating a B737. Apart from systems information, the guide indicates switch functionality, such as annunciators, and provides information to which lights illuminate for what functions and when.
This said the guide is not a procedures manual; it is a technical reference manual. The content will not provide instruction on how to fly the B737. Rather it provides a detailed study of each system and provides information explaining the relationship between systems.
No matter what your skill level, It’s a very handy reference and I’m often leafing through the pages to check on something that I don’t quite understand.
Pocket Reference - PFD/ND Flags, FMC Messages
Often when you fly, a message will show on the Pilot’s Flight Display. I’ll be honest I cannot remember what all the acumens mean, and often you don’t have the time, because of the flight phase you are in, to wade through a guide to find the information.
Enter the pocket reference guide. This small and very handy leaflet guide outlines all the PFD, ND flags and FMC messages providing a brief description of the flag displayed. The pocket reference is sold separately to the cockpit companion. It's size is 10 cm x 5 cm.
Written by an Aviator for Aviators (real or virtual)
The cockpit companion, written by an aviator for aviators, is very concise, easy to read and understand. As with its sister companion, the FMC Guide, it’s a high quality production.
If your serious about how you fly your simulator or are developing your own simulator project, the Cockpit Companion is certainly a must have in your training material.
The guide that is most relevant to the B737NG is titled: The 737 NG Cockpit Companion 600/-700/-800/-BBJ & BBJ 2
It can be purchased from Leading Edge Publishing.
My rating 10/10
Please note that this review is my opinion only and is not endorsed.