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Mission Statement 

The purpose of FLAPS-2-APPROACH is two-fold:  To document the construction of a Boeing 737 flight simulator, and to act as a platform to share aviation-related articles pertaining to the Boeing 737; thereby, providing a source of inspiration and reference to like-minded individuals.

I am not a professional journalist.  Writing for a cross section of readers from differing cultures and languages with varying degrees of technical ability, can at times be challenging. I hope there are not too many spelling and grammatical mistakes.


Note:   I have NO affiliation with ANY manufacturer or reseller.  All reviews and content are 'frank and fearless' - I tell it as I see it.  Do not complain if you do not like what you read.

I use the words 'modules & panels' and 'CDU & FMC' interchangeably.  The definition of the acronym 'OEM' is Original Equipment Manufacturer (aka real aicraft part).


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Scope Creep - Keeping the Enemy at Bay

Scope Creep is a term often used in management to define the continuous growth of a project both in expenditure and time.

This phenomenon can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled. It is generally considered a negative occurrence, to be avoided.  This said, scope creep can add benefits to a project ultimately making the end product far better than otherwise anticipated.

LEFT:  The Swiss Army pocket knife.  How many tools does one want?  Where do you stop?  The knife does not have a fork or spoon.

Typically, the scope increase consists of either new products or new features of an already approved product design, without corresponding increases in resources, schedule, or budget. As a result, the individual risks drifting away from the original purpose and scope into unchartered territory. As the scope of a project grows, more tasks must be completed within the budget and schedule originally designed for a smaller set of tasks. Accordingly, scope creep can result in a project overrunning its original budget and schedule.

Guilty as Charged...

Am I guilty of scope creep - a resounding YES.  It can be difficult to maintain your original project scope, no matter how well defined at the onset of the project; new parts, better technology, better methods to accomplish tasks, and experience are all potential budget breakers...

Scope creep has a nasty habit of sneaking up on you unaware - a few dollars here and few dollars there, a yes to this and a yes to that, and before you know it, you are over committed and over budget.  Scope creep rarely is caused by the vendor, it is more the territory of the seller or manufacturer.  Most of us have bought a motor vehicle, and have driven the car home with the addition of a tow bar, roof rack, and high fidelity stereo system - all absolutely essential according to the car salesperson...

Although the simulator will be more feature rich, reliable and aesthetically pleasing, it's important to always keep a firm hand on what your original project lines were, and try not to stray too far from your goals.  There is always something greener on the horizon, and whilst it can be tempting to stray beyond the fence to savour the new grass, always ask yourself - is this going to improve the outcome of what I set out to do and is the extra expense worth the outcome. 

Time, or lack of

A second conundrum that simulator builders often face is time, or lack of. Everyone except the very young and the retired are impacted by time.

Remember, Rome was not built in a day and many simulators can take 3-4 years until reasonably complete. 

Whether we like it or not, the process of research, procuring parts, and construction takes an inordinate amount of time, and if left unchecked will also cost you an inordinate sum of money...

Just a few thoughts to think about.

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Reader Comments (1)

I really like this article, Iain.
It is so true and I can attest to it, 100%.

Whilst I am one of the lucky ones, I have an unlimited amount of time, a very understanding spouse who considers my venture still under control and a want to have the most functional cockpit that I can.
I don't count the pennies, but for something as realistic as possible, you need to be expecting to shell out 50-100 grand, in my experience.

My dream has expanded as time has gone by, but I was lucky enough to have bought enough of the base materials and hardware, to allow for the future expansion that has occurred.
I'm hoping to have my dream flying this Xmas, which will have taken me nearly 2 years, which is a reasonable amount of time to devote to any hobby.

July 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFrank Cooper

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