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Welcome

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).

 

All funds are used to offset the cost of server and website hosting (Thank You...)

No advertising on this website - EVER!

 

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If you see any errors or omissions, please contact me to correct the information. 

Journal Archive (Newest First)
Thursday
Aug112011

B-737 Trip Reminder Indicator - Purchased

To add to authenticity, I have purchased from a tear down yard a genuine B-737 trip reminder indicator. These indicators are installed into the right hand side of the Captain and First Officer's control column.

Initially used as a method for the pilot to remember the flight number of the flight, they were rarely used and eventually phased out of service. 

The pilot uses his thumb to move the three segmented dials to indicate the flight number.  I believe when flight numbers began moving into 4 digits these gadgets were replaced with 4 digit indicators or their use discontinued.

I use the indicator as a prompt to remember the landing speed (VREF). After I have calculated VREF (manually or with the CDU), I thumb the digits into the indicator. . At night the indicator is back-lit.  The internal light plate (incandescent bulb) is powered by 5 volts.

Although the trip reminder indicator is a very small add on, it's pieces of equipment such as this that provide an added level of authenticity.

Saturday
Aug062011

Computers Ordered

I'm not a fan on computers and am lucky to know a few people who can guide me throgh the maze of computer hardware (thanks Nat & Boyd).

The simulation set up requires two PC's.  One will run FSX and other add on software, while the second PC will be dedicated to Sim Avionics.  Due to multiple monitors being used with Sim Avionics, three video cards will be installed in the PC running Sim Avioncs.

To view the specifications, click here.

PC's are ordered and will be assembled in a a week or so if everything goes according to plan.

Saturday
Aug062011

Genuine B-737 Throttle Quadrant - Found One!

After extensive research on the Internet, I discovered that there are only a few quadrants available that strive to replicate a genuine 737 throttle quadrant.

Revolution-Sim, a company in France appears to produce an exceptionally well designed quadrant, however, not with an inexpensive price tag. ThrottleTec also produce a very good intermediate throttle quadrant that is reasonable priced, however, doesn't really replicate a genuine throttle.

After more research and considerably thinking, I have found a real 737 series throttle quadrant from an aircraft scrapped in a tear down yard.

If I manage to aquire this TQ, I will have the internal mechanisms refurbished and retrofitted to work with flight simulator using a SYS board and phidgets.

The throttle will not be motorized as this level of functionality I have been lead to believe involves a level of functionality that can cause issues. Further, many of the issues that people have with throttles revolve around their use in motorized / automation mode.  I like to fly manually, so non motorised suits me.

I must confess that the feel of a real throttle in your hand leads no limit to the imagination!

It's early days yet, but I'm very hopeful I will be purchasing the unit.

Friday
Aug052011

Research & Development Completed - MIP & Yoke Ordered

I've been in R&D mode for quite a while, but the last two weeks or so it's been more or less full time as I've been completing the final research.  It takes time to double check everything, scour the Internet and wait for e-mail replies from various manufacturers.

Now it's time to order the various components and get the show rolling.

I researched a number of companies to supply my Main Instrument Panel and two companies stood out from the rest: Flight Deck Solutions and Fly Engravity.  In the end I choose Flight Deck Solutions mainly because of local support availability in Melbourne, Australia and a more reasonable Australian to Canadian exchange rate.  Fly Engravity were a very close second, however the Euro is so strong and freight so expensive from Europe that using this company became financially prohibitive.

Therefiore, Flight Deck Solutions in Canada will be supplying the Main Instrument Panel (MIP) and some of the avionics panels.  As part of the FDS MIP package they have included the use of Sim Avionics, therfore, this will be the flight management software I will be using.

Rather than purchase a naked MIP and spend countless hours in electronic hell, I decided at the outset of my project that the MIP was going to be a full ICS unit - meaning that the woring will have been done for me and the unit should be almost plug and play.

Here are a few snaps of the new MIP

ACE Engineering (another Canadian company) will be suppling the 737 yoke and column.  I'll continue to search for two genuine B737 yokes and columns

The MCP and EFIS I already own (EL model).  They are manufactured by CP Flight in Italy.  These will be replaced with PRO model MCP nd EFIS.

I've been told that delivery of the yoke and MIP will be late September (2011).

Now that the main part of the simulator has been ordered, I can search for additional equipment that is needed.

At the moment I'm talking with a guy who has a genuine Boeing 737 throttle for sale.  If negotiations are successful I hope to purchase this quadrant.  I hope to have further information in a few days.

If you want to read a little more on the depth of research on this project, clock the Research & Development tab or click here

Saturday
Jul302011

Welcome - First Post from Flaps 2 Approach

This is the first post on Flaps 2 Approach

 The blog will document the process of establishing a working Boeing 737 simulator.  This is an exciting multifaceted project that will take considerable time to complete.  I'll have to learn skills in a number of fields that, until now, have not been required.  I expect I'll be phoning knowledgable friends and asking LOTS of questions....

The Blog will also act as a conduit to discuss all things aviation and how they relate to the Boeing 737 series aircraft.

I thought carefully regarding the name of the Blog.  Initially the usual name sakes came to mind - "My 737 Blog" and the like.  I wanted something distinctly aviation and something that related to all aircraft.  Flaps to approach seemed the logical choice as nearly every aircraft has to set flaps to approach.  I used the numeral 2 instead of the word to allow the name to more easily read in the browser url box.

So let's get the ball rolling.....   "Chocks Away - Cleared for takeoff"

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