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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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Journal Archive (Newest First)

Entries in Center Pedestal (5)

Thursday
Feb012018

Variation in Panel Colour, Manufacture & Location - Center Pedestal

The center pedestal in the Boeing 737 accommodates a number of panels, several of which are standard for all commercial passenger airlines.  All high-end simulators replicate these panels and enthusiasts often fixate on several issues.  Namely:

(i)         The colour of the panel and lightplate;

(ii)        The position of the panel in the center pedestal;

(iii)       The backlighting of the lightplate (bulbs verses LEDs);

(iv)       The manufacturer of the panel, and;

(v)        The aesthetic condition of the lightplate.

Although seemingly important to a cockpit builder, to the casual observe, or indeed to many pilots, these attributes are of little consequence.  Nevertheless, it's understandable why many believe all the panels are identical in all B737 airframes.

Whilst it's true that all airlines must meet aviation standards for the type of operation they fly, the panel manufacturer and where in the pedestal the panel is located is at the discretion of the airline.  Furthermore, it's not uncommon to observe older style panels mixed with modern panels and to see lightplates that are illuminated by bulbs and LEDs side by side.

Note that some of this information probably pertains more to older Next Generation 737s than to the latest airframe build released from Boeing.  I use the word 'panel' to denote an avionics module.

Colour of Lightplates

The official colour shade used by Boeing is Federal Standard 5956 36440 (light gull grey).  However, OEM part manufacturers may use slightly different colour hues.  For example, IPECO use British Standard 381C-632 (dark admiralty grey) and Gables use RAL 7011.  This said, often an airline will 'touch up' a lightplate that is damaged or faded - this introduces a further colour variant. 

LEFT:  Air Alaska 737-700 pedestal.  Note higher than standard position of ACP panels and relocated position of the door lock panel.  Also high mounted position of rudder trim panel (click to enlarge).

As an example, a lightplate I repaired from a B737-500 airframe revealed three differing shades of grey beneath the final top coat of paint.  This is not to mention that, depending on the manufacturer of the lightplate, the final coat of paint may be matt, semi-matt or gloss.

From the perspective of an engineer, the colour (and to a certain extent aesthetic  condition) is unimportant when replacing a defective part with another.  Time spent in the hanger equates to a loss in revenue by the airline.  Therefore turn-around times are as brief as possible and keeping an aircraft on the ground while procuring the correct shade of Boeing grey does not enter the equation.

Position of Panels in the Center Pedestal

Boeing recommends a more or less standard position for the essential panels in the center pedestal (NAV, COM, ADF, ASP, rudder trim, door lock and panel flood), however, the location of the panels is often altered by the receiving airline, and is to a certain extent is determined by what other panels are installed to the pedestal.  Areas (holes) in the pedestal not used by a panel are covered over with a grey-coloured metal blank.

LEFT:  This photograph of the center pedestal of a Boeing 737-500 was taken in 2016.  The aircraft is a freighter used to transport parcels that has been converted from a passenger aircraft.  Apart from the older style ACP panels, note the disparate displays between the NAV and COM radios.  Also note the position of the ADF radios and some of the other panels; they do not conform to what is usually thought of as a standard set-out.  Finally, note the scratches on the pedestal and on some of the panels and lightplates - they hardly look new (click to enlarge).

Panels are manufactured by several companies, and often there appearance will differ slightly between manufacturer, although the panel's functionality will be identical.  The airline more often than not chooses which panel is used, and often the decision is biased by the cost of the panel.  Therefore, it's not uncommon to observe several airframes of a similar age with differing panels positioned in different areas of the center pedestal.

Panel Condition

Enthusiasts pride themselves in having a simulator that looks brand new.  However, in the real world a Level D simulator or flight deck rarely looks new after entering service.  Panels can be soiled and paint is chipped and scratched, and depending on age, some lightplates are faded to due to the high UV environment that is present in a flight deck.

So where am I going with this?  Enthusiasts strive to match their panels with those observed in a real airliner, however, more often than not this information comes from photographs distributed by Boeing Corporation (which nearly always depict panels in a standard position in the center pedestal). 

The variables noted by enthusiasts should not cause consternation, as real aircraft show similar variation.  Remember that in the real aircraft, colour, manufacturer, and to a certain extent aesthetic condition is not important - functionality is.

To see additional photographs, navigate to the image portal.

Wednesday
Oct092013

B737 Center Pedestal Completed and Installed - Flight Testing Begins

After spending the best part of two weeks wiring the various panels into the center pedestal I am now pleased with the result. 

LEFT:  B737-500 center pedestal and custom panels.  The center pedestal from the 500 series is very similar to that of the NG (600 & above) (click image to see larger).

The center pedestal is from a Boeing 737-500 and is made from fibreglass.  The earlier series two-bay pedestals were made from aluminium.  The three bay pedestal allows much more room inside the pedestal to mount interface cards and house the wiring for the various panels (modules). 

However, as with every positive there often is a drawback.  In this case there are two drawbacks.  The first is a few spare holes must be covered with OEM blanking plates, and the second is the three bay pedestal is considerably wider than a two bay pedestal.  Whilst climbing into the flight deck is easy at the moment, once a shell is fitted, J-Rails will need to be fitted to the seats to allow easy access. 

Space

Taking advantage of the extra internal space of a three bay, I have constructed a small shelf that fits inside the lower section.  The shelf is nothing fancy - a piece of wood that fits securely between the two sides of the pedestal.  Attached to this shelf are bus bars, a Leo Bodnar interface card and a FDS interface card.  A Belkin powered hub also sits on the shelf.  The power supply for the hub resides beneath the platform to the rear ( for easy access).

The bus bars provide power for the various OEM panels and backlighting, while the Leo Bodnar card provides the interface functionality for the two ACP units.  The FDS card is required for operation of the three FDS navigation and communication radios I am currently using.

My aim was to minimise cabling from the pedestal forward to the throttle unit.  The reason for this is the throttle is motorized and moving parts and USB cables do not work well together.  I have two cables that go forward of the pedestal to the computer; one USB cable from the powered Belkin hub and the other the cable required to connect the CP Flight panels.  Both cables have been carefully routed along the inner side of the throttle quadrant so as to not snag on moving internal parts.

Pedestal Colour

The original pedestal was painted Boeing grey which is the correct colour for a B737-500.  The unit was repainted Boeing white to bring it into line with the colour of the B737-800 NG pedestal.

Backlighting

The backlighting for the throttle quadrant and center pedestal is turned on or off by the panel knob located on the center pedestal.  Power is from a dedicated S-150 5 Volt power supply rated to 30 amps. 

LEFT:  On the Seventh day, GOD created backlighting and the backlighting was said to be good. (click image to see larger).

The light plates are mostly aircraft bulbs; however, a few of the panels, such as the phone and EVAC panel, are LEDS and operate on 28 Volts rather than the standard 5 Volts.

Size Does Matter...

It's important when you install the wiring for backlighting that you use the correct gauge (thickness) wire.  Failure to do this will result in a voltage drop (leakage), the wire becoming warm to touch, and the bulbs not glowing at their full intensity.  Further, if you use a very long wire from the power supply you will also notice voltage drop; a larger than normal wire (thickness) will solve this problem.  There is no need to go overboard and for average distances (+-5 meters) standard automotive or a tad thicker wiring is more than suitable to cater to the amp draw from incandescent bulbs.

To determine the amperage draw, you will need to determine how many amps the bulbs are using.  This can be problematic if you're unsure of exactly how many light plates you have.  There are several online calculators that can be googled to help you figure out the amperage draw.  Google "calculation to determine wire thickness for amps".

At the moment, I am not using a dimmer to control the backlighting, although a dimmer maybe installed at a later date.

Minor Problem - Earth Issue

A small problem which took considerable time to solve was an earth issue.  The problem manifested by arcing occurring and the backlighting dimming.  I attempted to solve the problem by adding an earth wire from the pedestal to the aluminium flooring; however, the issue persisted.  The issue eventually was tracked down to an OEM radar panel which was "earthing" out on the aluminum DZUS rails via the DZUS fasteners.  To solve the problem, I sealed the two metal surfaces with tape.

Panels

The panels I am currently using are a mixture of Flight Deck Solutions (FDS), CP Flight, 500 and NG series. 

  • NAV 1/2 (FDS)
  • M-COM (FDS)
  • ADF 1/2 (CP Flight)
  • Light Panel (OEM)
  • Radar Panel (OEM)
  • EVAC Panel (OEM)
  • Phone Panel (OEM)
  • Rudder Trim Panel (CP Flight)
  • ATC Transducer Radio (CP Flight)
  • ACP Panel x 2 (OEM)
  • Fire Suppression Panel (fire handles) (OEM)

In time a ACARS printer will be added and some of the non NG style panels (namely the ACP panels) will be replaced with OEM NG style ACP panels.  The OEM panels installed are fully operational and have been converted to be used with Flight Simulator and ProSim737.  I will discuss the conversion of the panels, in particular the Fire Suppression Panel, in separate journal posts.

The more observant readers will note that I am missing a few of the "obvious" panels, namely the cargo fire door panel and stab trim panel.  Whilst reproduction units are readily available, I'm loathe to purchase them preferring to wait; eventually I'll source OEM panels.  Rome was not built in a day.

Panel Types

If you inspect any number of photographs, it will become apparent that not all airframes have exactly the same type or number of panels installed to the pedestal.  Obviously, there are the minimum requirements as established by the relevant safety board; however, after this has been satisfied it's at the discretion of the airline to what they order and install (and are willing to pay for...).  It's not uncommon to find pedestals with new and old style panels, incandescent and LED backlighting, colour differences and panels located in different positions.

Telephone Assembly

Purists will note that the telephone is not an NG style telephone and microphone.  I have keep the original B737-500 series telephone and microphone as the pedestal looks a little bare without them attached. 

LEFT:  500 series telephone assembly.  Although not NG style the assembly completes the pedestal (click image to see larger).

If at some stage I find a NG communications assembly I'll switch them, but for the time being it will stay as it is.

More Pictures (less words...)

To see further pictures, navigate to the Image Gallery (tabs on main menu at top of page).

Flight Testing - Replication

The throttle quadrant and center pedestal are more or less finished.  The next few weeks will be spent testing the unit, it's functionality, and how well it meshes with ProSim737 in various scenarios.  This process always takes an inordinate amount of time as there are many scenarios to examine, test and then replicate. 

Replication is very important as, oddly, sometimes a function will work most times; however, will not work in certain circumstances.  It's important to find these "gremlins" and fix them before moving onto the next level. 

KIS - Keep It Simple

Although everything is relatively simple in design (OEM part connects to interface card then to ProSim737 software), once you begin to layer functions that are dependent on other functions working correctly, complexity can develop.   It's important to note that the simulator is using over a dozen interface and relay cards, most mounted within the Interface Master Module (IMM) and wired to an assortment of OEM parts configured to operate with ProSim737's avionics suite. 

Wednesday
Apr252012

Populating the B737 Center Pedestal

The centre pedestal I’m using is a real aviation part procured from a South West B737-300 series aircraft. The pedestal came attached to the throttle quadrant and is the more uncommon two-column style for this series aircraft, rather than the three-column NG style.

I was reluctant to destroy a piece of aviation memorabilia, so rather than cut the pedestal from the throttle and discard it, I decided to keep the two-column pedestal and limit myself only to essential avionic modules.

LEFT: A mix-match in colour and manufacturers.  The center pedestal is a real aviation part as is the throttle unit.  The fire suppression panel came from a scrapped B737-500 whilst the F/O Audio Control Panel (ACP) came from 500 series aircraft.  The other modules are: FDS NAV & M-COMM and a  ATC transducer module made by CP Flight in Italy.  For those unfamiliar with a real pedestal, the flat pieces if metal with the light green paint on the upper side, fold down and are aluminium coffee cup holders !

Apart from the nostalgia of using a real bay, I really like the DZUS rails that are incorporated in a real bay which allow you to drop the various modules into place.  To read about DZUS fasteners, navigate to my earlier post.

No International Standard  - Variation

There is no international standard established to indicate which model/type avionics are installed in a center pedestal; more often than not, it will come down to the type of aircraft and a particular airline’s requirements.  Early series B737s were fitted with a twin column pedestal which minimised the number of modules that can be fitted.  Later model B737 aircraft and the NG series incorporate a three column pedestal to allow installation of the latest navigation and communication equipment.  There are benefits to the thinner two column pedestals, the main positive being more room to climb into the flight deck.

All B737s will have as a minimum the following avionics installed:  Fire Suppression module, NAV1/2 COMS 1/2, ADF 1/2, audio, rudder trim and transponder.  The important modules will be duplicated for First Officer use and redundancy should a failure occur.  Depending upon the aircraft series, the following may also be installed: thermal printer, HUD set-up, radar, cargo door panel & floodlight switches, alternate communications, etc, etc (the list is almost endless).  Much of what is installed depends on the use of the aircraft, civil regulations in the country of use and the requirement of the particular airlines.

Module Location

As with colour, there is no standardization to the location within the pedestal for any particular module - perhaps with the exception of the fire suppression module and NAV 1/2 module which (usually) occupy the forward part of the center pedestal.  Modules are fitted wherever they fit and in line with whatever specification that the airlines requires.  For example, I've observed Audio Control Panels (ACP) mounted toward the rear of the pedestal, which I believe is the favoured position, and also towards to front of the pedestal.

LEFT:  Note the ACP units are located further forward than what is considered the norm.  Also note the rudder trim module mounted in the centre of the pedestal and the rather larger thermal printer (?) toward the lower right. 

Another interesting aspect to observe is the different knobs on the NAV and ADF radios.  Often simmers became "mentally entangled" in attempting to standardize everything across their simulator.  This is not necessary and actually is more realistic if you mix-match slightly.

This pedestal is mounted within a B737-700 aircraft and represents the more usually found three column pedestal in this series aircraft.  The pedestal I am using came from an earlier 400 series aircraft and is the two column type.

I’ve populated the center pedestal with the following modules:

  • NAV-1 (Flight Deck Solutions)
  • NAV-2 (Flight Deck Solutions)
  • M-COMM (Flight Deck Solutions) new style module that incorporates all radios in one module
  • ADF-1 (CP Flight)
  • ADF-2 (CP Flight)
  • Rudder Trim (CP Flight)
  • ATC (transponder) (CP Flight)
  • Fire Suppression Module (genuine B737 unit converted for FS use)
  • Audio Control Panel (2) (ACP) (genuine B737-500 unit – only wired for lights at the moment)

Maintaining Brands – almost impossible

I had wanted to maintain the same brand of modules across the sim to minimise the number of different system cards and interfaces, however, this was difficult to do. 

Flight Deck Solutions, a premium upper shelf supplier of simulation parts to the professional and enthusiast market, do not currently produce an ADF radio module.   Further, FDS do not produce an older style ATC (transponder) module; they only manufacture the newer push button type and I favoured the older style.

CP Flight produces some excellent modules with a very easy to use daisy chain system for linking the modules together; it would have to be the easiest and less hassle-free system on the market.  As I already had the older style CP Flight transducer module left over from my older simulator, and am using the CP Flight MCP (which is required for daisy chaining if you do not use thier "black box"), I decided to incorporate this module.

I would have also used the ADF radios made by CP Flight, however, at the time of writing these modules are unavailable and there is no date determined to when they will be available.

Real Modules

Nothing beats real modules aesthetically...  I am hoping that as the project develops to replace some of the reproduction modules with real B737 modules converted to flight simulation use.  Currently, I only have the fire suppression module and Audio Control Panel (ACP) converted.  More research is required to learn how to convert other modules.  Perhaps real ADF modules :)   An ongoing project!

SISMO Solicones

Therefore, a relative newcomer to the scene attracted my attention – a Spanish company called SISMO Solicones.  Their products are reasonable quality for the price paid, are 1:1 ratio to real Boeing modules, use Ethernet rather than USB, and relatively easy to configure. 

I was very keen to trial Ethernet as a method to connect modules to the computer.  In a future post, I will review the actual modules and the benefits of Ethernet instead of USB.

Avionics Mania

Unless you have an unlimited budget, or have “module sickness” necessitating every module possible, you may want to think about how often you will use a particular module.  Navigation (NAV 1/2 & ADF 1/2) and communication (COM1/2) modules will be used on every flight; therefore, it’s best to purchase a high end module for consistency and reliability. 

The rudder trim module and Audio Control Panel (ACP) are rarely used, with the exception of engine out operations and for turning on/off the audio for the various navigational aids.  The later can be particularly annoying when tracking an active ADF.

This is a side benefit to using a two column pedestal:  there is less room so you can only select those modules with provide required functionality.  The extra space also helps when climbing into the flight deck  :)

Module Size – Size Matters!

It’s very important to check whether the module will fit correctly to whatever pedestal you are using.  If you’re building your own pedestal without rails, then this isn’t much to worry as you can easily fashion a template to drop the modules into.  However, if you’re using a real Boeing part, you will need to ensure that the modules are built in such a way that they drop into the existing rail system in the pedestal, otherwise you may need to alter your rails.

LEFT:  Note the electronics tab that needs to clear the DZUS rails for installation.  A poor module design if using a real pedestal.  If I had know this before purchase, I'd have selected ADF radios from another supplier.

ADF Radio Modules – Attaching to the DZUS Rails

The avionics modules made by Flight Deck Solutions are literally “drop & forget” as these modules are DZUS compliant and fit the DZUS rails perfectly.  The ADF radios from SISMO are a different matter.  Each of the modules has a small tab on the electronics board which was too wide to navigate past the DZUS rail to slide into the bay.  This was a major issue as the module cannot be dropped onto the rails.  Why SISMO designed them this way is beyond me, as many serious simmers use real aircraft center pedestals.

Cutting the Rail – Delicate Operation

Although I was reluctant to cut the DZUS rail, I realized that this was the only method available to correctly fit the SISMO ADF modules.  The rail had to be cut and a portion removed that corresponded to the size of the tab. Removing a portion of the rail would allow the module to then be dropped into the pedestal. 

The DZUS rails are attached at regular intervals to the inner side of the pedestal by several aluminium rivets.  The rivets are not moveable and unfortunately a rivet was located directly where the rail was to be cut. 

After checking my measurement more than three times, I used a dremel power tool and small metal saw to gently cut into the aluminium rail until flush against the edge of the pedestal.  The cut piece of aluminium rail then was able to be removed; however, the rivet body remained.  I then used a metal file to carefully grind away the end of the rivet head until flush with the pedestal side. 

In addition to this, each of the attachment holes of the modules needed to be enlarged slightly to accommodate the male end of a DZUS fastener.  This job was relatively easy and I used a quality drill bit to enlarge the hole.  A word of caution here – SISMO do not use metal backing plates, so if you’re over zealous with a drill you will probably crack the plastic board.

Once the sections of DZUS rails were removed, it was only a matter of dropping the radio modules into the bay and securing them with DZUS fasteners.

System Cards & Wiring – Location, Mounting & Access

I was “surprised’ at the number of cards required to use SISMO modules.  An Ethernet card is required as is a daughter and servo card.  There are also two power sources: 5 volt powers the small servo (motor) that moves the rudder trim gauge, and 12 volt powers the module back-lighting. 

My main concern was where to mount the cards.  Initially, I was going to mount them under the main simulator platform, but access for maintenance was a problem. I decided to utilise the inside of the pedestal beneath the modules.  This area is rather cavernous and a good place to house the cards and wiring needed for the modules (out of sight and out of mind).

LEFT:  SISMO rudder trim and ADF module with power pack.  The rudder trim is quite a good reproduction of the real unit, however, it lacks finesse in its final construction.  I may switch the unit to a CP Flight rudder trim module in the near future.

Constructing an Internal Board – to attach cards to

I cut a piece of thin MDF board to roughly the height of the pedestal interior and fitted it in such a way that it created a vertical partition.  To this board, using both sides, I attached the various cards needed.  To ensure that the flat cables had enough room to reach the various cards, I cut a slot in the center section of the board.  I also made sure there was enough room at each end of the board to allow cabling to snake around the partition. The most important point to remember is to ensure that none of the cards touch the metal sides of the pedestal or each other; to do so will cause an earthing problem. 

Wiring wasn’t much of an issue, as SISMO supplies prefabricated flat wiring with plastic clips.  All you need to do to attach the correct clips to correct attachment point on the card – very easy with absolutely no soldering.  As the Ethernet card is mounted within the pedestal, the only wires that need to be threaded through the lower throttle section of the pedestal are the power cable and the Ethernet cable.  The later connects to the Ethernet switch box that is mounted to the shelf of the FDS MIP.

The pedestal innards are now full of intestinal-looking wires attached to an assortment of cards.  It looks messy with all the wiring, but as the wires are flat wires with solid connectors, it is very secure and logically set out.  Access to the wiring and cards is achieved by removing two or three modules. 

Avionics Modules – A Review

After I have evaluated each of the modules I am using for reliability and functionality, I will post a review as a separate journal post.  I'll also post a few images of the pedestal once the twin ACP units have been fully converted to simulator use.

Thursday
Nov102011

B737-300 Throttle Quadrant & Center Pedestal - Arrived at Last

A big orange truck from TNT Express parked outside the house this afternoon and the driver began to offload a large wooden crate that weighed around 80 kilograms.  I could be only one thing – the Boeing throttle quadrant and avionics box (center pedistal) had finally arrived.   

Together, the driver and I manhandled the crate through the hallway of the house to the room in which construction of the simulator is taking place.  Removing a heavy piece of machinery from a wooden crate can be tricky, and the only method was to disassemble the box screw by screw – WOW what beauty!

Initial Thoughts

The throttle and avionics bay is a genuine aircraft part so there wasn’t much to not like; you can’t “immerse” yourself or get a more authentic experience than by using a real aircraft part.  The throttle originally was in use in a Boeing 737-300 with South West livery.  Unfortunately, the guy at the tear down yard didn’t document the tail number of the aircraft it was removed from.  It would have been nice to have a photo of the actual aircraft to place on the Blog.

The first aspect I noticed about the throttle was the build.  It’s a solid piece of engineering built to withstand the neglect of pilot use and now simulator use.  I don’t believe the throttle will ever be damaged from neglect my end – its’ solidly constructed.  The feel when you push the two power levers forward is - well – you just have to be here!  Manoeuvring the flap lever through the various indents is equally rewarding.  Knowing that the throttle was once used in a real aircraft by real pilots adds a completely new dimension to flight simulation.

Retrofitting & FS Connectivity

During the refurbishment of the throttle, I had decided to not bastardize the throttle to try and replicate the appearance a throttle from a Boeing NG.  Therefore, the throttle remains a 300 series throttle.  It has been repainted only where necessary and decals have been replaced only when they were unreadable.  The internal mechanism of the throttle has been completely striped, cleaned and serviced.  Parts, such as the huge cog wheels and unnecessary internal wiring have been discarded as these are not required for simulation use. 

To allow the throttle to connect correctly with flight simulator, three Phidget cards (0066 & 0064) & a Leo Bodnar card (BUO 836X) have been used.  The cards are connected directly to the front of the throttle casing and will not be visible once the throttle casing is connected to the centre stage of the main instrument panel (MIP). 

All the functions of the throttle operate with the exception of the stab trim switches, which can be linked to another FS function if required.  Trim wheels are functional with the use of a servo motor and the trim spins when electric trim is activated on the yoke.  Back lighting is integrated back lighting (IBL) using genuine Boeing 5 volt bulbs.

Current Status

At the moment I’ve only taken delivery and am in the process of connecting a Benchmark card to an external power source to allow power to reach the 5 volt lighting bulbs and servo motors.  I have little doubt that there will be teething issues with software as I configure everything for correct functionality, but I believe that this extra effort is worthwhile to be able to use a real throttle instead of a replica.

Avionics Bay

The avionics bay is a two-bay type.  Two-bay types were mainly used on the earlier Boeing classic series jets up to the 200 series, however, a number of 300 series aircraft used them as well as 400 series.  The bay was attached to the throttle when I bought it, so rather than dump it and replicate a NG three-bay; I’ve decided to use it to maintain authenticity.  I may at some stage in the future replace it with three-bay – I’ll see how things develop once I begin to populate the bay with avionics instruments.  One benefit of using a two-bay style is that once Weber seats are fitted to the flight deck there will be more room to squeeze past to get into the seat!

An interesting feature to the unit is the positioning of two oddly shaped aluminium pull downs.  At first, I had no idea what these were used for.  Then it dawned on me – they are pull-down coffee cup holders.  What more can you ask for (laughing).  See the image gallery for a snap.

Fire Suppression Module

The fire suppression module was an afterthought.  A second hand unit was available and I decided to retrofit this with limited functionality to flight simulator.  At the moment IBL works, and when pulled, each fire handle does what it’s supposed to do.  At some stage in the future I may activate the fire bell.  But, at the moment it’s early days with regard to this.  Basically it’s a module that has to be installed into the avionics bay for aesthetics; a TQ without a fire suppression module looks a slightly naked.

More on the actual avionics bay at a later stage when I begin to populate the bay with instruments - much kmore interesting than looking at "naked bay"

  • To see a selection of detailed images of the TQ, check out the Gallery Section
Wednesday
Oct052011

Boeing 737-300 Series Throttle Quadrant - UPDATE

The refurbishing of the Boeing 737-300 throttle quadrant is almost completed and delivery to Australia should be in a week or so.  The work involved converting this throttle quadrant to flight simulator use has been quite lengthy, however, I believe the end result will justify the wait.  As with everything in flight simulation - one has to have patience.....

Read more about the TQ and see some additional pictures which have been sent to me, in the updated section of the original thread (under the original post).  Click the blue aircraft icon to read the update.