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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.

 

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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 Pilot Seats (3)

Friday
Jan202012

Video - Weber Pilot Seat Adjustment Capabilities

A short video clip to follow up on the installation of two B737 Weber pilot seats (Captain and First Officer) that have been installed into the simulator. The seats were retrieved from a South West B737 that was destined for the wrecking yard. This video demonstrates the range of movements that the seats are capable of.  Double click video to vuew full screen.

To read addtional information on the seats, see these other Journal entries.

Weber Pilot Seat Adjustments from Anaspides Photography on Vimeo.

 

Tuesday
Dec202011

Installing Weber Pilot Seats to Platform Base

The main instrument panel is an integral part of the flight deck.  Now that it’s installed other components can be fitted to the platform base and measured correctly.  I knew that the two Weber pilot seats would take a considerable amount of time to install, so decided to tackle this job over the weekend.

Attachment Stress

In my earlier posts, I mentioned that to manipulate the various levers which move the seats results in relatively large amount of stress being placed on the attachment points of the seat to the platform floor; there is reason Weber seats have 16 attachment points to the flight deck floor.  To help with the attachment of the seats I incorporated a mount that sits beneath each seat.  The mount, constructed from wood, is 16 mm in thickness and is bolted to the 16 mm thick platform floor (36 mm total thickness).  Rather than use wood screws to attach the seats, I decided to use 55 mm length bolts with washers; my thinking is that the bolts will provide far stronger attachment points, when installed through the seat mounts and platform floor,  than wood screws. 

The Detail

The first task was to cut and paint the seat mounts which was straightforward.  I then positioned each seat on its mounting base and drilled the appropriate holes in the correct position to match the holes in the seat legs.  The seat mounts were then placed on the platform floor in their correct position and the holes drilled through the platform floor.  The platform floor was then removed from the base (note that the platform floor is made of three segments to allow for easy moving if necessary), and each seat was laid on its side to allow placement of the platform floor and seat mount before inserting the bolts and securing the seat.  The platform floor was then positioned back onto the base with the seat attached.  The biggest problem was actually lifting and manoeuvring each seat and its segment of platform floor; together, each seat and segment of flooring weighs over 50 kg.

Correct Positioning

The correct positioning of the seat and seat mount is very important.  Boeing specification states that the distance from the front of the seat to the MIP is 340 mm, however, this depends on where you are measuring to and what type of MIP you are using.  The measurement if using a FDS MIP is from the front of the claw feet to the forward edge of the lower kickstand.  This measurement is 440 cm.

The seats move forward and aft by pivoting over the secured claw feet (see video); therefore, if the measurement is out by a cm or so it is not really an issue as the seat movement can take up the difference. 

It Works….

With the platform floor secured to the base it was time to trial the seats.  Both seats work well and there is no movement or flexing at their attachment points.  There is also no movement where the seat mounts join the platform floor.

I think it was overboard using 16 bolts and bolting through 36 mm of wood!  But, I wanted to make sure the seats did not move on their base as I didn't particularly want to remove them and start over again. 

To see further pictures, navigate to the Image Gallery.

Next on the list is installing the ACE yoke and throttle quadrant.

Note that the wooden platform has been replaced as well as the ACE yoke and 300 series throttle quadrant - new platform installed.

Sunday
Dec112011

Weber Captain & First Officer Pilot Seats 

A call from DHL Freight logistics alerted me to the fact that another large crate had arrived at the local airport for pick-up.  It was too early for the consignment to be the MIP, so the next contender was cockpit seats.

I wasn’t going to purchase pilot seats until the project was nearing its final phase.  However, genuine B737 seats are becoming more difficult to find in good condition, and when I was offered these seats, I decided to “grab them” for the simulator. 

Boeing aircraft use for the most part two types of aircraft seats: Ipeco and Weber; the former being the more modern seat design with adjustable J-rails.  Personally, I find the Ipeco seats to be rather uncomfortable and the configuring of J-rails can be painful.  Weber seats bolt directly to the floor, so as long as you have the correct measurements for the bolt down locations, there shouldn’t be any further problems.  Both the Ipeco and Weber seats have several seat levers to allow for correct and comfortable positioning.

Weber seat cushions are either manufactured from cloth, which are the seats I have, or they have sheepskin covers sewn over and into the cloth.  At some stage in the future, I may have sheepskins installed over the seats, but at the moment this is a secondary issue.

Apart from some very minor cosmetic issues associated with the plastic molding on the rear of one seat, both seats are in excellent condition.  You have to remember that seats are always in used condition and probably have flown thousands of hours of flight time.  Before their new home in the simulator, they were fitted to a 737-500 series aircraft belonging to South West Airlines. 

LEFT:  I had to collect the seats from DHL Freight.  They were screwed to a pallet and it must have looked a little odd driving home with two cockpit seats in a box trailer.

Minor Overhaul of Flight Officer Seat

Although cosmetically the seats look OK, the right hand seat (flight officer) didn't seem to be operating correctly.  Inverting the seat, I was shocked to see a built up of dirt, grim and dust over the mechanisms that control the movement of seat.  Disassembling the components, I also discovered a broken split pin which was stopping the connecting cable, which controls the vertical rise in the seat, from working.  After cleaning and replacing the broken split pin, I lubricated all the areas requiring lubrication.  PRESTO, the seat now works as it should.

Leg Attachment Points - Four Seat Movements

I was surprised to learn that each seat has 16 attachment points to secure the seat to the floor.  When you alter the position of a Weber seat, especially forward and aft, the pressures exerted on the seat legs are quite severe.  The seat has four movements: back reclining (like in a motor car), vertical rise (upwards lift of about a foot or so in height), under leg lifting and forward and aft seat control.  The last movement is needed as Weber seats do not use rails.

CASA Approved?

I was inspecting the seat feet (called duck feet because of their shape.  You can see these triangular style feet in the upper photograph), when my girlfriend came into the room - she commented "I hope their CASA approved".  The first snipe - no doubt more will come  :)  I dare not try the seat harness....   (CASA is the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia)

Oh and before you ask - yes the seats are very comfortable...

To see more detailed pictures of the seats, navigate to the image gallery.

I will post a separate Journal entry explaining how I intend to attach the seats to the platform base.  I'll also post a short video showing how the seats operate.