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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).


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)

Entries in Update (3)


Full-time Construction - Light at the end of the Tunnel

It's been three weeks since my oversized box arrived from the United States and the time has not been spent idle. 

LEFT:  Revealed after removing the lid of the crate - an OEM NG style throttle unit.   The three bay center pedestal was packed to the gunnels with OEM parts!

The first morning was spent attempting to drag, carry and push a rather large and heavy (110 kilos) crate from the side garden, up five sets of cement stairs, through the door and then into the flight simulator room. 

The only way one person could move the crate was to unpack whatever was possible into the garden, then construct a  pulley system to drag the crate and its remaining contents up the stairs.  The crate then had to be pushed along the carpet, using cardboard as a slide (to protect the carpet).  It was a relief to note that the crate had a few centimeters clearance between the sides of the crate and the door edges! 

This worked out well, although it took most of the morning, as unpacking the throttle unit outside the simulator room and  moving it to the room would have been problematic.

Fork Lift Damage

My concerns about fork lifts and delicate cargo came to fruition.  A fork lift had rammed one side of the crate leaving the tell-tale evidence - a fork shaped hole!  Fortunately, most of the delicate items were not damaged and for the most part the fork only pushed air.  A book that was included in the crate received much of the brunt and saved the fork from travelling further.  But, so much for my book which now has a hole in it....

Construction Mode

I've been in construction mode attempting to get as much done before I return to my job.  The days have been long and the wire clippers are becoming blunt from endless use!  Many hours have been spent thinking how to do things and then implementing decisions - some successful and others requiring a re-think.  The telephone has been "running hot" as I discuss options with my friend (who also has a B737 simulator) on the best methods to use.

There has been  challenges both in construction and in software development; however, after almost three solid weeks, the light can now be seen at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully, I'll have some time spare soon to collate some photographs  with words and make a few detailed posts.

I have uploaded several photographs to the Image Gallery (Interface Master Module, Throttle Unit & Conversion of Real B737 Parts).  You will also note a new tab in the main menu called Interface Master Module.


Main Instrument Panel (MIP) Arrived - Updated Progress

At last, a phone call from DHL Freight Forwarding has advised me that the Main Instrument Panel (MIP) I ordered from Flight Deck Solutions (FDS) in Canada, in August, has finally arrived and is ready for pick up.

This means that the next phase -  the actual construction of a working sim can begin in ernest. 

To recap on what has been acheived since August 2010:

  • Research, ordering and implementation of project
  • Boeing 737-300 throttle quadrant overhauled and converted to operational use with flight simulator (FSX) & troubleshooting completed
  • Several phidget cards installed and calibrated to correct operation
  • Boeing avionics bay (center pedestil) from a B737-300 overhauled and ready to populate with avionics modules
  • Platform base constructed and painted
  • Weber Captain and First Officer seats procured and overhauled to working order
  • ACE yoke & column purchased, calibrated and flight tested
  • B737-500 yokes and columns procured and awaiting conversion to operational use in flight simulator (March 2012)
  • Computers purchased, configured and networked
  • MCP and EFIS (pro version) purchased from CP Flight in Italy
  • Avionics modules (various) purchased for installation to avionics bay and evaluation
  • Main Instrument Panel (MIP) wired and prepared for installation and evaluation
  • Various genuine B737 instruments procured and awaiting conversion to operational use in flight simulator (in due course)
  • various software add on packages purchased and evaluated

Therefore, everything appears to be "green for go".

I'll keep you updated on the progress with regular updates, journal posts and video clips.

Feel free to make comments, suggestions or offer advice in the comments section of the the journal entries.  This is a two-way blog.


Throttle Quadrant & Center Pedestal on the way (finally)

The QANTAS strike in Australia has sure left me stranded - not personally but with freight.  Even though flight operations were only cancelled for a few days, the backlog of freight and essential cargo that has been delayed is staggering. It just proves that Australia really does need another major airline so that Qantas does not hold the nation to ransom.

Throttle Quadrant & Avionics Bay

After almost a month in transit (who said air freight was fast), the 737 throttle quadrant and avionics bay has arrived in Sydney, only to be sitting on the floor of the Qantas warehouse for a week!  My customs forwarder advised me on Friday that Qantas finally has released the freight for dispatch to Melbourne then onwards further south to Hobart.  Arrival time is mid next week (touch wood).


The main instrument panel, I have been reliably told by Peter Cos of Flight Deck Solutions has been wired and will be ready for dispatch later next week.  I'll ensure this freight is NOT sent via QANTAS....Maybe I'll use DHL.

In the interim, whilst waiting for freight to arrive, I've been kept busy working through computer set up networking challenges in WIN 7, and solving an assortment of compatability issues with regard to software.  After many hours, it seems that many of these matters are now well on their way to be solved.  I've also been spending considerable time researching the various flight models that can be used with Sim Avionics.

It will soon be time to begin the build phase of the project.