FORWARD AND AFT OVERHEAD PANEL
The forward and aft overhead is probably the most complex panel in the aircraft and simulation. Therefore, it has been earmarked towards the end of the 737 project. I believe it’s wise to have everything else working in the simulator (MIP, avionics, throttle, CDU, etc) with minimal bugs before connecting the overhead panels.
At first I was going to use the panel produced by Flight Deck Solutions because of its 'plug and fly' ability; however, a genuine B737 overhead appeared on the market at a reasonable price, and I was fortunate in securing the forward and aft sections along with Cole starter switches, lighting toggles and several switches and panels. Navigate to the image section if wish to look at the purchased overhead.
Genuine OEM Parts and Timeline
I wish to continue with the theme of using genuine (OEM) Boeing parts. This said, it takes considerable time to procure the parts, and then there is the actual conversion to allow the parts to function within the flight simulator environment.
I am fortunate to have a good friend who has the innate ability to know how to convert something relatively easily. Without help from this individual, the simulator would not have the OEM functionality that it currently has. If, for whatever reason, the ability to obtain/convert OEM parts is not possible, then a switch will be made to a high-end reproduction panel such as produced by SimWorld in Poland.
Unfortunately, there are a few panels that are specific to the B737 NG that I am unable to procure. Therefore, these panels (light plates) will be high-end reproductions.
The final product is expected to be a mix-match of OEM and high-end reproduction panels, while gauges, switches, toggles and knobs will be OEM B737 products.
The overhead is not a panel you can construct in a few days, and I am not expecting to have a complete workable forward and aft panel for sometime. The simulator is quite flyable without an overhead, so a time frame has not been set for completion.
As parts are acquired, updates will be posted in the Journal section.
The forward and aft overhead controls the following functions:
List to come soon.....