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Cockpit Shell
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UPDATE: 03/10/07 The FlightSim 737NG section of my website contains the latest information and photographs on the progress of my simulator.
FlightSim 737NG

 
Cockpit Shell

In this section you will see sources for purchasing; actual Boeing 737 cockpit shells, replications of Boeing 737 cockpit shells, a kit allowing the simbuilder to construct his own 737 cockpit shell. Just click on the photos below for a link to the appropriate supplier of these shells. Due to the expense involved with these shells, I decided a better option for me was to use the kit made by Flight Deck Solutions. I was able to pick up a used shell from another simbuilder who elected to go with one of the fiberglass shells pictured below. In addition to the decreased cost, this option gives me more flexibility and the enjoyment and challenge of building my own shell. The FDS shell allows me the option of finishing the exterior of the shell, or leaving it uncovered allowing me more time to focus my attention on the interior of the shell.

 

My Cockpit Shell

Below is the latest photo of my cockpit shell. I have modified the FDS shell to allow the top portion of the shell to be removed in order to allow easy movement of my simulator in and out of my garage. This along with other modifications to the shell will make it easier to move my simulator when we relocate.

 

 

The shell is almost complete. I still have to finish around the eyebrows and add a few more stringers. Next step for the shell is to cover it with fiberglass. That will have to wait until I finish the platform as well as the main instrument panel and glare shield. I want to fit them to the shell before I cover it. Click on the photo of my shell below for a direct link to the supplier of this kit. I will post additional photos as I complete the shell.

 

I couldn't resist taking a few photos with my new seats in the cockpit. It is beginning to feel like a simulator. Well, at least I can dream about it!

That covered pile you see through the windshield is all of the stuff I have accumulated over the past six months getting ready to build my sim. It includes flight controls, rudder pedal assemblies, another set of aircraft seats, and various other used aircraft parts to make my simulator as realistic as possible. At some point I will pull all of this out and add pictures of it to the accessories page of my website.

Here I am beginning to add the ribs on the top section of the shell.

I was having a little trouble figuring out how to line up the ribs on the top of the shell. I decided to add supports in the overhead to support the overhead panels, and this made it much easier to add the ribs.

I wanted you to be able to see how well the  eyebrows from an actual Boeing aircraft fit if the nose sectional from Flight Deck Solutions. Way to go Peter and his team for such an accurate replica.

Here I have completed the windshield and am ready to begin on the overhead of the shell. I am sure this will be a challenge, especially trying to fit the eyebrow frames around the eyebrows themselves. I will probably save that task until the end.

With the front of the windshield in and the left side almost completed I am now ready to work on the right side of the windshield. The windshield has been the hardest part of this project yet. Now that I have worked out the angles on the left side I hope the right side will go faster.

Working on the windshield frame on the left side of the shell.

With the front part of the windshield in I now have a focal point to work from. Note the 2x4's I am using to make sure my windshield is level. This proved to be very beneficial in supporting the windshield as I was securing it to the rest of the shell.

I have designed the windshield to split down the middle to facilitate taking the shell apart for moving my simulator. In addition to the split down the middle, it also splits apart where the top of the  windshield joins to the overhead of the shell. This will enable me to separate my shell into four separate pieces. In addition to allowing me to break it down for moving, this design will allow me to make a convertible out of my cockpit to give easier access during construction of my sim.

Here I am checking the fit of the eyebrows and overhead panel along with a few trim panels to see that the angles fit properly. I used the windshield frames from the Flight Deck Solutions kit as templates to cut out the boards for my windshield. I made no modifications to the length or angles of the templates although I did make the boards wider than the templates. Everything fit together beautifully.

Though not yet complete I am having a lot of fun building this kit. It is challenging enough to hold my interest, yet not so difficult as to prevent me from completing it.

I have ordered an actual cockpit door from a 737 to fit into my sim. Here I am adding a frame so I will be able to mount the door. In addition it will provide added structural support. I also added supports at the floor for mounting on the platform. Though not completed yet, I will be making horizontal cuts on the back wall at the top level of the windshield that will allow me to take the top of the shell off.

This is what I have completed after two days of work.

 

Fabricated Cockpit Shells

Click on the photos below for direct links to the suppliers of these fabricated 737 cockpit shells. There may be other companies presently producing these shells, however as of 1/23/06 these are the only ones that I am familiar with.

Actual Cockpit Shells

For some builders, nothing but the real thing will do for their simulator. Click on the logos or address below for direct links to some suppliers of actual cockpit shells.

 

 

 

http://www.scrogginsaviation.com/sales.html

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