plan your a320 homecockpit simulator

How to plan your flight simulator

The world of flight simulation is full of possibilities. A hobby with the potential to be an exciting and broadening challenge for years to come. Hardly any other leisure activity offers more possibilities to unfold than a home cockpit. This document will help you to get started with your own cockpit.

If you have any questions around this - please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

 

Infinite possibilities

invinite possibilities

 

A homecockpit is more than a piece of hardware that you can put into your home basement. A separate cockpit allows you to participate in virtual aviation in a variety of ways. But let's start at the beginning.

  1. Build your cockpit
    Your eyes will light up when you hold the first panel with switches and buttons in your hands. We promise. Building a homecockpit is an exciting thing. For many of us, the way is the goal. But whether you buy a ready-made cockpit or build each component yourself is simply a matter of strategy, money, time and personal attitude.
      
  2. Master your aircraft
    Once your cockpit is ready and you can start flying. It is essential to learn mastering the aircraft. At the beginning maybe just in sunny weather and without too much wind. Later you fly at night, low clouds and in difficult areas of the world. The challenge is even bigger when the reliability of the aircraft is no longer sure and system elements are suddenly erroring during the flight.
       
  3. Virtual Airlines
    If you need a reason to fly, you can join a so-called Virtual Airline. You can take a job there as a pilot and earning virtual money as well as making a career with virtual scheduled flights. Flying in a group is usually more fun and you get new ideas on which you can measure your flying skills.

  4. Fly online together
    If you can master all the procedures and flight systems you can easily share your passion with others. Fly online. With radio communication and real controllers as part of a large community over the Internet. Combined with weather and the plane itself, this will become a challenge that you will take over months. Especially if you live out your passion with a co-pilot. With the help of the principles of CRM (Crew Resource Management), you will become a perfect team.
       
      
  5. Travel the world
    Have you ever thought of making a trip around the world? Online? Fly in areas outside your home country and be guided by local controllers. An unknown flight area, and foreign-language controllers make flights a special challenge. 

 As you can see. Flying in a homecockpit offers almost endless possibilities and guarantees many years of joy in an exciting hobby.

 

 

Space requirements

Before you buy a homecockpit you should think about the premises and the available space. Not everyone has the ideal room size of 5 x 5 meters available. This is not absolutely necessary, because there are a lot of possibilities to fit a cockpit into an existing space. We have listed some ideas below, distinguishing between a closed shell and an open shell frame.

This is the size of a standard 1:1 scale A320 cockpit shell:

a320 shell dimension1
a320 shell dimension1

If you don't have enough space you can easily start with our shell frame solution. There are many options and sizes available that fit every room.

shell_frame_mini.jpg

Shell Frame Mini

shell_frame_pim.png

Shell Frame Pim

shell_frame_light.png

Shell Frame Light

 

 

We also have solutions for single seat cockpit. It may be interesting to know that most parts of the open construction can be used later for a closed shell. Whoever wants to start small at first can do so without blocking the future. 

 

Technical details and dimensions

 

There are two shell frames types that can easily be extended to a fully closed shell. The standard 1:1 shell or the shell frame size M.

     

Shell Standard

The shell consists of a Shell Frame Standard to which the various Lining Kit Elements are attached. The combination then results in a closed cockpit, which corresponds in its dimensions to an original cockpit.

shell frame upgrade  

   

Shell Size M

We designed the Shell Size M to enable a closed cockpit even in slightly smaller rooms. This cockpit consists of a combination of Shell Frame M and various shell elements. In contrast to the standard shell, the Shell Size M ends in front of the rear side window. All other proportions also correspond to the original. Due to the shortened shell, the Aft Overhead Panel has to be dispensed with, but this has practically no effect in regular flight operations.

shell frame upgrade m

 

 

 

  

Projection

projectionarea

Apart from the floor space for the cockpit you also need space for the projection. You should build and set up the projection screen before the cockpit is delivered.

  

  • Projection with three beamers
    The projection with three beamers is certainly the best of all options, as the arrangement of the projectors allows a circular view to be generated. Roughly speaking, you can also enjoy the exterior view from the side window with an area of 180 degrees. At 220 degrees you can see further backwards. In general, the larger the diameter of the projection surface, the better the depth effect can be. 4.0 to 5.0 m should be ideal. A diameter of less than 3.5 m is technically not feasible due to the cockpit dimensions.
      
  • Projection with one beamer
    Even with a single projector you can build an impressive visual. The wider the projection area, the better.
       
  • TV Screens
    TV screens can also be used in particularly small rooms. However, a projection with beamers is today preferable to a screen display in any case.

 

 

 

Room design

How the simulator is best placed in space is, of course, an individual question. In general, the following criteria should be met:

         

Ventilation

A simulator generates a lot of waste heat. And also two pilots, who fight with the plane depending on the weather and situation, increase the heat in the cockpit . Especially with a closed shell, you should consider ventilating or - even better - an air conditioning system, so that you can enjoy the cockpit for a longer period of time.

If you plan to use windows in your ventilation concept, make sure that they do not interfere with the projection due to the light coming through.

aircon

  

Accessibility

The access into the cockpit is usually done from the back. This is the natural way and who wants visitors to appear in the projection? Make sure you have sufficient space for access. If you want to make it perfect, connect the door switches in the cockpit with a bell outside the room. But be careful, for security reasons, access to the cockpit should be possible at any time.

light

  

Maintenance

Make sure you can still move around the cockpit. Our cockpits are designed to keep you as little outside the cockpit as possible, but if it is necessary, it is better to have a little space for it.

accessability  

Walls

The smaller the reflections outside the projection area, the more convincing the overall impression of the simulator will be. A good effect is achieved by painting walls and ceiling in a matte black color. Even better is a black wallpaper. Especially, if the flight simulation is a long-term hobby. The wallpaper can be removed relatively easily.

black   

 

Projectors

Attach the projectors to the ceiling and not to the simulator. Otherwise the picture will wobble when moving in the cockpit.

projectors flight simulator    

 

Computers

The computers should be well ventilated. As a rule, the computers are outside the MIP console to keep the length of the screen cables as low as possible.

 

 

Computer and projection technology

   

For the simulation, computers need a powerful CPU and a high-performance graphics card. It is usually not possible for performance reasons and also not useful to operate a simulator with a single computer. This is also not a problem since multiple computers can be connected to each other over the network.

  
Main Computer

This computer is especially powerful and is also overclocked. He is responsible for the actual simulation, the sound output and the external representation.

 

Client Computers

These supply the screens in the cockpit. Thus, PFD / NDs, the Center MIP, MCDUs, and possibly further screens, e.g. for the EFB. These computers need not be as powerful as the main computer. Nevertheless, it is also recommended to use a good computer.

  

Projectors

As a rule you should use full-HD short-throw-beamers.These are nowadays affordable and allow for a wide range of images even at a short distance between the projector and the screen.

  

Spare lamp

Remember to get a replacement lamp for the projector at an early stage. Also consider how to get to the projector later to change the lamp.

computers

 

 

Wiring

    

Previously, the wiring of flight simulator components was a real challenge. Today, all this is relatively easy and the times when you need a soldering iron are a long way off.

We have taken particular care to ensure that cables can be plugged together without any technical knowledge. For the commissioning, all cables are already largely pre-configured (which BTW differentiates us from others).

 

USB-Connections

All components have a USB port. An industrial hub is provided, which ensures a secure and stable connection with the computers.

  
Power supplies

Different power supplies are required. For example for the operation of the boards, for the background lighting and for the motorized trim wheel at the push lever.


Loudspeaker

In addition, the speakers need a corresponding connection.

   

  

Power Consumption

  

Depending on the computers used and the number of projectors, a simulator can be operated on a single line (220 V with 16 A). Since a power line is heavily loaded when the devices are switched on, we supply an inrush current limiter as standard. This limits the power consumption to the maximum permissible value. In case of doubt, please consult your local electrician.

An air conditioner or a stronger ventilator should be connected to a separate line.

 

Software

  

To run a homecockpit, you need several software packages. Previously, the installation was quite bumpy. This has changed however and today a normal computer user with a little patience gets a homecockpit to run easily.
You need the following components:

  • Windows 10 as operating system (recommended)
  • Drivers for the hardware (included)
  • Prepar3D to simulate the outside world and aerodynamics
  • A320 Software (see below)
  • Blending Software (see below)

The A320 software simulates the systemic behavior of the cockpit. So all switch functions, ECAM messages, artificial horizon, etc. Today there are two providers on the market for this:

    

ProSimA320

ProSim AR

This software is suitable for both commercial and private use. Behind this product is a well-known company from the Netherlands, which was already very successful with other aircraft patterns. In addition to system logic, the software also includes an IOS Instructor Operation Station. This can also be used via a tablet computer. A physical instructor station is therefore no longer necessary.

  

Jeehell FMGS

JLFMGS LOGO

The software goes back to an ATC controller in Nice, Jean Luc Jeehell. The special appeal of this software is that it is free for the private user. Then, however, it lacks the function of the Instructor Station, but this can be partially compensated by the software of FS Flightcontrol (https://www.fs-flightcontrol.com/en/) or Luis Gordo (http://www.istationgordo.com/).

     

Edge Blending and Warping

bundle

A so-called blending software is only required if you want to operate your simulator with more than one beamer. The software ensures a distortion-free and seamless transition between the projection surfaces of the individual projectors.


The software also allows you to calculate the position of the projectors individually for your room in order to achieve an optimal projection. In the ideal case, the shadow throw of the simulator is also minimized. The calculation can be done for you. Alternatively, you can do it yourself. In this case, we will provide you with a coarse 3D model with which you can work in advance of the delivery.

 

fly elise

As a software, we recommend you to look at Fly Elise NG closer. The software is powerful and easy to use. Moreover, it is comparatively inexpensive.

In addition, other software packages may be of interest to you, such as additional sceneries, weather, ground services or an EFB (Electronic Flight Bag).

 

Next Steps

  

We hope that the information on this page was a help. Whether you want to build your own simulator, invest in a step-by-step way or go for a turnkey solution. We are happy to help.

 

  

Product overview Configure your simulator Request a quote Questions?

 

how to build an a320 flight simulator cockpit

 

Go flying!

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VIER IM POTT 
Jähne GmbH für Produktinnovation
Altplauen 19, 01187 Dresden
Germany

Phone: +49 2045 8593 887
E-Mail: cockpit@vier-im-pott.com
Opening hours: Mon - Fri 08:00 - 17:00

   

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for private and commerial customers in Bottrop, NRW, Germany

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