project logo   Introduction 
inside the flightdeck

Welcome to, a Boeing 747-400 home cockpit contruction project

flightgears 747 with custom paint leaving VHXX Runway 31
flightgears 747 with custom paint leaving VHXX Runway 31

1. Introduction

We (a friend and I) are building a 747-400 type cockpit that will be run by the Open Source (GPL) Multiplatform flight simulator flightgear (FlightGear) and some other bits and pieces of software, including a set of Glass Cockpit software that I'm developing right now.

1.1. Goals

  • Our prime goal is:
    • make it as cheap as possible
    • while making it as close to the real thing as possible
    • I know those two usually don't mix together well, but we try to compensate by brain grease :-)
  • One of the goals we had from the very beginning was to have all the controls linked
    • aileron / yoke
    • elevator / control column
    • rudder pedals
  • fully enclosed cockpit
    • adds to realism (esp. light- and soundwise)
  • All Linux
    • no windoze here ;-) (although flighgear runs on windows, our software could be ported)
    • no license costs
    • serveral Linux boxes networked together for outside views and glass cockpit displays
    • only free software, no shareware, no commerical software, especially not from M
    • )
    • everything is open and source is available. So YOU can make changes if you want to.
  • Use computers we have available or can get for cheap
    • right now, all machines are slower than 800MHz
    • most used are in the range of PentiumI, maybe even 486, and PII and PIII
    • glass cockpit display machines in range of PentiumI/486 running only the XWindow System
  • Since our Instrument displays are in the PentiumI range with "nothing special" graphics cards,
    • OpenGL-based Glass Cockpit instrument displays will not be an option
    • Therefore we decided to develop our own set of PD, ND, and Upper/Lower EICAS displays
      • based on Xlib(X11/XWindow System)
      • t1lib (for type1 fonts). Later, I'll work on something for the CDU.
    • more info on the software pages
    • no Project Magenta because:
      • windows only
      • MSFS only
      • expensive (in my opinion at least) since every single piece costs extra and spending that much money on a hobby (for which PM is only a part)...
  • no EPIC, no Hagstrom keyboard encoders, we are in the process of designing our own interfaces to the simulator
    • so far, we have come up with a very cheap solution to hook up 64-512 switches to a RS-232 connected PIC 16F628 based key matrix. The projected cost (excluding switches/buttons/...) is about 10-15 Euros.
  • no need to poke around other applications memory to get variables in and out since flightgear as quite a few methods of accessing its internals
  • home-made panels
    • backlightable
    • cheap and relativly easy to make

1.1.1. Use the navigation bar on the left to find out what we've been up to.

We have/will have photos, construction ideas, circuit schematics of our electronics stuff, drawings/plans and software downloads

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