United States Navy 1968-1989. Proud member of the Navy's Elite Submarine Force providing a strategic deterrent to cold war aggression. I served on the USS Jallao (SS368), USS Kamehameha (SSBN 642 Blue and Gold), USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN 619 Blue), and USS George C. Marshall (SSBN 654 Blue). I entered the Navy as a Torpedoman, and Retired as a Senior Chief (E8) Fire Control (Missile) Technician. After retiring from the Navy, I worked for General Dynamics/Electric Boat in Groton, CT for 10 yearsas a network analysis Engineer and Interactive Trident Training Course ware Developer, then went to work as a Computer Systems trainer at Pfizer, Inc. I finally finished my working career as a Database administrator at Pratt and Whitney in Middletown CT. Additionally, from 1998-2008, I served as an assistant Pastor in several local churches here in South East Connecticut. I'm now fully retired and living in Ledyard, CT with my wife Terry and enjoying life to the fullest. If you want to contact me, email me at jerryplotts AT yahoo DOT com.
MY Flight Deck for Flight Simulation
Helicopter and Small Plane Flight Deck
The Computer is an Alienware with 8GB ram, 1 TB of hard drive space. The monitors are a pair of Dell 24". My video card is a nVidia GTX 645 with 1GB. The monitors are both connected to a Matrox DoubleHead2Go Digital. This allows 3840 x1050 resolution, so the display is treated as a 48" display. The panel to the right is an 8x10 photo with a thin sheet of plexi-glass mounted over it. Holes were drilled and switches mounted through them, and connected to a USB interface board from Desktop Aviator. A laptop is connected via WideFS and displays Plan-G (Flight Map tool, GPS, or whatever I need) on the monitor to the left of the double screen. The Desktop frame is 1: PVC pipe. The plans are from Roger Dodger Aviation.
From Roger Dodger Aviation - Floor unit with Collective & Center Control Stand
Thanks to Matt Thomas of Roger Dodger Aviation for the plans for these great project to make the sim more immersive!
Click on the picture for more information on how to get the plans for this project.
The Cyclic & Collective for Helos, and throttle control for fixed wing flight
This picture shows the throttle stand as well as the Collective control and the Center mounted Cyclic control. All made with 1" PVC pipe. The Collective is the Thrustmaster T-Flight Hotas X Flight Stick that has a detachable throttle. I'm not using the joystick part of it, so it's sitting on the floor just in front of the Collective control. The Cyclic and additional throttle is a Saitek X52 pro. Mounted above the radio panel is a Saitek Engine control panel, This enables me to control fully a single engine aircraft like the C172.
This a closeup of the keyboard. Mostly functions that wouldn't work on the side panels. Click the image for more info on how to make this keyboard modification.
Not 100% accurate, but 100% functional. The panel is loosely modeled for the Dodosim Bell 206 Helicopter. The full startup and shutdown checklist can be done without using the mouse or keyboard.
Added this 7" LCD monitor this morning (4/30/2017). This will enable me to put the FMS or GPS onto the display and still run FSX in full screen. This monitor once had life as a DVD player screen for a car. I got several years ago for about $100 I think. I is at 800x600 which is perfect for this application. It also has touch screen capability which makes for a more realistic operation with touch driven buttons. The left picture is the FMS in the Majestic Dash8 Q400, and the right picture is the standard GPS500 with the Airbus 321.
Flight Deck with Overhead Panel
Attached to the computer are over 20 USB devices including: GoFlight MCP Pro, GoFlight T8, P8, GF166, RP48, GF46 and LGT modules. Also the Go Flight MESM to the left of the radio. A Saitek Backlit Information Panel, and the Saitek Flight Informaton Panel. The GPS unit in the center above the yoke is available from Desktopaviator.com. It sets up easily and configures in a snap. The computer is a Dell I7 3.4 GHZ with: 16GB Ram, 1 GB Radeon HD5670 Video Card, 2TB Hard Drive. Matrox Double head to Go with 2 20" monitors. Below is CH Pedals for the Rudder. A laptop computer is connected to this main computer and reads Plan G data via WideFS and flight information for AACars There is a 5 speaker surround sound with 200 watt sub-woofer attached for great sound, Click on the picture for more information.
Throttle stand for the GoFlight TQ6-ADV. Almost like the real thing in feel and operation. The stand is made from light wood and painted Boeing gray. The Trim Wheel on the side is non-functional and is made from a CD spindle base. Like the real thing? No, but it looks nice! Behind the Approach plate is the Mini Checklist placard. The approach plate holder is a small acrylic clipboard, that I mounted to the yoke. Thanks to my friend Den Bacch who built this for me. You are the "MAN"
Close up of the Throttles and Yoke
This is the GoFlight TQ6-ADV which has more realistic throttle handles and Thrust Reverser levers. The yoke is from Saitek. Just above it it the Desktop Aviator GPS and the Saitek Flight Instrument Panel. I found the Yoke Checklist on the web, and printed and double backed taped it to the yoke. Makes it look pretty authentic in my opinion.
Closeup of the GPS unit from Desktop Aviator
In this screen I'm en route from KLAX to KMSP. Operation is straight forward. The buttons on the GPS are assigned via FSUIPC and work great. No more mouse clicks on the GPS at any phase of the flight.
Click on the image to see more information about this fantastic unit!
Overall, I use the mouse mostly to get the flight started, then everything is done with my controls
The overhead panel
_This the upper panel with the 30 Single-Pole, Single throw switches
mounted. The rotary knobs are just dummies glued to the Plexiglas. The
electronics are connected to 2 USB interface boards. Thanks to the good
folks at DESKTOP AVIATOR for the USB interface boards and the advice
they provided in this project. You can visit them here:
This is an attempt at a panoramic stitched image of the Small aircraft/ Helo flight deck. The monitor at the far left is displaying a navmap of the flight and is driven from the laptop at the far right. This laptop is used to run the navmap program, connect the flight logging software, as well and log book keeping for the flight.
Real early version of flight deck
This is around the spring of 2007 when I first got started with the idea of expanding the flight deck. A CH Products yoke and pedals, with a Saitek Throttle quadrant. The main display was a 20" LCD monitor and a 19" tube monitor to the right. It was rudimentary, but it started me to where I am today!
This is the way it was when I started in 1984
A Commodore 64 computer, color TV 13", and 5 1/4" floppy drive. This was about a $600 investment at the time. I used the Sublogic Flight Simulator which was on a single 180K floppy disk. How things have changed. Now Flight Simulator X is on 3 DVD's and you can't even buy one for less than about $200.