Boeing 737-700 by Stamatis Vellis: fight model (revised FS2002 version) (AFG Models)
Boeing 737-700 by Stamatis Vellis: fight model (FS2002 version) (Axon Airlines)
Please visit www.projectmagenta.com for additional Information about the software described here. Stamatis, Constantinos and I are working on a cockpit... here's a text written by Stamatis about all we've went through so far... all (clickable) photographs thanks to Mathijs Kok. Mathijs also wrote a great article about it for Simflight.Com... it can be found here.
After several requests, you now download the flight model of the B737-400 which is being used with this simulator. You will find all necessary documentation within the Zip. Stamatis' flight models have been extremely accurate (FS permitting) ever since he started making them way back in FS4 times.
(you can click on any image for a larger view)
Ok, let me give you a discriptive outline of my sim.
- Constantinos Pitsos, my cousin, who built and put together with his own hands 90% of what you see. This sim would simply not have even started without him.
- Enrico Schiratti, a good friend who thankfully and luckily has decided to come and live in Greece! <g> He is responsible for designing/programming ALL the instruments you see in my cockpit as well as writing the EPIC epl file, although I suspect that the EPIC epl stuff was the one he liked the least, to put it mildly <vbg>
- Added by Enrico: Stamatis Vellis, the mastermind... helped us through some frustrating moments and caused some others <eg>... his expertise concerning commercial aviation is immense, and all the building and programming is based on it... it presented a huge challenge to meet his standards, but we are getting there... step by step and we need a photo of Constantinos
- Windows 98 by Microsoft
- Flight Simulator 2002 by Microsoft (after FS98 and FS2000)
- WideFS by Peter Dowson (see also the Peter Dowson page on this site)
- Enrico's Instrument executables
- Enrico's program for the aircraft's automatic flight guidance: We are using our own software for the Autopilot and the Auto Throttle, in many cases overwriting default FS98 functions, so as to be able to simulate the real Autopilot and Auto Throttle modes and procedures found in a modern B737. Excellent stuff by Enrico.
Real aircraft parts:
- A set of two old but real DC-9 pilot's seats, with working adjusting mechanisms and even their seat belts in place <g>. Must replace the upholstery though, very dirty!<g>
- Complete set of control yokes, with their interlinking mechanism, trim switches, Autopilot disconnect button, push-to-talk button, chart clips with light, etc. All these switches and buttons are connected to the EPIC.
- Complete set of Rudder Pedals, with their interlinking mechanism. Boy, isn't that interlinking mechanism real complex!! I can't figure out why it has to be so complex... Of course toe-braking is now possible.
- The Nose-Wheel steering mechanism (not installed yet)
- The Landing Gear lever, and the landing Gear warning lights.
- The complete central pedestal with throttles, flap lever, slat lever, speed brakes lever, fuel levers, go-around switch, auto-throttle disconnect switch, you name it, it's there, and it is already connected to the EPIC.
- Complete and fully functional B737-400 Mode Control Panel, with all switches and
knobs fully operational (specially made for professional simulators and most importantly
able to connect to a PC's serial port, thus no EPIC connections necessary).
- The NAV and COM tuning boxes, with the frequency window displays, rotary
switches, etc. (not connected yet, and we believe impossible to connect due to their
- The Flight Director controller box (not operational yet).
- The overhead Switch panel with about 60% of all switches and knobs intact. From those we have connected only those supported by FS98, i.e. the engines starter switches, Pitot Heat switch, fuel pumps and several lights, strobes etc.
- The real complete DC9 glareshield panel, intact with even the fluorescent light tubes for the instrument panels.
- Six Pentuim II computers:
One for FS98, one for the Captain's PFD and ND, one for the F/O's PFD and ND, one for the EICAS screen in the middle, one for the Automatic Flight Guidance System (driving the MCP and CDU), and finally one for the force feedback, containing the I/O cards.
- Two 20 inch monitors, one for each pilot's PFD and ND instrumentation. We have covered these panels with replicas of real fames of such airliner CRTs, so they look as if they are two separate CRT displays, one for PFD and one for the ND, while in fact it is just one monitor.
- One 16 inch monitor for the EICAS display.
- One EPIC card installed in the FS98 computer
- Pneumatic Dampers, mounted on the Elevators, Rudders and AIlerons controls.
- A compressor (yes, a real air compressor! <g>) to compress air for the force feedback system
- A set of electrically controlled solenoid valves, regulating the pressure of air supplied to each damper
- Set of Input/Output (I/O) cards controlling the valves that regulate the pressure in the dampers mounted on the flight controls.
- A BARCO 2100 projector, mounted on the ceiling and equipped with a wide-angle lens. The max resolution supported is 1024x768 but to be honest we do not observe any difference between 800x600 and 1024x768 modes, so we must not be doing something right. Thus, the projection imajes as seen in the photos I sent you are in 800x600 resolution. We will definitely pursue this issue, to find out why we are not getting 1024x768 resolution.
The screen, designed by Constantinos, is 1.60 meters high and 3.40 meters wide. It comprises of a metallic frame which supports the actual screen made of light wood and painted in white. The structure is hung from the ceiling, positioned approximately 80 cm in front of the cockpit "windscreen", and approximately 3 meters in front of the projector. The screen is curved. The horizontal field of view (FOV), as measured from the center pedestal inside the cockpit, is 97 degrees. The vertical field of view actually covers significantly more than 100% of the possible view angle from the pilot's eyes and through his windscreen window openings, so a pilot can actually bend forward and look upwards! <g>.
View Perspective setup
What was really important was setting up the simulator in relation to the screen, so that a very realistic view perspective is achieved.
Enrico therefore designed a special bgl scenery file with several appropriate markings on it. We then first "setup" our simulator to have the exact correct cockpit height above ground level based on real B737 data. Then we set the horizontal field of view, so that pilot is seeing on this screen what should be visible with a real 97 degrees field of view, no more, no less either.
In other words, what you see on the screen corresponds almost exactly with what you would be seeeing in real life, given a view "window" with our screen's dimensions.
For the "vertical" perspective, we slewed the B737 in a position along the imaginary glidepath of an approach to a runway, and after solving some trigonometric equations, taking into consideration aircraft height agl, deck angle, and the real pilots downward FOV in a B737, we calculated with precision how much ahead of the aircraft should the pilots be starting to see the ground under real life conditions, and we subsequently "setup" our sim accordingly. The result is that during finals, the runway perspective out-the-window is impressively real!
Aaah, here is where we really improvised, thanks to Enrico's talents!
Instead of using any of the existing Fs98 panels and gauges, we decided to draw the instruments independently from the sim (FS98), as executables (*.EXE files), that would receive relevant data from the main FS PC via Peter Dowson's WideFS utility. We therefore had complete freedom to reproduce whatever feature we could find in the Operations Manuals. These instruments, PFD and ND are based on the new generation B737s, which utilize the B747-400 & B777 philosophy and glass panels. In the PFD you will find almost everything you will see in the real plane: V1, Vr markers, changing automatically with GW changes, Minimum Maneuvering speeds depending on configuration and weight, stick shaker speeds depending on configuration and weight, speed trend arrow, Maximum speeds, you name it and most probably it is there! <vbg>
The ND is again designed out of the Operating Manuals. We currently support two modes, VOR CTR and MAP. The VOR CTR mode is what is shown in the photos I sent you. Unfortunately, at the time the pics were taken, no MAP mode was implemented. In MAP mode, you load your flight plan and the route line magically appears to guide you, while at the same time you can select and view all VORs, ADFs, Intersections and Airports within the specified range.
The middle panel is the EICAS panel, again with engine instruments copied from photos of the "new generation" B737 panels, running as independent excutables just like the PFD/ND combination.
These instruments can therefore be linked to whatever simulator one wishes, assuming that there is the equivalent WideFS application for that sim.
As an example, these very same instruments can be linked already to Simon Hradecky's AS2 flight simulator.
We have not programmed our CDU yet (that is why you don't see it in the photos), which is of the same technology as our MCP, i.e. connectes to a PC via a serial port. It will be there soon, right in front of the center pedestal.
That's all for now. As you can see, we still have a lot to do, these projects never really finish, do they? <g>, but that's the fun in them, isn't it?
Check under Resources for more cockpits, if you are interested. More cockpit links can also be found on Derek's Cockpit Links, www.simpits.org and on www.projectmagenta.com/references.html. It's worth it!
Last Updated: December 17, 2012