Early Development

In late 1998 I moved to California.  My flight deck sat at my parents house while I was still living in an apartment but it didn’t stop me from working on the simulator, so I decided to ship the throttle quadrant and overhead panel to begin software development.

First two elements sitting in my apartment: the throttle quadrant and overhead panel

In 200 I finally bought a house and it was time to move the flight deck to Los Angeles to begin it’s restoration


Me behind the wheel of the rental truck on the long drive to Los Angeles
My brother Mark as my copilot


Flight deck arrives at my new house!
Local friends and neighbors pose after moving it into the garage
There was a lot of work to do.

The first thing that I began was the physical restoration of the flight deck.  Remember this thing had been flying since 1967 so there was tons of grime and nicotine over everything.  I stripped out all of the wiring, cleaned it, and next built a frame and aft cab for it.

My friend James Price riveting the aluminum floor extension in place.
Flight Deck stripped out and the aft instructor cab added. Here we are adding the floor
Flight deck after painting with dark Boeing Gray


Circuit breaker boxes and panels prior to painting and installation


While the physical restoration continued I knew it would be quite a while before it flew.  During that process I decided to create a development platform up in one of the spare bedrooms.  This is where James Price and I co-developed “Sim Control” written in Visual Basic to control all of the aircraft systems.  We used Microsoft Flight Simulator for the host simulation.

Software development platform
The glass and CDU were from Project Magenta
Back in the day we had lots of friends over to fly and help!

Once the flight deck was ready to start receiving parts I migrated the main elements down to the flight deck and the real development begins!

First picture of the overhead panel and pedestal back in the flight deck.
Temporary set up to get the sim flying.


The next portion of the project was to actually get the flight controls interfaced with the EPIC interface and Microsoft Flight simulator.  Luckily my good friend James Price had already done it on his Boeing 737 simulator so he came down to integrate his flight control interface.

James inserting the roll pulley in the control column.
First time flying the simulator circa 2004
Installation of the EPIC I/O system from R&R Electronics
Electrical distribution system


One of the next stages of development was the installation of the forward instrument panel and the 737NG aft electronics bay

737-800 forward instrument panel and 3 bay aft electronics bay
Rear view of simulator