Archive for January, 2005

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collective plans

Another component I’ve been planning during my enforced hiatus from construction is the collective. This is the Huey collective, from the UH-1H flight manual:
UH1Collective (26k image)
The sim will be similar but I might try to pack a few extra buttons on there. My outline plans so far are here:
PitCollective01 (47k image)
There are no plans that I’ve been able to find on the net for a collective; all that I’ve found seem to use an existing throttle modified with an extended handle. *edit* there is at least one at Mike’s Flight Deck, thanks Mike! I’m going to try to accurately reproduce a proper collective a bit like Mike’s – I’ll post a HOWTO as I figure it out. It looks like PVC pipe and some clever coaxial mounting of pots for input to my BetaInnovations PlasmaV2 keyboard encoder.

the beginnings of the ACESII

As mentioned before, every bit of construction work on the pit will be preceded by proving dimensions and fit on the 1/10 scale model. This is the 1/10 scale model of the ACESII ejection seat that I will be shortly commencing:
ACESII 1/10 (45k image)
This was made using the plans available from Speedone’s SimHangar site. If you are using these plans, please note there are several inaccuracies in them, as noted by Red Dog. This is not to detract from the overall quality of the plans and the obvious effort that went into them, as they have been very helpful. Thanks Speedone.
So the first step is the base, and I’ll be at Bunnings this weekend picking up the materials. Here we go…

welcome to the pitblog

Last year I had an epiphany; I was tired of using flight simulators sitting upright at my desk and I knew there was a better way. I wanted more immersion, more feeling of “flying” the sim rather than “playing” it. Following a short dalliance with Google, I chanced across the ViperPit forum where my eyes promptly dropped out of my head. Here were people that had done it, or were doing it – building replica cockpits to wire up to flight simulators to gain that elusive immersion. I was home.
Several months later I find myself about to commence the physical construction phase of the project. I’ve moved halfway around the planet and this week move into a house with a real garage. I have space to build. I can own power tools again. I can make the UniPit happen.
Many of the pits on ViperPit are specifically replicas of the F-16 cockpit. There are some excellent examples there and I encourage you to explore the site and follow the multitude of links. Mine, however, is not planned to be a specific replica of any one aircraft type. I want it to be suitable for military jets and helicopters as well as civilian bugsmashers, thus several compromises must be made. For example, I need a cyclic, which immediately rules out the centre console of the F-16 pit. So what I have planned is:
- a central stick/cyclic (helo/F/A-18 style)
- a helo collective AND a jet-style throttle control
- central LCD main display with TrackIR3Pro and the Vector Expansion
- Dual MFD, either small CRT or LCD (maybe using the PSOne mod)
- fully enclosed for full immersion
- a wooden (or maybe, eventually, fibreglass) ACESII ejection seat
Then gradually add in switches etc as I can.
To date I’ve done some work on my audio switchbox and some design on the SNUPS strobe light. Next step is to build the base and ACESII so that I can get phase 1 underway – i.e. a dedicated environment for simming without all of the bells and whistles (yet!).
I am mocking up any construction using a balsa and artboard model at 1/10 scale so that I can check everything works and fits before committing it to MDF and angle aluminium. Work begins on the seat and base this weekend. Watch this space for photos and developments!

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