The CDU (Computer Display Unit) is a Flight Management Computer that helps the pilot to controll the vertical and horizontal flight path. It is designed to decrease the workload of pilots in today’s cockpits.
For some years now, various flightsim related companies offer ready-to-use, plug-and-play units for cockpit builders. While quick and convenient, they are also expensive; and they are not what I had in mind: I wanted to build my own. But the CDU is a rather complicated piece of hardware, so this was not an easy task. This page explains the different phases of the building process.
1. Preparation and Design
The CDU consists of a large number of components. The first step in the process of building my CDU was to define and order all necessary parts. Once they arrived and I knew their physical dimensions, the design process can start. As always, I used Corel Draw for this. The design stage is where the final layout is decided, so it is not a good idea to rush things at this point: The more the building process advances, the more difficult it becomes to accomodate modifications.