+49 171 1959 725

Aviation is is in a constant state of change, and so is my cockpit. There is plenty of stuff that looked great and was useful at the time I built it. But the project has slowly moved away from a generic type cockpit and towards a B737 NG inspired design. Ten years into the cockpit’s existence, all V.1 panels have eigher been updated, modified or were disassembled.

This is the place where these parts can still be seen.

V.1 Cockpit Interior

Build in 1997
Modified/removed in 2000


View of the “workplace” in Ver.1. The keyboard is mounted in an overhead position. This allows for quick access when necessary without being in the way (or looking too goofy). Three mechanical switchboxes (mounted in the rear of the cockpit) allow keyboard access to any of 8 computers employed in the project.

The building of the monitors’ enclosure is in progress, soon to be followed by the moving canopy.

V.1 Front Panel

Build in 1997
Modified/removed in 2000


The first version of the center panel in all it’s glory. Not much authenticity here, but it was fun to build and it looked good in the cockpit. The buttons installed in this panel were supposed to control the most important functions of the various flight simulations I used over the years. Even though this made some sense as a concept, it turned out to be rather impractical.

I have to admit that only the Cessna-style autopilot saw regular use. Above the autopilot is the weapons control panel (a reminiscence of my warrior past). Some of the special functions found here, like the adjustment for “Bomb Ripple”were not likely to be in high demand when flying my GA planes…

The two instruments in the center are Soviet made. The small gauge on the left is a nozzle position indicator from an F-104 Starfighter. These instruments were just eye candy to make the panel look more real.

V.1 Radio Stack.

Build in 1997
Modified/removed in 2001

Close-up of the Nav Radio stack. All frequency knobs are 12-pos. rotaries, binary encoded. They did not feel as nice and authentic as the 2-phase rotaries I use now, but they worked well enough (with that audible click at each position).

V.1 Emergency Panel

Build in 1997
Modified/removed in 2002

The panel for all kind of emergency situations! Even though the seat in my cockpit never contained explosive charges, there was an EJECT button. Note the scull and crossbones, emphazising the potential danger of it’s use. Press at your own risk . . .

V.1 Views Adjustent Panel

Build in 1997
Decommissioned in 2004

This panel was conceived in the days when synchronized outside views were not an option. But there was a need for quickly accessing all the different outside views available in my simulators, both civilian and military. 8-way hat switches on top of USB joysticks were also some years away, hence the two joysticks. The one on the left was used for paning, the second one for the 8 preset view directions in MSFS.

The peeled-off paint on the pan control is no evidence of heavy use. It just rubbed off because this joystick was located right below the throttle lever.

V.2 EICAS Display Unit, Left Side Panel

Build in 2004
Modified/removed in 2006

This module contained a 10″ TFT LCD panel for the EICAS display and 3 analogue SimKit standby instruments.

The EICAS LCD panel, with the analogue-to-digital converter card mounted right on top. This card accepts RGB signal from any standard graphics card. I choose to mount the converter card like this because options for it’s positioning are limited anyway by the length of the connection cable.

The small PCB on the table is the voltage converter board needed to drive the LCD display.

The underside of the module, with the EICAS display and the analogue engine instruments installe

The underside of the module, with the EICAS display and the analogue engine instruments installe

V.2 Stand By Insstruments, Cessna Style

Build in 2005
Modified/removed in 2006

The B737-NG has 3 analogue stand-by instruments: altimeter, airspeed and HSI. Project Magenta includes these as part of the Glass Cockpit, but they are only onscreen, not real instruments.

When I found out about the existence of the SimKit Instruments, there was no stopping me. I wanted not only the three stand-by instruments, but as many of these beautiful, true to life gauges in my cockpit as I could possibly fit.

This is how I ended up with a panel full of working instruments, with moving hands and dials, which I actually don’t need (as long as the Project Magenta Glass Cockpit is functioning). But they look superb and certainly help to make the cockpit feel more realistic.

The VOR 1. Assembly is straight forward. Each instrument comes with a detailed manual. All parts are made from plastic or Nylon. Most of the time, they fit perfectly. If not, small modifications will usually do the trick.

One thing I changed on all instruments was the light bulbs. They are dim and do not really illuminate the faceplate. I replaced them with white LEDs, which are much brighter, probably consume less power and never break.


Final testing and calibrations. Highly recommended before installing the instruments in the cockpit.


The last step during assembly is to glue the faceplate to the case of the instrument. I decided not to do this – you never know when access to the inner workings of the instrument might be required.

I simply used a wooden plate that holds the instrument against its panel with three or four M3 threaded rods.


And here it is, the analogue instrument panel in all its glory! It is located on the right side of the cockpit, just in front of the Flight Stick. All instruments are in direct view and can be read effortlessly (in case the Glass Cockpit goes on strike).


Same thing, seen from behind. Also, note the CCU (control unit), located close to the instruments.

V.2 Mechanics Panel

Build in 2004
Modified/removed in 2008

Most of the mechanical stuff is controlled from this panel: flaps, gear, spoilers and brakes. The landing gear switch, speed brakes switch and flaps switch are custom built. The speed brake lever is connected to a servo motor and an electromagnetic clutch to provide motorised movement for auto-deployment.


This image has hot spots that can be clicked for further information on the panel’s components.

The three lights in the schematic aircraft represent the the landing gears. I used dual color red / green LED’s. The common cathodes are attached to relais, so state changes can easily be programed.

For initializaton of the transition phase (gears move, LED’s are red) I used FSUIPC offsets for all three gears. Offsets are also used to time the end of the transition phase. When the gears are up, the LED’s are off, when the gear is down and locked, the LED’s are green.

For programing details please check the epl files section.

The following photos show the panel from different angles to give an idea of it’s size and dimensions.


The red parking brake switch illuminated in red when the parking brake is set.

The two knobs in the lower left corner dim the sim-instrument lights and the backlighting for this panel. This was my first attempt to do a backlit panel, and I am not happy with the results: the lighting is uneven, the 12v lamps get hot and the letters appear blurry. The backlighting issue still needs some serious consideration!


Due to the use of plenty of acrylic glass and because of the mechanical parts in the Servo brake, the panel is rather heavy and awkward to handle. But it does fit into the cockpit and – once installed – does not really show how much work went into it…


Above the gearbox: the three relays that toggle the LED’s color between red and green.


.. and here it is: the Mechanics panel, seamlessly integrated into the cockpit!


V.1 Servo Airbrake

Build in 2006
Modified/removed in 2006