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Customized Overhead Support

Sometimes people don't want a complete shell inside their homes...

Then, which one is the best solution?, well, maybe reduce at minimum the size of things, and that is the case, because Alejandro, a Majorcan builder that I meet through a common friend, Jaime Homar, he ask me to modify, re-wire and configure an entire old cockpit that he bought to the family of a deceased good friend and builder, called Francisco Palazon.

This was the first custom part made for, a stand-alone support for his overhead.

sop ovh alex 1

This support has made with an iron rectangular profile, and his size is 60x30mm., that means is a very strong item, because the overhed isn't heavy itself, but being so upfront, the force that resists is much and we need to hold hard.

The second part of the support is the overhead support itself.

sop ovh alex 3

this part is assembled over the central profile and holded by some screws, that allow to disassembly when you need to do.

Also, the support have a system that allows to rotate the overhead, as the real one, to have access to the internal part of him for maintenance or reparation, configuration, etc...

As I said before, this part has made as a custom part, for this reason, it have this "strange" shape as you can see on the next picture, because in this way, we can avoid the lenght of the glareshield on the Front Panel assembly.

sop ovh alex 5

Next thing is to build a platform to raise a little throughout the whole front panel and add the seats, throttle and pedestal.

But first, I should re-wire the entire overhead, build the gauges, not so difficult as well, it'll connect to a good interface cards suite as Simioboard and configure it for use, I imagine that will be with some software suite as Prosim, although still not defined that point.

sop ovh alex 4

 

Well, I need only to wait a couple of days, because I need to finish before that some projects for some customers, as the linked control columns or a pair of rudder pedals, but as I say always: "this is another story..."

Thanks again for read this and see you soon.

Bye.

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Restoring a B-737 Yoke

What's better than the real one?

This is what I thought about the yokes, for this reason I bought one from a retired 737-300 and I restored it, to have a perfect base to mould and replicate more units.
First step was disassemble all the stuff from the unit, removing the trim switch group, the A/P disconnect button and support, the microphone button assembly, the upper cover and finally the internal wires with his support as well.

Parts removed from the B-737 yoke

After that, I revised the yoke and as you can imagine, isn't a new item, it is completely scratched and damaged, there are some zones without paint, due the use of this control wheel, well, then it's time to sand all the yoke with an orbital sander, removing the first layer of the coat, leaving it the more perfect surface as I can.

Foto 12-04-13 10 30 50

Ok, I did it, now I need to put some putty on the little damages that this unit have, and then sand again, but this time I did by hand.

Next step was spray one thick layer of primer, the same that is used on the cars repairing, leaving a surface a bit rough, as you can see on this picture

First layer of putty, after first sanded

Ok, I did again, now the next step is to sand by hand, and obtain the best finished surface to receive the "almost" last layer of coat, on the picture isn't difficult to see the zones where the original coat is starting to appear on the surface and the rest of this layer is really thin. This action, sand, must be repeated at least until the surface are completely smooth, in my case was 4 times, and every time I used a thiner sand paper (last one was grade 800 and a light final sanding with 2000)

First sanding of B-737 yoke after first primer spray

Well, have you the control wheel completely sanded? Of course, waooo, I spent 4 days for this, ha ha ha...

Then, now is coming a really important step, paint it, why? well, this is the surface that we are going to obtain when we produce the mould itself, ok, then MUST BE perfect. After the layer of black (or green, or yellow, or the colour what you want to use...) we must be sure to apply a lacquer/varnish layer, that gave us a "mirror" finish, that should be perfect to make the negative mould and release easyly from the original yoke, so, this is as the final layer looks:

Final appearance of the B-737 yoke (mirror finishing)

Next step? mould it, but this is another history.

See you soon.

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