the project

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The project

After installing X-Plane, i was realy surprised what is possible today. I installed some free airplanes and up it goes. Then i found the possibility to fly online with VATSim at VACC-Austria. But i found, that operating the small buttons in the cockpi with the mouse is slow and error prone.

So i asked mr Google about home-cockpits. But there is not realy many. I found some references to "Teensy" and what is possible with it and X-Plane. Earlier i worked with Arduinos und so it should not be a great Problem.

i ordered some Teensys und made some first tries. At i found some instructions and samples and in a short time teh switches in X-plane moved by itself. it was clear: i need an own home-cockpit.

How should it look? Recreate a specific cockpit? Most of the time i fly "heavy metal" but also like a "small one" from the GA or even a little gliding on the mountains around Vienna, or...

So no specific cockpit! And what should it can? Well at least reproduce the most needed Insturments during the flight.

Thus was the "wish list" ready:

  • the most needed switches  (lights, pitot heat, ...)
  • radios(COM, NAV, DME)
  • audio-selector-module
  • Flaps ?
  • Gear ?
  • Autopilot ?

(the"?" means, this is my wish, the moduel esist in my head only.)

OK, that should be it for the first time. One can build still further Wink But now its getting difficult: The search for affordable material reduced the options pretty soon. But after many attempts and just as many failed approaches I came to the following solution:

The concept:

AsSteering-Horn and  "thrust" i use the "Saitek Pro Flight System" with the matching pedals (So good is my mechanical workshop not, that since I could build what working).

Since the replica also of the"six" (6 of the most important instruments in the cockpit) (at the moment) makes little sense possible, i am deciding for a 19 "monitor, with the aid of  X-HSI the"six" shows. This monitor is controlled by a second computer, witch i use also for  (on a monitor next to it) flight Preparation, Flight plan creation, .... Around this monitor the different modules are now located. I do need a


To install modules of different sizes (like in real life), I created a grid system, that allows me, to vary the size in 15 mm grid. The arrangement should at least be similar to the real cockpit.

Under the monitor sits the Steering Horn, right from the Monitor the radios and (possibly later) "Gear" and "flaps". Left of the monitor is still plenty of room, just at the bottom sits the module to start the engines and the various switches for lights, etc.

Above the monitor should be room for a "big" autopilot. Also a reasonable stopwatch should sit there.  (i think of a countdown timer with acoustic signaling after 30, 60, ... seconds; clear what?)

Above the rack two monitors should be mounted, driven by the main computer, to show the external view of X-Plane.

Times as far as the plan. And now: what is there is already:

The rack:

This consists of T-beams with15x15mm. Every 15mm there is a Hole with M3 thread to fix the modules. Inbetween there are holes for screws M3 for the mounting of horizontal struts. There i can mount short vertival T-beams für fixing smaller modules in the rack.

At the lower end of the T-profile, a horizontal angle is mounted, which is bolted to the table. At the far end a strut angle is fixed, going to the T-section and thus completes a stable triangle.

So the rack has sufficient stability (since crashes are not considered).


The Configuration:

The entire system consists of two PCs.

The first controls the three monitors for the outside view. On this also X-Plane and some utility programs are running. On this computer, the control horn, the quadrant and pedals as well as my cockpit modules are connected via USB.

On the second computer XHSI runs to display the instruments in the cockpit (monitor inside the cockpit) and Plan-G, VatSpy and a few utilities.

Both PCs are connected via a gigabit switch with each other and to the Internet.

If you have questions: Just a mail to me: