Monday, April 23, 2012

Flight Adventure B777 in Strasbourg France

           Another one of our B777 Fixed Based Trainers (FBT) made its way to Strasbourg, France to our customer. Flight Adventure Strasbourg is now putting the finishing touches on their facility after the installation. Gilles Gregoire and  his crew have done a good job planning and assisting with the installation. I also had the pleasure to meet up with Nat Crea as Nat arrived ahead of the FBT. Gilles had the screen built and painted prior to Nat’s arrival. Nat installed the projectors, did his setup. I arrived on the 14th to see an amazing visual setup. 220 degrees FOV with Sol7, watching Nat do the final tweaks was something to see. While he was doing that I was busy installing the base and flight controls on my first day. Second day we installed the nose and interior components. Third day brings in the Overhead, roof panels, seats and carpet. Flight testing began as Nat confirmed that the nose was in the correct spot on the floor, configuration of flight controls and set-up continued.  Nat left for home on the 18th and Mark Hasting’s from Sim-Avionics arrived on the 19th. Too bad Nat and Mark weren’t able to meet up again. Having Mark there was great as he fine tuned the Avionics aspect of the FBT. Working (flying) with Francois, who is an B777 F/O was also a highlight. We were able to ask questions and get in depth information about the B777. Francois is very knowledge when it comes to the systems.

          Nat and I also had the great pleasure of flying as Gilles arranged 2 aircraft to take us up sightseeing and to try our hand at the controls. Nat flew with Pierre and I flew with Pierre-Alain with Gilles sitting in the back. We were up for an hour and I think this was one of the highlights of the trip. Not too often you get to fly a French aircraft. The Dauphin 2+2 is a great little airplane. Our instructors were great and also a pleasure to work with at the FBT facility. Pierre and Pierre-Alain also flew the B777 FBT like pro’s.

We look forward to seeing the Flight Adventure Strasbourg opening day in May and congratulate Gilles on his well planned endeavor. We wish you luck and clear skies! 


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FDS-B747-FBPT to Dusseldorf!

B747 FBT to Dusseldorf

Flightdeck Solutions has been developing a great relationship with iPilot and we delivered a B747 to Dusseldorf. I headed to Germany on the 15th of November to met the iPilot Sim Technician Martin.

We had the pleasure of working with Martin at our facility while assembling the FBT in Newmarket. Martin and I arranged to meet at the airport on my arrival. We scheduled the delivery of the crates to show up at 7am. We had to bring the parts up to the fourth floor using the elevator and stairs. Once upstairs we started the assembly of the B747 FBT. We started with the platform on the first day after moving all the parts upstairs. Next day was the MIP and pedals along with the nose sectional and interior liners. Third day was the overhead, carpet and seats. We also started connecting computers and assembling the visuals. Fourth day was test flights and finalizing switch and LED assignments. The last day was the installation of the Business Class section iPilot had arranged to install behind the FBT. This was a great trip to Germany, I usually only transit through Frankfurt Airport and don’t get to see Germany.

Here is the website for iPilot: , please take a look.

Flightdeck Solutions looks forward to working with iPilot and their projects. Wolfram, Simone and Martin have been great to work with. We wish them a great Grand Opening in Dusseldorf this December.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

B777 FBOT Integration in Hong Kong - Field Report By Steve Cos

Once again I was off to do an installation of one of our B777 Fixed Based Trainers. This is our 5th complete B777 FBT. This trip took me to downtown Hong Kong and to our customer Asia Pacific Simulators. James and Gitta were waiting for me on my arrival into Hong Kong. In my travels I have accumulated some upgrade points and was able to fly Business Class both ways from/to Vancouver. This makes the journey a little more bearable when doing these “long haul” flights. Flying on Air Canada and a B777-300ER is also a bonus. I enjoy flying on B777’s.

Assembly started with the disassembly of the forward platform assembly. James was able to bring everything up to his 15th floor facility but unable to get the forward platform in the elevator. I had to break it down to 15 pieces to get it upstairs. Then with the platform assembly upstairs, we put the complete platform together making a full day of that. 2nd day was the MIP and interior liners getting the nose parts ready for the 3rd day. After the nose was assembled, the overhead, roof liners and the remaining trim pieces went in. Then we started with the power up of systems and computers. Getting the single PC for the Sim-Avionics, a separate PC for the VGA clocks and Observer CDU. Installing software on the FSX PC for radio’s and transponder, also calibrating flight controls. I was able to meet Don, one of James crew members and a knowledgeable IT technician. Don will be the “Sim Tech” at Asia Pacific. It was good working with him. We spent a full day going over systems and start-up and shutdown of the Sim and covered many of the features in the B777 and the Sim-Avionics software. James has a “visual expert” coming in to do his magic with the curved screen. The screen was installed when I got there and looked great. One thing missing in Hong Kong is your favourite DIY store, they don’t seem to have the likes of Home depot or Lowes. Getting supplies is a bit of a challenge, but if you know your way around like James does you will get the supplies you need.

One of the things James mentioned to me was the great view from his apartment in Tung Chung. Well he was right! He lives on the 43rd floor in a building that is directly across from the airport. So mornings were mine to watch aircraft taking off on Rwy 07L before heading off to the office. This leads up to the daily commute to downtown. I live 5 minutes from the shop in Newmarket, this was a 45-50 min ride on the MTR (subway). Using an “Octopus” pass to use the well planned public transit system we did the trip each way daily. I was also able to try the ferry, trolleys and double decker buses. We also used the tram to get to the “Peak” to get a great view of the downtown.

We look forward to working with James and we are awaiting his webpage to add that link for everyone to see. The popularity of the B777 is on the rise with FBT’s in Perth and Zurich . Thanks to James, Gitta and Don for their assistance during the assembly and hospitality during my stay in Hong Kong. Great working with you all.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Did Someone Say Road Trip?

A few weeks ago an email arrived asking if we would like to head up to Maurice B’s home and fly his simulator? An afternoon of fun, a BBQ and talk on all subjects related to FS and sim building. One of the more amazing things about planning a get together like this is to have 6 busy people all have a Saturday off to be able to attend. It worked! So Peter and I arranged with Jack P. And Dave E. to meet us at the FDS shop and sort out our rides. Angus W. met us up there and the flying commenced. Maurice took us through a walk around and showed us his sliding platform assembly, computer rack and visuals. With FSX up and running and 3 projectors on, we got to see Maurice’s amazing visual setup. This of course gets everyone planning, thinking and figuring out how to do this in our own setups. Seeing is believing I have to say, from seeing Ivar’s 225 degree video’s and tutorial at the FDS Open House last year you get the full effects and the hard work that goes into making a great 225 degree system. Nice work Maurice! We started taking turns at the controls and the spectators were hanging on to the back of the aluminum shell as the aircraft started making turns after departure from LOWI Innsbruck Airport. Maurice and Carole had a nice little “pilot lounge” set up so we could feast on some finger foods and a well stocked bar fridge to keep us going. The Sim-Avionics’ B737NG suite was working great and Angus was putting the aircraft through its paces. Angus is great pilot to have in your sim as he is very patient, explains things clearly and makes a great sim fly like the real thing! It is amazing to watch. 2 short video’s of Angus and Jack flying near LOWI are linked below:

Video 1

Video 2

Visit us on FaceBook for more pictures of this great set up!

Later we headed upstairs for dinner and had some good food, drinks and great conversations of ongoing builds, software, scenery and an amazing desert. Maurice and Carole looked after a great meal. Then back to the sim of course. Maurice had just completed his FDS Overhead and was awaiting a few gauges. Once he gets his gauges installed he is planning on installing the OH to get to the next level of immersion in his home built sim. Having all the switches, annuciators of an OH adds to the full “cold and dark”, walk in and sit down and start an aircraft. Battery, APU, Bleed air and Engine Starts become a procedure to learn and Checklists to follow. Maurice had already built his linked yokes and pedals, motorized throttle and has a full FDS pedestal in place. The OH will help finish up the last few items he needs. So for today’s flying we had the OH mounted on a test stand with remote access to the engine starts. We finished off the evening with a few plans to come back, Angus with a good friend that is not able to fly right now. He will have a blast flying in the B737NG. Looking forward to hear that visit goes. Maurice and AJck were setting up for Kia Tak approaches as we said our goodbyes. As I pulled out of the driveway at Maurice’s I saw Jack and Maurice carrying Jack’s OH box into the house. I think Jack was planning on snuggling up with his FDS OH last night. Sweet dreams Jack!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

SimAir.CH Grand Opening - Saturday May 14!

First day of the SimAir Open House in Mettmenstetten, Switzerland. I was at the facility at 8:30am to help with a few items on the MBB 105 helicopter.
Some final clean up and started the PC's for the day's events. The crowds started rolling in exactly at 10am, like clockwork. I think that is a Swiss thing? We ended up doing flights from Zurich to Geneva and back. Added a wood bench for Business Class to allow more people to see the visuals at the right level. At times there were 12-15 in the Sim room watching. Lots of good comments on the FBT, software and visuals. Many people showed up I think because of the rainy weather here this weekend. That works in our favour. Gian had soft drinks, beer and Champagne. Some snack foods out and a video running on a large LCD TV with a United B777 video. I will bring my Air Canada B777 video tomorrow, must have watched today's video 4 times today. Many people rotated trough the FDS B777 FBT and the helicopter. Gian and his crew were busy all day flying, answering questions and having a good time. They were tired at the end. It was a long day and we expect to do the same on Sunday. If you are able to come down it would be worth the visit. If not you can always book time online from the SimAir website for an upcoming date and time in the simulator. Gian has even made access for his customers in wheel chairs. He slides the Captain's seat out of the Sim and has a ramp and assists with getting you in place in the Captain's position. There are many virtual pilots out there that can enjoy their hobbies without boundaries. This was a nice feature that was put to use today.

I also had the pleasure of meeting more FDS customers and future customers as I made my way around the SimAir facility all day. It is nice to meet so many people with the same passion for aviation and simulation. The simulators have come a long way from the early days and is always improving.
Software and hardware have changed what you can build on your own and what companies like SimAir can provide for the virtual pilots out there. It is a truly amazing part of the hobby. I didn't see any big issues for people with the visuals, but people were enjoying the large screen and the Swiss scenery. Definitely adds to the immersion of flying in a full size simulator.

Looking forward to tomorrow, will probably see many return for another chance to fly along with many others!


Friday, May 13, 2011

SIMAIR.CH Grand Opening! May 14-15, 2011

I arrived at Zurich Airport at 10:45 AM and cleared Passport Control in 3 minutes. Located the Baggage Claim and low and behold my suitcase came out first with its Priority tag on it. I was out the door and in the arrival hall in record time. Gian was there in minutes and off we went to the SimAir facility. Gian mentioned the Sim had been running daily for 4-5 hours and was running well. Visuals just need final "tweaks" (where is a good "tweaker" when you need him? I think I know) to be perfect. I was impressed how they have turned out since my last visit a month ago. Also found out somebody had been calling looking for me several times. I finally found out it was one of our long time B777 customers Don M. He was in town on business and it worked out perfectly for him. We made arrangements for him to come over and meet up at the SimAir Facility. I was looking forward to meeting Don and having him sit in the B777 FBT. After several circuits and general testing the verdict was in. It is a pleasure to fly. Great to fly! That was all I needed to hear. Don had to leave and head back to Zurich. It was great to meet him after years of emails. Mark had the pleasure of meeting him via Skype as well. Here is a picture of Don and I in the B777 FBT.

It's late and I need to rest up for a busy day Saturday. More to follow.


Monday, April 18, 2011

B777 FBPT- Sim-Air - Zurich

Have the pleasure once again to work on a "Special Project" with one of our customers. This time with Gian in Zurich, Switzerland at SimAir and we are installing a B777 FBPT. The FBPT was shipped in early March and has been waiting for the FDS Team to show up and install the Sim in the new location. The first few days are mostly assembly, power and wiring connections. Gian had his curved screen installed first, projectors (beamers) and electrical wiring. This gave everyone time to do their jobs before we took over the room with the massive 777 FBPT.

I have been driving a Smart car with the SimAir logo on it and getting back and forth to the Bed and Breakfast, to Gian's house where I have been enjoying home cooked meals prepared by his lovely wife, Caroline. Dishes from Switzerland and Italy. Great food!

Assembly is almost complete, Mark arrived on Saturday to do final integration of Sim-A and the FDS Hardware. Several test flights and circuits. Motorized throttle working well. Several Autolands to confirm everything is functioning properly with the Sim-Avionics. Mark has done a great job getting the last few items on our daily checklist. We have also been working with Ivar Hestnes and the Warpalizer software to complete the visuals. Great combination of Hardware, Software and Visuals. A complete package. More pictures to follow.

Special thanks to Gian for his hospitality and dedication to his amazing project! We also wish Gian success and a great "Grand Opening" on May 14-15.