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Thread: Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends

  1. #1

    Default Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends

    I am happy to announce that the prototype elements of the Spitfire MkIX replica flying controls for pc simulators will be “unofficially ” presented at the Flying Legends airshow in Duxford on Saturday 8th July.

    Unofficially, because I will have the elements with me and will show them to those interested persons who show up to a meeting point at 11:30 am at the outside left corner of the USAAF Hangar. NB Left side when facing the glass fronted building !

    The kit on show will include the left hand cockpit controls, including the throttle quadrant, the elevator and rudder trim wheels unit and the radio remote controller unit. These parts already include their internal electronics, but although the Arduino USB controller has been tested, it has not yet been programmed for the various elements of the Spitfire sim kit.

    I have a wooden mock up of the control column which I will bring as well. This element is very basic. The final design will include the two position firing button, a working brake lever, and a POV hat switch in the “camera” button position. There will also be a “chain guard” to hide the roll link mechanism. If I have time I will try to bring the definitive 3D printed prototype of the spade grip and gooseneck.

    For those of you who are not attending Flying Legends on Saturday, I will be spending a few days in Norwich and will be happy to meet up in or near the area to show the sim gear and maybe have a beer or two.
    To contact me for a meeting or for further information :
    Email : austin.spitfire@gmail.com
    Mobile : +33 (0)6 07 50 66 86
    "Sit and spin the fire". Extract from Topsy Turvey Land, a poem by William Brighty Rands.
    "In the bar everyone knows what they should have done - the problem is in applying it in the heat of the action". F Barthe RIP

  2. #2

    Default Re: Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends

    Will be very interesting to have a look!

    "The more thy sweat in training,
    The less thy bleed in combat!"

  3. #3
    W/C of 51° Stormo Jimmi EAF51's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends

    not comin' but really curious on your developement!!


    VEF - Bellum- Seow Marianes - Seow Crete - Seow Stalingrad -Seow Med MultiSector NE Africa/Nw Malta - SOW I II III & IV
    155º Gruppo 51º Stormo
    We will intercept them, shoot them down and drink some grappa afterwards! Woah!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends

    Unfortunately I won't be there mate..but as I've already said on TS, mark me up for a set please, looks fantastic!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends

    Update n°4

    Had some interesting feed-back at Flying Legends from the team that are building the flight model for the DCS Spitfire MkXIV - They suggested that I offer the kit in separate parts, particularly the trim wheel unit, as apparently no-one makes trim wheels and they think there is a big market for this item. They also suggested that I create a changeable grip at the top of the control column so that it can adapt to grips from different aircraft types. Both ideas are interesting but I have decided to leave them aside for now as priory is to get the kit ready for Spitfires.

    I was also able to play with their OR which they had set up in the Flying Legends hangar. It's really great and we had an interesting discussion about how the player feels for controls. They claim that after flying for a while one gets "muscle memory" and our hands automatically remember where things are even if it does not match what the eye sees. They said that most real pilots don't look down into the cockpit for controls and switches, and they don't fly hands on (like we do with HOTAS) as they are always fiddling with switches and buttons. They do however admit that the spit sim kit would help new players to get into the game more quickly with virtual reality. So they asked me to keep them updated on progress.

    Since returning from the show I have printed the prototype spade grip, which includes the brake lever mounted on a potentiometer hidden inside the grip and a working two way firing button assembly. This includes the safety switch mechanism which I designed based on the real thing and then adapted to accept a photoelectric switch, so that there is both a mechanical operation and an electronic signal sent to the simulator program.

    I am currently printing the control column top and bottom fittings before taking off to my home in the country for a few weeks holidays. I will be taking my sim gear with me, so that I can fly and continue working on the project. I will spend most of my time fitting and wiring up all the electrical components to the Arduino chipset. So as I said on the 79vraf blog, I will be "soldering on" ! I posted a couple of photos on the blog and will try to put one or two here
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Sit and spin the fire". Extract from Topsy Turvey Land, a poem by William Brighty Rands.
    "In the bar everyone knows what they should have done - the problem is in applying it in the heat of the action". F Barthe RIP

  6. #6
    S/L Nepe EAF51's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends

    Amazing columnTopsy, keep up the good work!!!

    Never break the formation into less than two-ship elements

  7. #7

    Default Re: Spitfire sim kit presented at Flying Legends - updates

    Rather than open a new thread I thought I'd add the updates here.

    As you know the prototype that I showed some of you at Duxford evolved to include some left hand cockpit panelling. This was necessary to provide a support for the VHF radio remote controller unit (RCU), which in real life was riveted directly on to the skin. In October last year I finished testing the prototype and started building the first production model N°2 kit for one of our EAF pilots.

    He gave me some useful feedback which I integrated into the production version for the N°3 kit which was recently sent to the UK. This new pilot is really chuffed about the kit in spite of a breakage in transport - I had to replace the throttle lever, which he has since installed thanks to a short "workshop manual" instructions I sent him on how to dismantle the throttle quadrant. In spite of this hassle he said "I must say the controls are very well designed and built.".

    I can't take all the credit for this, as I adapted my designs from the original engineering drawings and parts like the Throttle Quadrant are an almost perfect replica of the original, so it goes together and comes undone just like the real one. Thanks to this approach, which I totally assume, the kit can be maintained quite easily if anything gets broken.

    As my 3D printer zizzles away in the background making parts for the N°4 kit for a pilot in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, I have started component design work on the right hand side of the cockpit, with the Chassis Unit. What seems a fairly simple piece of equipment, especially from a flight sim point of view, needing just one electro-optical switch to tell the pc that the lever has moved up or down, in fact turns out to be a bit complicated if one wants a minimum of realism.

    I have gone to the trouble to reproduce the inward swing of the lever as it comes out of the locking gates and am designing a mechanism for it to automatically operate the undercarriage status paddle (DOWN , IDLE or UP) in the cut-out window. The other thing you will note from the zoom photo is the amount of lettering on the unit. There is hardly any blank space. This is going to be a "pain" to finish off satisfactorily as my 3D printer doesn't cope that well with recessed lettering.

    Next items will be the "wobble" pump, emergency gear handle, external fuel tank cock & jettison handle - so plenty to keep me busy.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Sit and spin the fire". Extract from Topsy Turvey Land, a poem by William Brighty Rands.
    "In the bar everyone knows what they should have done - the problem is in applying it in the heat of the action". F Barthe RIP

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