1:1 Spitfire K9817 Cockpit Build

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Tony Hill

Tech Sergeant
Nov 21, 2008
South West, Australia

DUE TO A PHOTOBUCKET PROBLEM please see page 44 for a "cooks tour" of the missing photos and onwards for all updates. APOLOGIES!!!!


This seems to be the place (rather than "Basic") so here goes:

It was good to finally get the fuselage off the paper and onto some wood. The plans needed a fair bit of "managing" as they came in a single sheet of paper. That meant that the various sized frames had to be traced out and from the plan after it had been cut up, making some bits harder (having to join plan bits together). Someone more organised may have worked backwards from the biggest bits to the smallest, hacking off sections as he went……I didn't. Two reasons, really. First, hey, I'm just not that organised. Second well, er..see point one……



The seat frame, the frame behind the instrument panel and the plan. The seat frame was extended at the bottom to be square as it is the rear frame of the sim. This forms the "feet" and is rationalised away by the fact that there is a wing at the bottom anyway. The IP frame is the correct curve at the bottom. I will probably build a "wing stub" on the left side (for mounting the sim) and leave the right side with the curved base.


The seat frame is, at the moment cut fully rounded…this was going to be the frame at the back of the radio compartment but that made the sim too long. So now that top area will be cut down to the right shape and the angle aluminium frame above will form the canopy frame above the seat back. I actually formed it around the top of the seat frame with a rubber mallet, so it is nice and smooth and even.
I just need to cut a pattern for a curved aluminium plate to rivet onto the side which needed to be cut to allow the angle alu to bend.



How not to draw a pattern on to wood, measure twice, cut once…but probably best to remove the markings of the first (unsuccessful) measurement. …the firewall (front frame of the sim) also with "feet". The spars on the side are the "main" spars (longerons) which run the length of the sim. There are two more which will run either side about 8 inches from ground level.

The Instrument panel full mock up is next to be made because this will determine the placement of the main spars (which are not on the plan I bought) as they pass through a small "notch" cut in the bottom edge.


Cardboard pattern cut by my wife to be used for mapping out the short frames that make up the cockpit area and door. There are now two of these which will be cut up into the smaller sections that brace the actual cockpit seating area and mount most of the equipment.


All of the pieces from this weekend. (the silver objects are the bracing plates..I have to make the cockpit in two halves to fit through my doors.




A couple of detail shots to finish…the start of my IFF switch and destruction buttons unit and my brand new shiny fire engine red boost gauge. The flash made the metallic paint look blotchy and pockmarked. It is actually silky smooth after spraying a priming coat and four red coats over the already painted aluminium bezel but looks "bulky" like the original bakelite bezel was.

All in all a satisfying weekend's work and proof for the wife that I don't just spend money on parts!

I couldn't leave the pit alone last night after work. When you are on a roll, I guess it is better to keep going. I decided to ditch the wood IFF Destruction and Control Unit and build it from aluminium instead. This required a few extra things…firstly I had to draw a pattern (unheard of) secondly I had to cut metal (NOT my thing) thirdly I had to fold and file it (bloody impossible for me) lastly, I had to get over my pathological fear of working with metal, drilled into me by a sad old man who liked nothing better than to crush young boys in his class.

Here are the results, with which I am pleased enough.





It is now all primed and ready to be painted that sickly cockpit green colour that I will have to have the local paint supplier mix especially for me.

The gauges that I have received so far are now all calibrated and are performing to the pilot's notes and various first hand sources that I have.

Finally, the guy building the controls has once again excelled himself with the control column, U/C Lever and rudders:





The real thing:


The rudder bars slide back and forward and the brakes will be operated from the control column "bicycle lever". Basically there will be a limit switch behind each rudder which at full travel will trigger the differential brake for that side, provided that the "bike lever" is on at least half way. If the bike lever is at less than 1/2 travel then no brakes, if it is on "full" then the "both brakes" command will be generated. Not 100% acurate but pretty close and as good a compromise as FSX will allow

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Thnaks mate!!

Hope you were left untouched by the bushfires?

Below are the camera controller pics transplanted from the "Basic" section









Scratch built using a project box from Dick Smith and a friend's laser cutting machine.

Likewise some other bits and pieces collected so far:

Fully working instruments from Flight Illusion (the other half of the order still comming)





A few other bits acquired recently:


Ki-Gass priming pump and mounting kit (for a total cost of two goats and my first born!!)



Gunsight bracket.


Also the gunsight:



Are you buying this stuff
or do you have a seriously serious workshop? 8)

Thanks Gents

No, just a pretty normal assortment of tools picked up over the years.

The woodwork is all mine, as is the IFF Destruction panel (1960's bakelite switch excepted, I have these for the whole sim, 4 pounds each as opposed to Air Ministry 1940's at 11 pounds each and practically identical.)

The Camera controller was scratch built with a laser engraver/cutter doing the detail work from corel draw patterns.

The gauges are a custom order from Flight Illusions in Belgium.

The gunsight bracket is from SpitfireSpares, they manufacture them (cast I think). The Kygas mounting kit from same.

The gunsight, Kygas Primer, Sutton Harness, gunsight bulbs, TR1143 controller (radio), Morse Switch, Dimmer Switches, starter button, booster button, warning lights and a few other bits are all real deal, bought over the last 6 months.

The rudders and control column are being built for me by a mate who is a mechanical genius.

The platform is the RealAir Spitfire IX, which while it has some real faults is very nice and pretty close...as close as FSX will let you get anyway.

cheers all for the interest,

This is an amazing project! :notworthy:

Can you make a 109 cockpit for me to play IL-2 in? I'll stick the laptop up near the gunsight!
I see its going to be a flight simulator. Looks great tell me what simulator software will you be using it on? eg MS flightsim x, falcon ?. I have started on a motion flight sim for home use and im very interested in where you got hold of the computer interface gauges?
Can you make a 109 cockpit for me to play IL-2 in? I'll stick the laptop up near the gunsight!

Thanks mate,

For an Irishman with an avatar like yours? ANYTHING!!! ;)

I warn you though...don't give me a budget..I'll break it:lol:

109Roaming, cheers. I hope she will be something special but we'll see.

Greedy, the gauges are from Flight Illusion in Belgium. Not sure I am supposed to post links but use "the" search engine and you'll find them easy enough. They interface with FSX through FSUPIC and FI's proprietory software. They are not cheap but they are very good quality, reasonably quiet, quick to react and only 1 inch thick as they use steppers not servos.

I spent this weekend working on cockpit placards. Most I printed out after drawing them up on computer and the cut and filed aluminium backplates then covered the whole lot in a metal sealer. (the type you use to seal brass fittings etc. The exception was the Engine Data Plate which was done by my mate's laser engraver on "laserlite" film, then I did a backplate. Pictures to follow soon.

More progress on the controls (which I get to test fly myself on Sunday).




For my own part, I have been concentrating on making cockpit placards and have also cut out the temporary instrument panel and fitted the instruments, starter buttons, dimmers etc..pictures when I get my camera charged.

The temp panel is being used to position the longerons etc for assembly (as the datum is linked to the bottom of the panel) and as a measuring template to draw up the final panel ready to get it laser cut in 3mm aluminium.

Apart from that I have finished the gauge painting and the Radiator Temp is now a nice olive green and the oil temp bright yellow to compliment the red Boost gauge.

Some more bits have also arrived and I will get photos of them soon.

This week has been spent with the flight model again, trying to get around the f*%^^% #p oil temperature behaviour. The model uses a "formular" which I don't have access to (and which runs too hot on the ground usually, far too cold most of the time in the air). The "raw" FSX data don't respond realistically either. Still searching for a solution.


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