Building a B-17 Simulator

Discussion in 'Basic' started by Geewiz, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. Geewiz

    Geewiz New Member

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    Greetings all....newbie here:

    I am at the start of a project to put together a portable B-17 flight simulator. This simulator will be used at a reunion of the 401st bomb group, attended by the (remaining) veterans of the B-17 base at Deenethorpe during WWII.

    I'm looking for suggestions and ideas relating to creating as realistic an experience as possible using off the shelf hardware and software.

    The core simulator will be based around a suitably powerful PC and graphics card, using XP SP2 Pro, MS FLightSIM 2004, and one (or more) of the available B-17 add-on packages.

    I'll want a yoke/throttle system and, possibly, rudder controls. My initial idea will be to construct a cockpit-like enclosure using PVC pipe shrouded in black fabric. The interior will seat 4 people (on folding chairs) in 2X2 configuration. My idea is to mount an LCD projector to display to the front of the cockpit, using a small table on which to mount the control yoke and throttle.

    Using a dual display graphics card, I'd like to have a monitor showing a chase plane view.

    I'd really appreciate any suggestions about this project, and any ideas that I could employ to make this a fun and reminiscent experience for these veteran fliers of the B-17.

    My apologies if I haven't posted this in the right forum, but I will appreciate any help and benefit of experience that others might have.

    Thanks!
    Joe
     
  2. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Sounds like fun. To bad you cannot add the gunners.

    DBII
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Welcome,

    And bombs DBII :lol:.
    An interesting project.I think there are guys who can hellp with that.:)
     
  4. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    You must have bombs. You could always wire up the old B-17 Bomber game for the old Intellivison gaming system. I think they also had a Commodore 64 version. You could get a seperate sound card to plug in and the game would talk to you, I know hard to beleive :lol: . Jump over to the nose and line up the bombing run, A Bf 109 comes in and you have to pop over to the waist gunner postion. Watch out for the flak. Now days you can have a nice simulator with multiple postions. All it take is money

    DBII
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  6. carbine

    carbine New Member

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  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Geewiz, that sounds like some project...:) Welcome and good luck with it!
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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  9. rfowler42

    rfowler42 New Member

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    Hi Joe,

    I'm a mad flight simmer. My favorite is Memphis Belle in FS2004 (which I highly recommend). Doesn't blow things up (think it does in CFS3, but I've never bothered) but you can start it from 'cold and dark' and if 'flies' pretty true to the published figures.

    The reason I joined up was so I could post that I'm planning to build a complete B-17 throttle quadrant (including ignition panel - all the stuff on the pedestal) for use with FS2004. I doubt I'll have it ready in time for the reunion (When is it?) but if I do, you can happily borrow it. (I live in Norfolk, near Diss - a couple of hours, I would think, from Deenethorpe.)

    BTW - where is the reunion going to be held?

    Best of luck with the project,
    Ron
     
  10. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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  11. Geewiz

    Geewiz New Member

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    Greetings all...

    It's been about a year since my original post, and thought some of you might be interested in the status of this project. I completed the simulator in time for the 401st Bomb Group reunion in October 2008, and the SimPit now resides at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Savannah, GA.

    Here's the final product...

    [​IMG]

    There's also numerous videos related to the simulator, as well as the B-17 and the 401st Bomb Group, on YouTube at...

    YouTube - 401stbg's Channel

    Cheers!
     
  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Wow, nicely done!
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Wow!

    Outstanding job!
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Superb work, very well done.
     
  15. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    very nice
     
  16. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Excellent work!
     
  17. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I like what you did. :thumbup:
    One question though is it set up for 4 engines or just 2 ?


    Wheelsup
     
  18. Geewiz

    Geewiz New Member

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    #18 Geewiz, May 22, 2009
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
    This system has two Saitek throttle quadrants. Each has 3 programmable levers, for a total of 6 levers. The middle 4 throttle levers are assigned to each of the engines: 1 thru 4. The far left lever is assigned to control prop rpm's (all 4), and the far right lever is assigned for elevator trim control - which really makes trimming out the plane much better than using the keyboard.

    For a better look at the sim pit and the cockpit configuration, click here...

    Whistler

    Cheers!
     
  19. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's truly amazing!
     
  20. Geewiz

    Geewiz New Member

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    #20 Geewiz, May 22, 2009
    Last edited: May 22, 2009
    Thanks, VB! Anyone who wants to fly her can do so at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Heritage Museum outside of Savannah, GA

    We donated the simpit to them in conjunction with the museum's acquisition of a B-17 which has been placed on static display in the main exhibit hall. Aptly named "The City of Savannah", this B-17 was sitting in a Smithsonian hanger at Dulles Airport for the past 20 years or so.

    Here's an extract from the 8th AF magazine:

    8TH AF NEWS

    The simulator is on the mezzanine level and looks down on to the The City of Savannah" in the main exhibit hall.

    Cheers!
     
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