My Akers Barnes Cockpit Build
After cutting
the pieces
per the very
fit together
very nicely.
Just some minor filling and sanding
were required to smooth things out
Trial fitting, I just had to try it out!
Painting, I used a standard water based
primer to get close to the aircraft grey
color. It has a nice forgiving flat finish.
Cutting the aluminum boxes that will house
the Thrustmaster HOTAS, buttons,
switches, and X-Keys electronics.
These boxes give the cockpit a more
realistic and finished look. Using
X-Keys, I plan on installing all the
necessary switches to control the
systems in Falcon 4.
Using a spray primer that is slightly darker than
the water based primer, I painted the top half
of the cockpit to more closely match the real
F16 paint scheme. Masking tape and a razor
blade created the subdued USAF insignia.
HL is Hill AFB, Utah, home of the 388th Fighter
Wing, and one of the bases I was stationed at.
N8318Y is the Piper Cherokee I flew for my first
solo and also my Private Pilot check ride. Tail
flash and a few other graphics are in the works.
The old yoke setup made it hard to get
in and out, and was changed to a
Saitek yoke installed behind the panel.
Dual screens were eliminated to make
room for MFDs and keyboard.
Usable, but still a work in progress.
This was before I covered the foam
and made other changes.
Special thanks to Peter Akers & Michael Barnes for their very easy to build and well
designed cockpit plans. Believe it or not, I can disassemble the cockpit and have it loaded in
my truck in about 20 minutes! You can build your own, just ask for permission and
download the plans at the   
Finally nearing completion (if
there is such a thing). I
cheated and used a sheepskin
seat cover to cover the foam,
but it looks and works great.
Replacing the CH yoke with
Saitek allowed installation
behind the panel and separate
throttle quadrant, making
ingress & egress much easier.  
Buttons, switches, dials, and
X-Keys are installed and
programmed.  Thrustmaster
MFDs complete the fighter
mode hardware.
Closeup of throttle side of panel (left),
and joystick side (below).  Obviously
not exactly where everything is on the
real jet, but compromises were made
to allow portability and make room for
the control bases. Scaling is 60% of
full size, again, to promote portability.
All of the electronics are housed in
the "Landing Gear" panel and all
three boxes connect to each other
using VGA cables. TWS scope is
inop, it just covers the area where the
circuit boards are installed. X-Keys
programming switch is just above.
Below, showing soldering of
switches, circuit board and diodes.  
Right below, closeup of landing
gear rotary switch and handle.
Latest configuration.  
Note all GA controls
have been moved to
my GA cockpit and I've
added a 39" monitor
and TrackIR.