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HOW  THE SIMULATOR
WAS RESTORED

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Photo courtesy of T. Ueda    (All Rights Reserved)

PART  7      Being  Creative

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Time to start building a curved Projector Screen, we drew up a plan
of bits to be made and pinned it to the Cabin Wall.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Up to now, lots of parts of the Flightdeck had been stored all around the
outside of it, most of Johns time was spent constantly moving stuff, here
he has stored everything in the inside ready to build the Screen and back Floor.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Curved Shelves were made and bendable MDF Panels attached to it,
which were then Primed and Painted White.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

The Finished Screen.
(Please note these photos are distorted as they are taken with a wide angle lens).

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We then needed to attach some more very heavy Metal, the rest of the Side Windows.
As the Flightdeck was cut down to fit in a container there is no Metal further
back than the rear windows.   These were important to re- attach as a
lot of the screw holes and fixings for the inner panels are attached to them.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Martin drilling holes in the window ledges so we could bracket them on from the outside.
These were very thick and it took a lot of drilling to get through.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

The Re-attached Window Frame ... just one more to go !

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Once Fitted, the Perspex Windows were Fitted which gave it extra strength.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Starting to look like a Plane again.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Again, as there wae no Metal further back than the cut, we needed
to make a new back Floor, this had to be exactly the right size and
strong enough to support all the Seats, Cabinets and People that
would be in the Flightdeck.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Beefing up the floor, again a lot of the wood from trolly that
we used at the Scout Hut was re-purposed.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

15mm Thick Boarding completes the Floor, note the "X" which was
Routered out, as the Observer Seat fits into a recess which is
slightly lower than the rest of the floor, this whole floor is lower than
the rest as there is a 1" step up to the Pilots seats in the Front.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

After the Floor was made we could roughly position
seats and inside Cabinets.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

We could then fit the Fiberglass Inner lining, this has again has all the
fixings for what we like to call the "Posh Plastics".

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Initially, we thought we would need to build a Wooden framework to hang the inner liner on.
However when we started bolting it together it became rigid and free standing.
Note the Hole (Top Left).

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This is where the "Emergency Hatch" is located, obviously so the
Crew can escape on the ground, but we now faced a challenge.
How could we position and mount it in exactly the right place with
the inner liner, with out all of the Metal to attach it to ?

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We had the Hatch and Surround, but would need to find a way to hang it.

The Hatch itself, and the surround above, were very heavy, and after
several attempts to hang it, we decided to take a different approach.

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We knew the outer part would need cutting down as some of the roof
beams were in the way, so John made a cardboard mock up of the full
hatch to see what needed cutting off.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Eventually it was cut down, hung in the roof on bungey chords, and
luckily we also found that it bolted to the Overhead Panel Frame
which helped us with positioning and further fixing.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

The Hatch mounted, and "Posh Plastics" fitted.
But as it was millemetres from the roof we didnt really want to see
the roof when we opened the hatch, so John got creative ...

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A Piece of Board, and some Paints were all that was needed to create
a painting of another Aircraft flying over us.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Which looks so much better than a Wooden Roof !
Obviously we can't climb out of the Hatch but at least we can show it open.
(Notice all the Japanese wording on the Hatch)

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

We could also now fit the cabinets on the First officers side.
including the P6 Circuit Breaker Box shown earlier.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

The Front Floor Carpet was also Cut and Fitted, a Carpet very close to the
original was found and the shop offered to come and fit it ...
John was very tempted to say "Yes" just to see their face when they turned up !

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Now came another big part of the build, getting the Throttles,
Flaps and Speedbrake Working.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

The underside of the Throttles showing all the workings,
Fascinating to see how its put together, incredible engineering.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

As a lot of the workings extend through a hole in the floor, yet another
Trolly was needed so that we could work on it and test it all.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Again, like the Yolks a there were a lot of wires to identify and connect
to make all the switches work.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

The Finished Throttles, all backlit and waiting to be re-installed.

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With the Front Seats and Throttles installed, we could turn our attention to closing the flighdeck up.
The back wall of the flightdeck on either side is actually the back wall of the Toilets !

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We removed the Bi-Fold Doors and Cut the blocks down to just leave the Back walls.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

It was decided to leave the Sink Unit & Vanity Mirrors in,  as it's all original
and interesting, especially with all the Japanes writing on all the drawers.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Sink Unit and Vanity Mirror. we didn't have room to put the whole
Toilet Block into the Hut and besides we had another idea for the doors.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

The View from inside, the walls were repaired and re-painted
as they had all the fixings for the Brown Trim.
A couple of the Labels were re-printed and replaced.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

Once both sides were done, the floor was Carpeted, Seats Fitted
and the Flightdeck Door re-installed.

The Flightdeck of Boeing 747-400 JA8956 being worked on, to turn her into a Flight Simulator in Coventry UK

So what did we do with the Doors ?   We used them as access doors
left and right so we can go through to the Front of the Simulator when
needed.  All re-painted with Check stripe and original magazine racks.

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