Framing the MIP

A fairly quiet weekend, because I’ve had a stinking cold and haven’t felt like doing much before Sunday afternoon. When I did get down to things I chose to stop work on the yoke – which I think requires a greater degree of concentration than I feel I can give it right now – and move on to some of the framing for the main instrument panel (MIP).

The build of my console is in four parts. At the bottom are the footwells, where the pilot’s feet – and the rudder pedals – will go. Also at this level will be the pedestal, the bit sticking out of the MIP that has the throttle quadrant on it. Above this is a horizontal slice which I’m calling the yoke level; this is where the yoke mechanism is located, and on the panel around the yoke exit will also be a number of control panels for lights etc. Above this is the MIP layer proper – this is where the PFD, MFD and other displays will go, as well as standby instruments and some other panels. Then at the very top is the glareshield layer, which houses the autopilot controls and EFIS for flying standard Boeing / Airbus glass.

What I worked on today is the MIP layer. This is a simple frame made of 28mm x 18mm pine baton – the whole console is being built as frame + think skin, to keep the weight down. I put in the main frame today, which divides the MIP up into three main sections – the pilot’s side, the middle – where a tablet pc will go and act as weather radar, FMC, middle screen in a G1000 setup, whatever it needs to be – and the co-pilot’s side on the right.

It only takes a few strategically placed and screwed members to make the frame very rigid, and so now it will take the weight of the LCD screens etc that must, in essence, hang from it. Not a huge amount to see, here, so I’ve only got one relevant photo:

The MIP frame starts coming together


Hopefully, after all this time, the shape of the thing is finally coming into view. I wasn’t just randomly putting bits of wood together, you know 🙂

Next week I hope to finish the glareshield frame and then get back onto the mechanics and electronics of my yoke. See you then.