Back in the air

The project break necessitated by illness in the family is over. I’m ready to get back to building, and I hope to do so over the next few days.

I’ve managed to have most of the junk accumulated in the build room collected, which gives me the room to work that I need, and I have been thinking about next steps for a few weeks. I’m going for something of a project reset, for the second time. I briefly considered disassembling the shell entirely and working on a LearJet shell based on Ron Rollo’s excellent plans; but I still feel I don’t have the necessary skill or tooling to make that work, and in point of fact a Lear shell is going to be too small – it’s enough of a squeeze as it is!

My plan is to address the shortcomings of the build so far while preserving the bits that work – particularly the console, footwells, yoke system and the basic A-frame for the vestibule; while improving on all of those and then building a new main cockpit area with a revamped window frame and overhead area. Sadly this means I need to say goodbye to the fabric shrouds that I spent several weekends making, but like all things in life you have to be prepared to sacrifice if you want to get ahead. Sigh.

A re-think of the visual systems leads me to conclude that I will go with a front-projected semi-circular screen, probably with two wide-aspect projectors. I will have to invest in short-throw projectors, though, which won’t be cheap. So to kick off with I’ll probably use my existing HD home cinema projector and just project on the front wall. But that’s some way away yet, I’m not going to get ahead of myself bearing in mind how little progress I made in the whole of 2011, and how much of that I’m about to abandon.

I do have my enthusiasm back, though, and that’s got to be a good thing.

The family member who is ill is still ill, though it’s not nearly as bad as it looked when I took my break a while back, and so from time to time I may well still have to pause for a while. But I anticipate 2012 being the year I finally get some flying hours in, even if I don’t actually complete the sim this year.

Join me for the journey. I’ll see you up there!