A-4K Skyhawk Simpit NZ6202
Last update 1/04/2003
Digital pictures taken during the building of the cockpit
[Page 1] Early seat shots
Ever since I got into flightsims in the early 80's I have wanted to build a cockpit to fly my sims in. Over the years I have built a number of cockpits, from the simple desk-pit style (with mounts for controls and that's about it) to a more complex F-16 style cockpit with reclined seat, side consoles front panel etc. Through all of these pits there has been a missing element; None of these were accurate portrayals of a real airframe, and none had any link to a New Zealand aircraft.
A couple of years ago I decided to seriously build a SimPit, and started thinking of *What* I wanted to build. I am a HUGE F-4 Phantom phan, so started working on the idea of building an RF-4C pit, then it occurred to me that I had always liked the A-4 Skyhawk, after all it is (err WAS!) New Zealand's premier strike aircraft! So, I started doing the research and out of the clear blue sky I was offered a cockpit mock-up built for the RNZAF Museum at Ohakea (Thanks Scott!). That was the spur I needed to kick the project into action! Picked up the 'pit and carted it back to my house... where it sat for many months while I did more research. A change of address meant the cockpit was uprooted and dragged into storage at work, which sounds bad, but was actually very good! With all the tools and space on hand I got a heap of work done, (check out the photo pages)
During the development and research the concept for my cockpit has changed somewhat! Initially I was planning on doing a Skyhawk-like representation, with the right shape and size, but the internals were going to be of my own design. Next it changed to an A-4k on the outside, and a US Marine Corps A-4m cockpit on the inside, which gave me the opportunity to have a few more wizzo bits, but still have good old "steam-driven" gauges. Now I am working towards a much more accurate representation of a "post-Kahu" A-4k Skyhawk, as they were at the disbanding of the Air Combat Force :(