Well while most of you have been on holidays, the busy beavers here have continued working on the project, except for a short break to Duxford for Flying Legends, where we saw first hand the mishaps of the real warbirds. A blown perspex canopy on one P51 and a broken prop plus some other damage to the underside for a second P51 that belly landed in a field – crashes in sims cost a lot less (I think ?).
So back to the project : had some useful input from the team that are building the flight model for the DCS Spitfire MkXIV about the modularity of the sim kit. They let me play with their Oculus Rift, which they had set up in the Flying Legends hangar, so that I could see how our Spit Sim gear would fit in with the view from a virtual reality headset. I was impressed with OR and can’t wait to get one – will need to sell a few kits before I can pay for one !
Latest item out of the workshop is the Spitfire MkIX spade grip. I had some trouble getting the exact dimensions and ended up buying a moulded replica of a real unit which helped to get overall sizes and the pattern of the rubberised non-slip covering. I will be able to make a mould and make a non-slip skin in silicone or latex, suitably treated to avoid allergies.
The photos show the part assembly of the prototype grip which includes the brake lever mounted directly on a potentiometer that is hidden in the handle. This will be fitted with a return spring.
The two position firing button assembly shown is only partly completed as it needs the electronics and the actual micro buttons. However I am pleased with the design for the working safety catch, which in addition to locking and unlocking the pressure plate, will also activate a photoelectric switch to send the appropriate signal to the simulator program. Like most of the mechanisms in the kit this is initially modeled on the real thing and then adapted for modern electronics.
With most of the prototype parts now 3D printed and mounted, the next steps will be to wire up the electrical components and connect them to the Arduino chipset. So my holidays will be spent “soldering on” !