Comet 4 Cockpit - 3D

Cockpit 3D

It’s too easy to get locked into a detail-obsessed quest when drawing a cockpit in 3D. Preparing screen shots for this piece forced me to stand back and look at the thing as a whole, which I haven’t done for weeks. I believe it has that essential Comet-ness, and I hope anyone who’s flown one, or stood on the flight deck of the real thing, will agree. Of course, I could spend another year adding detail, but it’s reached a point where I’m happy to move on to the next task.

All the essential instruments required to fly the simulator work. In other words, everything forward of the pilots seats. Everything behind them is effectively a photograph stuck onto a box that’s roughly the right shape. X-Plane 9 quadruples the amount of detail possible – probably more, because of the separate 2D and 3D panels, and I look forward to adding detail on the flight engineer’s panel in future.

Thanks once again to Mike Pyment with his superb XV-814 cockpit and manuals, to the de Havilland Heritage Museum at London Colney, to Ian Roberts, who allowed me to explore and photograph XS-235 at Bruntingthorpe, and to Ruthann O’Connor, who supplied great shots of C/N 6424, being restored at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Also to Sandy Barbour, for the plug-in, “Pilot View”, which is essential for taking good screen shots.

View from the Flight Engineer’s station:

View from the Navigator’s station:

Looking forwards, over the pilots’ seats:

The roof panels and radios. All switches and displays that could be linked to hot-spots on the 2D panel work:

The pedestal:

The rear section of the pedestal, with the SEP-2 autopilot control box, trim wheels, flap selector and indicator, and fuel cocks:

The throttles in reverse. Notice the reverse intent lever, to the right of the throttles, is fully back; the two outer throttle levers (only the outer engines on the Comet had reverse buckets) move up and back, as they should do:

The mechanical undercarriage indicator. This instrument was originally at the top of the engine panel on the Comet 1 to Comet 4, but it was relegated to a lowlier position on the 4B and 4C. In the 3D X-Plane cockpit, the pointers are directly linked to the datarefs, and show the actual positions of the undercarriage legs, which are not always perfectly in sync.

GMM-P (06/12/2008)

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