Howto:Build your own procedure trainer

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Revision as of 19:55, 2 November 2009 by T3r (talk | contribs)
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A first version of the PMPT - functional!


This page is about building your own procedure trainer device using basically FlightGear, other OpenSource software and home brew hardware. It is probably far from being a FNPT Flight Navigation Procedure Trainer , so I'd like to call it a PMPT for Poor Man's Procedure Trainer. The goal is to have most of the components, "real" FNPT have:

  • A realistic flight dynamics model
  • An instrument panel with realistic looking instruments and controls with realistic behaviour.
  • An outside 3d-view rendering the world scenery (but not our own aircraft)
  • As many controls as affordable (yoke, rudder, switches, buttons, radios)
  • Aircraft is completely flyable without keyboard and/or mouse

The Components

Flight Dynamics Model

This is no sweat at all! FlightGear comes with usable, good and even excellent flight dynamics models out of the box. This HOWTO focuses on a Seneca procedure trainer and uses the SenecaII from the FlightGear base package but can be adapted to other aircraft. One computer running a FlightGear instance computes the FDM, renders the scenery and receives all the input from various controls. Hey that's basic FlightGear operation? Yes, read on for the goodies!

Instrument Panel

Outside View

Yoke and Switch Panel

Rudder Pedals

Radio Panel

The Basic Hardware Interface

The Almighty USB HID Controller

Circuit Board


Panel Controller

Yoke Controller