A short history of the making of the A320 Simulator…
The cockpit used in our simulator is originally from the Airbus A319 on the above photo (MSN 1068). It was produced in Hamburg (Germany) and was an A319-112 with CFM56-5B6/P engines. Under test registration D-AVWD it made its first flight on August 3, 1999. On August 13, 1999 it was delivered to its first owner Sabena (the former national airline of Belgium) who took it into operations with registration OO-SSB.
The cockpit as purchased. It was cut from the fuselage just behind the circuit breaker rack. Cockpits from scrapped aircrafts are typically sold empty, stripped from all interior panels.
The cockpit is delivered at a warehouse where we have enough place to perform the initial preparation work before it will go to its final destination. The delivered cockpit is really cut from the rest of the aircraft and as such all wiring, insulation material, airconditioning piping, etc are still all (half cut) present.
Cockpit gets wheels
The first thing that was done was to make the cockpit easily moveable, by building a metal framework with wheels under it. Given the weight of the cockpit those needed to be very robust.
Cockpit is stripped
First all the inside structural parts of the cockpit are removed. These include the circuit breaker cabinet, side cabinets, pedestal, MIP, etc. Then the cockpit is stripped to the bare shell and all materials that in an operational airplane are of vital importance, but in a simulator have no real use, are removed. A huge amount of temperature insulation material is removed, as well as big pile of wiring, connectors, piping, etc
Cockpit gets a new front
The cockpit nose is cut and shortened. It also gets a new a new front plate. This will allow better access, since many of the simulator components in the MIP will need to be installed and wired from the front.
Cockpit is cleaned
Now the long and painstaking work of cleaning the complete cockpit shell and floor, all the cabinets, etc takes place. Also all of the internal mechanical parts like the rudder pedals and others are refurbished.
The brake system on the rudder pedals is refurbished. All the parts of the brake system are disassembled and cleaned. Here you see the brake chamber and the brake transducers, and their assembly in the overall brake system.
Cockpit arrives at final destination
The cockpit is transported to its final destination where the flight simulator will be build.
Cockpit interior reassembly starts
The cockpit interior reassembly starts. First the cockpit shell gets a thin insulation layer to avoid condense and improve acoustics. Then the overhead panel is reassembled first, together with the cockpit roof lining.
The MIP with the screens for the DU's are installed. For the very first time the A320 Simulator Software gets projected in the cockpit. Thereafter the cabinets on the side of cockpit are reassembled, together with the Captain seat and rudder pedals.
Integration of original FCU
The FCU interface board is ready and cabling is done. The device driver is written and integration testing of the real FCU with the A320 Simulator Software is performed.
Sliding windows installed
The sliding windows are cleaned and installed in the cockpit. At the same time the search starts to find the glass for the different windows.
After completion of the interfacing of the FCU with the A320 Simulator Software, the FCU is mounted in the cockpit. Also the lining on top of the windows and at the cockpit sides is further finished. Finally two tray tables are installed.
Pedestal and jump seat
Pedestal and the two sidesticks are installed. Also in the back of the cockpit the circuit breaker cabinet is placed back together with the 3rd occupant jump seat.