Overhead Panel completed

Nov 28th, 2013 | By | Category: Lead Article, Simulator Conversion

Cleaning panel engravings


UP8 in its original state. Though it looks good some heavy corrosion hid below the paint!

UP8, the overhead panel that controls all major systems has been completed. It is by far the most complex panel as it contains 25 warning lights, 64 switch positions, 8 gauges and 10 magnetic indicators and 2 potentiometers. Restoration of the entire panel required about 100 hours as every switch, bulb and parts was disassembled, cleaned and restored. Actual programming is under way and will require many more hours.

All panel engravings have been deep cleaned using a special needle and a soft brush with soap and water to prevent further paint damage. Grease and nictoine have left their marks after 20 years of service! It required quite an effort to remove them. Some areas of the overhead panel have been modified by Air France and old engravings filled and painted over. Apparently some systems where modified during the career of F-BHRU. These areas received a new layer of fresh paint.


System description

Writing up the complete system description and behaviour was another important step. This is essential for a realistic simulator. Using various manuals of Air France, SAS and Sabena it is possible to program a very realistic overhead panels where almost every switch and knob behaves like in real life. Today’s simulators auch as X-Plane and Prepa3D do have system simulations but not to the extend required for our project. This means some functions have to be programmed outside the simulator.


Except for the cabin pressure controller (which is fully mechanical) the panels is working 100% working and attention has been paied to reconnect every switch and bulb.



Stripping paint and removing corrosion.

3 spare magnetic indicators from F-BMKS (scrapped in Toulouse in March 2004) were required to replace broken or missing magnetic indicators (also called doll’s eyes) as over the years as the coil of some of them was broken. We will try to rewind the coil and have spare parts in the future.


Wiring of UP8…Blue is is original 28V panel lightning.

Once repainted with wrinkle paint the panel edge lights have been remounted and wired. This required about 7 m of 2mm wires. The panel lightning is 100% 28V original. All bulbs however have been replaced. The used bulbs were converted into LED lights which are then used in the push to test warning lights. The panel edge lights are new.






…soldering the connectors.


This is how original 28V bulbs are converted to LED.


Wiring of UP8. Keeping an overview of all cables is vital. All sitches and LEDs have been marked.

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