Joe's Homecockpit
sketch of self made home cockpit shell

Size definition

I needed to integrate the home cockpit into our rooms. So I was limited to the available space.

luckily there was a space of 2m x 2m which I could take for planning the homecockpit.

As i really love the PC12 and PC24 by Pilatus, i decided to adapt to the measurements of this phantastic versatile planes and took the one of the PC12 which fit well.

The demands

When I started building the home cockpit I just had a single monitor. That's the reason, why I built somthing like a table in front.

At that time, i already thought about probably having beamers and a curved screen instead. And i wanted to integrate a universal MIP with additional screens in front of my seats.

It was already clear that i'd build an overhead some day, so I needed to find a solution to mount the overhead. As I'm flying also GA aircraft like Diamond DA40, soaring planes etc. it was also clear, that i didn't want to have a column in the middle of the homecockpit as then this would become unrealistic. So i had to build it robust.

The shell

Demands: robust enough to carry an overhead, cheap and easy to build, "open" enough to provide a good air ventilation etc. and looking at least a bit like the rounded form of an aircraft.

So again plenty of demands i needed to meet.

If you're folding your hands you'll notice that it is able to carry some weight, despite the relatively thin fingers.
This approach seemed to be promising for me. And that approach is also used to build quite strong bridges without any screws etc.
bridge built out of simple wooden bars without screws, nails etc.


I just went for the hardware store and purchased some 40x60mm roof battens. Those i cut in as seen below.
sketch of self made home cockpit shell
So the top five elements (left side) i glued together with simple white glue and those blocks where attached to the side parts with metric screws so that i'll be able to unmount the shell if needed.

The overhead section

i made from simple aluminium L-profiles i also purchased in the hardware store. They have been connected using 3mm threaded screws. To ensure best stability i built it in a way that all sections are always triangular. This offers me a stable mounting for the overhead whitout any center column in front. This setup is robust enough to press the pushbuttons and push/pull on the toggle switches without moving / swaying anything around.

The curved screen

building instructions for a curved screen for beamer useage

is built from 3mm MDF boards.

One in full-size of the projection screen and two additional smaller ones which i glued at the rear of the screen to ensure that the screen remains curved after pulling it from the bending tool.

The bending tool

was also built with the same 40x60mm roof battens as the shell frame.

Projection screen painting

After the screen curvature was successfully done and for test purposes mounted, i wanted to get the best brightness/contrast ratio as possible.
So i tried several a few materials and colors and made quite some research. For me it was important to find some matte material to ensure that i have an even brightness despite of the angle sitting in front.

Materials and colors.

testing the appearence of screen painttesting the appearence of screen paint with day picturetesting the appearence of screen paint with night picture

I finally choosed CAPAROL Indeko-plus RAL standard 7004 in super matte as it provided the best ratio between brightness and contrast for me.

Blending and merging

of the two near throw beamers is done using Fly Elise Immersive Display Pro

The result

is an 200x65cm curved screen for just a few euros which is mounted between a robust cupboard and the side wall and within the center fixed at the ceiling. This ensures no motion within the shell, no vibration of the bass shaker is transmitted to the screen. So it is completely decoupled off the shell and I'm even able to pull the shell out of the setup without affecting the screen.

home cockpit view from the side with curved screen installed