Joe's Homecockpit
design.build.fly
ToC

My Overhead panel

I decided to add an A320 Overhead panel into my relatively generic home cockpit. The reason for that is, that i really like the dark and forward facing cockpit concept of Airbus. The second arguument was, that it offers enough buttons and annunciators to also fly other planes like the Daher Kodiak or TBM with it.

The way round it won't work with just a few generic buttons to add the way more complex functionality of an airbus.

The demands

I wanted at least

The panel itself

was vectorized based on online available A320 Overhead documentation within Inkscape.

screenshot of picture search for A320 overhead panels
Picture search for A320 overhead panels

I found a A320-Overhead_Panel.pdf in the Internet and converted it to an SVG graphics.

Then i decided to split it off into different layers for the laser cutting and the printing of the backlight foil.

Inkscape working screenshot with layers for overhead panel
Inkscape working screenshot with layers for overhead panel
the print-view of the final overhead panel backlight foil
The print-view of the final overhead panel backlight foil

Then i send the data for laser cutting to a partner nearby to Nuernberg who provided me with excellent quality of LED backlight optimized Acrylic plate.

the laser cut acrylic back plate for the overhead panel
The laser cut acrylic back plate for the overhead panel

The self-adhesive laminated backglight film i ordered at WirMachenDruck.de .

acrylic backplate and backlight foil assembled
Acrylic backplate and backlight foil assembled

It was really easy to apply and precisely printed. Fully serving my needs.

The cutouts for the korries, toggle switches and pushbuttons i cut after glueing it to the acrylic sheet with a simple cutter.

The outer overhead cover

needs to hold the backlight LED strips with some distance to the acrylic overhead sheet.

That is neccesary to ensure good light distribution and less shadows.

To ensure that this outer shell part doesn't brake the impression of having a round shell, I decided to create a thin 3D curved plywood board. So I hope to be able to mount the LED stripes on the inner side with double sided tape and to ensures good light protection so that nothing shines onto my beamer screen.

3D curved plywood board
3D curved plywood board for the outer front shell.

To get the board into the 3 dimensional curvature, I simply wetted a couple of times the board from both sides, fixed it into the form I wanted and let it dry.

Each time I got a bit closer towards the desired direction.

I'd have preferred to prepare the wood in a steam chamber. But as it was clear, that I won't need it very often, I decided to go the "dirty hack" way.