Hinged — Unhinged

After some time spent cogitating and procrastinating I decided that a panel height of around ten inches from the wheel centres was about right and with some sort of curved top to it. A piece of lumber was shaped and offered up and that seemed OK whilst flying — except for one thing. Having a realistic view of runway and sky is one thing but when I'm using the Mac routinely — for research purposes, for instance – the dock with all the available apps appears from the bottom of the screen and none could be seen.

Hmm. Thinking time...

I also bought in a tiny, tiny keyboard. As you can see. 

Price £14


New Dual Mode Wireless Multimedia Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse Rii I4 Bluetooth 4.0 with 2.4G Wireless Mini Keyboard with Scroll Button LED Backlit Rechargeable Battery

This proved be an excellent choice because I had wanted some kind of button box to control various control and view options and I thought that if in the future I could learn how to bind keyboard strokes to those actions on this keyboard, I would be more than happy. I soon learned that such a thing was indeed possible out of the box with the purchase of X-plane and probably with Flightgear too (my current platform) if I could learn a bit of coding.

Yep, that's X-plane, 'Plane- Maker' (demo version) and a tutorial running on Youtube. In the background my 2nd attempt to model the Cessna 337. I have also added a photo of a 'six-pack' to the I-Pad to jog me into buying Air Manager for I-Pad soon-ish.

So, the solution to the obstructing panel was to hinge it. Simple, but effective. You can see in the pictures above that when sitting down in front of the full-height panel it was impossible previously to view the dock but with flaps down it was easy. 

When you spend as much if not much more time learning about planes and how to not crash them than actually flying them (and sometimes crashing them!) then easy browsing is essential. 

The solution to my earlier knuckle bumping of levers problem was also cured at the same time by dropping the quadrants below the lower shelf. Only an inch but it was an inch enough...

The 'tiny, tiny' keyboard has actually helped me in a physical way because the keys are so very small that I am having to learn how to be very precise indeed when hitting them. Typing has slowed down to a snails pace. Even when entering my password to open the computer, at first I'd fail twice or even thrice before getting it right! 

In a very complex modern aircraft such as a current airliner then I would imaging things being rather fiddly with great care and attention required to accurately select the right switch or button from the hundreds available and in the right sequence. 

I'm building muscle memory, I guess.


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