Introducing our Featured Projects and builders!
Here you will be able to see at a glance some of our most advanced Hangar45 projects and the builders behind those fantastic Lear45 Simulators! In the future as more builders and their flightdecks come on line and approach 80% or better completion, we will add them to this distinguished list of Featured Projects!
Builder: Ron Rollo
Location: Jacksonville Florida U.S.A.
Join Date: October 19thth 2008
Ron Rollo is located in Jacksonville Florida and is happily married to his wife Michelle. Ron and Michelle have a son Christopher, a late son Zack who passed away in May 2016 and daughter Morgan. They also have a grandson Jett, who really loves flight simulation, he just does not know it yet! Ron is currently at the end of his professional law enforcement career after 25 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Ron is the owner and administrator of Hangar45.net and his personal project website, Project45.us The seeds to build a full scale flight simulator were planted back in the early 1990’s when he served in the United States Navy Reserve (U.S.N.R.) and was a crewman on the P3-C Orion aircraft.
In 2007 after about two years of planning and research, he decided to build a Learjet 45 by taking a much different approach than every other builder across the flight sim community. Ron decided to immerse into the simulation experience by starting with the outside creating a full size fiberglass cockpit shell as close to the real dimensions as possible! Visit his website Project45.us to see his L45 shell and the latest progress.
Ron is best known in the flight simulator community for his incredible talents with modeling, scaling and working on an issue until it is either solved or proven impossible to solve. His attention to detail and ability to work through problems comes from his model building and his military background. Ron realized early on that a hobby project of this magnitude could not be achieved on his own which is why he has dedicated so much time into building a community of like minded Lear45 flight simulator builders. Information sharing is key! In addition to laying the foundations to the Lear45 sim community, he has also scaled out the Lear45 flight deck to as close to one to one scale as possible and shared that information here in the hangar!
Ron has designed, built and made available to our Hangar 45 members countless key parts to the Lear45 simulator. Everything from the fiberglass shell, interior structural parts, control columns, back lit panels and other miscellaneous parts and products. Ron owns a CNC and does all of the drawing, programming, cutting and finishing work himself. Only the laser engraving is sent out to a third party specialty shop! The goal for the past ten years and for many years into the future is to build the best Learjet 45 simulator possible and to continue making parts and products available for our Hangar 45 community!
To take a look at the current computer specs in L45-002 click HERE
Builder: Shane Barnes
Location: Mt. Sterling, Kentucky U.S.A.
Join Date: December 13th 2008
Shane Barnes represents a textbook reason why Hangar45 was created. Hangar45 and the knowledgeable Club Members here have given Shane the confidence to build a Lear45 simulator! Shane lives in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky and is married with three step-daughters. He is a 25 year veteran of law enforcement and works as an arson investigator with an agency in the great state of Kentucky. Shane worked in patrol for seven years before being assigned as a detective. During his time as detective, he has been assigned to narcotics, general investigations, fatal accident investigations and for the last ten years to arson investigations.
Shane has lived most of his adult life in Kentucky and most of his childhood in Spartanburg South Carolina. He graduated High School in Kentucky and joined the Kentucky National Guard as a Military Policeman for six years. During that time he was fortunate enough to get some flight hours as a “PAX” in the C-130’s, KC-135’s, Huey’s and Blackhawk helicopters.
Shane’s father was a private pilot for many years and he was able to get some flight time in Cessna 172’s before his father bought a Piper Archer. Shane enjoyed flying but at the time did not have the desire to become a pilot and now feels that he has missed his big chance.
Shane’s wife purchased FS2004 several years ago and he became interested in the hobby. He had been flying with just a joystick and in 2008 he thought it may be more realistic with a yoke and pedals! When Shane started an online search, he found many sites dedicated to home cockpit building and was hooked! Shane started off with the idea of building a King Air cockpit.
Shane built an enclosed cockpit loosely based upon the King Air dimensions but soon realized that he would not be able to obtain the level of detail due to the lack of support for this airframe. Then he stumbled upon Ron Rollo’s site with photos of his Learjet 45 cockpit shell and then followed a link to Eric Tomlin’s site and determined that there was in fact a decent size support group for the Lear45. Shane had found the flight deck he wanted to build and a site offering the support that he would need as a new builder here at hangar45! That was 2008.
Shane built a simulator cockpit based upon the Learjet 45 using one of Ron Rollo’s shells @ PROJECT45 (airframe #L45-007). He wanted to replicate the flight deck of a real Lear45 as close as possible utilizing the software and hardware available and that is exactly what he did!
At first glance at the photo above, you might say, “That is what I want to replicate, a real Learjet 45 cockpit!” Well that is exactly what Shane did and what you are looking at is his home build Lear45, L45-007, a full scale 1 to 1 replica of the real aircraft! Only real world Lear45 pilots would be able to point out the discrepancies! (The basement wall gives it away too!) Shane is using three flat screen LCD HDTVs for his outside visual system and hopes to create an immersive environment where his guest pilots have a real sensation of flight.
No doubt Shane has created a textbook example of a home built Learjet 45! To date it is about 95% complete but then again, will any of our projects ever be considered 100% complete? Take a look at his Featured Projects Photo Album to get a good idea of what his simulator is all about!
(Mark Speechley and Mark Cooper standing in front of a Learjet45 in Australia)
Builder: Mark Speechley and Mark Cooper
Location: Traralgon, Victoria Australia
Join Date: September 8th 2011
Mark Speechley is happily married to his wife Jill and lives “down under” on a horse farm just outside of a little town called Traralgon, Victoria Australia. His professional life consist of “straightening” clients out as a chiropractor. Mark is a family man and loves spending time with his friends and family barbecuing any chance he can get. He has had a deep passion for aviation and finally decided to build a home flight simulator modeling the Learjet 45 but there was a problem……….where to start!
Fortunately for Mark, his best mate, Mark Cooper is a master carpenter. (If he wasn’t before, he is now!) Mark S. found Hangar45 and reached out to Ron Rollo to order shell L45-012 in paper plan format. Mark would have loved to have just ordered a kit but shipping a crate 12,000 miles was a little cost prohibitive to say the least. That is where Mark C. stepped in and took the lead on the shell construction from paper plans to full scale cockpit structure! Mark and Mark were the first Project45 shell builders to successfully build a Lear45 shell from paper plans and they did it with perfection!
While Mark C. was busy building the structural aspects of the shell and interior furniture pieces, Mark took the lead with putting together the MIP, lower panels, center pedestal panels and working out the issues with getting all the software programs to work nicely together. Mark also spearheaded the outside projector visual system, not just for his project but also for the entire Hangar45 club! Mark has the most advanced projector visual system within the Hangar community to date!
Mark is 100% committed to the project and to the Hangar45 community. Mark also holds the record for furthest traveled to visit and fly another member’s Learjet 45 simulator! Mark and his friend Peter made the long journey from Australia to the 2016 Hangar45 “Meet and Greet” in Jacksonville Florida. That is basically traveling half way around the world which is about 11,400 miles, but who’s counting. Pictured below is Mark on the left, Peter on the right, Eric Tomlin in the background and Ron Rollo peeking into the photo.
(The following insert was written by Mark Speechley)
“My name is Mark Speechley ( known around here as Mark S. due to the number of Marks’ in the Hangar ) and I knew back in 2010 that I was going to build a cockpit.
I was given a voucher to fly in a 737 simulator in Melbourne and I found it quite easy having flown desktop simulators since the Sublogic days on my Amiga computer. The pilot in the 737 was so impressed with my simulator flying skills that we deviated from the normal route and tried to land the 737 at St Barts in the Caribbean. No mean feat for anyone if you are familiar with that airport.
After that experience, I was going to build a 737. I duly did 6 months of on-line research and had the plan mapped out. Somehow trawling all the wonderful sim sites I came across Hangar45. Not thinking of a Learjet, I started communicating with one of the Hangar’s founding member’s Eric Tomlin. What a wonderful example of a member who was here to help everyone and to highlight what a wonderful group of members and Forum that they had built up. Eric convinced me that whereas the 737 had some wonderful attributes for building, the Lear45 had access to thousands more runways to explore. That was the clincher and a fact that most potential builders do not factor in. In the sim world we can do more things you can’t do in real world so you can explore more parts of the planet and fast in the Lear.
So after deciding on the Learjet 45 to build, I had to choose from a number of ‘cockpit panel’ suppliers. It greatly helped at the time for the very favourable dollar exchange rate and cheaper postage rates. So this was 2011 and the forum was a buzz with many very knowledgeable and resourceful members chipping in with research on all the different parts to emulate the Lear. Ron Rollo was one of the main catalysts for the success of the forum brilliantly designing the plans for the actual cockpit. He either made the parts for you and you then put the shell together or in my case I purchased the plans only and built everything from scratch.
It was at that point that I enlisted my best mate, pilot, trained commercial pilot and plane builder ( Vans RV-8 ) Mark C. ( Mark Cooper) to undertake the building of the shell from Ron’s plans. May I say he did a wonderful job but some of the credit must go to Ron as his instructions were very well done.
It was left to me to do all the building on the inside.
Well the forum was flush with drawings for every main detail required, so it made dealing with tradesman easier. I suppose the biggest undertaking for us Lear builders was the MIP ( Main Instrument Panel ). It had to be cut out and bent at the right angle or if you got it wrong you would be stuck at square one. Fortunately for me, mine was finally completed and was then sent to the automotive spray people to have it’s grey colour finished off. Once done you now had the instrument panel that you could populate with panels that were up for purchase.
I would put in my orders for new panels that were coming up and duly waited for them to be completed and shipped to Australia. The times were on average 4- 6 months which seems like a long time but in essence you had so many other things to attend to in the mean time. There was wiring, soldering, purchasing parts that were not included such as yokes, switches, buttons, LED’s. This did not even include the background knowledge and skills you needed to acquire such as electronic, basic electricity, soldering etc. I haven’t even begun to talk about the software which you needed to acquire such as FSX or Prepar3D, FSUIPC and the wonderful JET45 software from Jason Hite and Eric that allowed the Lear instrument panel to emulate the real Learjet 45.
You next needed to scan the forum sometimes multiple times throughout the day in order to find out who has discovered something new or maybe a different procedure that was cheaper or more efficient. It may be how to adapt a real aircraft part to incorporate it into the Lear build. If you scan the forum you will be amazed at just what a knowledge base has been amassed on all manner of topics. My build was at a time when adding photos was easily done and added greatly to the explanations people were putting forward. Unfortunately many of the photos have been blocked due to primarily Photobucket withdrawing support.
Fast forward to 2017 and from my photos you will see that the 2 Marks have built, in our version, a wonderful ( but still evolving ) Learjet 45, that gives us and all of our friends a jaw dropping experience. When coupled with, in our case, three BenQ 1080p projectors, three computers, P3D4.1 and numerous ORBX scenery as well as many other 3rd party software such as REX, it is an experience that is better than what I experienced way back in the original 737 simulator!
To anyone contemplating building a cockpit, I can attest to my experience of choosing a Lear 45 knowing that you have the best knowledge base of ANY cockpit build and the on going development and supply of panels from Ron Rollo and other parts from especially Shane Barnes and other members. If you are serious about building your own cockpit replica, then strap yourself in and choose a Bombardier Learjet 45.”
Mark Speechley, owner and co-builder of L45-012
(The following insert is by Mark Cooper)
“I personally began this build at the invitation of my best mate; to help him build a flight simulator, but the L45 Sim build turned out to be much more! I wanted something more than a desk top computer with a flight sim software – this had to be good! It has been mentally stimulating and challenging as well as exciting and immensely satisfying. I have learned many new skills and done things I wouldn’t normally have tried to do. To think that we could assemble our talents as a team to create something which provides an experience that many people would never get the chance to do safely, ie fly a Learjet anywhere in the world! It is something which contributes to our interest in aviation and provides a very realistic aspect of the world about us, all be it simulated! It’s just amazing for me. All this and I get to spend more time with my best friend as well as make new friends within the L45 (team) community. This build has been a great experience all round, exceeded my expectations and has provided a great deal of satisfaction.”
Mark Cooper, co-builder of L45-012
Builder: Maciej Muranowski
Location: Roanoke Virginia
Join Date: January 13th 2015
Maciej (pronounced Macie-j, Machie or “Magic Mike”) was born in Gdansk Poland in 1973 and has had a love for aviation ever since he was bit by the bug years ago when his father was working on his glider pilot’s license. He will never forget the day his dad gave up his seat to let his son go up to see what it is all about!
Maciej moved to Canada in 2001 and then to Roanoke Virginia in 2007. You might say Maciej is a “pill pusher” by profession, in other words, he is a license pharmacists with a well known company. In his own words, “I managed to get licensed as a pharmacist in the U.S., anything else in life is going to be a piece of cake and not rocket science.”
Maciej deep rooted love for flying had him spending countless hours searching the internet for ideas on how to build a home flight simulator. Most of the time he ended up lost and overwhelmed……..that is until he found Hangar45!
After doing some more reading and research within Hangar45, Maciej decided to join the Hangar and start his very own project. Maciej is not a pilot nor had much to do with flying in the past except as a passenger on big transatlantic jets, although he wants to eventually obtain a private pilot’s license one day in the future.
Maciej is as particular and organized as you will ever see one of the builders here in the Hangar. He has put in the long hours of research and has developed a plan to take on this massive project and decided to start with the shell. Maciej reached out to Ron Rollo and instead of taking the next shell frame number in order, he noticed that Ron skipped over
L45-013 for some reason. (Reason being is no one wants the number 13 for a shell right?)
As it turns out, the number 13 is Maciej’s lucky number and how lucky he was to get it because no one else would have it! Although Maciej could have placed an order for the shell kit, he opted to receive it in paper plans format and take the project head on. Maciej is one of only a handful of hangar members that has completed the shell from paper plans and has done it in text book fashion!
Take a look at Maciej’s Learjet45 shell, L45-013! It looks totally amazing and it is even more amazing knowing it is all created from paper plans! Maciej’s shell is finished off with three layers of mat fiberglass and what could certainly pass as a professional paint job. Completing the shell is a gigantic mile stone with a project like this but once it is done, it is done and from here on out, Maciej will feel as if he is working on an actual “transport structure” of sorts.
Maciej is in the process of gathering hard to find parts and learning how to interface switches and hardware. One of the things that he has picked up is Randy Buchanan’s incredible dual rudder pedals.
Builder: Per Alm, Lars Draws and Per Ersson
Location: Vasteras Sweden
Join Date: October 17th 2008
In 2006 he started thinking about making his own cockpit. Per had a few good friends team up with him, Lars and Pelle who are also very much interested in simulators and flying in general. After a month of planning, they started to build a Learjet 45 (A good choice for many reasons as you know.) As their project moved forward, they developed many “customized solutions” and found them to be very helpful in solving many of their technical issues. However, this is why their Learjet 45 flight deck really looks like a mix of several Bombardier and Embraer flight decks. Their simulator will however be based on an enhanced version of the default Learjet 45 in FS9. Over the years they have flown different business jets like Learjet, Embraer Legacy, CRJs and Gulfstream.
It is safe to say that the Learsim flight simulator is one of the most advanced and closest to completion of the builders in Hangar45! Please take the time to take a look at their project on “The Hangar” page and at their website, www.learsim.se
Additional Featured Projects will be added to this page once we get Hangar45 fully established!
WARNING: The information found on this website is only suitable for Hobby Flight Simulation and flight simulator enthusiast! In most cases the information found here is outdated and SHALL NOT be used for Real World Aviation or real world references!