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Hello from California! (Steve Cooke)

(Original thread started on 02-02-14 by Steve Cooke)

Just introducing myself.

I'm Steve from California. I've been looking to build a home cockpit since 2000 and finally have a means to accomplish this. I was originally going to build a 737-800 which is my favorite aircraft, but found the footprint it was going to take up in my office was a bit too big. So I started to lean towards bizjets. It was a toss up between the Citation X and Learjet as I love both of the aircraft's and the footprint is much smaller over the 738. So after much research I found this site and far far more resources to the Learjet (just like the 738).


I'll be running FSX with opencockpits cards. I already have the cards and have been playing around with SIOC coding and getting some of the codes to work which is a plus, although I'm liking what the FDS hardware has to offer. Price seems a bit on the steep side compared to opencockpits. Guess we'll see where the winds take us. I do have my own CNC machine I built. I'm still working on getting everything dialed in. Since my wife has seen what it can do, It has turned into projects for her over the flight deck!


I guess my first question that I have is what aircraft models is everyone using for the 45/45XR? I was not able to find high end payware software for the Learjet (something similar like PMDG software).


(Posted by Rick Trantham on 02-02-14)

Welcome aboard!  I think most of us here are modeling the standard 45. I believe the XR has a slightly longer fuse and the engines were upgraded for longer range. The model provided in FSX is the standard Lear 45, I believe. Currently there are no developers that are selling any complete third-party add-on Learjet 45 aircraft packages, like PMDG. However, as you look around here, you'll see that we have been able to enhance the FSX Learjet 45 with several home-grown software packages and there is also a commercial package called Jet 45 that models the Lear 45's glass cockpit.


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 02-02-14)

Hi Steve, welcome to the hangar and glad to see that you are looking to build a Lear45! To answer your first question as Rick pointed out, Jet45 AAS handles the avionics and pretty much steps in where Project Magenta would be. You can read more about it here:


A few of us have created a modified airfile for the Lear45 in an effort to make it fly a little more realistically. (I am not one of those guys.)


The one thing that I can assure you of is that if your looking to build a home flight simulator in the biz jet category, nothing comes close to the support that you will get here in the hangar on the Lear45 by the members.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 02-03-14)

Hey Steve, welcome to Hangar 45!  As Ron said (and many others will tell you too), the resources of will really help you go quite far with your LJ45 project. Please let me know if you'd like to get on the list for instrument panels as we are trying to get a clear line of what to expect production-wise for the remainder of this year. As for the LJ45, (like others alluded to)- we all use the default, but we've tweaked it to the point that it works well and although we all hope for a payware-quality LJ45, there are several sims that use the default highly modded to the point that it's really no issue for the typical sim builder.


As for the LJ45XR- it is the exact same aircraft as the non-XR, with the exception that the engines have a different computer chip that enhances the power plant's performance. The -40XR is the same as the 40, same situation again. The difference between the length only comes from the 40 to the 45. There is about a four-foot difference between the two with the 45 being longer.

Welcome again!


(Posted by Steve Cooke on 02-03-14)

Glad to hear that the default config can be tweaked to mimic the real thing. Right now my first plan is to build the shell and then move towards the interior. I'll be ordering the plans from Ron here shortly. My goal is to try and make the whole thing modular just in case it ever needs to be moved or if I ever have to relocate.


Another question (I probably could search the forum but getting ready to leave work and will forget) what FMC are you using? I have seen the one by opencockpits but those seem to be for the Boeing jets. I haven't really seen anything else out there. My original goal was to make my own when I was going to do the 738 route and can still carry those plans over to this, but I have not been successful finding functional FMC software that could be geared towards GA.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 02-04-14)

Jason Hite of FlightDeckSoft is creating the FMC/CDU software for the Lear45. I act as a consultant for the development, support the products on the user-end and typically write the manuals for the software. In addition, we are looking for CDU hardware for the users. Currently the very best solution is using real UNS1 CDUs, which can be had anywhere from $250 up to $1500. The next best thing is a replica that will probably cost between $600 and $1200.


(Posted by Randy Buchanan on 02-04-14)

Hey Steve, We just have so much fun in this club I hardly know where to start. Welcome to the club would be a place. We all kinda work in steps adding stuff as we go. Some of us are close to real good looking cockpits, some with more panels or buttons than others. Ron builds everything and you can check out his web site to see all of the way cool stuff you will need from him. Eric T. builds panels and at this time the club has placed all kinds of orders with him, including me, which is keeping him busy. Mark builds throttles and also does some cool stuff with software. Shane builds interior body panels like the dash board for example. I build rudder pedals and some other stuff as well. And like you we also have "honey do" projects which have the effect of using our time we would rather spend building (fooling around, flying, building) with our sims.


As for the FMC you may what to check out for a working FMC. This may not be what anyone really wants to end up with in their "real" cockpit but most of use have desk top flight sims we fly while we work on our "real" cockpits. Our members find real parts for sale and let the club know about them. Shane bought his Lear 45 FMC on eBay and alerted me to one for sale there as well (which I bought). It is interesting to me that you hit on the FMC because it is kind of the last problem we all have been working on solving. And trust me we will solve this one as well.


Again Steve welcome and lets get started!

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