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Possible LJ45 Builder (Mark Lichtscheidl)

(Original thread started on 02-07-09 by Mark Lichtscheidl)

Hi all, I ended up on this site after stumbling across the Flight Immersion website last night after browsing more info on how I could improve my flight sim experience and I think I found out how.


I started out flying and getting my Private Pilots license with 90% of my stick time in Okinawa Japan where I worked for Sperry Univac (eventually Unisys) for 10 years. Eventually I got married and had kids and the flying thing had to be put on hold. Unfortunately, now that I have the time, I've developed a heart condition (AFIB) that will keep me from passing the physical and most likely never pilot again. Through the years I've kept up with certain skills via flight simulator and never dreamed it would get to what it is now, which is great as it's the next best thing for me to take care of the flying itch. I'm now living in Centerville, Mn working for Ramsey County as their lead .Net web developer. I noticed that Rick Trantham lives about 10 miles from me, so I'm hoping maybe we can meet and I can check out his project first hand and gain some insight.


I currently have a 5 monitor setup with FSX using WideView and WideTraffic which works pretty good and really increased the realism, especially when online with VatSim. I've been doing a lot of browsing looking at home built cockpits and either some were too simplistic or far more complicated and expensive that I can deal with. Then I came across this flight of misfits! The 'Why a Learjet' makes perfect sense and fits in with my expectations and hopefully, budget. The building part doesn't intimidate me, but the integration of the different systems to create a functional cockpit will take a lot of reading and research and I'm sure from this group I'll be able to get up to speed quickly.


While I know this isn't exactly small change to do, I'm totally oblivious as to what the costs may be for such a project (excluding PC's). Since it's not something that would be outright purchased or completed in a few months, spreading out the cost over time makes it a doable project. Oh and how do I tell the wife I could be potentially be parking a Learjet in the garage?


While I can't guarantee at this point that I will be ordering a LJ shell, there's a strong chance right now as I want something more from my setup and I look forward to getting to know this group better.


(Posted by Scott Wagner on 02-07-09)

Welcome Mark.  You will find a lot of information and fellowship hear with a lot of different knowledgable folks. Peruse the posts and see what everyone is doing and some of their websites and ask any questions you have. We will try to help any way we can.


(Posted by Dave Ault on 02-07-09)

Hi Mark, Welcome aboard.  You asked about the cost of building a Learjet 45 Sim. I am trying to build one as cheap as possible so I am using free and self written software and as well as using a few K8055 interfaces I am also using the chips from some old USB keyboards to make my own interfaces. I have scrounged a number of PC's and LCD monitors form a company we deal with at work and I am not building the co-pilot side. So the MIP and TQ materials will be the things that cost me the most and I hope to build the whole sim for around $2000. Im sure others here are spending quite a bit more, especially those using project magenta PMRJ Glass cockpit software.


As to telling the wife, it helps if you have something to make a deal with. I said I would move my arcade cabinets out of the house and into the shed if she let me build the sim. I'm hoping that by the time I have built it she has forgotten this! Cheers


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 02-08-09)

Hi Mark, I am glad you found us. Welcome to the Hangar!  You may have read that I am going to be parking my Learjet nose section in the dining room! Don't try this at your home unless you have a very understanding wife.


My budget is about $20,000 which is the cap I think for all of us, BUT, that will include everything from the CNC machine to the computers. AND the other thing to remember is this will be over the next ten years which is about $2,000 a year spent on my project. By the time I am finished, I am hoping to have a fully functional, as real as it can get simulator. (It keeps me out of trouble too.) It really all depends on how much time and money you want to spend on your project. I hope this helps answer your question.


The main thing is to have fun. A few of us kinda got away from that but we are back on track, taking it easy and having fun developing an awesome simulator. If you have questions, please post. The answers you get from this talented bunch of guys will amaze you! Everyone seems to have an area of expertise, even the new guys like you.  Again, welcome aboard!


(Posted by Shane Barnes on 02-08-09)

Ron wrote "(It keeps me out of trouble too.)"  That is my selling point to the wife, "you know where to find me working on / flying the sim."  Now if I could just get her to not interrupt when I'm on final, nothing more distracting than trying to land with the wife calling for you . . reduce throttle . . flaps 8 , yes honey I hear you, now where was I , oh yeah . . landing gear down. . yes dear be there in a minute I'm almost on the ground . . on final to Ashville, I gotta concentrate.  Anyway, you get the picture!


I too am having fun with my sim. It may take a few years to complete, but I'm having fun along the way. Easier to come up with the necessary funds over time anyway.


(Posted by Chris Cord on 02-08-09)

Welcome to the Hangar Mark.  I just joined a week ago and I must say that this is the friendliest group of guys you'll find on the Internet. Any question you may have about sim building or 45, these guys can answer. Again, welcome.


(Posted by Rick Trantham on 02-08-09)

Hi Mark, it's good to have someone a little closer to home with this interest too. I've got to organize my hangar a bit before it's habitable, but that won't be too far down the road.  Welcome aboard! If you need anything, just ask.

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