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F-86 Sabre Sim Pit Build - Mugga Virtual Pilot


[MVP] Mugga
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Hey fellow F-86 Sabre pilots, we are kicking off an epic F-86 Sabre Sim Pit build over at the Mugga Virtual Pilot community. For those keen to follow, feel free to jump on our discord (https://discord.gg/NYSgatH)

 

The project will incorporate as many original authentic F-86 Sabre parts, and will be specifically setup for VR use. Meaning, all switches and selectors will work, but there will be no need for working instrumentation.

 

We have already gathered together a decent amount of material, but still lots to come. If there are any other F86 Sabre sim pit builds, we would love to see them!

 

 

 

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Edited by Mugg
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MVP | Community Founder

 

Discord: https://discord.gg/T78WV2  |  Twitch: www.twitch.tv/muggavirtualpilot

Facebook: www.facebook.com/muggavirtualpilot  |  Website: www.muggavirtualpilot.com

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Thanks guys, great to see some focus on how awesome the F86 Sabre module is for DCS! Ive searched and I cannot find any other builds online. If anyone from the community has built something, shout out!

 

Picked up a neat original canopy open/close bracket and switch for the sim last night too. Photo attached.

 

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MVP | Community Founder

 

Discord: https://discord.gg/T78WV2  |  Twitch: www.twitch.tv/muggavirtualpilot

Facebook: www.facebook.com/muggavirtualpilot  |  Website: www.muggavirtualpilot.com

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  • 4 months later...
Posted (edited)

F-86F SABRE SIM PIT UPDATE

Apologies everyone for the long delay in getting back to you all.  Between work, life and the Mugga Virtual Pilot (MVP) community and airshow events we are running, I am a little short on time to sit and document the progress I have been making.

The basic plan at this stage is focused on parts acquisition and refurbishment in preparation for the cockpit assembly, so I have been in full swing chasing down original parts for the various parts of the cockpit build.

Whilst the acquisition and refurbishment of parts is underway, I am also starting to give some consideration as to how I will assemble the cockpit frame.  My plan is to use as many original items as possible, including all the interior paneling, cockpit instrumentation, console switch gear, throttle quadrant, avionics stack etc.

All of the original avionics will be carefully dismantled and have the internal wiring replaced with wiring that connects to arduino boards, and I will try to preserve as many of the original switches etc as possible.  However, where necessary, will replace with modern switching and turning gear.

The plan is to have every switch, knob and instrument working in the sim, all connected and integrated via arduino's to DCS Bios.

KEEP UP TO DATE VIA THE MVP DISCORD

You can keep up to date on the project via the MVP Discord:  https://discord.gg/5NTPEThB

BE PART OF THE BUILD

If you are a F-86 Sabre fan like I am, enjoy Digital Combat Simulator, and would like to be part of the build, get in contact with me.  I am Sydney based and work from Bankstown Airport in NSW and am always happy to meet like minded simulator builders and hobbyists.  You can email me at:  muggavirtualpilot@gmail.com

 

FORWARD CANOPY WINDSHIELD FRAME

The forward cockpit windscreen frame has finally arrived into Sydney and is now at the hangar where we have been able to clean it up in preparation.  The frame is in excellent condition, along with the glass.  It came with an original A-4 Sight installed in it, along with a cockpit glare shield, however, I have since learned that it is not original, so I am now searching for a factory CAC CA-27 unit.  All of the glass is in excellent condition, however, the left hand quarter panel does have a slight area of de lamination discoloring.

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A-4 GUNSIGHT

The A-4 gun-sight is in excellent condition, but was missing the glass reflector plate.  It did come with a perspex gun-sight plate, which you can see on the desk in the picture above, however, I have since found an original 1955 glass reflector which will be installed.  The new old stock item was purchased out of Arizona, USA, and it just baffles me that this stuff is all still laying about and available, although after much hunting and asking of questions!

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I also managed to track down the A-4 Gunsight Dimmer control (below), which on the DCS F-86F mounts to the right of the A-4 gunsight.  I wont be using the dimmer mechanism in the build, but instead, I wanted the original bakerlite knob that the pilot turns.  This will be integrated onto a modern dimmer that will connect to the Arduino boards etc.

 

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BOMB ADJUSTMENT BOX

I managed to track down an original bomb angle adjustment box, which sits on the top left hand side of the cockpit glareshield.  Again, this unit will be carefully restored and will have it's internals modified to talk to an arduino board for simulator integration.  This unit is as rare as hens teeth, and I was very very lucky to score the part, when i did.  Not sure where i would go to find an original like this otherwise.
 

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LOWER COCKPIT PEDESTAL PANEL (WEAPONS)

 

Another fortunate find was a new old stock CAC CA27 Sabre lower cockpit pedestal panel overlay.  This item is a little different from the F-86F Sabre in DCS, but is essentially the same.  Again, just incredible that I was able to find this in the USA and have it shipped back to Sydney.

 

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RUDDER PEDAL ASSEMBLIES

Another lucky find has been an original pair of Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA27 Sabre rudder pedals.  These were purchased from a warbirds part dealer in the USA and shipped back to Sydney.   Again, what's the chances of an original pair of Australian built Sabre pedals being available out of the USA!  You can see on the photos below the CAC logos at the top of the pedals.  North American Aviation pedals have the NAA logo on them instead.  The pedals have some corrosion pitting on them, however, will tidy up nicely for this simulator build.  My next challenge is to try and find original rudder pedal hangar arms, which they mount to and pivot from.  This I am sure will be much harder and may end up requiring a custom fabrication job.

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RIGHT HAND COCKPIT CONSOLE

Managed to find a new old stock right hand cockpit console, where the radios and navigation equipment mounts to.  This is another lucky find from the USA.

 

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RADIOS & NAVIGATION AVIONICS

Found a AN/ARN-6 control unit which is out of a helicopter.  The unit is very similar to the one in the DCS F-86F Sabre, but does not have the light control switch on the one in the sim.

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Purchased an AN/ARC-27 UHF control panel which is the same as the unit in the DCS F-86F Sabre.  This unit came from the USA and is in really good condition.


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Purchased a new old stock AN/APX6 IFF control unit from the UK.  This unit is a little different to the one on the DCS F-86F Sabre in that it does not have the self-destruct switch, which should not be a problem, as it is not functional in the sim.

 

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INSTRUMENT PANEL

I now have two instrument panels that can be used for this project, one is a blank panel, and the other contains a range of original instruments, lights and switches.

 

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COCKPIT CANOPY & HYDRAULIC HANDLES

Managed to track down some of the cockpit canopy de-clutch and alternative hydraulic emergency handles.

 

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EJECTION SEAT REFURBISHMENT UNDERWAY

Work is now well underway on the ejection seat.  Have managed to remove the bulk of the accessories and ejection mechanism with everything now being media blasted and prepared for paintwork.

 

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I have started media blasting the ejection seat components, priming them and then giving them their top coats.  Unlike the real-aircraft, I am painting the entire simulator in gloss finish, which is being done to help make cleaning much easier.  Working in aviation full-time, I can tell you that matt paint finishes are impossible to keep clean, whereas gloss finishes are much easier to remove dirt, oils and grease.  Parts will be painted in their respective colours, then given three applications of clear coat to provide a thick protective barrier, which will also aid in fending off the inevitable wear and tear of use.

 

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TRIAL FITTING OF FORWARD COCKPIT QUARTER PANELS

Took some time to trial fit the left and right hand side forward cockpit control panels.

 

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Edited by [MVP] Mugga
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MVP | Community Founder

 

Discord: https://discord.gg/T78WV2  |  Twitch: www.twitch.tv/muggavirtualpilot

Facebook: www.facebook.com/muggavirtualpilot  |  Website: www.muggavirtualpilot.com

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Posted (edited)

Received the manual pipper control box that sits on the top left hand side of cockpit glare shield today and got straight into dismantling it and rigging up the Arduino Mega board.  I have to be honest in saying that I cringed a little when cutting out the original factory wiring and removing the old electronics.  I am certain that somewhere out there in warbird land, someone is crying with me using this kit for a simulator!  Never the less, I got stuck into the tear down and was happy to get the front potentiometer working with DCS BIOS.

The 1955 potentiometer works, but we are getting a little signal noise which is causing the unit in the DCS simulator to twitch in value.  Will be looking into diodes and capacitors over the weekend to resolve this.  If anyone has any suggestions about this issue, feel free to reply.  The potentiometer is a 10k unit from 1955!

Many thanks to my friend Shane (indianashane) who was able to get me up and running with the Arduino and DCS BIOS.  Indi has been flirting with building a pretty serious M2000C cockpit, but something tells me a PC9 is on the horizon...

Now the manual pipper control unit is apart, I will have it media blasted and will repaint it.  I also spent some time carefully straightening out the thin alloy reference plates that fold from the front of the unit to the top.  These are not in the best of shape and are covered in paint where they shouldn't be.  I will carefully paint strip the back of one and if it does not damage the anodised finish, I will clean them all down so they are looking as factory as possible.

The BOMB / NORMAL switch on the right hand side is badly corroded on the front switch selector, so I will replace this with a non-aviation unit from the local electronics store.  The finished unit after paint and new switch should look the part and fit nicely with the overall build.

Once I square this control box away, I will move onto the UHF radio control box.

 

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Edited by [MVP] Mugga
  • Like 2

MVP | Community Founder

 

Discord: https://discord.gg/T78WV2  |  Twitch: www.twitch.tv/muggavirtualpilot

Facebook: www.facebook.com/muggavirtualpilot  |  Website: www.muggavirtualpilot.com

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