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UPDATE: 03/10/07 The FlightSim 737NG section of my website contains the latest information and photographs on the progress of my simulator.
FlightSim 737NG

 
Throttle Quadrants

 

In this section is information on various suppliers fabricating throttle quadrants for the 737. I want my flight simulator to be as realistic as possible and I am presently reviewing a number of suppliers to obtain the right throttle quadrant. Below are pictures of those reviewed to date along with links to their websites with information and pictures of their throttle quadrants. In addition to reviewing replicas I am also considering an actual throttle quadrant from the 737. In addition to those suppliers with links below it is my understanding that Flight Deck Solutions is working on a throttle quadrant for the 737 that will be available by the end of this year (2005). Also, please click on the link below to Project Magenta's website and view the video of their test of their throttle quadrant. It is my hope that Flight Deck Solution's throttle quadrant for the 737 will incorporate the features shown in Project Magenta's video. When a replica of the 737 is available that encompasses these features I will look seriously at purchasing it. If not I will probably look to buying and actual throttle quadrant of the 737 and try to make it functional.

Progress to Date 03/10/07

After over 5 months of hard work I have finished the first phase of refurbishing my 737-200 throttle quadrant and converting it to a 737NG quadrant. The next phase will be to add the necessary stepper motors, clutches and cabling to make the quadrant fully functional. Below are a few photos of the converted quadrant. For details about how I did the conversion review the pictures below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a great deal of research I have decided to purchase an actual 737-200 throttle quadrant pictured below.

 

 

I will be posting additional information in the future concerning refurbishing my throttle quadrant to make it look like the throttle quadrant in the 737 NG.

 

On September 30, 2006 I finally received my 737-200 throttle quadrant. Below are a few pictures as well as some preliminary steps I have taken to begin restoring my quadrant.

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the 40 years of dust dirt and grime that has accumulated inside of the quadrant. It is going to take me as long to clean it as it will to take it apart.

 

I worked for about 6 hours figuring out how best to remove the pedestal from the quadrant. I removed the pedestal by drilling out some of the rivets in the pedestal adjacent to the quadrant. Finally after one side of the pedestal was removed I used a sabre saw to make 4 cuts, two on each side, and the throttle quadrant was free of the pedestal. Below are pictures of the cuts that I made.

 

 

In the photo below the throttle quadrant is separated from the remains of the pedestal pictured at the right.

 

My throttle quadrant is finally free of its 2 bay pedestal. Now the real work begins. Be sure to check back often as I will post additional information and photos on my progress as I restore this quadrant and convert it to a 737NG throttle quadrant.

 

After a lot of hard work and a lot of advice from other simbuilders I was finally able to take apart the throttle quadrant.

Here are a few photos I have taken to show just how filthy these parts were. I was able to find a cleaner that worked very well in cleaning up these parts.

 

 

Below are all of the internal parts after they were cleaned.

It took a few days to clean up the throttle quadrant, but then I was ready to start on the new Stab Trim panel. Before I can build the new Stab Trim panel I have to remove the old one.

 

 

 

I removed part of the throttle quadrant that needs to be trimmed to make space for the new Stab Trim faceplate.

 

 

 

Then I made a few cuts to remove the old one.

 

 

 

 

Here I have cut a piece of metal to make a template to check for final measurements.

 

 

 

Satisfied with my template measurements I cut the final version out of a heavier piece of metal.

 

 

After that completed I spent all day trying to put my throttle quadrant back together. I would strongly recommend that anyone who wants to attempt to take a quadrant apart take pictures along the way to aid in re-assembling. It will save you a lot of time.

Before I finish the area for the Stab Trim panel I wanted to test fit with the pattern for the panel along with the toggle switches and safety covers.

 

 

Satisfied with the fit I started to finish the area with Bondo, then sanded it, painted it, and then attached the toggle switches.

 

 

 

I am now designing all of the faceplates that I will need for the quadrant. I am presently working with a company to supply faceplates made out of Lexan that are engraved from the rear and then paint is applied from the back. This gives the look you want and makes them very durable. I will post updated pictures once I have received them.

Just got my faceplates and I think they look great.

 

I also got the first half of my order for the light plates for my quadrant. These were very expensive as they are the actual light plates used on the 737. I was able to locate the original manufacturer from the old ones on my quadrant. The old company was sold to a new company and they put me in touch with a distributor who would sell me the light plates. Below are the new trim light plates.

 

Below are pictures of my trim wheels before I had them refinished.

 

I picked up my trim wheels after they were powder-coated. I then painted on the white stripe, touched up the handles with semi-gloss black to match the trim wheels and then put them back together. I am very happy with the end result.

 

 

After studying the throttle levers as well as reviewing the design of the 737NG throttle levers I am going to attempt to convert the existing throttle levers using a modification of Pedro Bibiloni's CAD drawings. Note below I will be removing the TOGA  assemblies on the old levers. http://www.opencockpits.com/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=getit&lid=192

 

 

Below are pictures taken after removing the assembly from one of my levers. Now I will begin the task of adapting Pedro's CAD drawing to work with my existing levers.

After several days of trial and error I have been able to craft some templates of paper modifying Pedro's templates so they will fit my old throttle levers.

I did a test fit with these paper templates before my next step, which will be to cut templates out of balsa wood. These will give me accurate width dimensions as well as giving me a better feel before I order the actual levers out of acrylic.

 

I used the paper templates as patterns to cut some levers out of basswood. These helped me to determine if I had the right width for each piece. Below are a few pictures of the throttle levers with the wooden pieces in place.

 

Based upon the look I have achieved so far I have ordered the throttle levers made out of acrylic. It is my hope that I will be able to use acrylic as opposed to steel to finish my new throttle levers.

I received my acrylic throttle levers that I ordered from Emachineshop.com. I am very pleased with the results and believe I will be able to use these as opposed to having to make them out of metal. Click on the photo below for a link to Emachineshop's website.

Here are a few photos of the levers temporarily screwed together before I install them on the actual throttle levers of my quadrant.

Below are photos of the acrylic levers after applying them to the actual levers and using Bondo to seal them to look like one unit.

After a lot of planning and hard work I have almost finished my throttle levers. Next I painted them and added the TOGO decals. All I have left to do on the levers is to finish the throttle knobs and install them.

 

Now it is time to tackle the throttle knobs. I ordered replacement knobs that I had planned on using, however I only used the knobs for the reverse levers. I decided instead to use the old knobs and refurbish them. The decision to use the old ones was because of the simplicity of repainting them and applying decals for the lettering. This also enabled me to incorporate A/T disconnect switches easily in the old throttle lever knobs as they are already hollow.

Here is one of the knobs painted with plastic primer.

 

I used the product below to prime the knobs.

I then applied the decals to the knobs.

Here both knobs have their decals applied and are ready for the next step.

I then was ready to apply resin spray to the knobs to make them durable and protect the decals from heavy use. At first I applied a coat of resin spray before the decals, however the decals did not adhere well to the resin and curled after applying more resin. They did much better when applied to the plastic primer. However, the resin spray at times did not bond well to the plastic primer. So I applied a coat of Polycrylic, pictured below, after applying the decals.

I then applied multiple coats of the resin spray, pictured below, to all of the throttle knobs.

Here are the throttle reverse knobs after multiple applications of the resin spray.

 

And here the throttle knobs have been attached to the levers.

Lastly, the A/T disconnect switches were installed in the knobs, completing the throttle levers. Then all of the knobs were attached to the quadrant.

 

Next I tackled the speed brake assembly. Thanks to the FDS forum I received a lot of input on the function of this assembly. Special thanks to Dave Allen for all of his help with the details of the speed brake assembly. Below are photos of the parts involved in fabricating the assembly.

 

 

I applied aluminum foil to one side of the assembly in preparation of using Bondo to attach the parts to make it a single unit. Then I can remove the cover with the aluminum foil and trim out the center. This will enable me to reattach the cover and be able to access the wiring in the future if necessary.

 

 

With the parts now assembled I am ready to Bondo.

Now the Bondo is applied to the inside of the assembly.

It is then sanded.

Cover is then removed exposing the aluminum foil.

Using various drill bits the center is cut out.

Next the micro switch is added.

 

The assembly is now ready for a coat of primer.

And then the final coat of paint.

I then focused on painting the throttle quadrant. Here I have placed all of the screws in a sheet of cardboard for easy painting.

First a coat of primer was applied.

Then the final coat of Boeing gray was applied. There is really very little difference in the color of the primer versus the final coat, however with different lighting the final coat looks gray at times and blue at others.

Here the quadrant is ready to be reassembled.

Below is the pulley assembly I made that I will install in the base of the quadrant. It will be used to mount plates to hold the pots for the flaps and the Stab trim. It will also guide the cables from the throttle levers to the stepper motors that will move the throttle levers during autopilot operations.

Here the assembly is installed and the throttle lever cables are visible. Also not the lever to the right. This is the parking brake lever. I reversed the arm at the base of the quadrant and attached this to a threaded rod which is then attached to a toggle switch. This will hold the parking brake in place as well as turning on the parking brake light when activated.

Pictured below are the threaded rods that will be attached to pots for the flaps (right) and Stab trim (left).

I used contact switches from the original quadrant. Pictured below are those that will be used for the fuel cutoff levers.

I also was able to use the pulleys and some electrical components from the original quadrant. Note the wiring harnesses to the right in the photo below. These have been used to wire the micro switches in the throttle levers.

Below is a photo showing the cables from the throttle levers that will connect to the stepper motors to be used to move the throttle levers during autopilot operations.

Below are the pots mounted to aluminum plates I added. These plates were cut from scrap aluminum that I had from the old pedestal. The pot the right is for the flaps, and the one to the left is for the Stab trim. Special thanks to Chuck from Project B737NG for his help. His website was a tremendous help in setting up my quadrant. For a direct link to his website click on the photo below.

In the photo below you can see parking brake toggle switch used to activate the parking brake light. The toggle switch is inside the aluminum tube at the left which was filled with bondo. This was then drilled to accept the threaded rod attached to the parking brake lever.

Below is the pot for the speed brake assembly.

In order to make my quadrant appear to be a close as possible to the NG version I decided to modify the quadrant side panels. I did this by adding some depth to the side panels using 1/4 inch wood and bondo. In addition, I had to fabricate new manual holders as one was missing from the quadrant I purchased. Below are the quadrant side panels as well as the manual holders I fabricated. I had painted them before I decided to add some depth to them.

After applying some 1/4 inch plywood I then added bondo to smooth out the surface and finish adding the depth (thickness) I desired. Below is a photo of one of the manual holders before the final sanding is complete.

Final sanding is complete.

Holes drilled in manual holder.

After sanding and drilling was completed I applied a coat of primer.

 

In the photos below note the depth or thickness of the side panel and manual holder.

Below all of the side panels are ready for the final coat of light gray.

Final coat of light gray was applied with a paint gun. Now everything is ready for final coat of Boeing gray to the tops of the side panels as well as the speed brake assembly.

Final coat of Boeing gray was applied with a paint gun as well.

 

In order to make the speed brake function easier to accomplish upon an aborted takeoff I filled in the notch in the speed brake rail to avoid the lever having to raise upward before deploying aft. This eliminates the need to utilize a device to raise the lever before moving the lever aft.

I then attached a small square piece of aluminum to the speed brake lever to depress the speed brake micro switch when the speed brake lever is in the full forward position.

 

 

 

With all of the individual components completed the quadrant is then reassembled to produce the final product pictured below.

 

Compare my quadrant above to an actual 737NG quadrant picture below.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.projectmagenta.com/cockpit.html

 

 


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