The original design is derived from Martin Schmitt’s F-16 light seat. The plans and images are released as creative commons, that is they are all free to use and to modify as long as you don’t sell them.
ACES II Plans by Markus Broecker are license under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
The whole construction is done only with 12 and 9 mm MDF to save costs, weight and make the construction easier. I still had some 2000x300x12 MDF lying around from the arcade project, so I used that as well. The total bill for materials was around 120$, with paint being the biggest item of 40$. Construction time so far was two afternoons, but some minor modifications will follow - like the control stick mount.
The first line markings (exciting! :)
The back parts have been cut out, and fit together.
Next step was to create the base. The parts have been cut so far, the back part is resting in the background.
Test fitting of base and back part. No glue or screws yet.
Gluing and screwing both pieces together. The inner planks are too long for some reason and had to be cut after this stage.
All assembled, glued and screwed together.
The ejection handle assembly. The handle is free to move in and out of the guide. In the end it will be hooked up to a toggle-switch.
In the process of bolting the chair to the stand -- two nice and heavy side panels. Different aircraft seats can be simulated by changing the angle at which the seat is attached to the side panels. This is roughly 20º - like an A-10. An F-16 seat would be at 30º.
Some quick sanding at the end to smoothen the edges.
First layer of paint at 8 in the evening.
I finished the side panels, added a few decals and re-did the ejection handle, as it was too big. Then I got some vinyl and foam and made some cushions. The foam cut out to fit.
The beginning of a great tragedy :(
Didn’t turn out too bad. The vinyl has a nice touch to it and it should keep clean rather easily.
The whole thing will be a center-stick construction, so I just needed the left panel for the throttle. It is held in place by dowels and is easily removable. However, I think it’s just a temporary construction. I have to rethink it, as I plan to add quite a few panels with switches.
First decals attached. I varnished them afterwards to protect the paper.
For the stick mount I created a T-structure out of spare 12 mm MDF. I does not need to be that high, as the Warthog stick itself is close to 30cm high. Some glue and screws and it’s a nice and stable platform. I found the drilling dimensions on the interwebs and already marked and drilled the holes for the stick base.
After a layer of paint I attached the stick mount to the base of the seat with 4 bolts. The second layer of paint was applied there, painting over the bolts.
This is the new ejection handle. A composite of two 9mm MDF shapes painted in canary. The label was printed out and stuck onto the still wet paint.
Like birthday and christmas on a single day :) Only the best (and heaviest. and most expensive :/ ).
The final seat. I skipped the side panels, as the throttle rests easily on one of the cardboard boxes. The other box is on the right-hand side good for storing inflight documents, like maps or radio and airfield lists. Two fabric-covered ‘buttons’ were hammered into the base of the seat, so it slides easily on the floor. It’s only 500 mm wide and sits nicely next to the desk while not in use. The throttle, rudder and any documents are then stored on the seat. Protip: Get a dedicated USB-Hub for the seat and all its peripherals.
This has been a fun project and the seat survived a couple of moves in Australia. However when we left it was time to give it away. I thought nobody was interested in such a toy. Was I wrong. We put it up on gumtree to give away for free and within an hour had more than a hundred views. I finally gave it to a dad of two kids and while I did not get any money I had the feeling this seat made his day :)