Welcome to The Lear Project !
This site is about the building of a Learjet
45 lifesize cockpit.
I have always been fascinated about flying, but as so
many others, I was never in the opportunity to learn
flying on a real plane. Other than that, I am slightly
colourblind, which made the chance of becoming an Airline
Pilot even smaller.... So the closest thing to real
flying is a Flight Simulator, Microsoft's version in
Ever since Microsoft came out with it's
first Flightsim I have been playing with it. The first
versions were not really satisfactory, but going through
versions 7 to 9 the realism gets better and better.
Along the way I bought some accesories like the CH Yoke
and Pedals and last year (2003) I bought a complete
Go-Flight setup. This was the start of building something
with a remote resemblance to a cockpit. In the Gallery
section you can find some pictures of my old setup.
Together with an other Flightsimmer, my
friend Otto, we had a lot of fun 'flying' all over the
world in this setup. But to add to the realism, we decided
to start building a lifesize replica of a real cockpit.
This was around august 2004.
What to choose? Well, we had to take in
mind that the space I had for doing that was not really
that big, but a 737 panel would just fit in. Because
there were very good Flightsim cockpits for Flightsimulator
at the market (like Dreamfleets 737, or PMDG's 737),
the initial plan was to build a 737 cockpit.
Company's selling cockpit panels at the
time were good to find, but very expensive indeed and
most of them situated in the USA, but then a new player
at the panel market arose: The
Luchtvaart Hobby Shop . They offer panels of own
design in kits, consisting of three parts for the main
panel, and since a short while an overheadpanel too.
Advantages of using this kit were obvious: no ordering
in and shipping from the USA, no searching for 737 cockpit
data, no designing, scrapping and redesigning but simply
building it out of the box.
Also it has a rather big disadvantage:
the amount of money needed to build a complete cockpit.
Since we set out to build something that would not bring
us to bankrupcy, we played with the thought of doing
it ourselves out of wood and other materials. When we
started searching for the needed dimensions and other
data it became painfully clear that the community of
737 builders had grown extensively. This took away our
interest in a 737 cockpit alltogether.
Well, as we decided it had to be something
new, Boeing and Airbus were put aside. We also wanted
an civilian aircraft with jet engines, so props and
fighters were also out of the game. That left us with
a number of smaller players like Bombardier, British
Aerospace and some others. Since I already owned the
Go-Flight panels, and some of the more complex cockpit
designs proved to be uncompatible with it, it also had
to be a panel that would be completely compatible with
Microsofts Panel SDK, in order to make sure that all
Go-Flights functions would work properly. Because the
Learjet has been present in FS for a number of versions,
we decided to go for that. Immediatly we came upon an
advantage: NO OVERHEAD PANEL! Saves a lot of construction
Ok, now that we had decided on what to
build, we had to find the required data for it. We searched
at the net, and came up with a few good pictures, had
contacts with some photographers from Airliners.net
like Max Hergemoeller and Tino Dietsche who both had
posted a few fine Lear 45 Flightdeck Pictures here.
But we never came up on the dimensions we wanted so
badly. So my friend Otto contacted Bombardier itself,
and after numerous Emails and even Phonecalls, we received
from a service Technician in Canada a complete set of
cockpit instruction posters with everything readable
in a complete layout. At last we had enough data to
Today, we have found several Lear 45 Builders
all over the world. Some make everything themselves,
but since this community has become more active, there
are also a few suppliers where you can buy panels etc.
and even a complete cockpit shell. More about this you
can find at our Links page!
Have Fun browsing
Through the navigation bar on the left, you can visit
the various pages of our site.
In no way we pretend to build an accurate
cockpit model of the real Lear 45. We are only doing
this for our own amusement, and though we try to do
our best to make it look real, some systems are simply
to complicated or to expensive for us to reproduce.
This is "only" our hobby, and we have to draw
the line somewhere !! Despite this we hope that you'll
have as much fun browsing this site, as we have with
building and flying our sim.
Thanks for visiting!