Last Update: April 19th 2016, 23:49

Welcome to The Lear Project !

This site is about the building of a Learjet 45 lifesize cockpit.

Why?...........


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 my case.

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.

What then?

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 work!

The Search

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 start building.

Today

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 this site...........
Through the navigation bar on the left, you can visit the various pages of our site.


Hit Counter:

Disclaimer:

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!