are several hard decisions to make when building a simulation cockpit.
The toughest choice that lies ahead is about what kind of airplane you
want to fly in for the next years. Somehow, choosing a dedicated cockpit
enhances the sense of realism, and because you always fly in the same
environment, you create habits wich are good for flying. (training is
repetition). So it turned out to be a kind of generic cockpit anyway,
but with a clear hint to the layout of the Beech 1900D, with a similar
layout of the instruments.
The second though part is that instrumentation. Glass cockpit like in
the Project magenta software or PDMG's Boeing 737NG is a good choice.
I flew with Enrico's Project Magenta for a long time. But although the
simulation is near perfect (I had a real life pilot fly my first project
wich was a cardboard 737 NG cockpit, and he flew purely on instruments
without an itch) I missed the charm of analog instrumentation. Being able
to dial in the atmospheric pressure, or turn the ADF dial gives a very
nice touch of reality.
But having the instruments on screen and playing with a cardboard cockpit
around the dials is nice for a while, but pretty soon I received some
nasty comments from my wife giving me the impression that I was like a
child; making up a fantasy from paper. She was right, and I decided to
push the limit with real instruments from Simkits. So I drew some plans,
made several mock-ups and finally started building my Beech D1900 cockpit