Completed: Project Nighthawk: Skunkworks F-117A

CrimsonSky

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Jun 14, 2003
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I have another exciting project on my bench that I'd like to share, a custom PC for www.cableorganizer.com. Based on elements from the Lockheed Martin F-117A Stealth fighter, this one will be a cool looking desktop style rig geared towards playing recreational and combat flight sims. I'll post a few pics of the paper mockup very shortly! You are also welcome to visit the forum that was created for the project: Skunkworks Forum

The project can also be found here: Project Nighthawk


Here is a very early production drawing. The flight yoke shown here will be interchangable with a combat stick :




Primary Function: Fighter/attack
Contractor: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
Power Plant: Two General Electric F404 engines
Length: 65 feet, 11 inches (20.3 meters)
Height: 12 feet, 5 inches (3.8 meters)
Weight: 52,500 pounds (23,625 kilograms)
Wingspan: 43 feet, 4 inches (13.3 meters)
Speed: High subsonic
Range: Unlimited with air refueling
Armament: Internal weapons carriage
Unit Cost: $45 million
Crew: One
Date Deployed: 1982
Inventory: Active force, 55; ANG, 0; Reserve, 0

 

dracos

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Cool.....

I guess you would have to really be into flight sims, and have a dedicated machine for it??
 
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Huminah Huminah Huminah Huminah Huminah

The F-117A was one of my fav planes and knowing the caliber of work youdo i cannot wait to see this product finished!!!!!
 

pilotman2004

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Dec 10, 2004
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Well, when I saw the thread title, I was worried that it wouldn't do justice to an amazing plane. Then I noticed that its another CrimsonSky computer, and my worries were gone. :D If it ends up being anything like the mockup, it will be freakin awesome. Being a pilot, I'd be a little more than happy to have one of those...

Are the gauges going to be functional (tied into the flight sim), or are they just for looks? Please tell me they will be funtional...
 

GlobalFear

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Nov 22, 2003
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That would be nice.....
Would be great if the guages worked, one lcd for system stuff and the other two for the sim.
What is it gonna cost them? (If you mind telling)
 

rogue_jedi

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it may be one of those "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" type of things... especially with the amount of accurate fabrication something like that would require.

definitely gonna watch this (i managed to get in on page 1 of the doom3 case thread, too!)
 

Ebenol

Limp Gawd
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Sep 9, 2003
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151
This will be really neat. Hopefully you'll find something useful to do with the gauges.
 

Luck.exe

Limp Gawd
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Aug 2, 2004
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Holy crap! This will be an awesome mod! Don't get in over your head Crimson, but I'm sure you know what you're getting into.
 

DR_K13

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Apr 21, 2004
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sweet!, I have a Buddy that was the #3 F-117 into Bagdad on the opening night of GulfWar#1
those Planes are very cool.

 

Elledan

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - April 2010
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Ah, the 'flying piano', as it's lovingly called by those more familiar with this plane ;)

Note for those unfamiliar with this nickname: due to limited computer resources while designing the outer part of the plane, so as to make it properly reflect radar signals and gain 'stealth', the engineers went with a rather simple design. While testing the plane, it was discovered that, while the plane did indeed fly, this was only thanks to the advanced (for its time) fly-by-wire system, as aerodynamically speaking the plane was a complete disaster.


Can't wait to see how this mod turns out :) the F-117 is definitely one of the more interesting planes of the last century, so you'll better not screw this one up ;)
 

themark

Limp Gawd
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Sep 29, 2004
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Crimson, if you are planning on having working (or simulated) avionics in the cockpit, would you be going with analogs or small LCD multi-function displays? It would be awesome to have working MFD's showing actual flight data. :D Can you program small 2-3inch displays to show just guage information?
 

Snobok

[H]ard|Gawd
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GL on this one Crimson. You'll need it since you are doing both the D3 mod and this. If I were you, I would find a way to obliterate or hide the Dell logo on the LCDs; it would be silly to be flying and have to see a Dell logo.
 

Farseer

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Oct 3, 2003
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themark said:
Crimson, if you are planning on having working (or simulated) avionics in the cockpit, would you be going with analogs or small LCD multi-function displays? It would be awesome to have working MFD's showing actual flight data. :D Can you program small 2-3inch displays to show just guage information?
I would think that LCDs would work prefectly for this. Just use multiple video cards with each LCD being a video out.
 

NickTheNut

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everything looks great, and i don't have the time to write up any large amount of recommendations.

but the thing i think should be mentioned most is that w/ two LCD's, playing a flight sim will be very difficult. At least if they are positioned exactly like that. i know flight sims are different, and flying is different than a game. but playing any game w/ the center of the display split, it would be quite annoying to use.

have you considered this? or looked at the ability to display flight sims on multiple displays? i personally haven't, so i'm unsure of how they work w/ them.

but anyways. it looks promising. i'll have to keep an eye out for this one.
 

CrimsonSky

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NickTheNut said:
everything looks great, and i don't have the time to write up any large amount of recommendations.

but the thing i think should be mentioned most is that w/ two LCD's, playing a flight sim will be very difficult. At least if they are positioned exactly like that. i know flight sims are different, and flying is different than a game. but playing any game w/ the center of the display split, it would be quite annoying to use.

have you considered this? or looked at the ability to display flight sims on multiple displays? i personally haven't, so i'm unsure of how they work w/ them.

but anyways. it looks promising. i'll have to keep an eye out for this one.
There will be 3 LCD's afterall.
 

CrimsonSky

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Snobok said:
GL on this one Crimson. You'll need it since you are doing both the D3 mod and this. If I were you, I would find a way to obliterate or hide the Dell logo on the LCDs; it would be silly to be flying and have to see a Dell logo.


umm..ok--thanks!
 

KodiakStar

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Here is a challenge. ;)

Make all them dials and doohickies do "things" that relate to the game
rather then just for looks.. MAME type controls maybe?

challenge would be making things like the alt, compas, etc work with
the games and be updated ;)

I think you are [H]ard enough to do it though.. if anyone here is :cool:
 

CrimsonSky

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Jun 14, 2003
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KodiakStar said:
Here is a challenge. ;)

Make all them dials and doohickies do "things" that relate to the game
rather then just for looks.. MAME type controls maybe?

challenge would be making things like the alt, compas, etc work with
the games and be updated ;)

I think you are [H]ard enough to do it though.. if anyone here is :cool:

hehe..Hopefully I'll get some help with lots of aspects of this mod!
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
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Oct 4, 2004
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pm me the link to the thread when you start your next mod and i guarantee you'll get help ;)
 
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Getting the gauges to work would be an astronomical task not only would you have to get the gauges but find electric ones. Not only that you are realying on the flight sim being able to output the information in data strings that could be read by the gauges personaly think that if he knows of a way to do it then go a head but dont waste your time trying to integrate them if you dont have to.
 

KodiakStar

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What I have seen is alot of people doing simple mods using keyboards and those MAME
controllers to simulate arcade style controls, which I am sure after some practice you could
intigrate into the mod. As far as the switches and all go, you could toggle them to the respective keys (I havent played flight sim's in ages) but in many FPS games most of the
controls are basically the same thorughout most games (or you can change them if you need
to) w = forward a = straff right etc.. the main question (i never thought to try it) is if you can
run 2 keyboards off one machine (USB) or if you would need one of those special add-on
10-digit number pads etc.. it shouldnt be *that* hard to do..

as far as all the other fancy typical airplane stuff.. some of it I am sure you could get
surplus junk to make it more realistic but I am sure the games have no way to output
the info you need to make them all "work" but maybe a touch screen would be nice
and another small lcd where you could have secondary displays with static pictures
of controls/information (current weather in your area etc) so at least it "looked" like they
"do" something even while you are playing the games :)
 

gigglebyte

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looks like it will be a great project but I agree that trying to get working gauges integrated will be an issue...IF there was a way to get info/data streams out from the game AND you had some way to convert that info to usable data that could some how be translated by the gauges then it would rock...I think you could rig something to make the gauges do something but I don't know how you could get them to relate to the game...this will be another one to watch :D
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
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Oct 22, 2003
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I take it Mars City is almost done. ;)

I can't wait to see this started. :)
 

pilotman2004

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gigglebyte said:
there was a way to get info/data streams out from the game
Crimson, I don't know if your sponsor is specifying a flight sim, if he isn't, then you could use X-Plane 8. You would be amazed with all of the info that can be exported from the sim. If you wanted, I could find the specifics.
 

Kankykur7

Weaksauce
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Jan 11, 2005
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123
wow this this project looks awesome, aside from the whole exterior aspect, what are you going to have in the guts of this computer? (AMD/Intel and SLi?)
 
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x-plane is amazing i love that sim its one of the best simply put. I cant wait to see mars city finished and same goes for this one, good luck crim.
 

CrimsonSky

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To make a custom PC as intricate and engineered as this one, I'll start out with a paper model to help me get an idea of the dimensions and shape of the shell. The paper model will not be super detailed, however it will allow me to make all the proper measurements before I begin cutting the material. Architects create many cardboard 'White models" when pitching a design idea, and this is borrowed from that practice.

I took some foam board and cut a square to the proper dimensions of the ATX motherboard. I then used an old Radeon 9800 as a guide for making the two mockups of the dual video cards. I used spray mount adhesive to to glue on some colored paper to the foam board as well, to help make the model easier to see.





 

CrimsonSky

Gawd
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The second largest piece of hardware is of course, the full ATX power supply. I made a scale model of one from foamboard, even adding a fan grill as a guide for orientation. Studying the angles on a Stealth fighter, I made a platform for the motherboard. You can also see that I've slipped the PSU model beneath it. This project will require some pretty interesting ventilation engineering to get it running cool and comfy....all part of the fun! :D







 

CrimsonSky

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Here I'm starting to build up the shape of the shell. A lot of cut foamboard pieces are rejected before I choose just the right shapes that give me the composition I'm looking for.





 

Qtip42

[H]is Modness
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Mar 16, 2000
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That crimson sky, he's so hot right now. Hot like fire....


edit: seriously this thing look crazy. I can't wait to see what'll happen next.
 

starhawk

[H]F Junkie
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Oct 4, 2004
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i agree with Q, lol... that thing is hot as a blast furnace on overdrive. :drools:
 

KodiakStar

/'s by 0
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I dont know if you are hot or not... thats for the website to decide...

but that mock up is lookin pretty stealthy (sans-black paint)
 
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