Anyone who has researched home cockpit building would know that one of the most expensive single items to purchase is a replica throttle quadrant, although I fully intend on purchasing a replica, throttle quadrant with motorised trim wheels etc. this is one of the last items on my list as I decided that other bits are more important and should be purchased first, the FCU is a prime example!
Knowing that I would have to wait several months I decided to modify my existing Saitek Pro Flight TQ to replicate roughly how the Airbus Throttle leavers look and feel so I can use that in the mean time.
So what I did first of all was research the measurements of the ‘bunny ear’ shaped throttle handles which are found in the Airbus A319/A320/A321 and then used Adobe Illustrator to draw the shapes of which I’d then have laser cut from 6mm acrylic – I just looked on eBay for someone offering this service, paid £20 and received the cut pieces in the post within a few days.
If you want a copy of the file (in PDF format) that I sent to be cut please contact me and I’ll happily email it over to you!
As the Airbus throttle quadrant only has two levers I decided that I would remove the middle lever shaft/potentiometer from the unit by de-soldering the connections and fully removing the middle throttle lever from the unit and then screwed the unit back together again.
Next I created a decal of which I then laminated with standard A4 lamination pouch (to give a more professional look and protect it from moisture and from getting ripped etc.) – Using double-sided tap I then stuck it over the face of the Saitek TQ concealing the empty 2nd throttle leaver gap.
Once I received the pieces in the post, I then used some standard super-glue to basically laminate them together with a layer of glue between each piece and allowed to dry.
Once the pieces was dry I then took the Saitek (Red, Blue, Black) handle tops off the levers and with a small hack-saw removed 10mm off the top of the levers and then removed the small small notches (by sanding down with sand paper) on the side of the throttle levers to allow the new Throttle handles to slide tightly down the shaft of the throttle lever.
Thats it! – You should now have some rather cool throttle levers of which better resemble the ones found in the Airbus A319/A320/A321 🙂 – As the Acrylic is 6mm thick the throttle leavers slide and over the levers and fit snug 🙂