SimWorks Studios shows off the cockpit modeling on its upcoming B-52 for MSFS

SimWorks Studios is taking an intriguing detour from their usual focus on smaller aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator by planning the release of the mighty B-52 Stratofortress in the forthcoming future.

Following the release of the PC-12, the team is increasingly eager to share behind-the-scenes updates on their work on the B-52. Recent updates, including one in March and a new status update this weekend, have focused on the external model and the cockpit of the B-52C/D variants.

This project is particularly notable as it represents a return to Cold War-era aircraft, a period of special significance for the team at SimWorks Studios.

Exploring the B-52C/D Cockpit

The team at SWS explains that they are currently in the process of completing the cockpit modeling, ensuring everything from the proportions to the placement of instrumentation is historically accurate and functionally viable for simmers. This process involves checking that all elements are accessible and correctly scaled to fit an average-sized human, a critical step before moving on to detailing and texturing.

SimWorks Studios shows this work through several images focused on a few key areas of the B-52’s flight deck:

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Upper Cockpit and EWO Station
The first image reveals the upper cockpit connected to the Electronic Warfare Officer’s station by a long hallway. Notable features include a step to climb into the hallway, a small oven for cooking during long missions, and a bed for rest. The ceiling houses a sextant, an indispensable tool for navigation before the advent of GPS, especially useful when flying under radio silence over large bodies of water or polar regions.

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Overhead Differences and Instrumentation
The second image focuses on the overhead area of the early B-52 variants, showing four longitudinally arranged overhead windows. Differences in window configuration and the presence of older COM/NAV/IFF equipment highlight the technological evolution within the aircraft’s service life.

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Cockpit Pedestal and Crab Control
The third image provides a detailed view of the cockpit pedestal, which has seen changes across different versions of the B-52. A standout feature is the crosswind crab control, essential due to the B-52’s limited rudder authority and unique landing requirements. The control allows pilots to adjust the aircraft’s wheels for directional stability during crosswind landings, showcasing the innovative engineering solutions employed in its design.

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Thrust Levers and Yoke Differences
Focusing on the aircraft’s control interface, the fourth image displays the eight thrust levers, each with dual grips, underscoring the complex engine management system of the B-52. The yoke’s design also varies significantly between the early models and the later G/H variants, reflecting ergonomic and operational updates.

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Ejection Seats Across Variants
The fifth image details the differences in ejection seats between the early B-52s and the later models. Early variants featured rounded headrests for pilots and trapezoidal headrests for the EWO, Navigator, and Bombardier, with different ejection mechanisms tailored to their specific cockpit positions.

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Instructor and Equipment Placement
The final preview images show the area behind the pilot’s seat, including the instructor’s seat and various pieces of equipment, providing insights into the training and operational environment within the B-52.

It’s evident that SimWorks Studios is dedicated to providing a deeply immersive and authentic simulation experience for B-52 enthusiasts. Despite its lengthy service history, which might have consigned it to history, the B-52 continues to play a vital role in the USAF and we can all look forward to a comprehensive virtual rendition of this iconic bomber for Microsoft Flight Simulator!