Phil, great stuff!
1- For the museum we have a few flying stations. I tried to create stuff like this, but it's a long story (need real industrial strength). I have however created a few designs and prototypes (helicopter, and such). I'm really interested in the control box as this is the part that is challenging my expertise (I'm a mech engineer)
2- I'm having fun creating stuff like this, so if you need help, chime in. Mostly interested in developping the fighter jets and fighter planes versions.
3- I can create anything in Sketchup as you know. Can be 3D printed and/or imported into F360. F360 is next anyway.
4- For example, here is a heli version of collective control designed around electrical conduit and boxes (faster than 3D printing when available). Never went further because lack of time and dove into research on control box and sensors. Then I found a professional unit cheaper, faster, and sturdy for sure for our application. But we could evolve the concept.
This one had collective, Throttle, and as many buttons and switches as necessary (box on the left, at tip of stick).
Can be made to any length, with springs and rotary damper if needed.
Thanks. One of my breakthroughs was to move away from designing items as one entire unit and so having to design in the bearings, hall sensors, friction, wire connectivity etc etc each time on a custom basis, but designing re-usable components. Here's my "MagHall 6802" which can easily be dropped into a Heli collective, flap lever, landing gear, throttle quadrant etc just like a piece of lego. Someone I'm working with is making a throttle quadrant for a P47 with it.
I've put a few more piccies on https://www.facebook.com/AuthentiKit-102656871578604
I'll release the designs for this when I'm properly launched and you can drop it straight into Fusion 360 (Sketchup too probably)