What are you guys doing?

OpenHornet is a 1:1 physical replica of a F/A-18C lot 20 Hornet cockpit. This project consists of all the files required to build and interface the simulator to your choice of PC and external visuals. To build this, you should be comfortable building things and with basic electronics (soldering, wiring, etc.) This project is likely not for beginner makers. All files released are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.


OpenHornet is:

Scalable Builders may omit some major components as required for their purposes.
Transportable All major subcomponents shall be able to be assembled and disassembled from each other with minimal hand tools for transit purposes.
Minimized Footprint System will be designed to occupy a minimal overall footprint, with the exception of major accessories, including, but not limited to, PC or LCD/TFT/TV/projector visual outputs.
Easy to Maintain All components shall be designed with a major consideration for ease of future maintenance.
Designed for You Any component designed to bear the weight of a human shall be able support a 250 lb static load.

Read the latest:

Structure Continues…

Structure is coming along and a ton of general cleanup and items have been completed. Thought it was time to burn off a few high-res renders.

Preliminary System Architecture

So been working on the system architecture for this a little to illustrate the electronics stack. Feel free to comment with any questions on it!  On the structures side, left and right consoles are virtually done, lower instrument panel is…

Left and Right Consoles coming together!

So its starting to look like the F/A-18C. These screen caps are from before I'd done much more than mirror the left console to the right console. The face of the right console and AUX are not correct. The left…

Small Updates

Just wanted to give a little status update. Progress has slowed as I've had 5 business trips this past month. I've integrated the newest reference model with all ribs, canopy sills, and canopy bow reference. Completed the L console panels,…


Here is what else you need to know:

Minimum Tooling Required 01

You are going to need some tools to build a project of this scale. Yours might vary, but these are our assumptions:

  • Hobby 3D printer (Prusa i3 MK3 or equivalent.)
  • Hobby CNC Router (XCarve 1000x1000 or equivalent.)
  • Common hand/power tools (Drill, screwdrivers, sanders, wrenches, ratchets and sockets, calipers, tape measure, ruler, square, marking devices, files, etc.)
  • Basic SMD electronics assembly equipment (multimeter, soldering station, magnifier (optional), SMD reflow station, desolder vacuum, desolder braid, solder, flux.)

Expected Deliverables 02

  • Reference Model: A 1:1 detailed replica model for you to base your own pit design off of.
  • Mechanical CAD (MCAD) Model: A full mechanical model of the pit, in both SW native formats, and STEP/Parasolid intermediary formats.
  • Electrical CAD (ECAD) Files: All custom PCBs and Interconnect schematics.
  • Drawing/Manufacture Package (PDF/DXF): Fabrication and Assembly drawings of required components. Also, will contain DXFs of nested components for optimized cutting of relevant components.

CAD Tools Used 03

  • Fusion360: Reference Model
  • SolidWorks 2015: Pit Mechanical Model
  • KiCAD 4.0.7 stable: Electrical CAD

What isnt OpenHornet? 04

While we strive for complete accuracy where possible, due to the manufacturing methods available to the average pitbuilder, and at a cost/benefit comparison, this will NOT be a 100% accurate representation of the F/A-18C. We expect to capture 98% of the functionality of the real bird, and very, very similar visuals, but do not expect real components to mount into this pit. You can build a 100% accurate pit for tens of thousands of dollars…but this method is far more pragmatic with the ultimate goal of being able to simply fly.