Hi Guys! Sooner or later you’ll come to the point of ordering products at a home cockpit parts supplier. When the decision for a supplier has been made and you’re starting to build up your cockpit, problems with your supplier can significantly delay or even crash your whole project. Because of my own painful experience, I want to give you some important information on how to choose the right supplier that is convenient for your purposes.
You get what you pay for
Deterred by the high prices of home cockpit parts, I made my biggest mistake: I didn’t do a lot of research and I just chose a supplier that was around 30% cheaper than others. The guy on the other side (contact only via email) was very friendly and I decided to trust him. I ordered the first parts in May, 2016 and transferred the money. In the meantime it’s March, 2018 and I’m still waiting for missing parts to be delivered – and there’s no answer to my emails anymore. Sadly I don’t even expect to get the parts by some day.
Which kind of problems are resulting from this situation:
- I have lost a lot of time just because parts haven’t been delivered and I wasn’t able to continue without them
- I now have instrument panels from different manufacturers in my cockpit, which is partly a problem, as every supplier uses different sizes and design (color, fonts, font-size…)
- I wasted money, because the quality from my first supplier isn’t anywhere near the quality of my second supplier (sporadically wrong labeling, bad paint quality and so on)
My personal conclusion:
If I would have done some research before ordering, I would have known that I was saving on the wrong things. Of course high quality home cockpit parts (like from Skalarki Electronics) are very expensive at the first view. But if you consider the high quality and the amount of working hours that are needed for research, development and manufacturing, it becomes clear that it’s worth the price. So my tip is: If you decide to buy, then don’t save on quality.
To avoid such problems, here are some criteria of which you can check if your supplier is trustworthy:
- The supplier has its full company name, address and support information like email-address and telephone-number, or even a support-forum on its homepage
- The supplier is showing its products on well-known flight simulation fairs like FSWeekend in the Netherlands (http://fsweekend.com), for example
- You can’t find negative reviews on flight simulation forums or communities
- You probably bought one of its products from second hand to check the quality with your own hands and eyes
- Check your gut feeling and listen to it, if you don’t feel 100% save with your decision
Which suppliers are to recommend?
A long time I was considering if I should mention the name of my first supplier in this blog post, as not only me but many other home cockpit enthusiasts made very negative experiences with it. But I think this wouldn’t be very productive. Instead of that, I decided to list two suppliers that I can personally recommend, because me and many others made very positive experiences with their products and support:
I bought an A320 Overhead-Panel-Kit and a FCU (both secondhand Skalarki-Products) from them. Support was very friendly and reliable. No experience with the quality of their own products.
I bought some electronic components and some seconhand parts from them. Excellent quality, support also very friendly and reliable. They are doing several complete A320-Cockpits every month. Enourmus competence.
Please note that upwithoutwings.com is in no way affiliated or sponsored by the companies mentioned above.
What are your experiences with home cockpit parts suppliers? How did you decide for your supplier?
Henry Kyd · July 22, 2022 at 9:20 am
Love the project and I’ve just started doing it myself. I’ve bought the a320 MIP Panel on Skalarki E.. and looks amazing but struggling to mount it for exact realism. A real a320 MIP is 14degrees tilted backwards. I have seen some of your other photos with your iPad MCDU and the wood structure you have built looks amazing. Do you mind sending me more photos ?
Marco · August 20, 2022 at 2:43 pm
Thank you very much Henry, will do so shortly.