PROJECT A56-7W Cockpit

The project is divided into two parts; the EDCC and the TFMC.

EDCC - Electronic Data Command Center

This is the back of the cockpit that has been seen on television screens around the world.

TFMC - Tactical Flight Management Center

The term was designed by me and describes the front cockpit.

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Both sections are or were built on a 1: 1 scale, that is, they are life-size. The project is currently under construction, but around 75% of the EDCC's electrical panels have already been completed. Every single switchboard was handcrafted by me without high-end devices after having found out through extensive research how big they actually have to be. Since the EDCC is very angled, a lot of material had to suffer before the correct angles could be determined.

This project aims to create a work of art because every control panel is so detailed that it equates to model making. In addition, the cockpit should offer a beautiful backdrop for virtual flights, which can be experienced thanks to a flight simulator - embedded in a stylish sci-fi backdrop.

A56-7W was originally intended to be the silent lead actor on the television series.

Produced in the 1980s, the fictional helicopter came up with all sorts of fictional technology, but for the most part, it was only very far ahead of its time. For example, the first CD-ROM drive that came into the market was already installed in the helicopter's cockpit. In the TV series, it was also as a CD burner, even before it was sold to private households.

In addition to countless buttons, switches, and instruments, however, it was the A.I. that acted silently in the background of the story because A56-7W was equipped with an extensive computer system that housed artificial intelligence. Originally, a direct interface between the computer and the pilot's brain was even envisaged, which should receive information via electrodes built into the special helmets. This idea was only implemented once in the series in a modified form; otherwise, it was only mentioned on paper.

Unfortunately, the A.I. is only incidentally mentioned in the stories. However, if you listen carefully, you will be able to see that A56-7W offered what is known today as "deep learning". The helicopter had a neural network that saved every single keypress, every control input, and every single mission. The data was used to train the autopilot. This means: The more data was being recorded, the better the autopilot got, which was linked to the attack and defense computer.

Various companies are currently researching such an autopilot. The helicopter will then be able to recognize when the pilot makes a mistake or is unable to concentrate so that it can then intervene autonomously. A56-7W was able to do this in theory, it even monitored the pilots' medical data through sensors on the control sticks and a small device attached to the flight overalls.

Another interesting point about the Lady was its "fly-by-light" technology. In the 1980s, it was still a long way off (or was already used by secret services,) but today, technology like this is nothing more than data transmission via fiber optic cables. The control sticks no longer transmit commands to the rotors through mechanical components, as was the case in the past, but rather through computer commands. Fiber optic technology is also safe against electromagnetic impulses. Well-known helicopter manufacturers are now using fiber optic technology in their newest helicopters.

There were two helicopters built, by the way. A static model, which wasn`t airworthy anymore, was equipped with a futuristic cockpit. The other A56-7W was used for aerial photography. The interior behind the front cockpit was completely cleared in the airworthy helicopter. After the series ended, the airworthy helicopter was sold to a German company that carried out ambulance flights ("Hubschrauber Sonder Dienst"/ special helicopter service.) As D-HHSD, the Lady flew patients through Germany, including my hometown, where I was able to see it on the last flight. On June 6, 1992, the helicopter collided with trees in a severe thunderstorm and crashed. All inmates lost their lives.

The static helicopter was probably dismantled into individual parts - after all, it already literally dissolved - and then disposed of. The side extensions and the nose scoop of the airworthy helicopter were saved by a fan. The parts are stored in a private household in Florida.

Brief description of the individual components

EDCC - Electronic Data Command Center

This is the famous rear area of ​​the helicopter, with all its computer components, numerous monitors, switches and buttons, countless displays, and a central monitor, as well as a comfortable rotating seat - ideal for long flights through the virtual world.

The EDCC was rebuilt several times in the series. Most fans have only noticed one change, namely the big step from the analog cockpit to the digital cockpit. I decided on recreating the digital cockpit.

Well, you certainly can't just go there and recreate the whole EDCC. It took a lot of research to get all the details. Numerous versions of various manuals and countless screenshots were helpful. So, while I was practically learning to fly the Lady, I noticed a few errors in the EDCC. These mistakes were intentionally made by the production team to save time and work. The locations of the panels were irrelevant to the series. For example, there were numerous switches that were unoccupied and were only used for decoration - to fill in optical gaps. I've made the effort to logically correct these panels. I used materials that last longer. In the original, many stickers were used that more or less fell off under the heat of the headlights and in the cramped space of the helicopter. Actually, the entire cockpit was only roughly held together with some glue and stickers; just like the helicopter on the outside.

TFMC - Tactical Flight Management Center

This is the front cockpit, which wasn´t being shown very often in the TV series. The pilot in command had access to A.I.-supported computer systems. In my cockpit, however, there will only be Alexa. The forward cockpit will be built once the EDCC is being finished, and there will be enough space. According to previous measurements, this should be the case.

Image galleries of the individual components

  • TFMC

    Images of the front cockpit with instrument panel and other things

  • EDCC

    Pictures of the rear area with its numerous displays, switches, and the back-seat

Answers to common questions

  • The cockpit is located in a private household in Germany, NRW

  • If you are totally and seriously interested in visiting the cockpit, feel free to send an email

  • The construction process will - hopefully - be finished in 2022/23

  • The EDCC is about 75% complete

  • I do not make parts on request

  • I am the sole builder of the Cockpit and other parts. This project is unrelated to any other replica other than the ones I build myself.

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