Since the motherboard was deep inside the main section, I needed to provide an easy way to plug everything in. So I purchased a standard case front-mount I/O panel and built that under the tail. In addition to the audio, USB, Firewire and gameport, I added a network port, custom United logo power switch, reset button, and the ac adapter plug for the mouse docking station.
The mouse docking station was integrated into the rear horizontal stabilizer.
The tail sports a raised United logo with red and blue LEDs behind it.
Those CCFLs in the base get their power through contact points, and receive 12v from the airplane when it's seated. I didn't want any unsightly cables or molex plugs coming out of the base at all.
I went with the older blue/gray United color scheme because that is what my dad would relate more to, rather than their newer white/blue livery. Luckily, I was able to get the exact Dupont color codes for an exact match.
The keyboard and mouse were painted to match the case as well, and United logos on each round out the theme. For finishing touches, I had a commemorative plaque made dedicating the case to my dad, and adhered it to the center of the base,
and custom laser cut fan grills.
Of course I had to find somebody competent enough to fly it, so after an exhaustive search, I finally found the perfect pilot. :)
The case was finished in time for MillionManLan in June, but a shipping mishap caused extensive damage to the shell, preventing me from delivering it to my Dad in one piece. I returned home with the broken shell and started work on the repairs. A few more months later, I had pieced it back together with glue, fiberglass, and bondo, put a new coat of paint on it and it is now better than ever!