This 737-800 flight simulator can take you anywhere (sort of)

Where would you go with a Boeing simulator, complete with genuine parts, in your back garden?

What do you do when you can no longer peruse a much-loved career and are diagnosed with a serious illness? If you happen to be an ex-commercial pilot who goes by "Ash," you build a very realistic flight simulator in your back yard.

In an interview with Kotaku Australia (conducted by former GeekTech editor Danny Allen), Ash explained how he is building a Boeing 737-800 Flight Simulator from real aircraft parts, sourced from all over the world. He started building the steel simulator, which cost around $20,000 so far to build, as a way of keeping busy and re-experience his avionic career despite suffering from an immune disorder.

The 3-meter-long simulator is situated in a custom-built garden shed, and boasts a variety of features. The simulator runs Microsoft's Flight Simulator X 2006 (FSX) displayed on three 180-degree projectors. Ash prefers the graphics packs for it over newer programs, and likes the variety of community-created scenes available, like one of Springfield from The Simpsons or views of space. The software even gives him real-time weather updates, air traffic data and flight schedules.

Six PCs running Windows XP operate the Boeing parts in the simulator--from microphones and sound systems (which can apparently be heard from the house!) to alert systems and cockpit seats. The parts to work with the software via a relay card to control the more immersive areas in the faux plane. Hydraulics allow the plane to move around as though it's actually in the air. Originally, the cockpit was made from cardboard and switches, but a friend helped Ash engineer a realistic control panel, complete with blinking lights.

The build is not quite complete, though. Ash is still tweaking different parts of the cockpit to work more efficiently with the computers, as some parts have a habit of causing the systems to crash. He has also just finished adding more weather elements, like snow.

See the full interview and more images of the build at Kotaku Australia. This might just be the most inspiring project we've seen all year. It's amazing what you can achieve when you realize that your time is limited, or you have real passion to bring an idea into fruition.

[Kotaku Australia]

Like this? You might also enjoy...

Get more GeekTech: Twitter - Facebook - RSS | Tip us off | Follow Elizabeth Fish

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Elizabeth Fish

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?