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Man Builds Fully-Functional Boeing 737 Flight Simulator In His Son's Bedroom 128

Posted by samzenpus
from the those-magnificent-men-in-their-flying-machines dept.
laejoh writes "An aeroplane enthusiast has taken his obsession a step further than most after using his son's bedroom to build a Boeing 737 flight simulator that exactly mimics the real thing. Laurent Aigon, 40, from Lacanau in France, has spent the last five years collecting and buying components from around the world with best friend and fellow enthusiast (obviously) Jean-Paul Dupuy. The pair spent thousands of euros on internet orders for bits and pieces to construct the simulator – which is so realistic that the Institute of Aircraft Maintenance at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport asked him to give a lecture on his achievement. Mr Aigon has since schooled himself in all the procedures for take off and landing and says he is able to fly his 'plane' just like a real-life pilot."
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Man Builds Fully-Functional Boeing 737 Flight Simulator In His Son's Bedroom

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @08:38PM (#44452773) Homepage Journal

    But aside all that, what a GREAT dad!

    Pretty cool. Guess after SFO, he's glad it wasn't a 777.

    • But aside all that, what a GREAT dad!

      Yes, he built a cockpit in his son's bedroom. What TFA didn't say is that the entry door is located in his own bedroom.

    • Yeah. Great Dad. Uses his son's bedroom as a playroom for his hobby with his pal.

      Son may be ok about it just now, but what happens when he decides he's too old for his father's toys?

    • by sabbede (2678435)
      Great dad? If, when I was growing up, my dad had decided to turn most of my bedroom into his hobby space, I would have been anything but happy. I notice that the article doesn't mention the kids age. But since it took five years to build, it's possible that his son reached the age where a boy begins to really need his privacy, if you know what I mean.

      For masturbation. That's what I mean.

      Even if the kid has not yet reached that age, I'm sure he still needs sleep. And if you've ever been working on a pr

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Well, the kid has the luxury of practicing to be a member of the mile high club I guess.

        I doubt the kid is that old. He was probably just born when the project started so it might be a few years before he is aware of that stuff. But hey, this is in France so who knows.

  • Awesome dad (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 01, 2013 @08:41PM (#44452799)

    Now witness the capabilities of this fully operational 737 flight simulation!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by AlphaWolf_HK (692722)

      Just better hope he's not middle eastern, otherwise homeland security might confiscate it.

      (Yeah I know, a very un-PC joke, I level them all the time against my Iranian friend so I'm used to it.)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I didn't see any hydraulics for mimicking the pitch, yaw, and roll.

    • Well, yes... for certain values of "exactly".
    • by MiG82au (2594721)
      You do realise that there's a big difference between simulating the sensations vs the motions of the aircraft? The motion platform does not roll with the plane because in a coordinated turn there is no sideways acceleration in the pilot's coordinate frame, just a small increase in "gravity". The smooth way airliners are flown, the only axis that is of much use is the pitch.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        What do you mean ? When I fly (passenger) I feel the take off and landing up/down dip and the left / right after take off

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        That's if it's flown correctly. If you don't make coordinated turns,you'll feel it. Without the simulator on a moving platform, you wouldn't know the difference.

    • by johnw (3725)

      I didn't see any hydraulics for mimicking the pitch, yaw, and roll.

      That was my first thought too, but then I thought about naval simulators. I've been in a few of those, which are very much just large rooms with a lot of screens, and usually some raked seating at the back. They don't move at all, but it's funny to watch those standing on the "bridge" as they sway from side to side to keep their feet in rough seas. Yes, real simulators move around, but a lot can be achieved without.

    • by tverbeek (457094)
      I doubt it offers a fully-functional simulation of a crash landing, either.
  • by johnny cashed (590023) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @08:52PM (#44452859) Homepage
    It doesn't even incorporate a Stewart platform in its implementation, lame.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...using his son's bedroom to build a Boeing 737 flight simulator that exactly mimics the real thing.

    5 years of noisy jet takeoffs.

  • Interesting that they chose a Boeing a/c rather than an Airbus!
    • by Anonymous Coward

      On an Airbus, the controls are simply tied to LCD and haptic feedback devices. An Airbus simulator and a real Airbus cockpit are exactly the same thing--a really expensive joystick connected to an XBox. What's the fun in that?

    • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Friday August 02, 2013 @07:36AM (#44454983) Journal

      The choice was probably driven largely by availability of cockpit parts. There is an impressive amount of 737s out there in various states of operation.

      • That's true, but many with different cockpit setups. The 737 classic and NG models have seen a huge jump in technology, even for being largely the same plane.

  • by black3d (1648913) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:01PM (#44452919)

    But haven't dozens of people already done this over the years? For example - http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/04/18/2036248/man-builds-737-simulator-in-a-garage [slashdot.org]

    I had a good friend who was the chief engineer for a major multi-national telecommunications company, who laid out around half a million building a fully functional 747 cockpit in his basement - and that was back in '99. Even had a seat and controls for the navigator.

    • Exactly what I was thinking. The only thing new about this is the setting.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      But haven't dozens of people already done this over the years?

      I reckon this demonstrates French waiters [gizmodo.com] may have the same technical prowless as US private pilots [mercurynews.com]
      (and heaps more than a bunch of /.-ers how call themself geeks but all they can do is attempts of lame humor... vous defier dire ce n'est pas comme ca...
      G'day, mate, good on you!)

      • by black3d (1648913)

        There was no attempt at humor in my post. BTW, the person I just referenced who built one in his basement is both a geek and a Slashdotter, so really not sure what point you're trying to make? That french waiters, private pilots, AND geeks, have the same potential technical prowess? That's exactly what I was pointing out - this isn't really news as it's been done by a large variety of people already. Pretty much anyone with the time, money and passion could throw this together. But all you're pointing out i

        • by c0lo (1497653)
          The main info I added: he's a waiter with no formal training and no direct flight experience.

          There was no attempt at humor in my post. BTW, the person I just referenced who built one in his basement is both a geek and a Slashdotter, so really not sure what point you're trying to make?

          No, indeed, you didn't. My apologies for "riding" on your post with my rants
          (feelings got mixed into my main point, I realise now it was a wrong place to express my displeasure to post like:
          * Authenticity [slashdot.org] - questioning the authenticity of the seats cover
          * Too much time in his hands [slashdot.org] - questioning his sex life
          * Re: what software [slashdot.org] - implying he doesn't know what flight simulator he uses
          * Figures [slashdot.org] - complaining a pho

          • by black3d (1648913)

            I see - yes, those comments do seem extremely petty in the context of what is a fairly remarkable feat of dedication, and certainly to the individual involved would be a major milestone.

          • by Maow (620678)

            In fairness, the one about "Authenticity" of the sheepskin covers had a reply with a link showing a cockpit with seemingly-similar seat covers, so I learned something there.

            And the one about which software it ran was ok for Slashdot, although the reply to it, "He probably doesn't even know" was snotty.

        • by AK Marc (707885)

          really not sure what point you're trying to make?

          Perhaps that the French tip well?

    • Yeah, and didn't some guy in Japan build a 737 or 747 cockpit sim with such a complete cabin interior that he was asked to loan the use of it to a TV drama for a set? I remember reading something to that effect several years ago...

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Much easier to do today - still not cheap, but many of the components can actually be bought (USB interfaces), and companies now sell software to fully emulate many of the systems.

      One thing this system is missing is a collimated display. That adds a lot of realism from what I've heard. Those are expensive if you want to buy them, but people are starting to DIY them.

  • Lot of work (Score:5, Funny)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:09PM (#44452951)

    This makes me feel lame - I haven't even finished redoing the bathroom.

  • How authentic are the fur seats?
  • His son has no interest in airplanes, and his dad is forcing it on him.

    I remember my dad taking the family to the airport to watch the planes take off and land for hours at a time; thank god they closed the observation area after 9/11.

  • what a jerk (Score:4, Funny)

    by RedHackTea (2779623) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:19PM (#44452995)
    "Use your own bedroom, Dad!"
  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich@@@aol...com> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @09:21PM (#44453011) Journal

    The display in particular is pretty shoddy. I've seen much much better out there in terms of DIY flightsims.

    Oh, and to this line in TFA:

    "He also has interest from a couple of major aircraft manufacturers who want to use his creation to simulate various scenarios."

    No, he doesn't. Aircraft manufacturers have no interest whatsoever in this.

    • by Deadstick (535032) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @10:48PM (#44453375)

      Mod parent up. Every airline has massively better simulators.

      • by MiG82au (2594721)
        I suspect that "major" might actually mean small manufacturers of GA aircraft in his vicinity which don't have their own simulators. The software on this simulator is probably much more flexible than a professional simulator, allowing you to fly anything albeit with an inaccurate cockpit.
    • All of the various scenarios tend to wreak havoc on the simulation equipment, they'd like to test the fire extinguishers on his rig instead of theirs.

    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      That's what I was thinking too. It looked like the guy was the single source of information. He probably tells everyone the same things..

      Boeing would be the only aircraft manufacturer interested in using a Boeing simulator. They can make better ones themselves, since they have the engineers, the parts supply, and the budget, to do it right. Theirs also wouldn't include a bunk bed jammed in the corner, nor the trivialized child.

  • This guy definitely has too much time on his hands. But given that this fellow seems to have this incredible obsession, how did he managed to find the time to have sex to even have a son to put in a bedroom that the poor kid can't even use except for sleeping.

    • son to put in a bedroom that the poor kid can't even use except for sleeping

      What are you talking about, this kid has got the world's greatest toy in his bedroom!

      • by mark-t (151149)

        Well, it *COULD* have been a great toy... if his son seemed to show any interest in the simulator, or airplanes in general. According to TFA, it's "unclear" what his son thinks.

        As it sits right now, it's a toy for the dad. He should have constructed this in his garage... not his son's bedroom unless the boy was actively interested in this sort of thing.

      • You really think he lets his son even get near that?

        Your dad obviously was not obsessed with model trains. Friend of mine had to suffer from one, he had the coolest model train kit on earth (dedicated a whole room to it), but his kids were not allowed in there, he was afraid they could "ruin" it.

    • by jelizondo (183861) *

      to have sex to even have a son

      A likely question from uncultured Americans!

      menage a trois is a peculiarly French custom. (accents omitted on account of /. horrible unicode support.) The man doesn't need time, he just needs a partner.

    • by Krneki (1192201)

      Maybe he doesn't watch TV 8 hours a day, like all other intelligent people are doing.

  • Does it run Flightgear?
  • He can build a flight simulator, but can't straighten the pictures on the wall for an internationally circulated photograph. Figures.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They were knocked loose by turbulence. Geez.

  • Call the NSA. He is obviously trying to aid the enemy. He even hid his terrorist training equipment in his son bedroom. What a horrible father. Take his son away! Think of the children!
    • by doug (926)
      Aid the enemy? He's French. Doesn't that make him the enemy?
  • Ya, well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Friday August 02, 2013 @12:01AM (#44453621)

    I was going to re-build my 787 simulator, but the fire department won't let me.

  • And then Asiana contacts him about training their pilots on the cheap(er)? Hehe.

  • Big FS projects (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Friday August 02, 2013 @03:54AM (#44454403) Journal

    I've seen several of these flight sim projects. One part of me understands completely why the people who build them build them (I have enough hobbies that others think are a complete waste of time and money to understand entirely why people building flight sims like this want to do it), but another part of my brain is saying "for the money and time invested, you can actually build your own real, flying aircraft you can pilot yourself, and the graphics and frame rate are a lot lot better!".

    Kind of reminds me. About a year before they closed Meigs in Chicago (which used to be the default start airport in Microsoft Flight Simulator), I flew in there for real in my elderly Cessna 140. I was kind of surprised when the frame rate didn't slow to about 10 fps when all the buildings of Chicago hoved into view :-)

    • by Bucc5062 (856482)

      Completely off topic, but I was curious about the link in your sig so I clicked on it and it took me to a seemingly old site for a interesting space game. Is that still viable because I saw this "The page you requested could not be found. Perhaps it was attacked by a thargoid?" though I could link to download. Looks like fun (not that I have time).

      To your comment, I am also a Private Pilot who started out with MSFS (4.0), but progressed into the real thing. Turns out the real thing was very expensive and

    • I've seen several of these flight sim projects. One part of me understands completely why the people who build them build them (I have enough hobbies that others think are a complete waste of time and money to understand entirely why people building flight sims like this want to do it), but another part of my brain is saying "for the money and time invested, you can actually build your own real, flying aircraft you can pilot yourself, and the graphics and frame rate are a lot lot better!".

      You might be able to build or fly your own general-aviation aircraft, but you cannot build and fly your own 737 or any jetliner, which is the type of aircraft these guys are clearly interested in.

      I flightsim myself, obviously not to such a degree, and there's another reason I do simming instead of actual flying, that I think they share as well: tinkering with the hardware and software is sometimes just as enjoyable as the actual flying. In their case it's the thrill of hunting for right parts and then integ

  • Qualifiers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 02, 2013 @04:44AM (#44454519)

    ...that exactly mimics the real thing....which is so realistic that the Institute of Aircraft Maintenance at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport asked him to give a lecture on his achievement....He also has interest from a couple of major aircraft manufacturers who want to use his creation to simulate various scenarios...

    I maintain and build flight simulators and synthetic trainers all over the world, from France to China and the same again for approvals with regulators. This thing wouldn't even reach class C let alone class D so exactly mimics is bullshit, even class D can't exactly mimic everything. Even if you follow manuals to the letter, things like control workflow and timings are always off, that's why you can even get class C equipment approved even if some of the cockpit control workflow is actually wrong. There are about one hundred of these sorts of in-house setups like this in homes around the world now, even more if you include those which don't use actual cockpit components. Hardware isn't the problem these days with flight sims and synth trainers, hell, I've seen 6DOF motion class C trainers (with projected wrap-around SPOV visuals, none of this monitor crap) that run off one Core i7 system with all I/O (including motion, excluding visuals) being handled by USB! The real problem is the software, that's where all the limitations lie as too much of it is off the shelf software or components all hobbled together, even the stuff from multi-billion dollar US defence contractors whose names I'd love to spill but alas...

  • Mr Aigon has since schooled himself in all the procedures for take off and landing and says he is able to fly his 'plane' just like a real-life pilot.

    No. he's proven he's able to fly his simulator, not the real aircraft. An actual training flight simulator goes through an exhaustive validation to ensure it is accurately reproducing the aircraft within the envelope of interest. While he may have been able to get real cockpit parts to get the look of the real cockpit, there's no guarantee that his simulator r

  • by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Friday August 02, 2013 @10:47AM (#44456333)
    Poor journalism really. I would expect the reporter to track down the man's ex-wife for comment.
  • Man generously allows son to sleep in his Fully functional Boeing 747 Flight Simulator Room

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