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Sim Icarus Boeing 777 Handmade Flight Deck 254

ShadowsMV writes "Three technology students finishing up their degrees at the DuPage Campus of DeVry University spent a term designing and building one of the most nifty flight simulators yet. Named the Sim Icarus Flight Deck, it accurately recreates the primary flight accessory controls of the Boeing 777, and interfaces directly with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. They have tons of pictures and lists of everything you need! Previous flight decks featured on slashdot include An awesome homebuilt and wideview with 13 Monitors And 9 PCs."
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Sim Icarus Boeing 777 Handmade Flight Deck

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  • Judging by the photos alone, this is the most impressive homebrew sim I'veseen yet. Props to the editor to actually posting links to old sim articles, by the way, so we don't get 200 links to mod on this one...
    • Yes but (Score:3, Funny)

      by einhverfr ( 238914 )
      How much beeswax and bird feathers were required for the wings? ;-)
      • They haven't built them yet, they area waiting for Microsoft WaxFeathers 4.0 to come out, since they are using MSFT Flight Sim, and it's incompatible with regular wax.
        • They haven't built them yet, they area waiting for Microsoft WaxFeathers 4.0 to come out, since they are using MSFT Flight Sim, and it's incompatible with regular wax.

          Yes, and unlike the standards-compliant version, it won't melt when you get to close to the solar globe. However, it will, if you get too close to the Sun [].
      • Re:Yes but (Score:3, Funny)

        by Grab ( 126025 )
        "Icarus". Too relevant a name when a zillion web browsers melt the crap out of the server...

  • Cool (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fls'Zen ( 812215 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:40PM (#11706223) Homepage
    If only my dorm room was big enough...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:41PM (#11706236)
    and have them arrested for building terrorist training tools!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:41PM (#11706237)
    Experience the thrill of your server levitating from the heat of its own PSU exhaust as 100,000 Mozilla-using Slashdot geeks hit your image-laden site at once with network.http.max-connections-per-server set to 100!
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:42PM (#11706244)
    > Named the Sim Icarus Flight Deck, it accurately recreates the primary flight accessory controls of the Boeing 777, and interfaces directly with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. They have tons of pictures and lists of everything you need!

    FDS Total =$1,479.00
    PFC Total =$750.00
    FL Total = $1,239.00
    Hagstrom $190.00
    Home Depot = $390.80
    Computer = $1,080.00
    Software = $510.00
    Brian Sign = $48.00
    Total = $6,172.85

    Heatproof wax = $priceless.

  • Yay. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Cue the multitude of ignorant people complaining about how terrorists could use something like this to train more suicide bombers to fly planes. It's depressing that the supposed "dominant" state in the world today is so backward and fearful of technology at times. Stem cell research, nuclear power, et. al.
    • And here I thought that it took a red state hick farmer to have real skill at constructing a straw man ...
    • Cue the multitude of ignorant people complaining about how terrorists could use something like this to train more suicide bombers to fly planes.

      Ever heard the phrase "morbid humor"??

    • Re:Yay. (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Rostin ( 691447 )
      And cue the other multitude of *anonymous* ignorant people to once again misidentify opposition to stem cell research with opposition to science.
  • by BrianHursey ( 738430 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:44PM (#11706266) Homepage Journal
    I reserched for a year I wanted to build one. I even got the software woking with 6 computers. But after the evaluation of the cost of building the quality sim that I wanted I concluded that it would coust me about 10-15 thosand dollers.
  • Somehow I think this does greater justice to the joy of flight than the typical USB joystick, or heaven forbid, playing Flight Sim with a keyboard & mouse.

    Surprising yes, but I looked into a real cockpit once and they actually had these crazy looking controls. All those hours of Flight Sim for nothing! </joke>
  • by de1orean ( 851146 ) <> on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:49PM (#11706319)
    "Proof of concept came when we relocated the simulator from Dave's house to school. "

    that killed me. :)
  • by Jafa ( 75430 ) <> on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:52PM (#11706340) Homepage
    Wow, it used to be that cocaine was god's way of telling you that you made too much money, according to Carlin.
  • Icarus? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Icarus crashed into the sea.
    Hell of name for a flight simulator.

    from wikipedia ...

    the nearness of the blazing sun softened the wax which held the feathers together, and they came off. He fluttered with his arms, but no feathers remained to hold the air. While his mouth uttered cries to his father, it was submerged in the blue waters of the sea, which thenceforth was called by his name. His father cried, "Icarus, Icarus, where are you?" At last he saw the feathers floating on the water, and bitterly lamen
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:55PM (#11706363)
    I rather have a GE90 jet engine [] from a 777. At over 123,000 pounds of thrust, it would definitely make for some seriously fun game play.
  • Looks Nice (Score:5, Funny)

    by aktiveradio ( 851043 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:56PM (#11706375) Homepage
    Very cool, but I didn't see any cup holders?
  • Shine You Guys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:56PM (#11706376) Homepage Journal
    trash DeVry all you want. My paycheck for being a developer converts to currency just the same as any of you with 'proper' degrees.

    Props to these guys-- that is a nice project. Those of you slamming our school-- you know what you can do. I think DeVry comes in right behind Microsoft on the 'acceptable bashing' scale here at the dot.
    • No need to trash it.

      I went to a "real" university. My first boss after graduating was a graduate of DeVry. I learned a lot from him. Very smart dude. Not having those schools in this area at that time, that was my first encounter with the school in any way. I was impressed.

      BTW - These 777 guys should consider putting together something for that new Make magazine.
    • Re:Shine You Guys (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @08:58PM (#11706891) Homepage
      I hope you know WHY we choose to bash the school. You see, aside from some of the most laughable ads in the history of advertising (which is the industry I'm in by the way, so I've seen a LOT of ads), they have an earned reputation of being a school for students who aren't the most successful, and who aren't "bright enough" to cut it at other schools.

      It's a chain college. That and the fact that they have to advertise on tv drastically maims whatever credibility they might have as a school producing intelligent graduates.

      So please, don't take the attacks as something against you personally, its all about the image your fine school has crafted for itself.

      • Ok, there are laws preventing DeVry from doing some of the same advertising other public/private schools do. TV is one of the few avenues open to them. Personally, I think they should fund competitions and student organizations more than they do.

        However, to say it's for kids that can't cut it is just crap. I was accepted at A&M an Texas Tech. I choose DeVry because I wanted to get done in 3 years instead of 5. My class started with 70 and there were 6 of us that graduated on time. It's a good program.
        • Re:Shine You Guys (Score:3, Insightful)

          by radish ( 98371 )
          Still laughing? I'm 8 years out, working for a company every one of you would know, that gives me a new company car every year. Most of the people I work with have 10-25 years experience. Oh yea and last year I cleared $99,700.

          What did your big name school that took you an additional 2 years (2 years you were not earning 40-60K and also not saving for retirement), that cost anywhere from 2-3 times a much make you?

          Showing off about how much you earn is a bad idea. You'll always find out that you're not so
          • There's always somebody that makes more then you or I, unless your Bill Gates. I'm simply pointing out in my case DeVry has worked extremely well, and I'm over 2x the average income. I konw there are small business owners that make that much in a month. I hope to be one of thoes some day.
        • Sure. You see the short term gain. What you fail to see is by NOT taking the classes that a REAL university offers... foreign language, humanities, arts... you are missing out on an important piece of your overall education.

          • On the contrary, the job I have has actually let me travel to Europe, UK, Canada, etc. Where I actually learned first hand what other cultures and societies are like. I have a great appreciation for culture, and I'm almost ashamed to be American. Did you know almost everywere else in the world you go people speak 2 or more languages?

            Did you know kids in Stockholm Sweeden start taking English in the 6th grade and every year after? Most Sweeds are very fluent in English.

            I can order basic items in a resturan
        • "What did your big name school that took you an additional 2 years (2 years you were not earning 40-60K and also not saving for retirement), that cost anywhere from 2-3 times a much make you?"

          This question is a troll. Money does not make your worth. Period.

          However, since you want to just make blanket assumptions about me, let me explain something to you.

          I am finishing up my last year at a 4 year art school generally considered to be one of the top ones in the country (MCAD). I'm in advertising/marketing

    • I've never heard anybody trash DeVry. But I have to admit that I had assumed they were just another seedy unaccredited diploma mill. Not because of anything I actually knew about them. But because that's what their tacky little TV commercials manage to imply.
    • I think community and trade colleges are great. It's ridiculous that everyone is expected to have a "traditional" degree. They're sometimes fun and interesting to obtain, but they don't have much to do with the real world. I certainly know a few people with degrees in practical things like medical technician from "no name" schools who make quite a bit more than a few other people I know with degrees in things like Philosophy from very very big name schools.

      That said, you might want to hold off on gettin
    • trash DeVry all you want. My paycheck for being a developer converts to currency just the same as any of you with 'proper' degrees.

      I'm sure it does. Just don't kid yourself that you have the equivalent of a 'proper' degree (what is that, anyways?). Many people with no degrees at all earn more than those with degrees - so is your paycheck any measurement of how good your degree is?

      • And it still surprises me how many people with with 'proper' degrees still can't seem to tell their ass from their elbow, despite years of being led in very deep and enriching group discussions over shakespearian plays, and existential drivel with their listless bourgeois peers. Oh, but I guess they can be smug about how "rounded" they are. Unless you need specialized equipment or tutelage (and I'm not claiming all fields don't require this), most education can be done recreationally. Of all things, comp
        • Re:Shine You Guys (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rew190 ( 138940 )
          Of all things, computer science can be done independently.

          Only if you believe that computer science = programming.

          A degree from DeVry will not get you CS theory. I know a DeVry grad who is great at programming and is certainly better at programming than others I work with... when it comes to theories and paradigms and general design, he's not so hot.

          A proper degree in CS doesn't merely teach a few programming language. Not to say DeVry sucks, but if you want to directly compare degrees/programs as to
  • by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:56PM (#11706381) Homepage
    777 seems like a very insecure way to chmod a Boeing.
    • Yes, that's just plane dumb. <ba-dum>
  • Impressive, but I'm even more impressed with this homebuilt 747-400 [] simulator.
  • by BrianHursey ( 738430 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @07:59PM (#11706409) Homepage Journal
    You can buy to scale high quality cockpit paneling at [] When I was reserching to build my cockpit. I found this to be the best solution for supplies.
  • Imagine (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 17, 2005 @08:04PM (#11706441)
    Damn.. imagine how good these guys would be at Halo if they didn't waste their time building that contraption? Imagine all the frivolous sports stats they could have amassed instead, had they elected to prop themselves in front of ESPN?

    Instead these guys pushed the limits of their imagination and resourcefulness. Thanks for reaffirming that the younger generation isn't all a bunch of brain dead couch potatoes.
  • Manufacturing ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cyberfunk2 ( 656339 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @08:07PM (#11706461)
    I'm glad this got posted.. now hopefully some enterprising company will hire these guys. It looks like they did a real good job of something pretty hard, skunkworks style.

    If I was an employer I'd wanna have them working for me.
  • by boomgopher ( 627124 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @08:16PM (#11706519) Journal
    You know what would be cool is to:

    Rig up a dual projector setup in front of this sim
    Have the projected images overlap one another
    Place a polarizing filter over each projector
    Adjust each filter to be 90 degrees out of phase with the other

    Slap on some cheap 3D glasses, and tada, 3D flight simulator.

    (I think) Anyone know if this would this work? I've always wanted to try this.

    • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @08:21PM (#11706563)
      Can do it with one screen using field sequential stereoscopic images and a polarized LCD over the projector. Otherwise you would need a stereo multiplexor to split the signal into a right and left image for the two projectors. No matter what you would need a video card that supported a steroscopic mode and a flight sim that had full z depth queuing.
      • No actually I meant something similar to the 13 monitor setup mentioned in the summary, i.e. using WideView software to run the 2 projectors separately. Difference being the 2 views would look at the same point, but their origins would be offset slightly to the left and right.

      • a video card that supported a steroscopic mode
        All you need is to be able to set up one view to be from a slightly different position...
        Can you do this with MSFS?
    • You'll still have one problem left: Focus. That's the hardest to overcome problem with 3D emulating. Your idea should give very cool results, but they will feel a bit wrong.
    • When you're flying a plane, stuff is pretty far away. I don't think your eyes actually get any parallax on the ground when it's a kilometre away, so both projectors end up displaying the same thing.

      A back of the envelope calculation gives 0.004 degrees difference in angle between your two lines of sight at 1 km, or 16 arcseconds. Your eye's resolution (they are pretty much diffraction-limited, AFAIK) is something like twice that, so you'd only get any kind of 3d effect on stuff within ~500metres - probably
      • Or you could set up exaggerated stereo, as if your eyes were 10 meters apart or something. You would get the sensation of being in a miniature landscape though...

        This reminds me of a really crap 3D show I saw at Jodrell Bank (a big radio telescope in the UK - some of your seti@home data comes from there. They have a visitors centre). They showed simulated images of Mars seen from orbit, with a 3D effect. According to them, either the astronaut's eyes would be thousands of kilometres apart, or Mars is the
    • Might work ... but I've always found that the nausea and vomiting involved interferes with my enjoyment of the simulation.
    • This setup does work. We have such a system at work so we can show stereo stuff to a large audience with cheap polarized glasses. (Instead of more expensive LCD glasses).

      The trick is to have a videocard that supports clone mode stereo, such as a Quadro card, and software that supports stereo.
    • Don't modern projectors work by shining a white light through a (polarizing) LCD? Hence a rotated polarizing filter would block all the light? I guess you could rotate one of the projectors :)
      • Can anyone confirm this? Got a link?

        I gota try this, getting two projecters at the same time from school might be tricky, and then there is finding some polarized glasses. They might have some filters in the physics lab...

        For a cheap source I think I might just use a pair of these little sony eyecam webcam's that I'm using on my thesis. See how 3d telerobotics works...
  • is this full-sized image of the completed project []

    Pretty cool, but I wouldn't want to be the copilot. :)

  • inspiring.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thanew ( 829267 )
    after seeing what nascar drivers do, and seeing this (granted they are two different things, but essentially the same), this inspires me to recreate the interior of a car, like those cheaply made ones in the arcade.. like that f355 challenge game, for the release of gran turismo 4 next week
  • ... to dope slap the next person I hear making a crack about DeVry.

  • M$ Flight sim?! (Score:5, Informative)

    by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @08:35PM (#11706695)
    and interfaces directly with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004

    Somebody buy these guys a copy of X-Plane []!. If not for the better environments and the fully customizable aircraft, then at least for the fact that the entire simulation can be controlled remotely over UDP.

  • I mean really why not the sim the new 787 aka the 7E7. I mean you can fly the real 777.
  • by fm6 ( 162816 )
    Now I know what to get John Travolta [] for his birthday!
  • Forbidden
    Your client is not allowed to access the requested object.

    Better to host all your photos somewhere big enough to cope with a Slashdotting. We're pretty much back to the point in the .com bubble where you don't need a personal website, just a bunch of accounts on free or cheap specialised hosting services.

    Does anyone have a mirror?

  • Did anybody manage to grab a mirror of the article (and preferrably pictures) before they shut down the page?
  • The big question is, does it include an Electronic Flight Bag [] that runs the Linux operating system as described in this Aviation Today article?
  • Why always MSFS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Friday February 18, 2005 @01:15AM (#11708326)
    Not meaning to bash MSFS, but I'm curious why you always see simulator mockups done with it rather than X-Plane. It has a much more realistic flight model, and it seems to me that people willing to spend so much money on a flight sim would care enough about realism to also choose the more realistic simulator software. Are there technical issues with X-plane that make it unusable (no support for multiple monitors and graphics cards, for instance), or is it just another example of MS being the default?
    • Not to mention the fact that the creators of this project bill it as an educational too, when MS not only does not accurately model real flight, but also does not accurately, by any stretch of the imagination, model the flight controls of ANY plane in its library.

      For example, the cockpit in the Learjet45 is abysmally simplistic and doesn't even come close to the full functionality of the Primus avionics system that comes in the real plane.
  • Mirrordot link to images here []
  • Reach for the Sky... DeVry...

    oh, wait...
  • I'm flying a real r22 beta helicopter and I checked out the r22 in ms flightsimulator, it's nowhere close to the real thing. It's far too easy to control in flightsimulator and it behaves very unrealistic. I suspect the other flight models in flightsimulator are of the same 'quality'.

    If you're thinking about spending a lot of money on a decent simulator setup, spend the money on flight lessons instead, the real thing is much more fun.
  • I recently finished (on tuesday) inteviewing for a staff engineer position at United's training facility in Denver CO. They let me "fly" one the new 777 sims. These things are incredible, they are built with authentic parts to every extent possible (so that everything works the same) and they are set upon six hydrolics that allow six degrees of freedom. The experience is crazy.
  • Someone should write a plugin for Firefox that modifies the text of a slashdot article to reflect the effects of a slashdotting. For instance, this article would be changed like this:

    "...directly with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. They had tons of pictures ..."

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson