The Viper Full-motion Flight Simulator

The Viper

Who misses Battlestar Galactica? I am raising both my hands as I type…which is, of course, impossible, but I do miss the crew. The latest leaked preview of Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome probably has something to do with it, and if you have seen the video, then you know what I mean.

Now here’s something that translates Battlestar Galactica to real life – somehow: The Viper, a full-motion flight simulator.

The Viper is a Kickstarter project of high school kids in San Rafael, California. The five kids, together with their mentors, are working on a real-life flight simulator inspired by one of the most prominent ships in the TV series. They are doing this for Maker Faire, and they are using the fuselage of a Piper PA-28 mounted on a control platform. They may be kids, but they sure as heck are serious about what they are doing. They are actually aiming for The Viper to have more motion around the pitch axis – more than what can be found in commercial entertainment systems today!

Piper Fuselage

Being a Kickstarter project, it means that they need our help! They need about $17,000 to reach their goals, and this is the breakdown of the cost.

  • $6,000 for the motion platform framing (we had it professionally welded for safety)
  • $3,000 for motors and speed controllers
  • $1,500 electronics
  • $3,000 monitors and graphics cards
  • $1,000 slip rings and fasteners
  • $1,500 fuselage, seat, harness
  • $1,000 exhibit materials, flight suits, trailer rental, etc.

As with other Kickstarter projects, you can help in varying degrees. The Viper project starts at $10 donations, with $1000 (or more) at the top. The most basic level will give you a phone ringtone of the Viper music that they are using for Maker Faire and a screensaver. Your name also goes up on the virtual wall of their web site. At the very least, you know that you are helping some kids out on a worthy project. That’s more than enough for 10 bucks, isn’t it? Visit the Kickstarter page of The Viper now!

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