Some people golf. James Price tiners with the full-blown flight simulator he's been building in the nose of a Boeing 737 jetliner in his garage for the past two decades. The air traffic controller and aviation enthusiast is now one of only a few people in the world who have built this kind of flight sim in an actual aircraft nose. And he's among only a handful of people in the world with a toy this cool.
Price's sim goes far beyond the ambitions of most flight sim enthusiasts, who recreate cockpits in their home offices or spare bedrooms that more or less consist of a computer running a program and the instruments and controls necessary for flight--but not the actual cockpit, much less the nose of the plane. He's poured about $150,000 into his hobby thus far, with no signs of slowing down. And he's become a kind of de facto leader for the few people out there willing to expend this kind of time, energy, and funding to pursue their passions for flight.
Price began building his simulator and the program that runs it roughly 20 years ago, but it was around about 2000 when he decided it was time to take it to the next level. He flew out to an aircraft bone yard in Ardmore, Okla., to purchase the nose of his 737 for $1,500. He then had it hauled to California, first to an airport hangar near his home in Pleasanton, near Silicon Valley, and then to his three-car garage where it sits today.
He now has it set up with three projectors that beam his flight simulator onto three screens in front of his cockpit windows, giving the illusion of real flight to the person sitting within. His software allows him to fly to any airport in the world, in varying weather conditions (it even has realtime weather conditions piped in over the Web). And Price still considers it a work in progress. See it take flight below.
This is very cool. A nice waste of time.
Technically, it is a pretty great achievment for himself.
Science sees no further than what it can sense, i.e. facts.
Religion sees beyond the senses, i.e. faith.
Open your mind and see!
Why is it that everyone says anything leisurely is waste of time? It's never a waste if you have plenty of free time...unless you're joking, of course.
This is by far the farthest thing from a waste of time I can think of. If someone has the technical know how, the money, and the desire to complete something of this difficulty is amazing . This is an accomplishment for himself and his family. I applaud him. Very few people have that much passion in life.
I hate to say this (as it is the most politically incorrect thing to say), but I can't help wonder how well would people in America react to this story if this bright gentleman was a very obvious Muslim building the same awesome project.
The seeker of knowledge who seeks to reach beyond the stars to go where no mans gone before to see things no man has seen and bring these experiences back for the whole world to hear and see.
Im replying to what dat said before if the guy was muslim. They would make him program his so that the only thing hes allowed to crash into is a mosk then its fine
dat; This American couldn't care less if he is a Muslim. Even if he is a Muslim, he doesn't appear to be doing anything wrong. I'm quite sure that we have many Muslim citizens and guests in our country doing things that are so much more alarming from a security standpoint; but are doing them in full view of the community they are a part of. And yet we still survive as a society. I don't like our politicians shoveling fear at us, and don't appreciate what you're shoveling much, either.
This is an amazing technical achievement. However, as a former airline pilot I've never understood non-pilot's obsession with simulators. For those of us in the industry, a simulator represents a twice yearly visit to dante's inferno where your job and really entire future are on the line based on one V1 cut in a box that doesn't fly anything like a real airplane. For airline pilots, the real joy happens for maybe 5-10% of our workday when we might get to fly a fun visual approach into somewhere like "La garbage."
If you dig flying this much, I wonder why not just get a real airplane? Though I do understand the joy of creating something with your own hands.