For a closer look at the individual pieces of our setup, launch the photo gallery
It´s a big year for flight-simulator buffs. New versions of the two most realistic virtual-flying programs are coming to home cockpits. Laminar Research´s X-Plane 8.5 ($70; x-plane.com) for Mac and PC now includes real-world scenery for most of the planet. Microsoft´s PC-only Flight Simulator X ($70; microsoft.com) has more than 50 new missions, in-flight emergencies, and busy airports clogged with fuel trucks and baggage carts. To really ratchet up the realism, though, you´ll need a fast computer, a big screen, booming surround sound, and lots of switches and knobs to play with. Step into your virtual cockpit by launching the photo gallery here.
Not real enough you say? Check out the homemade $230,000 747 sim built by Australian hobbyist Matthew Sheil by clicking through to the next page.single page
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.