The Viper: A Homemade Full-Motion Flight Simulator for Maker Faire 2012

By Norman Chan

Six families of makers recreate the fighter from Battlestar Galactica. What were you doing when you were in middle school?

Battlestar Galactica fans may still be feeling some anguish after the recent news that the SyFy channel canceled its plans to produce the Blood and Chrome television series (it'll instead be a web-only series), but here's something for Adama loyalist to look forward to. Six families of makers from the Bay Area are working on building a fully-operational motion controlled flight simulator based on the fighter ship from BSG. Using the fuselage of a small plane, the team has already built a motion platform that rotates a full dizzying 360 degrees in both the pitch and roll axes. They're still a ways away from finishing the project, including furnishing the interior of the cockpit to look like the the ship from the show, and programming the open source flight simulator software to work with their rig. The goal is to finish The Viper by this year's Bay Area Maker Faire on May 19th, and the project has already surpassed its modest $2,500 fundraising target.

Photo Credit: The Viper Project 2012

The project is even more impressive when you consider that the team that's building it mostly consists of middle and high school students, with some help from their parents and mentors. They're no strangers to Maker Faire, though--in previous years, the families have worked together to build a potato Gatling gun and fire breathing dragon. Watch the Viper project's promo video below.

Speaking of Maker Faire 2012, the event organizers recently uploaded an awesome PDF poster and postcard design that you can print out, or make your wallpaper. See you guys there in May!