Battlestar Galactica Viper Simulator Created by High School StudentsBy: Sean Patterson - March 28, 2012
Although the new Battlestar Galactica series Blood and Chrome is in trouble, that hasn’t stopped die-hard fans of the series from taking their fandom to new heights.
Five Marin County, California high school students are creating a motion-controlled flight simulator that will simulate the cockpit of a ‘Viper’ spacecraft from the Battlestar Galactica TV show. The project is their entry into the 2012 Bay Area Maker Faire. Maker Faires are festivals put on by MAKE Magazine and O’Reilly Media for inventors, crafters, and builders to show off their projects and prototypes.
The students are keeping the public informed of their progress via a weekly blog containing updates, photos, and video of exactly how they are accomplishing their feat. Here is a trailer they made to introduce the project:
From the project’s site:
“The basic idea is to mount the fuselage of a small plane (a Piper PA-28) on a motion control platform that is capable of 360 degree rotation around both the pitch and roll axes. The video above presents the basic design we’re shooting for. This design allows for considerably more motion around the pitch axis than commercial entertainment systems, such as those found at the Smithsionian Air and Space museum.”
The inside of the cockpit will look and feel the same as those in the television series. The software, which they boys are coding much of themselves, will be based around the open source flight simulator FlightGear.
Some of the boys’ Maker Faire experience stretches back to 2008. In subsequent years they have created a potato gatling gun, played with fire, and built a suit of armor based on the Metroid franchise of games’ Samus.
With only 55 days until the Bay Area Maker Faire, the boys are rushing to finish the project. They have started a kickstarter project page where you can donate to the project. Donation rewards include DVDs, t-shirts, or even VIP access to the simulator itself!