Four generations of motion simulators

We like a good flight simulator but often find the available control schemes lacking. [Roland] not only builds his own controls, but creates full cockpits that add physical motion to the mix. He completed his third generation cockpit last year.  It’s pictured above as well as in video after the break. That design uses a belt system to move the tricked out cockpit.

Now he’s started work on prototypes for generation IV. This time he’s using three Sarrus linkages to replace the belt system.  We saw these linkages yesterday in an extruder prototype and if they can handle the load they should work well for this application. Video of the prototype is embedded after the break but be warned, the lewd thrusting motions are not for the faint-of-heart.

Generation III motion simulator cockpit.

Generation IV platform prototype.

[Thanks The Hatchet]


  1. Spork says:

    ‘trusting’ should be thrusting.

    While this is very cool, I don’t think I would put *that* much effort into a flight simulator.

  2. kirov says:

    but flight simulator is so advanced its insane

  3. urlax says:

    All dutch hacks are awesome!

  4. The DON says:

    I wouldn’t like to like next door to the house with that inside, but I would love to have one myself.

  5. The DON says:

    Sorry for double post, but just watched the second video.

    He is a true geek! complete with original IBM model M keyboard

  6. tyler durden says:

    that’s pretty impressive… i fly in us navy simulators all the time and that thing is legit even compared to ours… bravo!

  7. Cynyr says:

    this can make what? .25G of force? i wonder what options there are for flight cockpits that can do from 0-3G of force or how one would even make one like that. I guess you would need some lengthy linear accelerators and a lot of space.

    Otherwise this looks like it would be real fun to fly in.

  8. martinmunk says:


    I am VerY impressed with this one :)

    Could have been nice to see a “stress test” of the actuators on the setup in the first video with a full body weight loaded in it.
    I was surpriced of how fast, firm an silent it was.

  9. Simon says:

    Those aren’t Sarrus linkages. Please stop trying to use terms you don’t understand.

  10. Daniel says:

    Absolutely amazing. The next step would be to combine this with some FPV RC planes – you would need to get rid of the three monitors, but it would be a ready made Predator Drone wanna be!

  11. Coligny says:

    A roll axis would be so needed for helo flight sims…

  12. carzRfun says:

    I’m impressed. That took a lot of work. I think I’ll just save myself time and money and buy an airplane tho. He’s got to have a fair amount of $ invested in that simulator.

  13. dontbeaarrogantjerk says:

    @Simon, learn to read!: “Now he’s started work on prototypes for generation IV. This time he’s using three Sarrus linkages to replace the belt system.”
    Here is his Sarrus prototype:

  14. micromachines says:

    I think is hiring…

  15. Edward says:


    I am not an engineering expert, but the linkages shown in the prototype video don’t look very much like the one mentioned on Wikipedia

    or previously shown on Hack a day

    An important aspect of the Sarrus Linkage is that it is designed to produce a straight-line motion. You can see that the prototype platform linkages do not produce a straight line motion because otherwise the platform would not be able to roll etc.

  16. Andar_b says:

    I SO want a space sim that would drive that setup. Enclose it and use a better monitor setup, and it would be epic. I would go to the arcade and pay for that.

  17. mungewell says:

    This does give vertical motion, albeit in a different way…

    The coupling of the motors is very interesting. It looks like the lower wooden spar is free-running and the metal linkage is coupled one-2-one to the rotating drum (which is weight compensated with the bungee cords).

    I don’t see the point of the arched ‘header’, just looks to create a weak point to me.

    Very impressive hack.

  18. Simon says:


    I see that’s a new video, not linked in the article, where the designer is calling those things Sarrus linkages. So that must have been where Mike got his terminology from. However, they are nothing like Sarrus linkages.

    Because you get all huffy and puffy why don’t you make sure I haven’t got a point, first?

  19. Phase says:

    I remember seeing a video (I think it was on Beyond 2000) back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, showcasing a flight-sim platform that was rather impressive. It was comprised of a sphere, in which the user entered, and about a 50 ft. polycarbonate tube that would raise up to envelope said sphere. The sphere was then pneumatically lifted within the tube and allowed to rotate with the help of actuators that would divert airflow around the sphere for rotational effect.

    It was a pretty elaborate setup and seemed to work well as I remember, however I never heard anything more about it… There was probably some bothersome law-suit after someone was inadvertently shot out the end of the tube. (c:

  20. chris says:

    Very nice work, but it’s past time to go hydraulic.

  21. Dilson Santos says:

    Projeto de simulador

  22. This looks awsome. It is amazing what you can have in your own home.

  23. raako71 says:

    I went on the 3D sim at the London science center, blew this out of the water!! barrel rolls and all!

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