Flight Simulator Focuses On The Other Side Of The Cockpit Door

When one thinks of getting into a flight simulator, one assumes that it’ll be from the pilot’s point of view. But this alternative flight simulator takes a different tack, by letting you live out your air travel fantasies from the passenger’s point of view.

Those of you looking for a full-motion simulation of the passenger cabin experience will be disappointed, as [Alex Shakespeare] — we assume no relation — has built a minimal airliner cabin for this simulator. That makes sense, though; ideally, an airline pilot aims to provide passengers with as dull a ride as possible. Where a flight is at its most exciting, and what [Alex] captures nicely here, is the final approach to your destination, when the airport and its surrounding environs finally come into view after a long time staring at clouds. This is done by mounting an LCD monitor outside the window of a reasonable facsimile of an airliner cabin, complete with a row of seats. A control panel that originally lived in an airliner cockpit serves to select video of approaches to airports in various exotic destinations, like Las Vegas. The video is played by a Pi Zero, while an ESP32 takes care of controlling the lights, fans, and attendant call buttons in the quite realistic-looking overhead panel. Extra points for the button that plays the Ryanair arrival jingle.

[Alex]’s simulator is impressively complete, if somewhat puzzling in conception. We don’t judge, though, and it looks like it might be fun for visitors, especially when the drinks cart comes by.

22 thoughts on “Flight Simulator Focuses On The Other Side Of The Cockpit Door

    1. The other window seems a bit bigger than the typical cabin window and the edges being square shaped might also be a slight problem if used in the sky. Neat idea overall. Needs a bit more reclining potential. Major upgrade could include some minor motion effects.

  1. I think, I’ll build a bus simulator:

    You’ll sit on a dirty seat with chewing gum, hear screaming children and people on the phone.
    The easy part of the build: No moving parts – you’ll be stuck in traffic

    1. Brilliant! You wouldn’t even need a display for the window, a poster could do. But to maximize the experience, you might want it anyway to be able to see pedestrians pass you by.

  2. Quirky… Any haptic feed back and attendant noises – thump of undercarriage dropping, hydraulic pumps doing their thing, flaps / spoilers opening, changes in attitude, air pressure changing making your ears pop and the wheels finally hitting the tarmac with deacceleration…. and maybe a go round?
    I like it.

  3. It’s been about 20 years, but I used to do some work at the AMR flight attendant training center, and they had mock cabins just like this (but whole sections of the planes, not just one row). We think of FAs as sky waitresses, but the training shows that what they are really there for is getting you out of a burning plane.

    They may already have a system of screens in the windows now (they didn’t then) but if not, they should be considering a system like this. Part of the deal for FAs is to look out the window for fire before opening the door — a system like this would require them to actually look.

  4. With a single occupant, it would be feasible to add face-tracking to ensure the view out the window is always parallax-corrected. Or party like its 2007 with an LED hat and a Wiimote.

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