How You Can Build a DIY virtual reality + motion flight simulator

“The Sim Project” was founded by members of the EAA 1541 Chapter in Lincoln, California. The endeavor has had two phases: first, to construct a static simulator pod, and second, to construct a full-motion flight simulator from scratch. We hope that through this website, we can share our journey and what we have learned along the way, to make it easier for you to build your own sim.

Sim One, parked outside the EAA 1541 hangar at KLHM.

The Static Simulator

Sim One (or the stationary simulator) was not just a stepping stone to building the full-motion simulator. It has turned out to be a valuable resource that enables persons young and old, with a variety of levels of aviation experience, to familiarize themselves with using flight controls and interacting with a flight simulator app. Pictured above, Sim One’s physical design comes from pre-existing plans.

We used those plans as a springboard and are continuing to experiment with new features to create an immersive experience for pilots and non-pilots alike.

View the Sim One page for more.

The Full-Motion Simulator

Sim2, operational as of March 2021
The prototype Sim2 full motion platform being controlled by Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, viewed through HP Reverb G2 Virtual Reality head mounted display (HMD). Check out the 1 minute video showing Sim2 in action during testing and configuration, with a Cessna 152 flying through downtown San Diego to land on the USS Midway.

Also known as Sim Two, this motion platform integrated with a Virtual Reality interface is now operational and currently in ongoing systems refinement by the team. Use the menu on the left to navigate and learn more about Sim Two.

Making a full-motion flight simulator is no easy task, especially when you’re not a multi-million dollar company. Helpful online resources are few and far between, and too often projects have died because of seemingly endless deadends and constant frustration.

We hope to change this by making full-motion flight simulation accessible to aviation communities everywhere. The project has a grounding in pre-existing plans but expands upon them and delves much deeper to help you build the ultimate DIY motion simulator. This website contains detailed descriptions of procedures, common mistakes, helpful resources, control software, and much more. All that’s left is for you to pick up a drill, dive in, and get started!

If you want to learn more, contact us and we will happily help out!

Last site update: December 9, 2022