Dad builds Boeing 737-800 flight simulator in his garage with cockpit close to real thing

It's uncanny.
  • Believe it or not this started out as a simple ‘lockdown’ project during the pandemic
  • It took four years and over $160,000 but the DIY flight simulator is now just as good as the real thing
  • Some Ryanair and BA pilots, both trained to fly Boeing 737-800s, saw this in person and couldn’t believe their eyes

Published on Feb 27, 2024 at 8:41PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 28, 2024 at 3:27PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray

This guy spent a few years trying to build the perfect DIY flight simulator in his own garage.

And the result is outstanding.

READ MORE: 2003 footage shows how extraordinary it was to live near London Heathrow Airport as Concorde took off

Alberto Paduanelli, a medical device auditor from Hampshire in the UK, began working on his flight simulator project in his garage back in 2020, during the pandemic.

Paduanelli travels a lot because of his job and precisely because of that, he’s also become a huge aviation geek.

With plenty of time on hands and a lot of passion, around four years ago, he decided he wanted to build a realistic Boeing 737-800 cockpit.

It took him nearly four years to get it done but it’s absolutely incredible now.

Part of the reason why it took so long is Paduanelli began working on this during the pandemic, but when restrictions eased, with things going back to normal, he could only put in the time at the weekends.

By his own admission, he also spent at least $165,000 on this project.

The cockpit of the Boeing 737-800 has been recreated with painstaking details, including every single gauge, lever, and button.

The 737 is one of the most used jets in the world.

Several airliners employ it, and it is also available as a private jet.

And, according to Paduanelli, his project hit the radar of real-life Ryanair and British Airways pilots, and they claim it’s just as good as the real thing.

To make back some of the cash he spent, Paduanelli launched a simulation program, called Alpa Simulation, which charges customers for the experience.

The cheapest package costs £79.99 (about $100) for a 60- or 90-minute session.

Alternatively, a six-hour package is available for £169.99 – or about $215.

Next, we’d love to see him build a Concorde simulator.

But that’s probably a bit far fetched.

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