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Originally written for the Falcon3 mailing list by shanks@saifr00.cfsat.honeywell.com and forwarded with his permission - Jeff.

If you're interested in a simulation of a flight environment, you would be much better off by buying yourself a surplus flight helmet (preferably one that doesn't fit perfectly), a sun lamp (to get your head nice and toasty), and a pair of Nomex/leather flight gloves (soak 'em with sweat/oil/hydraulic fluid for that crisp but slick feel). Put your monitor a little above coffee table height.

Get about 4-5 of those concrete slabs you see at the garden section of your local K-Mart, top'em with the thinnest cheap cushion you can find. (That's your "ejection seat".) Wipe the mask out with denatured alcohol (smells nice), and clamp a rag soaked in JP-4 (kerosene will do) on the end of the oxygen hose, and strap that puppy on 'till it leaves a ring on your face that lasts for hours. (You do this 'cuz when your face is sweaty and you`re pulling Gs, the mask will be on your chin if it isn't on TIGHT.) Turn the sun lamp on and point it at your head.

Now you're doing it like the big boys! Optional "realism" techniques:

Buy some nylon webbing (the kind you use to repair old-fashioned lawn chairs with). Cut two straps of this and wrap them between your legs TIGHTLY (that's your `chute harness).

Play when you've got a BAD hangover. (Rough night at the O Club.)

Have your wife/friend/neighbor pester you with questions out of the Owner's Manual (your pretend "Dash One") while you're trying to fly (Check Ride!)

Get up and play at 4:00 am (otherwise known as "oh-dark hundred"). Make a cheese sandwich, wrap it in waxed paper. Stick it in a shoe box with a half-pint of milk, a bruised apple, a crushed bag of Fritos, and an onion. Put in the fridge overnight, then take it out, throw out the onion, put the box under the sunlamp while you're flying, and eat when you're hungry. (Box lunch.)

With some imagination and very little cash outlay, you can do a hell of a job simulating what it's like to fly. That other shit (side consoles, switches, speakers, etc.) is strictly for show, and doesn't do anything towards giving you that "There I wuz" feeling.

Mark Shanks Principal Engineer, 777 Displays

--Contributed by Chris Zielesch, n739rx@mich.com

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