Microsoft employee builds 737 cockpit at home for Flight Simulator X

By Tom Warren, on 27th Apr 11 11:47 am with 11 Comments

A Microsoft manager has used his spare time and technical skills to produce a real-life Boeing 737 cockpit.

Salvador Patuel, a Principal Application Development Manager in the UK, has spent the past three years creating the Boeing 737 cockpit. Patuel uses the cockpit to fly planes using Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X software. The Microsoft manager obtained a private pilot license 15 years ago and has flown multi turbo-prop engines and several simulated jet planes. Patuel used his skills from his day job as a Microsoft development manager to create the necessary software for the hardware to talk to Flight Simulator X.

“That was the interesting part, as I am a software developer I had all the necessary skills. I started developing all the software by myself, reading real Boeing 737 manuals with more technical drawings than the space shuttle (trust me!) I coded the aircraft logic as I was just using the 737 models in flight simulator,” he says in a Channel 9 post describing the cockpit.

  • Misak Ghazaryan

    thats cool and all, but why? didnt he have anything better to do? or is microsoft getting into planes now?

    • Adam Haider

      It’s called having a passion, using ingenuity and doing something yourself. If it wasn’t for these traits in people you would still be living in the dark ages.

  • trashoner

    +100 This simulator is out of this world. It’s amazing to see what one person with all the right skills can do. This guy could totally run a business by selling this to pilot schools. I do think that adding two more lateral displays and some real time vibration to the seat via hydraulics could add some extra realism.

    • Avatar X

      Totally right. but on the other hand it took him 3 years to build this.

  • JohnCz

    Awesome. Its peaked my curiosity about the upcoming Microsoft Flight.

  • Benjy91

    This is truly fantastic, one thing I always wanted to try, but never managed to on Flight Sim X.

    If I set off from Heathrow Airport and flew West for about 6 hours in game. Would I be able to land in New York? Or would I bounce off some invisible barrier?

    • Grs_dev

      You would reach the new world!! If you were heading in the correct direction you could land in NY yes.

  • Grs_dev

    @Misak, you’ve clearly never used FSX. I am amazed at the accuracy and thought that went into building this software which is now at least 3 or 4 years old. I knew it was very detailed but I just had no clue how granular these guys had gotten. I am curious to learn if he was able to actually redirect the display of each gauge from the game to a dedicated screen or did he get actual functioning components and wired them into the game. Also I am guessing this is not running on a single PC which means the game is capable of spreading its load across multiple machines. I see how he mentioned that he extended the out of the box game. Just haven’t read the full article yet.

    • Avatar X

      FSX is the base used in many commercial pilot simulators since forever. Just that you never get to see adaptations like this first hand. That is all.

  • Major Plonquer

    The original Microsoft Flight Simulator released in 1982 was designed and developed by Bruce Artwick. Even back then the design was capable of being extended almost infinitely. It is NOT a toy or even a game. In fact FS was one of the first software systems to receive a patent. As was noted the software is at the heart of many professional flight training systems and was recently adopted by a very progressive and professional group at Lockheed Martin.

    FS is probably the best example ever of how to write software the right way. Its only right that the guys who worked on it for the past (nearly) 30 years should be congratulated.

  • Chris H

    What he has done is amazing. However, this is what, 3 years? See what 7+ years gets you

    Now this IS amazing. Projectors, full cockpit, motion….it’s amazing