By Michael Lehkamp
State of the Art
The 757Simulator website is the Internet home of one of the world's most sophisticated personal built commercial airline simulators. This simulator, based on the Boeing 757, features a motion platform, and a number of immersive elements not found on even the most sophisticated systems.
Born out of fascination and hobby, 757Simulator is a non profit endeavor created to share our love of aviation with family, friends, and local students who excel in science & mathematics.
My passion for flight and simulators began in 1997, when my brother David and I began building a 767 simulator. At the time, it was one of only five documented home-built simulators in the world. This project, termed Deltaflight, spanned eight years and drew recognition from both the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the Discovery Wings Channel. Deltaflight also drew attention from other regional, national and international media outlets.
A nice article was written by a local Cincinnati newspaper.
A video of the Deltaflight simulator built by Michael & David. Video captures flight from Chicago to Toronto.
New Simulator - New Goals
In 2005, the original simulator was decommissioned; however, In 2008, while a employee of the Delta TechOps team, I began initial design work for an all new and unique simulator. My primary goals were to differentiate this simulator from its predesessor in these areas:
1. Motion platform
2. High fidelity, wrap-around visuals
3. Components that are identical to those found in the real 757 aircraft
4. As near to 100% true-to-life functionality and simulation as possible
Working in the TechOps Department at Delta, and later Airborne Maintenance & Engineering, provided me the opportunity to spend countless hours on the flight decks of real 757's and 767's during downtime. I was able to photograph, measure and examine every system on the aircraft. This information, along with an actual flight manual, provided the data necessary to achieve all of the above goals.
I would like to recognize and thank the many members of the Delta Air Lines TechOps team who assisted me in various ways.
A special thanks goes out to the following TechOps team members: Chuck Brenner, Mark Jenkins, Michael Ashton, and Reyes Ortiz.