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'Battlestar Galactica' fans, rejoice! A real-life Viper is in the works

A group of students hope to show off their full BSG-inspired flight simulator at Maker Faire 2012.

The students showing off their creation.
The students show off their creation thus far.
The Viper

As a "Battlestar Galactica" fan, I've always dreamed of seeing a Viper on Earth. Now, a group of students is coming close to making it a reality.

Simply called The Viper, the students' creation is a motion-controlled flight simulator inspired by BSG's Mark VII Viper. The students took the fuselage of a small plane and suspended it from a motion-controlled platform capable of spinning it 360 degrees around the pitch and roll axes. On the inside, there is a BSG-inspired cockpit, radar and all.

In order to create the flying effect, the students have been modifying an open-source flight simulator called Flight Gear, so that it reacts to the 360-degree experience. They've also been using some serious software, including Final Cut Pro and PhotoShop, to create all the effects needed to usher folks into the Cylon-fighting world.

Whether or not the Viper will "fly," however, remains to be seen. In order to finish the project, the students are asking for donations. Although they've exceeded their startup goal of $2,500, they hope to raise $10,000 to defray most of the costs of the total $17,000 projected outlay.

If all goes well, the students hope to bring their creation to Maker Faire in May. They have 52 days to raise the necessary cash and complete their project.

Below is a video detailing The Viper and how the students have gone about building the simulator.