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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

As Real As It Gets: Around The World From The Comfort Of Home

Posted 7/30/2015

By Jackie Nelson

Phil Regier and his son Kitt have nearly every runway, airport and grass landing strip in the world and thirty planes at their fingertips.

Phil and Kitt have endeavored to build the Regier Flight Simulator in their home. With six HD monitors, three sets of hand controls, two throttle configurations and a set of floor pedals Kitt and Phil can program in over two-dozen planes and thousands of flight plans. The whole system is contained in a hand-built rig with blackout curtains and a designated air conditioning vent.

“We have been interested in aviation since the early 2000s.  We have a program that has every airport from O’Hare in Chicago to Weaver Ranch south of town,” said Phil.

Phil said he first became interested in aviation when his father, a pilot, would go flying. Kitt has aspirations to attend the Air Force Academy.

“My dad was a private pilot, and we’ve been taking Kitt to air shows since he was in a stroller,” said Phil.

The project has been in the works since the spring.

“We were in the Hesston College flight simulator in April and got to thinking ‘We could do something like that.’ But we had a budget of about $2,000 not $200,000,” said Phil.

The pair research different simulator models and software while building a rig to hold the hardware.  They decided on Microsoft Flight Simulator X, a mid-2002s program, as the software for their simulator. 

“There are about 15 to 20 planes that are part of the program, but you can download thousands more,” said Kitt.

When it came to creating the rigging for the monitors and controls, the pair spent hours researching and designing.

“It took about a month of planning to design it and then about six weeks - from Memorial Day weekend through the Fourth of July - to get it all built and running,” said Phil.

Weeks of sawing, wrenching and buildings later, the Regiers had a workable physical platform for their simulator. 

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