Frenchman Laurent Aigon once dreamed of being a pilot. But alas, that dream faded as life went on, so Aigon found a way to resurrect it, and in the process create what just might be the coolest "toy" ever for his son. Behold, a fully operational 737 cockpit flight simulator, meticulously pieced together using cockpit parts ordered online from all around the world. At a cost of several thousand euros, Aigon has managed to build something that can actually compete with an Xbox for the attention of a young son. So rejoice, parents, there is such a diversion, but it's not going to come cheap.
Aigon's feat is no haphazardly jerry-rigged installation. The multimonitor, highly authentic replica simulator is so well done that students at the Institute of Aircraft Maintenance at Bordeaux-Merignac have actually trained on it! Now, one could make the argument that Aigon is simply using his son as an excuse to live out his own childhood dream, and he has drawn the ire of some Web commenters. But if you ask me, any kid lucky enough to get something this cool — no matter how much bedroom space it might take up — shouldn't question the motive.
As a result of the experience, Aigon has decided to complete a five-year certification course that, upon completion, will allow him to build simulators as a career. And if you're an aviation buff like Aigon, that sure beats his current job: waiting tables.