Do you remember how you spent your high school years? Odds are you were more concerned with your social status than actually doing something useful with your life. Not Dominick Lee. Instead of parties and homecomings he designed, built, and programmed an impressive low-budget flight simulator that's going to all but guarantee him entry into any college engineering programming he likes.

Assembled from plastic PVC pipe and powered by just a pair of pneumatic pistons, the LifeBeam sim can move and tilt a full 40 degrees, so it's just as capable as simulators costing tens of thousands of dollars. But with an Arduino-based system coordinating the moves between the pilot's seat, the joystick, and the flight sim, the LifeBeam could be built by anyone.

In fact, Lee has even posted a comprehensive Instructable if you want to do just that. But if you'd rather just think about how cool it would be instead of actually doing it, we completely understand. [LifeBeam FlightSim via Damn Geeky]