Years ago I remember reading a response posted to rec.aviation.military in answer to a user asking how he could make his military flight simulator more realistic. He wanted to build a realistic cockpit setup for his “misions.” This is the response to the best of my memory:
Take two cynderblocks and place them together on the floor in front of your PC and monitor. Find a piece of plywood and place it behind the cynderblocks and prop it against something sturdy like a wall. Arrange the cynderblocks and plywood into a seat. Stretch a thin piece of fabric over the cynderblocks. This is your ejection seat.
Obtain either a heat lamp or an old doctor’s examining lamp. Place it next to your ejector seat so that the lamp will be shining directly on your head. This will simulate the sun. Angle it toward your eyes for ultra-realism.
Take a backpack and fill it with old cloths, rope, and tools. Pack it as tightly as possible. Try to compress it so that it is as flat as possible. Make sure something sharp is located right between the shoulder straps so that it presses into your back when worn. Strap it to you as tightly as possible. This will simulate your parachute.
Make a bologna sandwich and leave it out for a few hours. Then gently wrap it in plastic and step on it. Toss it in a small box with a badly bruised apple and a warm box juice drink. Close the box. Step on the box. Place the box under the heat lamp in your “cockpit.” This will simulate your box lunch for your mission.
For ultra-realism find a real military style helmet with oxygen mask. Strap it on tightly. Soak a rag in kerosene and let it dry. Then place it in the tube connected to your oxygen mask. This will simulate the on board oxygen system of your aircraft.
Now you are ready. Turn on your heat lamp. When the ejection seat feels warm go ahead and have a seat. Turn on your PC and get your flight simulator software going. Once your aircraft is loaded on your computer and ready go, sit there for an hour. Go through the checklist while you are waiting. After an hour under the heat lamp, begin your mission. Make sure it takes at least 4 hours. Do not under any circumstances leave your ejection seat during this time, that’s cheating. Feel free to enjoy your lunch at any time.
For even more realism, have your wife wake you up in the middle of the night. Put on your flight suit and helmet and run down to your simulator. Put on your helmet and parachute while you are running to your “aircraft.” Get in and fire up the PC. Go through the checklist and then sit in your cockpit waiting for your launch orders. After an hour have your wife come back and tell you to “stand down.” Shut everything down, take off your gear, and go back to bed. Have your wife do this a couple times per week and even a couple times per night at completely random intervals.
Congratulations! You now have the most realistic flight simulator possible.
At least, that’s how I remember it.