FAIR LAWN, NJ – Two Fair Lawn High School (FLHS) students, Bernie Moedler and Dan Mezhiborsky, both 18, along with support from Engineering and Technology teacher Mr. Mohamed Metwally, unveiled a full-scale stationary model of a 787 simulator on June 21 before a crowd in the FLHS gymnasium.
The seniors, who share a passion for aviation and engineering, have been working on their labor of love – up until the bitter end and right before the unveiling which included a take-off and landing - with countless after school hours that culminated into a two-year project. The cockpit has been built in a large, former storage closet off FLHS’s A gymnasium.
The students designed and fabricated the flight simulator to specifications of a real 787 aircraft using 3D printing, CAM, CAD, laser and wood cutting and more. They developed the software for controlling certain parts of the simulator and used 3D models to manufacture parts, all original parts scaling into the hundreds. Throughout the project, they both learned about time management, technology, budgeting, and teamwork.
The project was inspired by a visit to the United Training Center in Denver, where Moerdler had the opportunity to fly a real 787 simulator.
“This whole project has been a dream of mine,” said Bernie Moedler. “I made my first home cockpit when I was 14 or 15 and ever since then, I wanted to do one bigger. It’s been a real joy and educational experience to do this project.”
During the unveiling that included school administrators, Superintendent Nick Norcia, BOE President Ron Barbarulo, and trustees Dr. Cohen, Cindy Quackenbush, and Wilkin Santana, family and friends, and Congressman Gottheimer’s Community Outreach Liaison, Val Kologrivov, who presented the students with a congressional certificate of recognition, the duo gave credit to their biggest supporters.
“We would like to thank the Fair Lawn High School administration, particularly Principal Gorski, for the space allocated to us, and Mr. Metwally, our engineering teacher, for all of his support and input on this project,” said Daniel Mezhiborsky. “Without the support of our families, Fair Lawn High School, and without dozens of people, this project would have been impossible. This project turned into something much bigger.”
Both students claim the simulator is the “only amateur 787 Boeing simulator built in the world – that they know of -- and in a high school.”
Mezhiborsky plans on studying electrical Engineering next year at The Cooper Union and Moerdler is undecided on a college/university, but plans on studying Computer Science after spending a gap year in Israel to study philosophy, history, and logic.