Why We Love Flight Simulators (And You Should, Too!)

Flying a plane is not something that many people get to experience in their lifetime, but a flight simulator is an amazing way to experience handling something so majestic and powerful.

One of our absolute favourite flight simulator experiences is our Boeing 747 simulator. The 747 is a stunning feat of human engineering, harnessing the powers of physics in the most impressive way possible. This simulator was owned originally by Aer Lingus and was even used to train their Boeing 747 pilots!! With this experience you get to really feel what flying this plane is all about.

A320 Flight DeckThe visual graphics within the experience are generated by the latest software from the USA, giving you a wide screen experience of sweeping landscapes and captivating city-scapes. One of the reasons we love flight simulators so much is that you are instantly transported to a world completely different from the one you left when you entered the flight simulator. In the Boeing 747 simulator, escape into the magical world of the Hong Kong skyline, with glittering skyscrapers and cars crawling like ants down below you. In a flight simulator, you are truly king of the skies! Admire the glittering water and the magical colours like you are there!

Although the visual graphics are spectacular, one of the most incredible things about flight simulators is the vibration motors in the Boeing 747 used to simulate the motion of a real aircraft! You feel like you are flying and we think that is pretty amazing. Check out the trip advisor reviews to appreciate just how sweaty palmed a flight simulator can get!

We love the Boeing 747 experience, but motion flight simulators add another element to your flight experience- and we love it! The motion simulated flight experiences include a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 adventure, the motion flight simulator shows you what it would be like to go wrong and how it feels for the pilot when he touches down (sometimes a nerve racking experience!)

Inside The Flight SimulatorFlight simulators are brilliant gift for a friend or loved one on their birthday or special event. Being in control of an aircraft and learning new skills and facts about aircraft is not something everybody gets to experience, so if you know someone who loves taking risks and trying new gifts then this could be the perfect experience day for them.

At Flight Simulators Midlands, we use REAL flight simulators which have been used by training pilots before they take control of a real plane.  We love flight simulators because you get a real flight experience in a flight simulator used by the professionals! You could not get closer to flying a 747 for real and we cannot get enough of it!

Fun Facts About The 747, The One And Only ‘Jumbo Jet’

747 Jumbo JetMany people have climbed aboard a Boeing 747 plane, knowing that they are going to travel in style and safety to their destination.  We accept airliner travel as a matter of everyday life, but there are some pretty amazing things to think about as you settle into your seat!

We all know that air travel has progressed since the first flight on December 17, 1903, when Orville Wright, flew for a distance of 120 feet.  The economy section of the modern 747 is 30 feet longer than this first flight, meaning that the whole first flight could have been performed in the length of the economy section of the aircraft.

 

The statistics about the plane are endless and amazing
  • The 747 is a vast plane, weighing 333,400 – 439,985kg on take off, containing 274 km of wiring and 8 km of tubing.
  • There are 365 switches dials and lights in the cockpit, making it an exciting and very confusing place to work.
  • The weight is distributed across 6 million parts, half of which are fasteners of different kinds.
  • It has a wingspan of 60m, meaning that 4 of the tiny JN4-D ‘Jenny’ planes used in World War One could be parked across each of the wings with a little bit of room to spare.
  • At 68.4m long, Usain Bolt would take 7 seconds to run from tip to tail.
  • It is 19.35m high, about the height of a six story building
  • 90 gallons of paint are needed to paint the whole fuselage

The 747 is a flexible plane with the configuration inside the plane having the potential to be changed to meet different needs.   These conversions can take place overnight (eight hours is needed) so that the plane can be used extremely flexibly. In general it is able to accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout, 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout, or 660 passengers in a high density one-class configuration.
However, it once carried 1087 people at once, during Operation Solomon by the Isaeli Government in 1991, when Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to safety.

3.5 billion people (a figure rising every day) have flown in a 747.  This is nearly half the total population of the earth 7.4 billion (another figure rising every day!).

15 of the planes have been specially converted, including Airforce One, the Space Shuttle carriers and E-5 military command centres.

Air Force One

 

So next time you have the opportunity to fly in a 747, sit back and reflect that you are flying in one of the most enduring and amazing planes we know.  Imagine the talent and skill that has gone into the design and production of this technological wonder and the equally amazing talent and skill of the crew, in the plane and on the ground, who control and manage this aircraft, carrying you across the world in comfort and safety.

A Brief History Of Flight Simulators

A Brief History Of Flight Simulators

Full Motion Flight SimulatorFlight Simulators are devices which provide a safe, controllable environment that represents the flying experience, with very high accuracy and significantly less economical and safety costs than real aircraft. Artificially recreating aircraft flight, as well as the flying environment (air density, turbulence, wind shear, cloud, etc) gives pilots in training valuable experience without the risks presented by actual flight, as well as being highly beneficial for research and design of new, improved aircraft.

 

 

 

The Beginning

Since there have been aircraft, there has been the need for flight simulators. The first was essentially just a structure; two barrel halves, one placed on a pedestal and the other representing a swinging cockpit. The pilot sat in the upper half-barrel, which was moved manually and then had to control various flight attitudes. During the First World War, ground-based simulators were developed to teach pilots spatial orientation. The electric “Ruggles Orientator” was controlled by an instructor, who manually manipulated the “cockpit”, as well as the student, who tried to keep the cockpit level.

Soon enough, trainers were equipped with increasingly complex instruments, and were controlled either mechanically or pneumatically. Flight paths could now be recorded, which allowed instructors to manually simulate signals from radio beams. The best-known early flight simulation device was the Link Trainer, produced by Edwin Link in Binghamton, New York, USA. The design was patented, and first available for sale in 1929; it consisted of a basic metal frame, usually painted in its iconic blue colour.

WWII

Over the course of the Second World War, aviation advanced massively. Flying became an increasingly complex task, which subsequently demanded a high level of skill and co-ordination from the cockpit crew. Flight simulators began to specialise; different machines were developed to represent the performance qualities and layouts of a particular aircraft.  Developments in computers meant that aerodynamic principles could be calculated accurately, rather than by trial and error.

The principal pilot trainer was the Link trainer, which was used by almost all US Army Air Force pilots., In 1941, the Celestial Navigation Trainer was developed for navigating the skies at night. It was 13.7 m (45 ft) high and able to accommodate the entire bomber crew. Sextants could be used for taking “star shots” from a projected display of the night sky.

Civil Aviation

In 1954, simulators became available beyond the military. The first airliner simulator was manufactured by Curtiss-Wright for Pan American Airways, who bought four simulators at the cost of $3 million. As the 60s approached, mobility became increasingly important. The three basic axes for the pitch, roll and yaw motions were followed shortly thereafter by the possibility for up-and-down motion, all of which could be precisely controlled.

Graphics

By 1970, computer-generated graphics were enhancing the simulation experience. The quality correlated with computer technology, logically;  by the end of the 70s, three-dimensional landscapes were progressing rapidly. The development continues to this day; now, the simulator landscapes of today are almost indistinguishable from the real world!

 

Today, flight simulation is a multi-million dollar industry, with established international standards. The influence of IATA (International Air Transport Association) and universal regulations has given flight simulation credibility, both with airline pilots and the governing bodies.