SPITFIRE MKIX SIMULATOR
Boultbee Flight Academy is proud to announce the launch of the world's only Spitfire Simulator that can be used for training new Spitfire pilots as well as giving fantastic wartime combat experiences to non-pilots. The simulator has three key components that make it so unique and special. It's not the closest thing to flying a real Spitfire. It is flying a real Spitfire!
A REAL FUSELAGE
The fuselage is built from roughly 50% wartime parts meaning the airframe has actually, in part, fought in defense of our freedom. The next 40% has been made from parts destined for modern restorations that didn't pass the strict standards required for a newly restored aircraft, perhaps because they were slightly mis-drilled or twisted. The final 10% of parts have been made specifically for the simulator to aid the conversion from analogue to digital information. This means the cockpit is indistinguishable from the real thing even to a wartime or modern Spitfire pilot. The gauges are all original, with the workings having been removed and replaced with modern electronics so that the computers can drive them, but retaining the original dials and needles. And all the controls and dials work exactly as the would in the aircraft. Many of the controls are original and wartime including the spade grip with which you fly the aircraft meaning when you fly this simulator you are flying a piece of history. Original wartime parts include but are not limited to: Spade grip parts; fuselage frames; rudder mechanism parts; fuel tank cover; all instruments; the undercarriage selector; primer pump; seat belt mechanism; canopy frame; door mechanism parts; switches; throttle quadrant parts; gunsight; numerous other controls and more. This is not a wooden approximation of a Spitfire cockpit. Have a look at the photos below. It is real!
VISUAL AND SOUND SYSTEM
The fuselage is mounted with a fibreglass dome of 1.5m radius that covers 220 degrees horizontally meaning when you look forward and up all you can see is the projected world. Seven projectors are mounted on a pole at the rear of the fuselage and blended on the domed surface so that it is impossible to tell where one projection ends and another starts. The centre of the dome is situated at the eyepoint of the pilot. The nose of the aircraft is projected and so are the wings but are exactly correct to size and scale. The flaps and ailerons all move as you would expect. Photo realistic countryside has been added to the simulation for Goodwood Aerodrome, Southampton Airport and Shoreham Airport and the surrounding area meaning every house on the ground is represented in the projection.
Sound for the glorious Merlin engine is provided through the headset that is worn in the cockpit. The simulator instructor can also talk to you as an air traffic controller would while you can still hear the engine in the background. This greatly adds to the level of immersion that you will feel when you're flying the simulator.
MOTION AND FORCE FEEDBACK SYSTEMS
The final components that will fool you into believing that you are actually flying a Spitfire are the motion and force feedback systems. The motion system works in pitch axis so that bumps on the runway, engine vibrations, turbulence etc can all be felt through the airframe. As the Spitfire is an aircraft that can essentially be flown by feel (it really does talk to you) we though it essential to add this element to give realism. Additionally the controls are attached to force feedback units that are designed to mimic the characteristics of the flight controls of the Spitfire, so as you accelerate the controls get harder to move, as they do when they are moved to full deflection. This is another way in which the Spitfire communicates with the pilot. The combination of these two systems are work together beautifully to add that final and essential element of realism necessary to make you believe completely that you are actually flying the Spitfire.
As Johnnie would no doubt have told you himself, Spitfires are notoriously tricky to handle on the ground, but an absolute dream in the air. For this reason, we generally start our sorties in the air. If time and ability permits, we will offer you the opportunity to take-off. These sim sessions are designed to give you an amazing insight into the skill and workload involved in piloting such an incredible war bird. With so much power in the 27 litre Rolls-Royce Merlin engine and the speed she is capable of, just keeping her flying straight and level is a challenge in itself!
During your session you’ll be learning the basics of flying and might even take your first foray into aerobatics. Will you be returning to base to perform a Victory Roll? You flight will involve all of the below unless there is something else you's specifically like to do:
Brief introduction to instruments and controls including effects of controls
Brief introduction to handling
Start in the air
Basic handling and effects of controls
If time permits, attempt take-off
THE AIRCRAFT - MK392 (JE-J)
The simulator fuselage has been painted to replicate the MK9 Spitfire of Johnnie Johnson, MK392, an aircraft that bore Johnson's initials on the side JE-J, a privilege given to Wing Leaders during the war and the black and white D-Day stripes.
Air Vice Marshall James Edgar Johnson (known as Johnnie) was credited with 34 individual victories as well as seven shared victories, three shared probable, 10 damaged, three shared damaged and one destroyed on the ground. The bulk of his victories flying two Spitfires Mk. IX. The first one was EN398 in which he shot down 12 aircraft and shared five plus six damaged while commanding the Kenley Wing. His second mount, MK392, was an LF Mk. IX, in which his tally increased by another 12 aircraft plus one shared destroyed on the ground. His last victory of the war in September 1944 was scored in MK392.
For this mission you'll be borrowing Johnnie's Spitfire to see if you have what it takes to pilot this fine aircraft. The flight will be tailored to your requirements but expect to have a go and basic flying maneuvers, a victory roll, a landing and possibly even a take off!
A 30 minute slot in the Simulator
Roughly 20 minutes airborne
One guest to accompany you to watch
Expect to be at the Academy for 1 hour
£200.00 INC VAT
Not heavier than 110kgs
Not above 193cm tall