Flight simulators let you experience the thrills of flying without leaving the ground. Jump into the captain's seat, enter your flight co-ordinates and get ready to fly wherever you fancy going. You can even make it rain, add some turbulence, or fly a full sector from start to finish. Flight simulators FAQs...
• Simulate the famous 'Miracle of the Hudson' flight • Practice the 3 emergency scenarios of flight 1549 • Will you handle the pressure of an aerial MayDay? • A total of 60 mins in the Airbus A320 simulator
• Fixed base flight sim sessions in Peterborough • Fly from your choice of airport in a 737-800W sim • Plane is positioned, engines on, ready for takeoff • Two passengers can join you in the flight deck
• Virtually fly a World War Two fighter plane • Choose between the Spitfire & Messerschmitt Bf109 • A wide variety of flight durations are available • Authentic, full-size simulators are super realistic
• Virtually fly with Capt. Mark in Leighton Buzzard • Take control of a Boeing 737-800NG simulator • Fixed base, with motorised seats & surround sound • Invite up to 2 to share flight time on 1hr+ flights
• Be captain of a Boeing 737-800NG in Blackpool • Full range of sim flight durations to choose from • Hugely realistic with 220-degree wraparound screen • Invite up to 5 passengers to sit in the cabin seats
• A Boeing 737 flight sim experience to the Alps • See if you can land at the tricky Innsbruck Airport • Soar over snow-capped peaks & tackle turbulence • The experience gives you 30 minutes in the sim
• 60-minute experiences in an F-35B flight simulator • Hosted by a specialist sim company in Mildenhall • An insight into life as a modern combat fighter pilot • The F-35B - try short take offs & vertical landings
• Lockheed Martin F35 military fighter jet simulator • The only place in the UK offering the F35 sim • Discover the amazing avionics & stealth technology • Can be combined with a Boeing simulator flight too
• Fly a McDonnell Douglas F4 simulator nr Harrogate • Sim cockpit is an ex-operational military Phantom • This is a full motion hydraulic platform simulator • Various flight durations offered in this fighter
• Fixed base flight simulator at Elstree Aerodrome • Virtually fly single & twin-engined aircraft • Simulate all kinds of weather & technical situations • You can add on a real flight in a microlight too!
If you’re ever been curious about what it’s like to be on the flight deck, these flight simulator experiences are for you. Whether you’re a fan of super fast military jets like the F3 Tornado, quite fancy emulating Captain Sully when he landed on the Hudson River in his Boeing, or want to guide a Cessna over your local skies, we’ve got a simulated flight experience for you.
Who it's not for
You might not be keen on trying a flight simulator because you’re worried you won’t be able to do it. However, there’s nothing to be nervous about. The staff are all super patient and very skilled at building confidence and getting the best out of those who have never even tried a home simulator before, let alone stepped inside cockpit. So go on, give it a go. We reckon these experiences are for everyone!
Yes! All of our flight simulators are professional standard and many (especially the airliner sims) are indeed used by licensed pilots. The quality is second to none and it’s a very realistic experience. You’ll soon get immersed in the whole sensation of flying and forget you’re in a simulator!
Can flight simulators teach you to fly?
Yes and no. You can indeed learn to how to fly a plane by clocking up time in a simulator, but it doesn’t give you any qualifications to actually fly a real plane.
Are these flight simulators games?
Definitely not. Many of us have tried the flight simulator programmes on games consoles and computers and they are nothing like these high-powered simulators. Even if you have a fairly decent home set up with joysticks and a seat, you probably won’t have anything like these full cockpit set-ups.
Can you use a flight simulator experience to overcome a fear of flying?
Yes you can. Several of our flight simulator centres offer ‘fear of flying’ experiences as part of their programme. It’s a really good way to get over the anxiety you feel when taking a flight and should help you be able to fly off on holiday without the panic.
Do I choose where I fly?
Yep. The software is so sophisticated now on simulators that many have an impressive database of over 24,000 different airport and airfields around the globe. What you’ll do and where you fly is usually discussed with your instructor as part of your pre-flight briefing.
Why does everyone go on about St Maarten, Innsbruck and Kai Tak airports?
Ah yes. These are legendary airports for various reasons. St Maarten’s is the one where you fly in straight over the beach, Innsbruck is a very narrow valley in the Austrian mountains and Kai Tak is the former Hong Kon airport that meant a final approach in amongst the skyscrapers. They are often mentioned as they are by far the most popular airports (alongside local UK ones) that participants want to try.
Are the cockpits real?
Whilst many of the cockpits used for our flight simulators are highly accurate replicas, some are actually real, in the sense that they are ex-airworthy airframes used to create the cockpits. So you could be sitting in an ex-Romanian Air Force L-29 Delfin, or on the slightly worn seat of Airbus A320-111 that has flown hundreds of thousands of miles on commercial routes for GB Airways.
Can friends and family come and watch?
Yes. Often there’s room inside the airliner cockpits for one or more in the ‘jump’ seat. Some sim operators have a cabin set up with several rows of airline seats where friends and family can be ‘passengers’ on the flight. In the case of the fighter jets and smaller aircraft simulators, there’s usually an area where you can spectate and watch screens that are showing what is happening inside the cockpit.
Do these simulator experiences count towards pilot licence training?
No. If you want to go for a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) you’ll need to take flying lessons in real aircraft. If you're keen to find out what it’s like flying a light aircraft, you can buy a trial flying lesson from us. We’ve got flight training schools onboard around the UK so you can get a feel of what flying for real is like.
Are the instructors real pilots?
Many of the instructors who host these simulator sessions are indeed qualified pilots. On the Boeing and Airbus simulators, many are working commercial pilots. Others are retired, whilst some are ex-RAF working in pilot or avionics capacities.
Do the flight simulators move?
Most of the flight simulators we offer are fixed base. That’s to say the cockpit doesn’t move, but you do get all the very realistic noises that the plane makes. We do have some premium simulator sessions on fully hydraulic flight simulators, which means the whole pod moves, simulating the way the plane moves in the sky.
Can you change the weather?
Of course! You don’t have to fly in calm sunny weather. If you want an extra challenge, the flight technician can add in some fog, a bit of turbulence or even lightning strikes. Maybe a snowy final approach to Geneva Airport would be your thing?
How realistic are the visuals on these sims?
We can’t stress how realistic these sims are. Just sitting on stand at London Heathrow you’ll see everything a real pilot in a real airliner would see, right down to the gate numbers, baggage trucks, tugs and refuellers whizzing around the apron. We’re talking high quality HD graphics on wraparound 180 degree screens in the majority of cases.
Do I need any flying experience to operate a flight simulator?
No. In fact, most of the people who go on our flight simulator experiences have no previous flying experience, in either a real plane or a simulator. All sessions are geared to your level and what you want to do as well, so if you’re a bit of a sim buff there’s a challenge for you do as well!
Do I fly the simulator myself?
Most definitely. You will be sitting in the left-hand captain’s seat, so you’ll be the one in command at the controls. Help is there when/if you need it from your expert pilot instructor, but the whole idea of these experiences is that you get to see what life is like as a pilot.
Canswitch the seatbelt signs on and off?
Yep! Believe or not, this is the first thing that people ask if they can do when they get inside the simulator. Of course, there’s none of that on the civil or military aircraft simulators, but in those cases you might have extra challenges like mid-air refuelling, aerial dog fights and aerobatics to tackle.
Are there flight sim centres near me?
Yes. Several simulator centres are based in or near actual airfields, with others dotted around the country at various venues. We even have simulators in city centres, including central London. Locations include: