Last night, I was invited down to Lousiville, Kentucky to the UPS Air Hub. I got to fly the UPS Airbus 300 Flight Simulator. All I can say is, "What an experience!" Don St. Esprit gave us a great tour of the facility, and all the simulators (they have quite a few.) From DC 9s and MD-11s to Boeing 757s and Airbus A300s. They even have a new 747 Simulator - though I didn't get to fly it because it's going to Alaska! Lucky dogs!
Anyway, I flew from the left seat, the right seat and even the "Captain's Chair," which looks just like Captain Kirks famous seat on the Enteprise. An instructor actually uses it to control the simulator. You can change the weather, flight dynamics, operational status of the equipment on the airplane, and even change your location on earth.
I shot a few approaches in to places like San Diego, CA, Bogota, Columbia, and Salt Lake City, Utah. Very cool. (I even flew from Lousiville to Cincinnati - imagine that!)
Now, we're not talking about Flight Simulator X... we're talking about $15 Million worth of hardware here - that get's this... runs Windows NT 4.0!!! These things are full motion simulators. It's so realistic that you feel the expansion joints on the taxi ways as you're taxing out for take off. Everything feels so realistic as well... every switch, knob and lever feels just like the real plane. Even the "out of the window" experience seemed real. There were moments that felt so real that I grabbed a hold of the "Oh Sh*t" handles to hold on... even though I KNEW IT WASN'T REAL. They even have escape ropes like in the real plane.
That was such a rush I'm sending Don a few copies of Vista as a nice thank you gift. I offered him a copy of FSX, but he said "Are you kidding? I get to play with these everyday... why would I want that?" Good point.
Anyway, he's invited me back... only next time, I'm going to fly one of the bigger boys. (The A300 isn't that big of an airplane, but it was certaintly fun!)
I also have to thank Don Justice for hooking me up! Thanks buddy! And John and everybody at Mirizon for flying the friendly skies with me. (Though, there were a few "moments of terror, which I have on video!)
I'll be posting videos and pics after my upcoming webcast.