There is a flight simulator experience waiting for you in many places around the UK and elsewhere. You’ll find links to a full range of flight simulator experiences in the UK below.
Modern flight simulators are so much better than the slow, unrealistic examples of the past. Many are full-motion simulators, so you get to feel all the sensations of climbing, descending, and turning. There are so many types of simulators, from Spitfires and other famous fighter aircraft to airliners, from light aircraft to modern military jets. You can even recreate the famous Sully Experience by ditching your airliner in the Hudson River.
The huge advantage of simulators is that no previous experience is required. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never sat in an aircraft before or don’t know the first thing about cockpits. You’ll be given a full briefing to ensure that you, or the lucky recipient of your gift, will enjoy the experience and that you come back for more.
Where to go for Flight Simulator Experience
North of England
- 737 Simulator Doncaster
- Flight Simulator Harrogate: 737 Simulator
- Cessna Skyhawk Yorkshire
- F16 Fighter Pilot Yorkshire
- Fighter Jet Simulator Harrogate, Yorkshire
- Boeing 737 Simulator Barnsley
- Boeing 737 Simulator Derbyshire
North West England
- Flightdeck Experience near Manchester
- Cessna Flight Simulator City Airport, Manchester
- Airbus A320 Motion Flight Simulator Manchester
- F3 Tornado Experience Hawarden Airfield, Cheshire
- Fighter Pilot Experience Stalybridge, Cheshire
- Helicopter Simulator Experience Cheshire
- 737 Simulator Ellesmere Port
- 737 Simulator Blackpool Airport
- Flight Simulator Coventry: Motion Flight Simulators
- The SULLY Experience Coventry Airport, Bagington
- 737 Simulator Warwickshire
- Spitfire Simulator Warwickshire
- 737 Simulator Suffolk
- F35 Combat Simulator Suffolk
- Fear of Flying Course Northampton or Sussex
- 737 Flightdeck in Boston
- WW2 Flight Simulators Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
- Spitfire vs Messerschmitt Combat for two Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
South West England
- Full Motion Flight Simulator Bristol
- Caribbean Challenge Simulator Gloucestershire Airport, Cheltenham
- 737 Simulator Gloucestershire Airport
South East England
- Flight Simulator Goodwood: The Ultimate Spitfire Simulator Goodwood Aerodrome, West Sussex
- Lancaster Bomber Flight Simulator, Shoreham, East Sussex
- Diamond Flight Simulator Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire
- Flight Training Simulator Hampshire
Flight Sims With Professional Pilots
Another big advantage of simulators is the fact that they are open all year round and, unlike real flying lessons, the weather never postpones the event. So whatever the wind or the precipitation outside you can enjoy a realistic flying experience.
Some of these flight simulator experiences are run by professionals who use the same simulators for training commercial pilots. You’ll be sitting in the same cockpit as the pilot who attends refresher courses or a new pilot on the way to obtaining a commercial licence.
Others are the cockpits of fighter jets in which you can experience the sensations and sounds of today’s modern combat, and World War II vintage aircraft in which you can relive the dogfights of the past, going into aerial battle with a computer-generated adversary or perhaps a friend in another simulator.
Alternatively, how about trying to land your aircraft on the deck of an aircraft carrier as it moves about in a rough sea? Some of the modern jet simulators include air to air combat, aircraft carrier landings, air to ground bombing, air to air refueling, formation flying, and full mission campaigns.
Whether you lean toward a Spitfire simulator or landing a Boeing 737 at LAX or an Airbus A320 at Heathrow, there’s a simulator experience waiting for you. They are the next best thing to being in the cockpit of a real Spitfire or flying an airliner into any airport in the world.
Airliner Flight Simulators
If airliners are your thing then you could choose to experience landing at some of the world’s most famous and spectacular airports; St Maarten, Innsbruck, and Kai Tak. Sitting in the darkened cockpit your eyes will see and your ears will hear exactly what real pilots experience.
Do you suffer from a fear of flying? Spending some time in a flight simulator has been known to relieve the symptoms of nervous flyers. Included in the links below is a link to a fear of flying course in Northampton or Sussex. Professional and patient instructors are on hand to walk you through every step.
Flight simulator experiences are also an excellent choice for businesses and companies looking for that fun and safe team-building exercise that is open all the year-round, whatever the weather.
Ready to give one a try, or thinking of giving the gift of wings to someone else? Why not go with a friend and take turns, or bring some of the family and make a day of it?
Use the links below to make a choice then follow the clicks to a booking. It’s an experience that is fun, safe, and very realistic. It may even give you the taste for real flying.
History of Flight Simulation
For as long as there have been airplanes, people have dreamed of flying. Early inventors attempted to build machines that could mimic the experience of flight, but it was not until the early 20th century that the first true flight simulators were developed. The earliest simulators were used for training pilots in the military, but it wasn’t long before civilian pilots began to use them as well.
Flight simulators have come a long way since those early days and they are now used for a variety of purposes, from training students and qualified pilots under the watchful eye of an instructor and checking their ability to fly real aircraft to entertaining people and giving them a flight experience.
The commercial simulator of today is a motion simulator that generates the physical sensation of piloting a plane as it lands at an airport or passes through any kind of weather. They can be configured for any type of skies and destinations.
Despite their many uses, all flight simulators share one common goal: to give their users the closest possible experience to flying without leaving the ground.
The Realism of Flight Simulator Software
The realism of flight simulator software has evolved in proportion to the hardware, processing power, and software of our computers. Flight sims have been around for almost as long as the personal computer. Flight simulator software has always been a best seller over the past few decades.
It was the idea that there might be a realistic alternative to actual flying that first attracted me to PCs. I was learning to fly in the 1980s but I didn’t have enough money to fly as often as I’d like.
To have a very realistic flight simulator on a powerful home PC seemed a great idea. However, it was to be a long time before the software and the processing power evolved into something satisfactory let alone a package that was truly impressive.
The evolution from the first attempts to the visual, auditory, and process realism of today’s flight sims are demonstrated in this video (it’s over 30 minutes long so you might want to scroll through it for glimpses).
Perhaps you can remember those early versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. At first, they seemed poor substitutes for a real cockpit and instrument panel. As the years passed they began to take on a depth of realism that has evolved into something very close to the real thing.
Today, realism is everything. Real pilots who want to practice on light aircraft and aviation enthusiasts who want to fly airliners demand the accuracy of the Captain’s seat. They want total immersion in the experience. When someone is paying to use a Spitfire simulator they want to feel realistic controls as if they’re sitting in a Spitfire cockpit.
Combat flight sims have always been popular but as realism has improved the demand for civil aviation simulators has increased as well.
Today you can fly an airliner from startup to shutdown and select every button for every task, just as the aircrew would do in real flight. Perhaps some of those flight sim enthusiasts daydream of being asked to assist with any emergency that results in the aircrew being incapacitated!
The Virtual Cockpit
The idea of a passenger being able to land an airliner in an emergency has often been the subject of debate among pilots and aviation writers. As the realism in affordable flight simulators improves it can only add more fuel to the fire.
Today’s flight sims contain fully functioning instrument panels to the front, overhead, and to either side. You can turn and select buttons and turn dials. The instruments give clear and accurate information based on your flight parameters.
For some years now it’s been possible to select the time of day, weather, and random flight emergencies as well as dozens of aircraft types. Given the number of locations and terrain available it is not possible to live long enough to try every combination available.
It seems likely that the next generation of flight sim developers will exploit the potential of virtual reality. Surely there can be no greater fully immersive experience. As well as, and perhaps in conjunction with VR, there are likely to be more advances in the feedback from the control columns and pilot seats.
So, whether you’re a pilot who is unable to fly due to bad weather or an enthusiast looking for the next best thing, there is plenty of scope for exercise and enjoyment in the world of flight simulator software.
The Future of Flight Simulators
The limitations of flight sims used to be the fact that, no matter how realistic the graphics displayed on the screen nor the sounds coming out of the speakers, the pilot couldn’t feel the sensations of flight. Now that augmented and artificial reality has now found its way into the world of flight sims it’s possible to experience the physical sensations both by using cockpit seats that move in response to the aircraft’s movements and by fooling the mind using virtual reality goggles.
Flight Simulation FAQs
What is the best flight simulator?
There is no single best flight simulator. Professional pilots use a variety of simulators depending on their needs. Some are designed for training and others for recreation. The market for flight simulator software is large and growing, so there is something to meet the needs of everyone from beginners to experts.
What are the different types of flight simulators?
There are four types of flight simulators: full flight simulators, cockpit simulators, cabin crew trainers, and device trainers. Full flight simulators provide the most realistic experience and are used for training pilots. Cockpit simulators are used to train cabin crew and simulate the environment of a cockpit. Cabin crew trainers help prepare cabin crew for their roles. Device trainers are used to train pilots on the use of devices such as radios and navigational aids.
What are the best features of a flight simulator?
There is no single best feature of a flight simulator. However, some of the best features include the realistic graphics and sounds, the ability to fly in different weather conditions and locations, and the variety of aircraft available to fly. Additionally, flight simulators can be used for training or recreation, making them an enjoyable experience for pilots and aviation enthusiasts.
How realistic are today’s flight simulators?
Professional pilots use a variety of flight simulators depending on their needs, and many aviators find that today’s flight sims provide an experience that is realistic enough for training or recreation. The graphics and sounds in many sims are realistic enough to fool the mind and devices such as cockpit seats that move in response to the aircraft’s movements can provide a physical sensation of flight. Additionally, virtual reality goggles can be used to further immerse the user in the experience.
What is the future of flight simulators?
The future of flight simulators is likely to include more immersive experiences, such as virtual reality, and more realistic sensations, such as those provided by moving cockpit seats. Additionally, the market for flight sim software is large and growing, so there is likely to be something to meet the needs of everyone from beginners to experts.
Are there any good free flight sims?
Yes, there are several good free flight simulators available. Some are browser based while others are free to download for a PC or Max. All of these simulators are realistic and provide a great experience for pilots and aviation enthusiasts.