News

October 1st 2015

Building a flight simulator

Thanks to a series of financial donations and the enthusiasm of an adult volunteer, Air Cadets in West Bridgford are experiencing what it is like to fly an aircraft.

Flight Sergeant Shane Grice, aged 28, who volunteers with 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) saw a ‘gap’ in the Air Cadet’s training schedule so put his mind to building a flight simulator that could be both used and enjoyed by Cadets for years to come.

Shane Grice said: “The building process started about a year-and-a-half ago, but due to our limited budget the project was temporarily put on hold. However, when the unit moved in to its new training centre in late 2014, I had to focus on getting the working prototype in to a useable state.”

Working as a Product Support Manager for Soaring Oxford Ltd, who are the agents for Grob Aircraft, in his day-job, Shane’s interest in aviation is consistent through both his civilian career and his role as an adult volunteer.

Shane continued: “We have literally started from scratch with the building process. The cockpit was donated to us from a former plane that had been taken out of service. I then stripped out the original control system, the cables and mounting brackets to reveal the cockpit shell.

“From there I have added in a fresh control system to hold the joy stick and worked out where all of the new cabling should go to make the flight simulator look as realistic as possible.  I then built the frame, added cast wheels and painted the simulator as required.”

The flight simulator is now being used by Cadets at 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron on a regular basis, although Shane says it is really still a ‘work in progress’.

“The flight simulator is basic in its design, although it includes a digital screen to try to immerse the Cadets who use it in to a world where they can imagine they are really flying a plane. Works will continue on this project in the near future with our Cadets currently working on a fundraising project to allow us to buy a wraparound screen that would allow us to mimic the pilots view out of an aircraft from left to right and the types of lighting they encounter when both taking off and landing an aircraft.”

If you would like to donate any funding towards the flight simulator project, please contact 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron directly or visit www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets  to learn more about the youth organisation.

“The flight simulator is basic in its design, although it includes a digital screen to try to immerse the Cadets who use it in to a world where they can imagine they are really flying a plane."