Background – Heritage Flight Simulation
Flying has traditionally been the domain of the fairly wealthy and hardcore enthusiasts. Flying of old warbirds is the domain of the very wealthy and governments. The pilots that get to fly these machines are a select few.
The mission of Heritage Flight Simulation is captured on our web pages’ byline “Making historical flight accessable”
We have done this by designing an exact replica of the Spitfire Mk.IX cockpit in materials that allow the average home builder to achieve their dream of owning and flying in their very own Spitfire cockpit. Developments in Virtual Reality technology have made this experience incredibly real but for a fraction of the cost of owning and operating your own real warbird. As an added bonus …. you can always walk away from a bad landing or misjudged manoeuvre!
The Hangar Flight Experience
We have created The Hangar as a physical facility here in Ireland not only as an extension to our offering of “Making historical flight accessable” but also to make available the experience of flight to a much wider audience. We recognise that not everyone wishes to build their own Spitfire Cockpit but would still like to experience what it would be like to sit in and fly. Our Spitfire Mk.IX cockpit simulator now affords this possibility to anyone who wishes to visit us in Blackwater, Co. Wexford, Ireland.
In addition, we have expanded the offering to include a general aviation and a helicopter VR simulator.
As such we offer three installed simulators with different pricing options:
- The HFS Spitfire Mk.IX – for a basic flight experience, dogfighting, landing, take-off or systems training
- a basic Helicopter Simulator with cyclic, collective and torque pedals based on the Robinson R44/22 layout. This provides an opportunity to better understand the complexity of these machines and the skills required to fly them. Also ideal for hover training.
- a basic General Flight Simulator where the type of aircraft can be selected from ultralight, basic trainer, complex twin or airliner. You can choose in what weather, where in the world and at what time.
So who would our offering appeal to? Except for Spitfire and warbird aficionados that is?
- Weather in Ireland can be challenging for general aviation pilots to get their “fix”. Come fly our simulators and feel infinitely better 🙂
- Anyone who wishes to experience what it is like to fly an aircraft
- Anyone who wishes to build knowledge and skills around flight
While we are still finalising the details with a targeted opening towards the end of March 2022 I can share that there will be essentially three different packages associated with our three simulators;
- General Aviation VR experience flying anywhere in the world (choose whether you would like to fly a microlight, single engine trainer, light twin or airliner), the cost of which will be €20 for 20 minutes. This will be very suitable for beginners through to experienced pilots while providing a stunning aviation experience. You would need to reach the controls so not for small children.
- Helicopter VR experience. Flying a helicopter is complex and this provides a safe environment in which to build up your understanding and skills. Perfect for hover training, aspiring helicopter pilots and just those curious to find out more about them. €30 for 20 minutes. Suitable for ages 14 and up.
- Spitfire Mk.IX VR Flight Experience. This is the ultimate experience for those wanting to feel what it was like to sit in the cockpit of a Spitfire and to fly it. The cockpit is painstakingly recreated from original drawings, incorporating all 78 controls, switches and levers found on the original. All of them work and have a function in the simulated world.
- For those just wanting a taste of it we offer a 20 minute session for €40. You will start in the air and be given 5 minutes to get used to the handling and can then sightsee or move on to dogfighting. (A session in the GA simulator using a single engine trainer is recommended before tackling the Spitfire.)
- A little more advanced offering where you will receive basic instruction on the essential controls first. You will then have the experience as in 1) above but after 20 minutes or when you are ready for it move to take-off and landing the Spitfire. (Here some previous simulator or real flight experience is recommended to truly enjoy the experience. At a minimum training for take-off and landing in our GA simulator single engine trainer is required.) Total flying time 40 minutes but overall allow an hour to get settled in, briefed and debriefed. Cost €80
- A full hour flying with briefing on all the controls and systems and start-up, take-off, flight, dogfighting, landing and shutdown of the Spitfire. Requirements as per the above. Allow just under an hour and a half. Cost €120. Booking should be 2 weeks in advance to allow us to send you the official Pilot Operating Handbook for self study prior to the in-cockpit training.
Our recommendation for number 3 above is to do each session seperately (so three sessions of €40 each) to be able to absorb all the new information and experiences before going to the next level. This will enhance your enjoyment and greatly enrich the experience.
- We will likely set up a (just for fun, its not officially recognised) certificate course which will consist of two GA sessions and three Spitfire sessions to earn your Heritage Flight Simulation Spitfire Wings. You can do the sessions individually over time with an ultimate cost of €160.
- Generally the experience is not suitable for small children under the age of 10.
- Requirements for the Spitfire: Ages 14 and up, must be big enough to reach the controls, less than 100kg, less than 6’2” and fit and dextrous enough to be able to get into the confined cockpit space and haul yourself out again without any assistance.
- We will require the signing of an indemnity for anyone using the facilities. VR may not accord with everyone and can lead to motion sickness in some individuals.
- Covid health protocols will be strictly adhered to protect our staff and clients. This includes the wearing of a mask and proof of full vaccination.
- Bookings must be made on-line on our TheHangar website (still under construction). We will try to accommodate making bookings over the counter at The Hangar but only if it’s a quiet period and time allows.
- Payment by card only when booking online or over the counter, no cash accepted.