If like me the only experience of flying any sort of plane was that of Sega Arcade Classic Afterburner, or maybe even a little Microsoft Flight Simulator 98, (being not even good at that), then this will come as a big deal, as the Sim Spot Flight experience is something special, an experience that to remember, and just something that i always had an interest in doing. Its not too bad either that its bloody cool thing to do aswell!
When growing up watching the legendary Krypton Factor one of the best parts of the show was, the plane challenge, to land a plane, with great accuracy, and using all the tools of the trade in front of your, the x/y axis, degrees, wings etc, and now with SimSpot in the Corner House Nottingham, you can not only land a plane, you can also take off and fly to some of the worlds most beautiful locations, plus landing in some of the most difficult airports in the world too.
I was quite nervous in actually doing this, even though I knew it wasn’t a real plane, i had never done anything like this before, plus I’ve never actually been on a plane myself, just never traveled abroad or had the opportunity, but here i was, and this wasn’t any plane, it was a Boeing 737 so this was kind of a over coming my nerves or fears as well at this point, but they soon calmed, and this wasn’t a problem at all, everything went smooth sailing (or flying!) as the instructor made me feel comfortable, welcomed, and relaxed, which really helped a first timer!
The store layout was great, it really felt like you was at a Airport (or so i assume 🙂 ) being in a prime location in Nottingham’s Corner House and being up in the clouds on the top floor, it just felt more of an overall experience. It was very calm and welcoming, there was also a Xbox 360 and a Kinect for anyone or groups of people waiting for someone who is experiencing the thrill of flying a plane, and could just chill in the waiting area. Everything has a nice family feel to things, so props here for SimSpot for accommodating even the non paying customer on there grounds, as they didn’t need to, they could just have chairs, but nope, its set up for people to have a smile on their faces, even if they are just waiting outside.
When you walk into the cockpit of the flight simulator I was like woah this looks amazing. It was seriously button overload, but that what a real plane is, it has all the buttons and lights with screens all the way around you, closing you in, feeling like you are sitting in a real cockpit. The surrounding screens or your ‘windows’ make it look like you or really there in the front of the plane, so you can look forward, left or right, and its all as it should be if you were on the ground of in the air. This certainly helps, that you can just look out the window and fly by any skyline you wanted and of course, and just have the all around real feeling, just remember to try and not hit a tree, because how real it feels flying this beast of a machine, you might get a squeaky bum time, with a forest coming in the head lights!
My instructor would brief me on where we would be flying from and set the course of destination to. My first flight plan would be Stansted Airport to Heathrow Airport. This would be nice short touch landing just as a little tester to the whole experience and get the feel for the plane/flying and landing I flew past many of London’s greatest landmarks and even flew right between the Canary Wharf and The London ‘Gherkin’ building which was pretty awesome.
Now that i did the basics the instructor gave me a bigger and better challenge. I flew through the cliffs and hills of Finland, and this was one of the destinations that the instructor said to me that’s one of his favorites, and he flies for real when he does cargo runs. This was a little more difficult, with all the snow in my eyes, the hills, and pure whites, so hats off to the instructor for doing it in real life. I didn’t do too bad I guess, apart from missing the runway at then end a just every so slightly getting closer to hitting a tree, but i think it just scrapped my nose, so I’m pretty pleased there, especially as there was a few sharp turns in the pure white mountains, and i come down pretty well.
Lastly the instructor gave me a more challenging experience and this one was one of, if the most difficult airports to land at in the world and this was in Japan. I can safely say that I did this well as the instructor thought so, even though I didn’t see the airport landing strip till the very end but I made it, little bit wobbly but all in all it was a good landing. That’s the point of this airport landing strip, the sharp turn, and the mist of red lights with the other sky line makes it massively hard to notice the very very sharp turn by the harbour, so i was impressed here with my flying.
I had a amazing time at SimSpot and would recommend this to anyone even if it was something that you had no plans in doing it truly is something you need to experience as it feels so real and you can like me overcome fears and boundaries of flying, get yourself booked in to SimSpot on the top floor of the Corner House in Nottingham it was something I would like to do again and again.
Check out some of our photos and videos of my experience at SimSpot and visit SimSpot Ltd website for booking and more information on how you can experience for yourself and this is by far “One of the best things to do in Nottingham”
SimSpot Website – http://www.simspot.co.uk/
SimSpot Twitter – @SimSpotLtd