Lucky few in flight simulators, others' dreams grounded

Eyeing piece of sky

Lucky few in flight simulators, others' dreams grounded

Flight simulators, which promised a piece of sky, drew crowds at Aero India-2017, but not all could get into the coveted seat with many returning disappointed and others entreating the authorities to give them a chance.

The Advanced Hawk simulator allowed a visitor to “fly” the trainer jet jointly developed by BAE Systems and HAL by offering the best real-time (4-dimension) experience. The Lockheed Martin’s F-16 simulator promised the same experience, but had very less seekers as it was not immediately visible in the glitzy display arena.

The most number of people were seen at DRDO’s Tejas simulator, with a minimum of 20 people waiting in queue and many others exiting the room after waiting for a few minutes.

An IAF officer, who steered the F-16 from the Lockheed Martin’s simulator, said though he had vast flying experience, the features in the simulator make it exceptional.

At the Advanced Hawk simulator, Alan Garwood, group business development director, BAE Systems, patiently explained the features of the cockpit simulator to visitors with his colleague John Hurrel.

Hurrel showed how the features can be changed in the interactive dashboard of the simulator to offer experience of flying different fighter jets, from F-16 to Rafale.

Though flight simulators are not new to the air shows in the city, there is no shortage of visitors who have never seen them. “I came here first after a friend told me about this last year. But even after waiting for an hour, my turn has not come. I have been requesting the authorities for a chance,” said Rakesh R, a software engineer, who was in the front of the queue behind the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft simulator.

Rakesh stood in earnest for another half an hour before he was allowed to sit in the simulated cockpit and asked others in queue to take his picture. His ‘plane’ crashed within a minute, but Rakesh emerged happy as he successfully took a selfie.

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