“What on earth is Flight Simulator?”
“Are you those funny people who try to fly off Bognor Regis Pier every year or do you just whizz round the garden flapping your arms when there is a full moon?”
Actually – no. We are all normal folk who have an interest in flying: some are retired pilots and the other members wish they had been.
Flight Simulator is the next best thing to real flying. It was developed for the computer in the late 1970s, with the first versions being issued for the Apple and Atari in 1980. Microsoft acquired a licence and announced its first version in 1982. Over the years the software improved in line with technical progress, providing ever better realism. A major factor in the success of the program is that other people and companies are free to develop add-ons, particularly aircraft and scenery.
If you have a modern computer, all you need is the program, which can now cost less than £20, plus a joystick for about the same price and you can start flying.
There’s a lot to learn and this is where the Flight Simulator Group comes in. The group started last September and is happily settled in St Cleer’s Chapel, Polham Lane, Somerton. Some members have a wealth of experience, while others are beginners so you will be welcome whatever your status. We meet on the first Thursday morning each month at 10.00am.
What is the particular attraction? Well, if you are serious you can plan a long distance flight in a big jet and then make the flight using all the proper procedures and instruments or you can jump in a light plane and fly around admiring the view. You are free to choose and enjoy it without all that hassle at the airport and, if you crash, you just start again – no harm done!
The program is now so good that professional pilots can practise their instrument flying while the rest of us can try to reach a standard or simply indulge in a bit of escapism – how about Venice today?
Are you interested? Contact Graham Foster (01458 272163 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org) and come to a meeting to find out what it is all about. You really will be made welcome and do not be worried if you are completely new and don’t have the program yet – you can still join in.