DCSIMG

Fly a spitfire in Wisborough Green

Brian at the controls of his spitfire simulator.

Picture by Louise Adams C140001-5 Mid Wisborough Green

Brian at the controls of his spitfire simulator. Picture by Louise Adams C140001-5 Mid Wisborough Green

VISITORS to Wisborough Green can now spend their lunch break becoming a spitfire pilot.

Former pilot Brian Smith, 75, has constructed a full-scale spitfire simulator, complete with a fully-equipped cockpit.

Housed in a barn decorated like a typical WW2 crew room, once inside the single seater cockpit the pilot is treated to the complete visual and audio experience.

The sounds of a Merlin engine can be heard while three giant TV screens wrap around to depict the surrounding landscape.

“It’s as realistic as you can get without actually flying the real thing,” said Brian.

“The reason I started the Spitfire Experience was to raise money for the Royal Air Force Benevolent fund. I did my national service in the RAF then went on to become a pilot with British Airways.

“I went to a museum in celebration of 50 years since my first flight, and it had a similar thing there.

“It’s fun for people to come along in groups of three or four – the simulator totally gives the impression of flying through the air.

“All sorts of people like to have a go, male and female, young and old – no aviation experience is necessary!”

Brian set up the simulator in April, 2013, and has already raised more than £1,400 for the RAF charity.

Howard Brunt tested the spitfire out last year, and said: “The simulator was real as true life and this all happened inside a small converted barn.”

Gift vouchers are available for people to treat their loved ones to a trip through the skies.

On June 21 – the longest day – Brian will host a simulated flight to 30 former WW2 airfields in England, starting at dawn at RAF West Malling.

Each pilot donates £30 to the RAF benevolent fund and is treated to the day-long experience which also includes coffee and bacon sandwiches.

In the evening, all participants will go for a meal in the Cricketers Arms pub in Wisborough Green.

And, on September 12, a Battle of Britain dinner and live band will be held in the Cricketers.

For more details email briansmithair@uwclub.net or phone 01403 700346.

 

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