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FT 747-400 Flight Simulator Outing to BAFT Heathrow [UK] 2 October 2015

Old Mar 26, 2015, 5:37 pm
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Last edit by: KARFA


I am looking to organise a session at the BAFT simulators at Heathrow. We have been recommended to use the 747-400 simulators and they have the latest virtual systems on them apparently. This will be a repeat of the outing we did last year in October.

Previous Trip Reports for the 747-400 Simulators
Cost
Each simulator holds 4 people and one instructor. The total cost of a 4 hour session in one simulator would be 1,700, and this would give around 45-60 minutes of time per person on the controls although we would rotate during the session so this would be split in to a number of smaller time chunks.

As we are charged per simulator generally a group in multiples of 4 would be ideal, with cost per person being 425.

If we only had three people for example we would still have to pay 1,700 so the cost per person increases to 567 per person, although we would each get a bit more time at the controls. If we end up with 5 or 6 though it may well make sense to go to 1 simulator to reduce the cost and have say 45/50 minutes each per simulator.

Basically once we confirm numbers we can make a choice if we don't have a multiple of 4, although a multiple of 4 would be ideal.

Payment
Once the date is confirmed and booked each person would pay their share directly to BAFT, this is likely to be around August when payment is due. It would be non-refundable so if you don't show you would unfortunately not get your money back, but this stops those that do show all of a sudden having to cover any no-show's share. If you do commit and pay and find in a few months you can't make it one option may be to see if a friend, work colleague, or other FT'er can come and take your place and they can pay you directly for your share which you have already paid to BAFT.

I will ensure that we are absolutely not going to be in a situation on the day where I am asking those that have come along to dip in to their pockets to cover any additional cost. Sorry this seems a bit harsh, but I don't think anyone wants to turn up finding instead of 3,400 divided by 8 it is suddenly only divided by 6.

Dates & Times
Unfortunately weekends are not possible for a group booking, so the options are weekdays and the time slots available would be 0700-1100, 1100-1500, 1500-1900, or 1900-2300. My own preference would be a Friday and probably 1900-2300 as (coming from the regions) I would only need to take half a day off work and wouldn't have to worry about getting back for working the next day. For those in London or around the South East you could come in the evening and there would be no need for any holiday being used.

If we booked for a date within 3 months it would be difficult so choose what we wanted due to availability. However, beyond 3 months is much better and we should be able to book our choice of date & time. In order to do this we need to book by the end of May at the latest.

The date selected is:
  • Friday 2 October 1900-2300 - KARFA, FastTrak2Elite, flatlander, matthandy, GDOCP, 12939, Jagboi 7

Standby - csutter, KARFA+1, patentlyobvious, BoeBus, v2837v

We will be booking two 747 simulators for the evening, one for 3 and the other for 4:

Group of 3 -flatlander, KARFA, 12939 - to pay 566.67 each
Group of 4 - FastTrak2Elite, matthandy, GDOCP, Jagboi - to pay 425 each

Location
The BAFT site and simulators are located just outside the Eastern perimeter of Heathrow. More details here.

This year the simulators are all gradually being moved from Cranebank to another facility closer to the Engineering Base at Heathrow. 4 flight simulators have already moved and the whole project will be completed in November of this year. The result of this is if we end up taking one simulator, it would probably be at Cranebank. However, if we ended up taking two simulators, they would probably be in the new facility which is at the Engineering Base near Hatton Cross tube station.
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FT 747-400 Flight Simulator Outing to BAFT Heathrow [UK] 2 October 2015

Old Mar 26, 2015, 5:37 pm
  #1  
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FT 747-400 Flight Simulator Outing to BAFT Heathrow [UK] 2 October 2015

I want to float the idea of a FT outing to a simulator some time later this year. This will be a repeat of last years outing which you can read about here.

A bit of background on my own experience so far. I am very enthusiastic/geeky about flying, and I know a few others on here enjoy what happens in the cockpit as well as just being sat in the back enjoying the champagne.

I have one hour in a Cessna 172 which I did in 2013, and which you can read about here. I do plan to go for a PPL at some stage, but money and time needed mean it wont be for at least a year or two yet.

I have also been for a couple of Emirates sim sessions at their Aviation Experience near the O2 arena in London. This is very much at the more fun end of simulators. The only things that work on the cockpit are the throttle (inc. reversers), yoke/side stick, rudders, foot brakes, and gear. The primary and navigation displays work but you can't adjust anything on them. There is a speedbrake lever and a flaps lever, but neither work. All the buttons shown are just graphics, there are no working buttons. So basically it does feel like a very sophisticated home simulator, kind of FSX but sat in a simplified cockpit. It is not equivalent to a full simulator, and there is no motion. However, if you accept these limitations it is actually very enjoyable.

I also went to Virtual Aerospace near Northampton in February 2014 on their 737 simulator. This is basically a fully workable fixed base cockpit with fsx graphics projected in front. More absorbing and real than the Emirates experience, but still not a full motion or fully wrap-around graphics.

I have also gone to the 737 iPILOT simulator at Westfield in London in April which is very good.

Finally over the 8 months I have been going fairly regularly to a fixed bas 737-800 simulator near Rochdale. The simulator is this one Flightdeck Experience. As well as the cockpit the guy who owns it has built a cabin as well with 12 seats. You can see photos on the website. You actually get a simulated view from the windows as well. It makes it good for group outings and you can sit in the cabin for the time you are not flying in the cockpit. We are organising an outing to the simulator as part of the Leeds Do in April 2015Leeds Do in April 2015.

I realise we have a wide spectrum of experience on these things, but hopefully it would work.

Could everyone please post which they can and can't do for these four. Please only express an interest if you can make at least one of the dates and are prepared to meet your share of the cost. I realise this is not a cheap activity, but having done it once now I can say that it is very much worth it.

Rather than doing this as a poll, please just post any date preferences in the thread. I expect we will settle on a specific date by the end of April.
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 4:11 am
  #2  
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Now also on the CommunityBuzz board to open it out beyond BAEC board folks.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/commu...er-2015-a.html
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 4:24 am
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Very interested in this, and can currently do all 4 of those dates.
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 6:52 am
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I love the idea, been meaning to go for ages, but unfortunately my schedule makes it impossible to commit to a date so far in advance

Maybe I'll join you if anyone drops out unexpectedly!
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 9:31 am
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Originally Posted by FastTrak2Elite
Very interested in this, and can currently do all 4 of those dates.
Excellent, I have added you as available for any of the four dates.

Originally Posted by csutter
I love the idea, been meaning to go for ages, but unfortunately my schedule makes it impossible to commit to a date so far in advance

Maybe I'll join you if anyone drops out unexpectedly!
Ok, thanks csutter. I will add you on a standby list and hopefully you can join.
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 3:53 pm
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I am very interested in another go

I can do 25th, 2nd, 9th definitely and 18th maybe.
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 4:00 pm
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I may well be interested. A Friday in October is better for me.
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Old Mar 27, 2015, 7:43 pm
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I am interested, I can do any of the dates except the 18th Sept at this moment.

PS - Any chance someone fancies the 777 sim instead of the 747?
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Old Mar 28, 2015, 2:37 am
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I would be keen, but can generally only commit 2-3 months in advance of any date. I used to fly Chipmunks and the Bulldogs with the CCF... is this enough experience to be allowed to play? Could I be on the reserve list, maybe?
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Old Mar 28, 2015, 2:49 am
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Do we need to have previous experience? I've sat in the cockpit of a 777-300ER and an A380 but that's as far as it goes!
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Old Mar 28, 2015, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by matthandy
Do we need to have previous experience? I've sat in the cockpit of a 777-300ER and an A380 but that's as far as it goes!
I had very little flying experience (a couple of simple sim trips). I had read much of the 747 FCOM beforehand. The BA First Officer who was with us in the sim was adept at giving each of us a challenge we could succeed at whatever our skill level.

I still had fun and it was very interesting. My landings sucked but the aircraft could be used again
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Old Mar 28, 2015, 7:27 am
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Originally Posted by flatlander
I had very little flying experience (a couple of simple sim trips). I had read much of the 747 FCOM beforehand. The BA First Officer who was with us in the sim was adept at giving each of us a challenge we could succeed at whatever our skill level.

I still had fun and it was very interesting. My landings sucked but the aircraft could be used again
Originally Posted by matthandy
Do we need to have previous experience? I've sat in the cockpit of a 777-300ER and an A380 but that's as far as it goes!
Originally Posted by patentlyobvious
I would be keen, but can generally only commit 2-3 months in advance of any date. I used to fly Chipmunks and the Bulldogs with the CCF... is this enough experience to be allowed to play? Could I be on the reserve list, maybe?
Originally Posted by Armodeen
I am interested, I can do any of the dates except the 18th Sept at this moment.

PS - Any chance someone fancies the 777 sim instead of the 747?
Originally Posted by matthandy
I may well be interested. A Friday in October is better for me.
Originally Posted by flatlander
I am very interested in another go

I can do 25th, 2nd, 9th definitely and 18th maybe.
I would say very little or no experience is fine. Do not be put off if you have never flown in a simulator before. I think some of the group last year hadn't and some had, but the BA instructor seemed to be able to gear it as appropriate to each person. I would also suggest that a 747 is a nice simulator to fly as opposed to a 777 - I think the BA 747 ones have newer and better graphics as well.

I think the only thing I would suggest is if you want to do it you may want to do a session on a fixed base simualtor beforehand just to get a little used to one. The options in London would be the emirates ones near the O2 (not fully functional but not expensive) or the ipilot 737 in Westfield (I have a code for 47% off if someone wants it please send me a PM). It isn't necessary to do this, but it might be a good idea as a suggestion.

I certainly can have a reserve list and I can add to it in the wiki.
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Old Mar 29, 2015, 6:05 am
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I am definitely up for this KARFA, I read your 'TR' of last year's outing and thought it sounded amazing! I can currently do any of those dates except Friday 25th September. Timings perfect for me as I live in north London and work west of London so LHR is almost on my commute.

Thanks for organising.

James
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 10:14 am
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I'd be very interested in doing this as well. I very nearly finished my PPL, and have always wanted to try out a professional level sim. My dates this far out are fairly flexible, but a fairly important part would be figuring out what the prices (or award availability) are looking like for a R/T PHL->LHR.
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Old Mar 30, 2015, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by GDOCP
I am definitely up for this KARFA, I read your 'TR' of last year's outing and thought it sounded amazing! I can currently do any of those dates except Friday 25th September. Timings perfect for me as I live in north London and work west of London so LHR is almost on my commute.

Thanks for organising.

James
Thanks GDOCP, I will add you on the list in the wiki. Would be great to have you along.

Originally Posted by Soddon
I'd be very interested in doing this as well. I very nearly finished my PPL, and have always wanted to try out a professional level sim. My dates this far out are fairly flexible, but a fairly important part would be figuring out what the prices (or award availability) are looking like for a R/T PHL->LHR.
It would be great to have you along Soddon and very impressed you want to come over from PHL for it. I will put you down on the maybe list for now while you look at costs. It really puts me under pressure to ensure a good evening if you are coming all that way for it.
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