AVIATION EXPERIENCE: FLIGHT EXPERIENCE SINGAPORE
Feeling awesome to add another Aviation Experience post today! The ratio between Flight/Lounge Reviews and Aviation Experience is still pretty far apart and i will continue to ensure that you readers have a variety of content to read on my blog.
I have been a huge fan of flight simulators ever since schooling days which is already more than a decade ago.
Photo credit : Google Images
Back in those days, i could only afford the Boeing 777 simulator in a local Game Arcade. The Sega Airline Pilots was developed together with engineers and pilots from Japan Airlines. They produced a trio screen version as well as the single screen version. Last played in 2009 and sadly it had since disappeared. I assumed it's already outdated.
Photo credit : Google Images
Of course it's a very simplified version where you can only control the throttle and a simple gear & flaps switch. With beginner and advance mode to choose from, it was a joy to experience flying as a schooling kid and i must say it's pretty realistic. The feedback and yoke responds felt real.
When i was in high school, my aunt from Hongkong brought me Flight Simulator X and the rest is history. All i need is a $40 dollars flight stick and i am good to go. Thinking back, it was stupid of me to fly Boeing with a flight stick. I guess these are perks of simulators. What happen in the simulators remains there.
I stopped for a few years because of my studies and national service but i went back to the cockpit 2 years ago and had the opportunity to fly a mixture of Boeing, Airbus & ATR simulators in Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok & Indonesia.
To be honest, i usually go overseas for flight simulators because they tend to be more cheaper but i decided to try Flight Experience Singapore which happen to be a international flight simulator franchise. In fact, Flight Experience Singapore has been around for the last decade since 2007. So it's after 11 years that i decided to give Flight Experience Singapore a shot.
Flight Experience has 16 locations in a dozen countries and several more are already planned. Store locations include North America, Europe, Asia & Australia.
Remember the last post i wrote about Singapore Airlines Boarding Pass Privilege where you can use your boarding pass for discounts at selected merchants in Singapore & Overseas.
Flight Experience Singapore happens to be one of the participating merchants who offers 15% off on all Flight Packages and Boeing Merchandise.
Their flight packages starts from $175 depending on the duration and if you are doing it alone or with family & friends. If you are sharing the flight time with your family & friends, you will have to pick the "Multi" package.
I thought it might be a good chance to make use of their year round student discount of 30% before i graduate later this year.
The usual package for an hour flying session is $275 but since i have a friend along with me today, i would have to purchase the Multi option which will cost me $300 before discount. After discount, it cost me $210. I alos opt to have DVD recording which cost me additional $20.
Flight Experience uses state-of-the-art, professional flight simulators based on the Boeing 737-800. Manufactured by their company in New Zealand, the ProJet PS3.5 and PS4.5 simulators include high-fidelity, real-size cockpits with accurate and fully-functional aircraft controls, instrumentation and systems.
The simulators are used world-wide for pilot training and will provide you with a fully immersive experience and the closest thing to flying the real thing. From following real-world checklists and talking with Air Traffic Control to flying into the world’s most challenging airports with the simulator’s stunning high-definition 180 degree visual system, you will receive a truly authentic experience.
Gone were the days where cockpit visits are allowed mid-flight and with strict rules and regulation these days, it's almost impossible to have a cockpit visit mid-flight. With heightened security over the last couple of years, even pilots can’t freely enter and exit the cockpit inflight anymore. Therefore, these flight simulators are a one of the way to satisfy your imagination. Honestly speaking not everyone can be a pilot so these simulators are here to serve the main purpose of simulating flying to general public. It's also another platform for general public to overcome fear of flying.
Simulators are also as equally important to real life pilots as they make use of the safe environment to hone their skills and also arm themselves with the procedures in case of unforeseen emergencies which obviously couldn't be replicated in real life. Pilots are also required to recurrent themselves yearly in the simulators, also known as checkride.
The reception area looks just like an airline ticketing office! Don't you think so?
You can also see a real-time camera of the cockpit inside(super excited) and also the flight information display above with all the scheduled flights!
Flight Experience Singapore is also a 4 time consecutive winner of Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence. This recognition is only awarded to businesses who have consistently achieved great reviews on Tripadvisor. Businesses must also maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five to qualify!
After making my payment, i was invited to a lounge area! Not as nice as any of the airline lounges but it's sufficient! :D
Coffee & Tea are complimentary here!
Followed by a introduction video on the basic controls. Video is shown below!
It's straightforward and simple to understand. Should you have any doubts over the video, you can approach the friendly staff.
There is also a brochure for new timer who doesn't know where to fly. Mind you there are over 24,000 choice of airports worldwide!
Not sure if it's a functional door but they did all they can to simulate entering an aircraft.
I don't remember a 737 aisle being so spacious but well, there is no where to go anyway!
Here is where you wanna end up in. I am used to turning left to the business class section but i hardly have the chance to see this welcoming view of the cockpit.
Before i go in to any further, let's go thru the key features of this cockpit!
Fixed-base simulator based on the Boeing 737-800
100% scale, fully enclosed cockpit
Fully functional aircraft panels, systems, avionics and controls including glass cockpit instrument displays, Flight Management Computers (FMC), Autopilot Flight Director System (AFDS), TCAS, weather radar, and EGPWS
Highly realistic flight model and flight controls
Motorised throttle quadrant including auto-throttle, speedbrake lever and trim wheels
Surround stereo sound system with seat shakers including realistic sounds and vibrations
180° curved screen High Definition Visual System
Global scenery and navigation database including over 24,000 airports and cities
The ability to fly around any landmark from London Bridge to the Sydney Opera House
Four seats including 5-point seat harnesses for Pilot Seats
Touch-screen Instructors Station with extensive features
Good morning ladies & gentleman, welcome onboard Flight Experience Singapore. Even though i have visited actual cockpits plenty of times, every single visit shall always be as exciting as ever. Be it the real aircraft or simulators like this.
Our flight instructor for today , Wai Keat started the flight simulator session on time. Beginning with a short revision of what we have watched earlier at the lounge, he goes thru the basic flight controls to my friend whose new to flying.
Well i didn't yawn but rather listen attentively to his briefing because it's always good to refresh the memory a little.
We didn't went in to the the overhead panels and what the switches does because we only have 1 hours and it's better spent on hands on flying! I wish one day i am rich enough to buy one of these simulators then i can explore every single button for as long as i can.
The flight was pretty routine but as usual i have problems flying a Boeing and i personally would prefer Airbus. Nonetheless, it was a great 30 minutes of circuit flying and i swear it was shorter than it sounds. I can never get enough of this!
But after flying so many simulators around southeast asia, this comes in 2nd best in terms of graphics as compared to many other private flight simulator vendors. The graphics here is extremely sharp or rather sharpest in what i have experienced so far.
The best goes to Asia Aviation Training Centre in Bangkok where they train real pilots on their full motion Level D Simulators which obviously have to have the best of the best technologies.
Their terrain data were absolutely amazing. Especially when flying over Dubai's amazing Palm Islands & the bustling Kai Tak city in Hongkong.
The one hour flight soon came to an end. Did some photo op of the cockpit and the surrounding before bidding farewell to the cockpit.
Flight Experience Singapore also sell official merchandise from Boeing. You can find a range of t-shirts, baseball caps, plane models, stickers, keychains, pens, lanyard and many more. It's like an exhibition!
You will also get 10% off for all Boeing merchandise if you purchase any flight package with Flight Experience Singapore.
They also have a program called the Flight Experience Flying Club. This flying club will allow you to fly the simulator without the aid of a instructor after going thru certain hours of initial training. Pictured here is Flying Club Membership Starter Kit which comes in a very nice box and inside you can find :
– Flying Club Membership – First one hour lesson – Flying Club Training Manual and Log – Flying Club Membership ID Card – Flying Club Cap – Flight Experience Lanyard – Boeing 737 Wings Pin – Boeing 737 decal
Priced at $359.00, you can kick start your flying "career"right away but please be warned that it can get quite addictive! Please listen to someone who caught the flying bug.
P.S it's an expensive hobby to maintain.
In conclusion, this place is as amazing as any other flight simulator centre i have been. To be honest, it's pretty pricey even after the discounts but nonetheless the money was well spent. The simulator was functioning well unlike the one i went in Malaysia and the speed brakes don't deploy automatically and the simulator crash a few times during the session.
Instructor Wai Keat was attentive and was guiding my friend throughout the flight. Giving advise & guiding but at the same time giving enough space & opportunity for more hands on. Certainly did his job as a co pilot very well! *All the best for your airline interview!*
I personally felt that rudder was a little too sensitive in this simulator but i can't be sure as i hardly fly Boeing.
The DVD recording was poor in quality. Had i know that it's such a low resolution, i wouldn't have paid the extra $20. Given the advance technologies we have these days, i would have expect a minimum HD quality. What is worth commendable here is the nicely designed DVD case they gave.
Once again i like to thank Flight Instructor Wai Keat for his professionalism as well as SamA, SamC, & Sal for entertaining my request.