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Very interesting video released by Australian Business Traveller. A full HD flight in the cockpit of a real pilot training Qantas Boeing 747 flight simulator at Qantas Sydney jet base. Credit Australian Business Traveller.
Narrator: Anybody who's traveled by plane has almost certainly flown in a Boeing 747 or an Airbus A380, but what's it like to sit in the pilot's seat of these massive aircraft?
Australian Business Traveler went for a spin in one of the state-of-the-art flight simulators which Qantas uses to train its pilots at its facility in Sydney. Qantas has 10 flight simulators at its Sydney training base. Each simulator is a self-contained pod driven by state-of-the-art electronics. The Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 simulators cost of $30 million each, says Qantas flight trainer Steve Curtis.
Australian Business Traveler editor David Flynn stepped behind the control stick of a Boeing 747 for a virtual flight from Sydney to London. Each flight simulator is mounted on hydraulic struts with a walkway to take you across to the cockpit. Once the simulator is powered up, it's time for Australian Business Traveler editor David Flynn to step into the cockpit.
The walkway contracts so the simulator can move freely on its hydraulic struts and faithfully reproduce exactly what a real 747 would do. The simulator's cockpit is an exact replica of the flight deck of a real Boeing 747. There's also additional equipment to control the sim. Steve takes us through some of the basics and sets the simulator parameters.
We'll be departing from Sydney's Kingsford Smith International Airport and landing at London Heathrow.
Steve: We normally start off with some taxiing, just getting used to the controls, where everything's located.
Narrator: The scenery that's visible through the cockpit's windows is amazingly lifelike. It's created using giant concave mirrors and multiple projectors mounted at the front of the bay. Our video just doesn't do it justice. The apparent depth of the image is just unbelievable.
Now it's time to head for the skies. Thankfully, our instructor has the controls and guides us down the runway and through a safe takeoff.
David: Trust me, anyone who thinks this is easy needs to sit in one of these. It's amazing. You can see [inaudible 04:32] Park. You can see the Sydney football stadium, the city behind it. People have asked you to do barrel rolls on the bridge?
Steve: We get requests for it, but it's not something we do.
David: Not something [inaudible 04:46] program.
David: So, ladies and gentlemen, 3600 feet. On our left, we have Sydney skyline, the Opera House, Sydney Tower. It's pretty amazing. On the bridge, it all looks so lifelike.
Steve: [inaudible 05:08]
[Computer voice: Bank angle. Bank angle.]
Steve: Once you get about 30 degrees [inaudible 05:22] system [inaudible 05:24] aircraft. [inaudible 05:28]
David: [Thames River]
[Computer voice: Radio altimeter.]
David: [inaudible 06:07]
Steve: [It's right by the river there]. [inaudible 06:24]
David: Right-o. Let's head for Heathrow. Steve, what would be your favorite airport to land in, in the simulator?
Steve: [inaudible 07:35] with the 747 [inaudible 07:38].
David: You land there and [meet her] in the middle of the snow?
Steve: You can. [inaudible 07:51]. London is directly ahead of us.
David: And you can change the weather with the flip of switch?
David: So we're going into London on a horrible day. Apparently there's nothing on the screen, which is close to pea soup, I would imagine.
Steve: It is a typical London day. [inaudible 09:07]
David: That looks okay to me. Realistic if nothing else.
Steve: So right hand on the thrust [plate]. [inaudible 09:20] monitoring the aircraft [inaudible 09:26].
David: So far, so good. There's our runway dead ahead.
[Computer voice: One thousand.]
David: So how much of this landing is on autopilot?
Steve: A whole lot.
David: You can land the whole plane on autopilot?
Steve: Absolutely. In fact, it uses all three autopilots. And if you have a system to read behind the scenes to land on autopilot. But also, I've set the brakes up so the brakes [inaudible 10:05] as well.
David: It certainly makes me look good.
[Computer voice: Five hundred.]
Steve: That's a final check to see that we are on the correct flight path. To line up with the runway, [inaudible 10:25].
[Computer voice: 100. 50. 30. 20. 10.]
Steve: If you reach forward with your right hand, there's four levers. Lift them up. Stop. Pause for a second, now put them all the way down. That will give us reverse thrust. [inaudible 11:21] We can start the process of reverse thrust [inaudible 11:23].
Narrator: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Heathrow. And thanks to Qantas for the ride of our lives.
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