Pilots can test and hone their warbird flying skills with a unique new flight simulator package that replicates the rare Spitfire T9 being restored by Historic Flying of Duxford.
The new warbird flight simulator is being developed in an industry-first partnership between Historic Flying and one of the top flightsim developers, Aeroplane Heaven. It will be available for download as an add-on to current Microsoft Flight Simulator packages.
Virtually all commercial flight simulator packages replicate 'generic' aircraft or aircraft that are not accessible to general aviation pilots. This new partnership has been established to generate accurate virtual replicas of real aircraft that pilots could experience for themselves.
John Romain of Historic Flying said: "This simulator will help us acclimatise warbird pilots to the flying environment of the Spitfire. Familiarity with the controls and the attitude of the aircraft will help to produce better and safer pilots - and for those who haven't managed stick time in a Spitfire, it'll give them a real taste for it."
The model is based on Aeroplane Heaven's proven generic models of the Spitfire Mark IX and from original documents, drawings and contemporary photographs of the actual aircraft. Every instrument, control and marking is authentic to help make it as 'real' an experience as possible. Its flying characteristics will be validated against the real aircraft by experienced pilots with the help of a high-integrity flight data recorder system being installed in the aircraft.
Barry Bromley of Aeroplane Heaven said: "This will be one of the most accurate models of the Spitfire yet created; the amount of detail we've had to work with has been second to none. Pilots will find it a great help in feeling at home in the Spitfire should they be fortunate enough to fly Historic Flying's two-seater for real."
The subject aircraft, IAC-161, served with the Irish Air Corps during the fifties and sixties. It was originally built as Spitfire LF IX PV202 fitted with a Rolls Royce Merlin 66. The aircraft saw action in 1944 and 1945 and was credited with 'kills' in service with the Royal Canadian Air Force. It was converted to two-seater specification before being delivered to the Irish Air Corps.
IAC 161's total restoration to original condition, including the 'large' rear bubble cockpit, is almost complete with the first flight expected shortly.
Aeroplane Heaven's catalogue of flight simulator add-ons can be found at www.aeroplaneheaven.com The new Spitfire T9 model will be available shortly after the first flight of the real aircraft.