Most advanced home flight simulator-world
record set by Matthew Sheil
SYDNEY, Australia --
Flight enthusiast Matthew Sheil has built a 747-400
flight simulator in his Sydney warehouse for about $200,000
US-setting the world record for the Most
advanced home flight simulator.
Photo: Matthew Sheil with his homebrew
Most advanced home flight simulator / photos by Joe Corrigan
Thanks to 45 different software programs running
on 14 different computers, the simulator allows Sheil to fly
to and from 27,000 different airports around the world with
By day, Sheil runs a trucking
parts company but at night he takes to the skies with
other enthusiasts from around the globe. The simulator is
stored at his warehouse in Chipping Norton.
The world's Most
advanced home flight simulator is able to mimic real-world
weather conditions in any country with startling accuracy,
and the hydraulics system means Sheil can feel every bump.
"When you taxi out on the runway you feel it
bumping on the cracks in the pavement, you feel it when the
wheels touch down," he said.
In Sheil's simulator, computer screens replace
the windows and if he is flying in the virtual world behind
a person in Melbourne, and they are using a Qantas 767, "we
actually see a Qantas 767 out the window - the software puts
it in there for us - and he sees us".
Moreover, if Sheil flies through Russia,
he is greeted by a volunteer Russian air traffic controller.
Cars can be seen on the road when he comes in to land and
people wave at him from the terminals.
Sheil says it's sometimes easy to forget that
it's a simulation.
No one involved in virtual flying make any money
In fact, all of the money Sheil earns by renting
out his simulator for training is donated to the Royal
Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
advanced home flight simulator cost him $300,000 to
build - a far cry from the $60 million price tag on the professional
simulators - but many of the parts were donated to him because
of his charity work.
Every year, Sheil and scores of other simulator
enthusiasts from countries including Britain, Scotland, USA
and Austria, participate in an event called Worldflight
here) to raise money for the RFDS.
Participants go to their nearest flight simulator
- Sheil hosts about 15 people, some from overseas - and take
part in a round-the-world-flight, taking legs in shifts for
an entire week.
"They're here for the whole week and they'll
be rostered on at certain times of the day to fly," he said.
"It's all done in real-world conditions - Qantas
sponsors us and they provide airline food for a week."
Sheil is a veteran real-world pilot and owns
a Beechcraft Baron B58. He said he preferred flying a real
plane but enjoyed the Most
advanced home flight simulator because there were
Sheil's 747 Simulator
Sunday, March 15, 2009
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