You can now let your dreams of being a fighter pilot run free at the Temora Aviation Museum where three new cutting-edge flight simulators are ready for a virtual takeoff.
From Friday 3 December, the museum will unveil the new dimension to its offering, and you can learn what it feels like to be a pilot of the iconic Supermarine Spitfire MkXVI, the mighty P-51 Mustang or the reliable P-40 Kittyhawk aircraft.
The one-hour warbird experience is being launched with a special offer of a 50 per cent discount for those keen to buckle up and book their seat online for only $70 rather than the full price of $140.
In more good news, there is no previous flying experience needed to take the ride.
Museum deputy CEO Peter Harper said participants would feel like they were stepping into the shoes of a fighter pilot the moment the pre-flight briefing of the experience started.
“We’ve even got an array of suits that you can don if you really want to get into the moment; that’s not for everyone, but if you really want to feel as though you are a pilot in the aircraft we can tailor that.”
The $550,000 simulator project has been several years in the making and has been made possible by a generous grant from the NSW State Government as part of its Tourism Activation grant program.
Mr Harper said he expected the experience would attract everyone from experienced pilots through to people who may have zero aviation background.
“That is the unique thing, the simulators can be flown by anyone – you don’t have to have pilot experience.
“To see this come to realisation is really pleasing; generally, a full motion aircraft simulator experience is limited to major capital cities, it’s quite unusual to see something like this out in the regions.
“To our knowledge these are the only warbird specific simulators in Australia.
“There is only a handful of pilots in the world that can fly these aircraft and to be able to fly them in a simulated form is really the closest thing you’ll get to the real thing.”
Temora Aviation Museum’s collection of aircraft still fly, making it different to many heritage attractions where displays are primarily static.
“Ours is a working museum,” said Mr Harper.
“The addition of having full motion customised warbird simulators is going to add another dimension and interactive activities for those that come and visit.
“I think it will also attract people who may not think to come to the museum on its own but will come for the simulator experience and probably be pleasantly surprised about everything else that is on offer.”
He said he hoped people would take advantage of the special offer and book their flight (online), suggesting it would make a great Christmas present for someone looking to give something different.
“If we’ve learnt anything it is that people are looking for experiences; it’s the ‘money can’t buy’ things people often want these days but in this case you can buy it!
“Ordinarily, no one would be able to fly a Spitfire or a Kittyhawk or a Mustang.
“Thanks to the grant from the NSW State Government we’ve been able to make this experience really affordable; without that funding this would not be a reality for us.
“In the capital cities an experience like this can be upwards of $250 an hour.”
The simulators also serve as educational tools, providing insights into the complexities and challenges of flying.
“The milestone marks an exciting chapter in our museum’s history. These simulators will enhance the overall experience, attracting aviation enthusiasts and curious minds from across Australia.”
For more details or to secure your simulator experience visit www.aviationmuseum.com.au. Vouchers purchased can be used at a later date, making it a great present with a difference for someone else, or a gift to yourself to enjoy when you are ready to hit the virtual runway.