In the middle of last year, we decided that one thing our shop needed was a standalone flight simulator computer. In working in another shop, we had a very positive experience having a machine where potential customers could try out the latest and greatest flying things.
So up went the 32” LCD monitor, connected to a fairly tricked out simulator computer Steve built. Loaded up with the industry’s top two flight simulators: Phoenix 4 and RealFlight 6.5, we were ready for folks to try it out.
We get a couple constant reactions when people see we have it up and running. The first, for folks familiar with the hobby, is to come grab the radio, pick a plane/helicopter, and let it rip. Folks new to the hobby approach it cautiously, like they could still cause the digital flyer irreparable damage. It only takes them a few flights – and subsequent wrecks – to see the value in having something where parts are free and fixes are a matter of hitting a Reset button. It’s this reaction I enjoy seeing, because it helps make RC flight a little less intimidating and unknown.
The new versions of these simulators even come with popular planes sold here at the shop. One customer was sold on the simulator when he found out he could fly the exact plane he purchased from us the week before. Since then, he mentioned that he ‘must’ve spent $50,000 on parts from simulator wrecks’ but that his confidence level had increased.
I guess my point is: come in, try our simulators, wreck some planes, smash a few helicopters – but understand that each time you do, you’re building up knowledge and skills to make you a better flyer.