The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) has the responsibilitywithin the Royal Air Force of maintaining in airworthy condition someof the United Kingdomâ€™s most precious aircraft. P7350 is one suchexample, described by Squadron Leader Andy Millikin in the 2018 filmSpitfire as â€œin my opinion the most precious flying machine on theplanet bar â€¦ the Apollo 11 command capsuleâ€. In the photo shown hereyou can see it alongside the BBMFâ€™s latest cockpit, a Spitfire MkIX VRsimulator being tested by Cpl Rich â€œBoyceyâ€ Boyce.
AuthentiKit is both proud and honoured to have supported the RAFover the past few months, working with Boycey and his team to createthis simulator using AuthentiKit controls. On one of my visits to RAFConingsby, home of the BBMF, I took along Steve Walton known to manyas VR Flight Sim Guy and you can see him here in the Spitfiresimulator.
A Pilot Training Aide And Public Demonstrator
The aim of the simulator is twofold. Initially it was to offer thepublic a chance to experience flying a Spitfire at BBMF airshowshowever once it started to take shape in the BBMF hangar it soonattracted the attention of the pilots of the RAF display team. Thisled to a secondary role as a training aide both for Spitfirefamiliarisation for new Spitfire pilots and potentially for practicingairshow flyovers.
This was a very exciting development as it created an additionalimperative to ensure that everything was in exactly the right placeand felt just right. Fortunately that has always been an importantaspect of AuthentiKit and so the main focus of effort was thenadapting the controls to fit the cockpit shell the BBMF engineers werestarting with. We also added a few touches like the instrument panelthat, whilst not of immense value in VR, added hugely to the sense ofclimbing inside a real Spitfire.
BBMF Members' Day Launch
The simulator was unveiled to the public at the BBMF Membersâ€™ Daywhere Spitfire experiences were offered free to attendees. Needless tosay it was extremely popular and a queue quickly formed keeping Boyceyand his team flat out through the day. We also set up an AuthentiKitdisplay alongside and I very much appreciated the help of Ian Colman(who created the AuthentiKit Tuning App) as well as YouTubeinfluencers, Mark Duff (SimHanger) and Steve Walton in setting thingsup and sharing the AuthentiKit story with visitors. Also thanks toAllan Hall (holding the camera!) who initially created SimKitSupplies,a business offering kits for self assembly of AuthentiKitcontrols.
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