The Concept

If you have ever boarded a plane, after taking your seat and stowing your bag, you’ve probably looked towards the front of the plane and caught a glimpse of what was going on in the cockpit.

To most of us, the cockpits of familiar planes like the Boeing 737 are places of some mystery and not a little glamour, full of a dazzling array of glinting switches and dials, urgent conversations over radios, and stylish uniforms.

There can be few airline passengers that haven’t wondered, at least in passing, what it might be like to don the captain’s hat, take up their position in the pilot’s seat, and grab the controls on one of those classic routes through the skies, say from London Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle or Amsterdam Schiphol.

But let’s face it, for most of us, unless we have several spare years to devote to training (not to mention a natural aptitude for such things), the nearest we’ll ever get to flying a plane is to play on a simulator game, a fun but essentially unconvincing experience on our laptop or games console.

So what would you say to the chance of entering an actual cockpit, and taking the controls of a plane that’s the same in every respect as the one you’d encounter if you’d turned left after getting on board your standard holiday or weekend-away flight? The only difference being that this particular cockpit was situated in a purpose-built, flight studio, at the Andrewsfield Airfield, near Great Dunmow in Essex.

Flight Studio offers anyone – individuals, work colleagues, groups of friends, families – an incredible real-time experience that gives you the chance to fly a Boeing 737 from inside a life size replica cockpit that’s so close to the real thing that qualified airline pilots and trainees actually use it for their training.

From the moment you step inside Flight Studio, ordinary life is left behind. Once the doors close, you’re a pilot, and you’ll be in charge of getting your plane safely to its destination (with a little help from the Flight Studio team if required).

Following a full pre-flight briefing you and your group will take the controls of the Boeing 737. You’ll be able to choose the airport you take off from, the time of day, the weather conditions and the destination you’re flying to. You’ll work out the route, the load of your plane, the amount of fuel you’ll need and the altitude and speed you’ll need to get there, whether that’s a relatively simple run to Amsterdam Schiphol or a challenging descent between mountains to Innsbruck or Hong Kong.

Then you’ll listen out for your take-off slot, taxi to the appointed runway using the steering system beside your seat, wait for clearance, accelerate... and take to the skies.

Soon you’re up and heading through any clouds, looking out panoramically in high definition through your windows to the horizon above and the earth below – fields, towns, rivers, oceans, landmarks... while keeping your attention on the instruments, displays and controls within the cockpit that keep your plane on track. Now you’re really flying, and you’ll be captivated by the experience, lost in what you’re doing, with little sense of the ‘real’ world outside, feeling all the sensations and responsibilities of an actual airline pilot.

Flight Studio offers a seamless, immersive experience – whether you’ve always dreamed of taking the controls of a passenger aircraft or are simply the sort of person who’s always interested in trying something new.

Take a look at the flight packages available, from hour-long flights to full-day adventures, where things may not go as smoothly as hoped. Whichever option you choose, a take-off and landing with Flight Studio will be an experience you’ll never forget...