Aviation fans are finishing MiG refit into simulator in Liberec | info.cz

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Aviation fans are finishing MiG refit into simulator in Liberec

Aviation fans are finishing MiG refit into simulator in Liberec

Czech aviation enthusiasts in the Liberec-Vratislavice industrial zone are finishing their project of refitting a decommissioned MiG-21MF into a functional fighter aircraft simulator, Petr Bily, who bought the jet two years ago, told CTK.

"Nowhere around the world will you find a simulator built from an actual whole jet fighter," Bily said, adding that the group working on the project repaired many of the functional parts of the 1974 aircraft, including lights, brakes, electronics and ailerons.

"When you use the breaks, you can hear the hiss," Bily said.

The leader of the project to rebuild the 15-metre long and over 4-metre tall aircraft into a simulator is Jindrich Machalinek. "All systems and instruments are functional. We managed to prepare the projections as well," Machalinek said.

The projections are beamed onto a dome-shaped screen that surrounds the aircraft and shows the simulated airspace and airport. This solution is unique, Machalinek said. "You can look behind you as well as above, you won't find that anywhere else," he added.

Two years ago, he finished building a different simulator, made from the cabin of a decommissioned DC-9 aircraft. Thanks to this previous experience, building the MiG simulator was easier. "Most things work on the same principle," he explained.

Bily expects the simulator to be available to the public within a few months. "Today, you can fly it and fight, but we are still getting some things just right. We want to show it to the public once it is 100 percent," he said. "I can imagine that for some people, it will be unpleasant to try a wingover," Bily said.

The feeling of real flight will be enhanced by a sound system integrated into the body of the aircraft. "It will be like some loud concert," Michalinek said.

During his first test flights on the simulator, Bily found out that after a while, the cockpit gets hot and it is hard to breathe in it. Machalinek says they already have a solution to that problem and will be using the aircraft's ventilator.

Bily tried the simulator several times. In his first try, he could not lift off and in two others he was not able to land.

"Everyone thinks they will be able to fly it and start shooting immediately. I think that can take several hours. First you have to connect with the aircraft, learn how to control it and make some things automatic in your head. Then you can start some fights, in order to know where and what is attacking you and learn how to operate the weapon systems," he said.

Bily added there is a significant difference between the DC-9 simulator, also installed in the industrial zone, and the MiG.

"The MiG is significantly faster, more agile and dangerous. Here, when you nudge the control stick fully to the right, you will make a one-and-a-half spin in about a second. When you do that with the DC-9, it spins only about ten degrees," Bily added.

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