Air Cadet Projects
Call and ask for Bob or Carol
Group Captain John Middleton
Many years ago a chap called Bill Tresize and myself looked at the controls that were available for home flight simulation and we decided that there was simply nothing suitable so Bill designed a set of controls and called them the Multi Role Virtual Controls (MRVC). The main feature of them was that they were designed to be durable and had a full length joystick. Many individuals bought them as did the RAF at Linton-On-Ouse, Cranwell and Shawbury. The controls were built into a console and used with a projector and a monitor that was used as an instrument panel. These gave very good service and we supplied a similar set to 358 Sqn, Welling. This installation took place quite a few years ago.
About four years ago Grp Cpt John Middleton from Linton-On-OUse approached us to provide a cadet
training solution for the twelve Regional Activity Centres. I put together a design and Bill Trezise
built them. The concept in the design was as follows: The controls, seat and construction should be as
durable as was possible and in a similar layout to an aircraft. The graphics and the flight model should be reasonably representative of the environment and the type of aircraft that cadets might fly.
The computer was to be custom built to be reliable and have sufficient computing and graphics power to drive 3x24" monitors for fluid out of the window views plus one additional monitor to use as an instrument panel, GPS or as required. So as not to need to rely on a keyboard or mouse to operate the simulator, items such as trimmer, landing gear, flaps, radios and engine start switches were to be operated via avionic panels called Go-Flight. The result has proven to be very satisfactory.
The flight simulation software chosen was Microsoft,s Flight Simulator X as this lends itself to modification and customisation. The visuals for the scenery were provided by Horizon Simulation and are based on a 1.2 metre photograph. The height data used is based on 5 metre and all airports have been enhanced to give total coverage of England and Wales. A recent update for this scenery adds all clumps of trees in the UK, based on OS data.
We installed a third party ATC program called VoxATC that accurately represents air traffic operations in the UK. We also installed a traffic program to provide suitable visual aircraft for this program to manipulate. The ATC may be used automatically with a virtual co-pilot or may be used with voice recognition. This program is currently being updated to reflect recent changes in CAP 413.
All twelve console units have been supplied and they have proven to be totally reliable despite getting very heavy usage. The last console for the centres was installed 2009. We are just about to install a console for an ATC unit in Jersey. This will be commissioned on site in early Feb.
Sadly Bill Trezise died suddenly in July 2009 and since then all of our controls and consoles have been built by a Robotics Manufacturing company in Totnes, Devon, called Barr and Paatz Industrial Automation Ltd. In discussion with Jon Fellows who was involved previously in production of the previous controls It was decided to completely review all of the designs on all of the consoles and all of the controls. The out come of this was a range of controls called "Cadet".
Cadet is a range of premium controls manufactured mainly in stainless steel. They feature updated 12 bit electronics and potentiometers rated at two million operations. They also feature a moulded rubber "spring" design to give a realistic centring force on the joystick. The handle grip is an "Infinity" grip which is used in a number of real aircraft. The pedals, again manufactured in stainless' also have toe brakes.
View into Cockpit
Bob with Met Police
Project for Met Police