Two Berlin entrepreneurs came up with the idea of making the dream of flying possible for everybody.
But how did this dream start at Flight Simulator Berlin?
The cockpit originally belongs to a Boeing 707.
The cockpit dimensions comply to the greatest psooible extent to those of a Boeing 737, to which it was later modified.
The author Johannes Schages reconstructed the story of the cockpit and released an article in the “Jet & Prop” newspaper, Edition 01/2009.
Like a Phoenix from the ashes
How the modern Flight Simulator Berlin Boeing 737 NG cockpit developed out of the "International Air Tour" legendary Boeing 707-355C.
Most recently, a private simulation operator in the heart of Berlin offers all flight enthusiasts the opportunity to become a pilot and take-off on board the Boeing 737 NG - guided by a competent commercial pilot. Until now this was only possible up to a limited extent since these facilities are almost exclusively used for the professional training of airline pilots. In the proper style ambiance of Flight Simulator Berlin, the "Captain" will be led into the briefing after he checked-in. According to his wishes, he will be prepared for his flight. Afterwards he will take place in the left seat of the original cockpit - like dozens of "real" airline captains did before.
The cockpit was originally part of a Boeing B707-355C cell, which departed as the 643rd plane out of the B 707 production line (Construction No: 19664) to its first flight on November 1st, 1967. A week later, the eventful career in the fleet of many airlines worldwide started. At first registered as N526EJ in the business jet edition and delivered to Executive Jets, the Dutch airline Transavia placed it into service on June 26th, 1968, as its first jet with the registration PH-TRF. The leased plane flew mainly charter flights on long-haul routes. On the 24th of July, 1968, our Boeing broke the existing range record for commercial aircraft. She flew 11.300 km non-stop from Buenos Aires to Brussels.
Leased to Caledonian Airways in October 1969, she went into the business inventory of the British Caledonian as the "County Caithness / Loch Doon" (G-AXRS). During the summer season of 1981 the Boeing 707 was leased to Monarch Airlines and remained in the UK until 1984 - before she was sold to Nigeria. Here our Boeing 707 served another 10 years in the operations of Okada Air (5N-AOQ) for charter flights out of Lagos. Eventually IAT Cargo took over the almost 30 year old lady to use her (as 5N-VRG) for its cargo connections in Europe.
Here, at the airport of Oostende in Belgium, the flying career ended on the 14th of November, 1998: At 0300 UTC the B707 took off with a load of 35 tons of electronic devices as flight RCN302 to Lagos-Murtala. In Flight Level 240 (about 8000 metres) she came into turbulences overhead Chimay. Engine No. 3 loosened, which forced the 5 crew members to return to Oostende. After burning lots of fuel in the holding, additional hydraulic problems came up. During the harsh emergency landing at 05:44 UTC, the main gear collapsed, the freighter overshot the runway and came to a complete stop just short of the Localiser antenna. It was decided to declare the plane as the 149th total loss of a B707 and wreck it.
So the scrap press would have sealed the fate of this legend, if the cockpit would not have gone into the ownership of a Belgian, who converted it in years of hard work into a B737 (as generally known, the front fuselage of our "Baby" shows a high equality of structure with its predecessor). Later, the functioning simulator came to Bremen, where it stayed for some time in the top floor of the airport terminal next to the "Bremenhalle". Here, the rich aviation history of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is documented by the Junkers W33 "Bremen", a Fw 44 "Stieglitz" and "Spacelab" as well as (out on the terrace) a VFW 614.
In the summer of 2008, two young entrepreneurs from Berlin bought the simulator and delivered it via a heavy duty transport into the German capital. In a modern building complex in the Luxemburger Str. in Berlin-Mitte/Wedding, the simulator was build up for its new mission. Equipped with modern software and hardware the modern cockpit now complies with the construction level of a B737 NG. Not less than seven computers for the individual subsystems are connected to each other via a central network and a 6-meter cambered projection surface enables an almost completely real and high-resolution vision. Flights from A to B (with a selection of over 24.000 airports worldwide) – with or without autopilot – are possible as well as the practice of take-offs, landings, departure and approach procedures during all kinds of weather operations, day and night. The realistic impression for the pilot(s) is intensified by the simulation of several (flight) sounds; during take-off, the vibration is felt throughout the cockpit...
Whoever wants to enjoy a special flight adventure or take his/her flying knowledge from the home PC to a new level of dimension can find out more at www.flugsimulator-berlin.de