At long last my replica MkIX Spitfire controls prototype has started testing in flight sims. The enclosed video shows the sim kit controls being used to fly a Spitfire MkIa in Cliffs of Dover. I shot this using a smartphone, but will shortly be doing a proper video, so please accept the rather poor quality and take this as a teaser …..
Obviously the MkIX controls are different to the MkI, but as the video shows the differences are slight and the controls can be realistically used on any mark of Spitfire. I have even tested them on other warbirds in Battle of Stalingrad such as the Bf109, LaGG, and Yak.
The main thing to get used to with the control column is that you really need to move the spade grip around to get full response from the aircraft – this is quite a big difference to the small wrist movements that we make on modern jet type fighter sticks. The controls are to scale and correctly positioned in relation to each other, so you get a good feel of what it is like to fly a real Spitfire.
I have decided to add a bit of left side cockpit panelling around the throttle quadrant, the trim wheels and the radio remote control unit. This really gives the impression of being in a cockpit, in spite of the fact that the instrument panel is largely cut away to allow the pilot to see the video screen. The outside of this panel is where squadron leaders and wing commanders had their pennants and where many pilots painted up their kills – virtual pilots will be able to personnalise this area at will.
“So Daddy what do you want for Christmas ?” – Well very soon you will able to order you very own piece of history and fly off into the blue yonder at the controls of your very own Spitfire.