Want to be a fighter pilot?

AURORA, Ill. — For millions of people, being a fighter pilot is the ultimate dream job. And now, with the help of sophisticated electronics, it’s possible for almost anyone to experience that fantasy.

Squadron Ops Sim Center, a new company located near Chicago, is using systems based on actual military training principles to offer a taste of what it’s like to fly fighter aircraft in combat.

“The fighter-pilot mystique is bigger than ever,” says Greg Morris, founder of Squadron Ops. “And with today’s technologies, it’s finally something normal people can experience.”

Each simulator has three screens that are linked to the pilot’s head via an infrared system that reads head movements and amplifies changes in perspective accordingly. This lets participants look all the way around, even behind them, without twisting their neck.

Further enhancing the experience is the simulator’s control layout, officials note. From sharply-raked, built-in seats, participants control their mission with throttle and stick systems modeled after those of the U.S. Air Force’s A-10C and F-15 combat aircraft.

SIM2“Our simulators are very much like tactical training equipment used by the military,” says Morris. “Combined with great simulation software, this setup allows us to re-create almost any plane or mission we’d ever want.”

Squadron Ops’ simulations include present-day and World War II scenarios, in famous planes such as P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, Bf-109, F-15, A-10, MiG-29, and Su-27.

To make the experience more enjoyable, participants never get paired with strangers, he noted.

“You only participate with the people you come with,” says Morris. “That makes everyone so much more comfortable.”

For more information: SquadronOps.com

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