VR simulation allows visitors to Hill museum to pilot A-10 ‘Warthog’ | News, Sports, Jobs

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II is pictured at the Hill Aerospace Museum on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. A simulated flight of the aircraft is available to the public at the Education Center at the museum.

Deborah Wilber, Standard Examiner

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The Virtual Reality A-10 Flight Experience at the Hill Aerospace Museum is pictured on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. The virtual reality flight simulation is the museum’s newest feature at the Education Center at the museum.

Deborah Wilber, Standard Examiner

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II is pictured at the Hill Aerospace Museum on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. A simulated flight of the aircraft is available to the public at the Education Center at the museum.

Deborah Wilber, Standard Examiner

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A sign with information about the A-10A Thunderbolt II is pictured on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. A simulated flight of the aircraft is available to the public at the Education Center at the Hill Aerospace Museum.

Deborah Wilber, Standard Examiner

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE – The ability for ordinary people to fly over mountains and valleys in the western Utah desert in an A-10 Thunderbolt II is now a reality – a virtual reality – at the Hill Aerospace Museum.

For $15, users can experience four separate flight segments: takeoff, low-mountain flying, acrobatics and landing, or the entire flight from start to finish for 25 minutes.

Amel McGill, a museum volunteer, said he had to sit in the exhibit chair for five minutes without the VR headset on to get rid of the vertigo. He remembers looking down during the flight when the pilot turned the plane on its side. “It’s no worse than riding a roller coaster,” he said.

Flight experiences vary, with limited museum personnel trained to operate the simulation. The next opportunity to virtually fly the famous plane nicknamed “Wwarthog” is Saturday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. Admission is free, but masks are required to enter the facility.

The simulation was developed and created as a collaboration between the museum, the 514th Flight Test Squadron and the 2nd Audio Visual Squadron.

Lt. Col. Kevin Belcher, 514th FTS, was equipped with 360-degree cameras strapped to his head and chest during an actual test flight over the Utah Test and Training Range for the simulation, according to Raelyn Embleton, director of museum education.

“The experience begins with a brief introduction to the pilot and the 514th mission, to give the public a better idea of ​​what HAFB does and to further educate visitors about the many diverse and interesting missions accomplished here,” she said. .

According to McGill, the museum is trying to coordinate a virtual flying experience for an F-16A, the “Fighting Falcon.”

Hill Aerospace Museum is considered one of Utah’s premier attractions with more than 90 military aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles.

Founded in 1982 as part of the U.S. Air Force Heritage Program, the museum opened to the public in 1987, attracting 350,000 annual visitors from every state and many other countries.

Educating and inspiring all ages throughout history, with a focus on the Air Force, HAFB, Utah Aviation, and unique learning experiences, is the museum’s mission. All volunteers have flown, worked on or associated with one or more of the museum’s aircraft, McGill said.

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