Air India’s first-ever flight simulator to be on public display

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New Delhi: National carrier Air India’s first-ever flight simulator will soon be opened for public viewing at the Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai where people can explore its sophisticated cockpit.

Acquired by Air India in 1980, the first flight simulator Boeing 747-200 was in service for about 21 years and used to train hundreds of pilots before it finally landed at the Nehru Science Centre a few years ago. The artefact is likely to be thrown open for public view by this year end, official sources said.

The authorities at the Centre, functioning under the aegis of the National Council of Science Museums, are in the process of building an exclusive pavilion for the simulator. “We are creating a pavilion for the simulator and visitors would be allowed to get a first hand experience of the significant simulator,” G S Rautela, Director General of National Council of Science Museums, told PTI. “We may allow visitors to explore the cockpit,” he added.

After serving for 21 years and giving hands-on simulator flight experience to hundreds of pilots, it became outdated and was subsequently discontinued from service in 2001. At this juncture, the sources said, the Nehru Science Centre approached Air India for acquiring the simulator citing its historical relevance.

Thereafter, the simulator was donated by Air India to Nehru Science Centre in 2006, the sources added. “It will be used for educating the public about the significance of such simulators for flight safety and to provide a visual experience for visitors to the cockpit of aircraft, access to which is restricted to public,” Rautela said. The Nehru Science Centre collects, restores and preserves important historical objects that represent landmarks in the development of science, technology and industry.

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