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Aviation centre Sim2do next to RAF Mildenhall marks five years with launch of Lynk Mk 7 Helicopter experience

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An aviation-mad family has marked five years of their popular flight simulator by installing a helicopter experience.

Sim2do, based in Gregory Road outside RAF Mildenhall, consists of Serena Mockford, an instructor, her father Kenneth Mockford, who maintains and operates the simulators as well as instructing, and Serena’s mum Martine Mockford, who handles bookings and paperwork. Aviation is in the DNA of the family with other members having flown in the RAF. Serena’s great-great grandad Frederick Mockford was the originator of the ‘Mayday’ distress signal in 1917.

Serena at the controls
Serena at the controls

Serena, 33, said: “Dad built a desktop sim and that was not really good enough, and he got obsessed - and worked with a guy to strip out a Boeing to create the simulator. Everyone was asking him for a go, and eventually he thought he could charge people!”

After much hard work, former pilot Kenneth has been able to set-up a simulator for an F35-B Lightning II Jet, a Boeing 737 aeroplane, and, most recently added, a Lynk Mk 7 Helicopter.

Customers walk into a replica cockpit and see a view much-like a real-life counterpart. Taking the controls, under the instruction of Kenneth or Serena, users can fly anywhere in the world on the simulator. More advanced pilots can have the added challenges of changing weather and other planes in the sky. A new function added recently by Kenneth gives the users of the helicopter, jet, and plane to fly simultaneously and see each other in the same virtual sky.

The simulators are all static but vibrations and impact can be felt through the plane or helicopter controllers. Serena, who lives in Soham, says customers are often members of the public who have been given vouchers to attend as a birthday present. But their clientèle includes aspiring pilots, cadets, and former pilots who still enjoy flying classic routes. This year the mum-of-one said she was hoping to step up from a part-time role to full-time, but Covid-19 has pushed things back. Nevertheless, Serena is still delighted to mark five years. She added: “We have been taking extra special measures to sanitise everything. We have just about stayed afloat and are looking to network and meet more clients into next year.”

“The flight simulator is a thrilling experience for anyone who takes part and we are hoping more people will take to the skies in 2021.”

Visit www.sim2do.com and for a discount exclusive to Bury Free Press readers, enter code: BFP10.

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