RATE ONE - Ed.10
The adventure began with an ordinary number, the number 27, and continues today with the number 09. However, this is not about mathematics and even less about occult numerology...
A few years ago, I acquired the cockpit of a fighter plane that had flown with the Belgian cookard, at a time when many consider it to be the most beautiful of fighter jets. The cabin of a Mirage 5 with the number BA 27 (the international version of Dassault Aviation's Mirage III) was an extraordinary and very elegant aircraft with a delta wing. The plane was in Maurepas in France, not just by chance, as I am passionate about everything that flies since... always have been.
The phone is ringing, 'Celle' calling from Belgium, and that's where the adventure begins...
At the end of his last trip, the plane finds shelter with Celle De Petter, former fighter pilot and instructor in the Belgian Air Force. It returns to the pilot who flew it over Europe for many years.
The adventure could have ended here, but budding friendship and passion prove to be too strong.
This passion is so intense that it must be shared with others, who have either been bitten by the same microbe or who have not yet become acquainted with it. The means of communication for this today are diverse, the choice is first in the literary field. Celle led the editing of a book on the history and experiences of the Mirage M5 B, in collaboration with the Mirage Pilot Association (MPA).
One page in the book is then dedicated to the virtual flight. After all, today no Mirage flies, they enjoy a well-deserved rest.
I am a computer scientist and at the interface between aeronautics and computers is the world of flight simulation, which allows us to experience real aeronautics as virtually as possible.
With the evolution of technology, the details of simulation today are of an exceptional level. Flights and operating systems are very close to reality. Landscapes, relief, landmarks, cities and airports are faithfully reproduced. The simulated control of a fighter plane or a passenger plane is a challenge very similar to that of the real world, except, for the moment, for the absence of "G" and possibly "Dad".
But the essence is there.
I contributed to the editing of Celle's book, in particular with a photograph taken during a virtual flight above Celle's house, allowing the virtual BA 27 to fly above the real BA 27.
The adventure could have stopped there, but...
At the beginning of February 2018, a new plane arrives directly in Sint-Truiden. It concerns the Mirage 5 BD 09, a two-seater that also serves for training and immediately a formidable team forms around the plane: TEAM BD 09. Because of their passionate enthusiasm, the plane revives, as in the days when its jet engine was still roaring.
The new life of BD 09 is also getting more and more attention on the social media.
The adventure could have stopped there... ...but once again, the desire and need to tell about our passion will prevail...
A new call, 'Celle' calling from Belgium, I have a new idea... The adventure is now experienced by three people, this time together with Jacques Waldeyer, the owner of BD 09.
The idea is simple: to allow visitors to the BD 09 to relive the views, experiences and intense emotional sensations of the pilots on board the Mirage 5.
When the book on the Mirage M5 B was being written, it was already necessary to virtually transform photographs of Mirages into the Belgian models BA27, BA27, BA54....
We have an excellent simulator and the SIM community provides an ADD-ON library from which we can draw to breathe life into the environment of the old Brustem EBST Base.
Visitors take a seat aboard the real fighter plane, BD 09, put on virtual reality glasses and then experience a virtual "Sentation Flight" over the old base.
They sit like real pilots in a real cockpit.
They take off, fly in closed formation, accompanied by wingmen during the flight. They fly at 250 feet and at 480 knots. Also manoeuvres such as split-up and landing in formation are on the programme.
The view of the surroundings of Sint-Truiden is shown in detail, such as the Royal School of Saffronberg, as well as the set of landmarks around runway 24.
The real challenge was to simulate the flight as faithfully as possible as the pilot experienced it at the time, on board an aircraft of superior performance and in a closed formation.
The simulated flight hardly differs from a real flight in terms of sensations, orientation and the way of flying. Repeated training sessions and continuous improvement of the flight characteristics of the Mirage 5, thanks to Celle's repeated advice, allowed a correct result to be achieved .
Celle showed patience, and I myself showed perseverance.
Today, visitors will relive three sightseeing flights in formation above Brustem.
The experience is very compelling and close to reality due to the resemblance of the virtual cockpit to the real one.
We are working on improving some of the details. Former pilots of Mirage 5 had the opportunity to experience the flight and they were not disappointed by the experience, on the contrary. They paid a lot of attention to the small details, which only they could notice.
After their experience of almost a quarter of an hour's flight, our visitors are pretty much upside down. After her first flight a lady, who has 84 years on the counter, wanted to relive this several times...
We have recently purchased new virtual reality glasses that give a much better image and sound and contribute to more visual comfort and an even better experience.
Thanks to BD 09, a tandem two-seater, these emotions can be shared during a flight with two people, one at the front and one at the back, through the possibility to talk to each other and to an operator on the ground via radio.
We still have new flights in preparation to relive other stages in the lives of Belgian Mirage pilots, such as the shooting exercises that took place regularly over Corsica at the time.
The project is probably only in its early stages as further developments are being considered.
Machines and graphics cards, which are indispensable for virtal technology, are only just maturing. They are constantly evolving, which means that they always offer more technical and visual possibilities.
But to come back to our project, in my opinion it was only possible to achieve it thanks to three essential values: passion, friendship and the will to communicate and consult...
Professional career :
1984 - Computer Engineer, Programming Institute Paris VI
1984 - 1988 Software developer then software project manager at THOMSON
1989 - 2009 Creation & development of a service company in IT services for major manufacturers.
2010 - 2016 Creation & development of the company import & commercialization of Indonesian products
2016 - 2020 Creation and development of an IT service company for Liberal professions, small and medium sized businesses.
Aviation in all its forms, in particular collection and flight simulation.
Travel and Asia