Wednesday 14 April 2021

(Review Visit) Simulator Adventures, Manchester. Airbus A320 Flight Simulator Review - now with Hydraulics!

We had an epic time when we first visited Simulator Adventures in Manchester, so we were delighted to be invited back to try out their Airbus A320 Flight Simulator now that they've added the hydraulics. It felt like you were actually moving before, and this really does add another dimension of reality to the experience. 

Messy text over image of man flying sitting in pilot seat

Our visit was actually 6 months ago, but COVID has kept leisure activities off the menu for a while. Simulator Adventures is used for pilot training, so has been in use during lockdown, but pretty soon (May 17th) they can reopen to the public and let anyone have a go... and bookings are being taken now. 

These guys keep changing their waiting room seating, so it wouldn't surprise me if they've upgraded again, but you get into the mood for flying as soon as you arrive. 

waiting room full of flight seats from aeroplane with my 2 boys sitting politely, wearing COVID masks

There's no age 'limit', but you need to be around 4ft6 / 10 years old before you are tall enough to actually use the flight simulator, and it's not a place for little ones. This is grown up playtime. 

My 10 and 12 year old boys are old enough to be sensible, but still need watching - and bear in mind there may be some waiting around. The Trafford Centre is incredibly close, as is the tram station, so Simulator Adventures is really well placed if your whole party aren't going to be flying.  

boy looks through window view of an airport from inside flight simulator

When you go inside the Simulator room, the sheer size is impressive. The Simulator is massive (it has room for 2 passengers). Initial plans for hydraulics simply weren't going to be strong enough, which is why they've been added later. These truly massive rods move like ballerinas dancing when the simulator is in motion. 

Pretty hydraulics Airbus simulator adventures manchester

It's a lot less jerky than you'd anticipate, it's very smooth. There really is a huge amount of power controlling the movement - which has a bigger range than I anticipated too. It doesn't just tilt a bit, it REALLY moves. 

Expanded hydraulic ram under airbus simulator

Here's a quick 4 minute video showing the flight simulator and the hydraulics in action - from inside and outside... 

And if you want to see any more, I filmed a longer video on our first visit - pre-hydraulics... 

Simulator Adventures really is an excellent place to spend an hour. Flying a plane really is every bit as hard as you'd think, and that's with a pilot sitting next to you, and without leaving the ground. The simulator is brilliant, and the addition of hydraulics really does give you the experience of speed and movement through the air. 

Without any doubt, I would buy a trip on this Airbus as a gift for anyone who is tricky to buy for, or has already got one of everything. They haven't got one of these... 

Experiences start at £99, you don't have to have any knowledge at all, your pilot i incredibly patient and won't even laugh if you bounce down the runway - not unless you laugh first. 

Find out more, and book, on the Simulator Adventures website

Our trip was in return for our video review. 


  1. This looks like great fun. Something a little different to do xx

    1. It really is. I have no interest in flying really, aqnd I've never been 'into' planes, but I absolutely loved it. My partner, as you can hear in the video, he had the time of his life. It really is something special to remember forever.


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