It’s official, my last day as a “twenty something” is here, and tomorrow morning when I wake up, I’ll be 30! To ensure I leave my twenties in style, Elaine has given me the best birthday gift I could ever ask for – a 90-minute flight experience in one of Boeing’s 737 training simulators.

The Boeing 737:

For the regular traveller, it will be no surprise to hear that the Boeing 737 Series is the biggest selling jet airliner ever built. The aircraft size, configuration, economy, range and reliability have made the 737 a favourite with airlines around the world. Since the 737 was launched in the 1960s, more than 9,700 orders have been placed and with over 7,100 planes being delivered and more than 5,500 in service today, the 737 represents more than a quarter of the total worldwide fleet of commercial jet airliners. In fact, on average, about 1,700 Boeing 737s are in the air at all times and one takes off or lands somewhere in the world, every 2 seconds!

The training centre I visited today uses state-of-the-art technology, based on the Boeing 737-800. These simulators are used world-wide for pilot training and provide a fully immersive experience that is the closest thing to flying the real aircraft. From following real-world checklists and talking with Air Traffic Control to flying into the world’s most challenging airports with the simulator’s stunning 180 degree HD visual system, it truly provides you with an authentic pilot experience.

For my simulation today, we spent the first 30 minutes practising take offs and landings at JFK in New York, before doing a real-time (gate-to-gate) flight from London’s Heathrow airport to Charles du Gaulle in Paris.

It was without any doubt one of the coolest things I’ve done in my life and it simply proves again, I have the best wife in the world!

Some pics: