Gwyn Perrett’s Boeing 737-800NG simulator Virgin 738 (C/S ‘Velocity 738’)
Now a naturalised Australian, 58-year-old Gwyn was formerly British. He has had a lifelong interest in aviation but found out at an early age that he was partially colour blind and wouldn’t be able to fly professionally. He started flying lessons at the age of 39 and holds a Recreational Pilot’s Licence, occasionally taking a Cessna 172 for a spin around the Perth suburbs, but he says having a fully functioning 737 simulator in the home workshop is a much more convenient and cheaper flying thrill.
Gwyn, a mechanical engineer by trade, started by making a throttle quadrant for his desktop computer, and then one for an A320 customer. This was followed by more custom sim parts and so his hobby business ‘Aerosim Solutions’ was founded. Gwyn now makes simulator parts for clients worldwide, including for a very realistic Spitfire cockpit, a real C172 fuselage conversion, several executive jets and most of the popular airliners, as well as for three of Perth’s commercial flight simulators. Gwyn was only the twelfth member of an early simulator builders’ online forum which now has over 13,000 members. With half a dozen of these forums in existence there are potentially more than 60,000 full-size sims being built in English-speaking countries alone.
This, Gwyn’s second fullsized 737 sim build, is housed in a big metal shed in the garden of his home in the northern Perth suburbs. Gwyn started the Grey Lady in around 2012 and, like Greg’s, it has cost him approximately AU$50,000. With actual 737-200 pilots’ seats and flight controls, I can attest that it flies and operates precisely like the real thing. Gwyn has set his up more like an airline’s, in that he can also simulate as many failures as could be imagined for training.
2017 was the fourth Worldflight for ‘Velocity738’. Combined with Greg’s team, ‘Worldflight Perth’ crew has raised over $26,000 so far for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Gwyn on final into R13 Kai Tak Hong Kong
Gwyn setting up his Grey Lady