This is a 60-minute experience that allows people to conduct two missions seen in the movie. For that, the Vantage Simulations offers a replicated F-35B Lightning II fighter jet cockpit which includes HOTAS (Hands On Throttle and Stick) flight controls, a 22-inch touchscreen panel, and landing gear and SVTOL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing) controls. Think of it as a gaming rig on steroids, with three 1080p HD projectors displaying images on a curved screen for a truly immersive experience.
The first mission in the simulation is called Maverick Sidewinder and, like in the movie, is a training session you need for the final mission to maximize your chances of success. The simulations use the same locations as the movie. You take off from China Lake NAWS air base and fly over to Lake Isabella to the “sidewinder” valley, where you practice low-level flying.
In the second mission, Maverick Dagger One, you take off from an aircraft carrier, proceed into enemy territory, and launch a strike at a uranium plant before dogfighting your way back to the carrier. While the practice mission allows you to do double takes, you only get one shot at the second mission. The price of this attraction is £99 ($117) and can be enjoyed by children as young as 10 years old.
Unfortunately, the flight simulator used for this experience does not feature a movable platform like commercial plane simulators have. Instead, the company says it incorporates “state-of-the-art transducers, that really make you feel you’re in a real aircraft.” On the plus side, the company uses Lockheed Martin’s own software for the F-35 flight dynamics, VRS TackPac for weapon systems, and Orbx for realistic scenery.