It’s been some years since a small team of Moscow enthusiasts crazy for planes started building their first flight simulator. Over the years, the project evolved, features were added, and now even the real pilots say that TFT Aero is very close to the simulators found in Boeing training centers.
Currently they have two simulators in operation: an Airbus A320 & a Boeing 737NG (which I personally like more).
You’ll fly in the Captain’s seat with an experienced instructor in the co-pilot seat (usually a real Captain on vacation, or a real Flight Training Instructor) guiding you through the engine start, runway taxiing, takeoff, landing, and various events happening while in the air. The knobs, controls, view, feel (and even tilt and rattle) are very real. You can really feel 40 tons of metal and that huge power of the two jet engines behind you. Controlled by your fingers.
To make things more fun and add some joy, they can enable rain, “explode” one of the engines, or simulate any other type of failure and explain how to deal with it.
Running the flight is pretty easy, both for rookies and for experienced MS Flight Simulator users. I would recommend booking at least one hour of flight, as the “standard” 30 minutes slot is too short.
The simulators, located on the 3rd floor in the Riviera shopping mall, have to be booked in advance and are pretty crowded on weekends. But on workdays it’s usually possible to book a flight the “next day”.