Laser cutting Plymouth, Exeter, Devon, Cornwall, southern England and Wales.

The Jon Fellows
Partnership

Spitsim, a modular set of full size flight controls.

Have you ever dreamed of flying the iconic Spitfire? In the world of flight simulation, these things are all more than possible with many great software packages promising you the ultimate warbird experience.

Jon Fellows is responsible for the design and development of the SpitSim control system. The Jon Fellows Partnership is a very loyal and valued customer of ours at Laser Industries and we are proud to have been responsible for cutting a huge number of both aluminium and stainless steel parts for this unique project. The SpitSim specification called for a system of control modules which could be installed in a replica Spitfire cockpit so as to feel as realistic as possible; suitable for use as a conversion trainer. 

To be able to immerse yourself in such a flying experience is world class!

The prototype was planned as a floor standing system and was developed in 2004 by reverse engineering an original Spitfire column, spadegrip, pedals and throttle quadrant, which were borrowed from a partially re-built MK IX Spitfire aircraft. CAD drawings were produced from these, and many of the prototype components parts were laser cut. 

Over the years, development has included revised fabrications using more laser cut parts: mainly because of the quality and dimensional repeatability of the process. Additional modules have been introduced, with many using laser cut aluminium parts supplied by Laser Industries.

An early style Spitfire seat has been made, plus a Spitfire Desk for use with a free-standing control system, for use with a Virtual Reality set-up. For commercial use the Creative Cockpits fuselage section has proven popular.

You can quite literally climb in, put your feet on the pedals, hands on the spadegrip and throttle, and taxi out, take off, raise the landing gear and climb up into the big blue sky above. One of Jon’s most memorable career moments was the installation of the Spitfire Simulator at Maidenhead Heritage Centre. In October 2011, HRH Prince Michael of Kent performed the official opening of the ‘Grandma Flew Spitfires’ exhibition: celebrating the huge contribution made by the women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary. Central to the exhibition is the Spitfire simulator, which consists of a Spitsim control system fitted into a Creative Cockpits Spitfire with a five screen display.

One of Jon’s most memorable career moments was the installation of the Spitfire Simulator at Maidenhead Heritage Centre. In October 2011, HRH Prince Michael of Kent performed the official opening of the ‘Grandma Flew Spitfires’ exhibition: celebrating the huge contribution made by the women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary.

Central to the exhibition is the Spitfire simulator, which consists of a Spitsim control system fitted into a Creative Cockpits Spitfire with a five screen display.

On the 1st of April 2018 the Spitfire and Hurricane Heritage Museum at RAF Manston, near Ramsgate in Kent, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Their new Spitfire Simulator was officially opened to the public; comprising the latest SpitSim control system installed in a Creative Cockpits Spitfire. Located close to a famous Mk XVI Spitfire, and painted to replicate that aircraft over two thousand “test pilots” have  “flown” in this Simulator.

At Laser Industries, we have been providing Spitsim with many specialist laser cut components which are used in many of the controls and modules that Jon works hard to create. For example stainless steel and aluminium control panel surrounds and plate that is later worked into the design. 

MORE CASE STUDIES

Theatre sets and scenery

At Laser industries we have the capacity to produce laser cut components with precision in short timescales. We provide this service regularly to customers within the theatrical and set building industries. It is important for us at Laser Industries to work closely with our customers to ensure that the work is carried out in a time effective manner whilst ensuring the quality is second to none. 

Marine Fabrication

We also do business with companies in the marine safety industry. For example we have drawn up from templates, to create samples and final components of quick release mechanisms that you would see on the deck of a boat to ensure straps and lines are safe. Along with this, we have helped to provide the highest specification of marine grade stainless steel to produce safety harness buckles, adjuster buckles, slides and rails.