Norfolk duo prepare for fundraising virtual flight around the world

Nick Ashworth and Mike Thirtle will attempt to �fly� around the globe in a Hawker Hunter fighter jet

Nick Ashworth and Mike Thirtle will attempt to �fly� around the globe in a Hawker Hunter fighter jet flight simulator which is based at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum. Pictured, from left to right, is Bob Archer (who built the simulator), Nick Ashworth and Mike Thirtle. Photo: Derek Waters. - Credit: Derek Waters

Two volunteers from the City of Norwich Aviation Museum are preparing to take off on a fundraising flight around the world – without leaving Norfolk.

Nick Ashworth and Mike Thirtle will attempt to �fly� around the globe in a Hawker Hunter fighter jet

Nick Ashworth and Mike Thirtle will attempt to �fly� around the globe in a Hawker Hunter fighter jet flight simulator which is based at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum. Pictured Nick Ashworth flying the simulator. Photo: Bob Archer. - Credit: Bob Archer

On March 3 and 4, 19-year-old Nick Ashworth, from Bawburgh, and 30-year-old Mike Thirtle, from Frettenham, will attempt to 'fly' around the globe in a Hawker Hunter fighter jet flight simulator which is based at the museum in Horsham St Faith.

The aim of their mission is to raise £750 to be divided between the museum and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Starting at 3pm on March 3, the duo will travel thousands of virtual miles around the earth.

They will complete their mission by a relay which will see them each flying three hours at a time, and they estimate it will take them about 30 hours in total. The flight will only be interrupted for fuel stops every 1,500 miles.

Nick Ashworth and Mike Thirtle will attempt to �fly� around the globe in a Hawker Hunter fighter jet

Nick Ashworth and Mike Thirtle will attempt to �fly� around the globe in a Hawker Hunter fighter jet flight simulator which is based at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum. Pictured is Nick Ashworth flying the simulator. Photo: Bob Archer. - Credit: Bob Archer


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Mr Ashworth said: 'We are excited – this is going to be the longest flight this simulator has ever seen.'

Mr Thirtle added: 'It's going to be a big challenge, and we are hoping to raise funds to invest in the future of the museum and for the EAAA.'

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The Hawker Hunter fighter jet flight simulator was created by fellow museum member Bob Archer using the cockpit of an original aircraft which was previously in active service with No. 74 (Tiger) Squadron and based at RAF Horsham St Faith.

An accident during take-off in 1960 had led to the plane being damaged beyond economic repair and, more than 40 years later, the forward fuselage and cockpit section found its way to Mr Archer who at the time was an instructor with the Wymondham Air Cadets.

With the help of the cadets, Mr Archer, who is 69 and lives in Mulbarton, oversaw the conversion of it into a flight simulator.

The simulator is now permanently based at the City of Norwich Aviation Museum where visitors can, for a fee, experience the virtual flight of a Hawker Hunter.

To sponsor Mr Ashworth and Mr Thirtle on their virtual journey around the world, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/hunter-flight

For more information about the City of Norwich Aviation Museum, visit www.cnam.org.uk

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