PUEBLO – Navy veteran John Wesley Bradford, Jr. flew an F4 Phantom jet during the Vietnam War era.
“I was amazed, I was going up 19,000 feet a minute, just up,” he said. “That was probably the highest acceleration of that sort that I ever knew. Had some good experiences in it.”
And now, folks of all ages visiting the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum can virtually do the same.
The cockpits have the original equipment, including a joystick that can virtually fire missiles and a machine gun, and you can see the action in the screen in front of you.
The simulation’s owner George McCullough wants to honor veterans while encouraging future generations of pilots.
“A lot of the young men and ladies that sat in this thing they’re thinking about a military career and maybe flying,” he said. “It’s a good thing, educating our young people.”
“[I’m] looking into going into the Air Force after college,” said 19-year-old Nik Curtis. “So it was really a neat experience to try that. It felt like I was actually flying.”
The experience is also for folks who wish they could fly.
“As a kid, [simulators] made me really want to be an Air Force pilot,” 23-year-old Chris Williams reminisced. “Until high school when I realized just how hard that is!”
And he enjoyed getting as close to the real deal as possible.
“I mean, you get to experience flying, you know?”