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Reviewed January 25, 2014
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Reviewed June 27, 2012
What You'll Get
Before accidentally inventing the airplane, the Wright Brothers helped to advance ground transportation by welding bicycles together and powering them with jet engines. Experience the thrill of an earthbound flight with today’s Groupon: for $34, you get a 60-minute F-16 military flight simulation (a $69 value) at Flightdeck Air Combat Center in Anaheim.
An authentic military-flight-simulation center, Flightdeck Air Combat Center offers hopeful cloud commandos the chance to experience the Air Force without ever leaving the ground. After stepping into a military aviation suit, Flightdeck’s capable and friendly staff will give you a pre-launch briefing, then begin the training and in-flight instruction. Once inside the F-16 flight simulator, your journey into the air and back includes a crash course in take-offs and landings as well as fancy aerial maneuvers without the simulation of aerial nausea. Engage in sky combat and maintain radio contact with other pilots as the power of theater and advanced mechanical engineering blasts you through wonderfully rendered aerial terrains, effectively replacing childhood memories of spreading your arms and running about the yard like a fighter jet.
Flight times are available throughout the day five days a week, so round up some sky-curious friends or bring along a holographic co-pilot to share the experience as you ward off MiGs with whistled renditions of "Danger Zone."
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Dec 3, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 4 per person. Valid for ages 13 and up. Reservation required. Limited Saturday availability. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center
"Shake it!" your headset blares as you push on the jet's throttle. Your nose tips, the ground becomes a wall, and you're diving in a last-ditch effort to lose the fighter behind you. Its shots go wide and it swoops overhead, leaving you to level out just as the radio tower ends the dogfight: "Knock it off, knock it off." With your wheels back on the ground, you step out of the simulator's cockpit and catch your friend’s eye: Missed me.
At Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center, aerial battles between friends take place on the ground. The screens of nine authentic military fighter-jet simulators broadcast the same views a pilot might see while soaring at 600 knots. Though the simulators remain on the ground, all the controls, radio orders, and UFO weigh stations mirror those encountered on an actual flight. People may come in with a friend or with a party, where guests and friends target one another during virtual missions, from the introductory Fox-1 experience to the three-hour Viper-1 course, which covers advanced topics such as missile avoidance. After team-building events, participants can even receive personalized dog tags as souvenirs.
Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center also has an exact replica of a Boeing 737-700 cockpit. Inside, a 180-degree wraparound screen transports pilots to airport runways from around the world. Commercial-flight drills present common challenges such as piloting through turbulence and wiping spilled coffee off the controls, testing visitors between their takeoff and landing.