Hunts simulator experts seek to expand product range

THE Huntingdon-based flight simulation company that was used by the BBC to explain how an American pilot managed to ditch an Airbus in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people on board, is on the lookout for new software designers.

Just Flight, a division of �11.5million-a-year Mastertronic, sprang to the public’s attention in January 2009 when the BBC commissioned it to show on a simulator what the pilot would have experienced after he lost both engines to a bird strike.

The group, which employs 40 people, is hoping to recruit four or five additional programmers, but could take on as many as 10 if the right talent comes forward to enable it to expand its range of aircraft and train simulations, said Scott Phillips, marketing manager for the company, which has now been in business for 15 years.

“Game was our biggest customer in High Street retail, but we saw the crash coming and had chosen to go the direct route with our customers. We now have a database of over 50,000 customers worldwide who we market and sell to,” he told The Hunts Post.

“Doing this allows us to offer better prices and better deals. They buy direct from our websites at reduced prices and this works better for all sides.

“The majority of sales are in digital format by way of product downloads. We’re looking at something like an 80/20 split in favour of digital downloads over boxed product.

“Our products do still make it into various retail stores and we have good representation overseas including in Germany and in the US but it’s fair to say the shift in emphasis to dealing direct has reaped reward for the company – so much so that we’re now looking to increase our output and to do this we’re looking for more talented individuals to join our development team.”

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The company includes a number of professional pilots among customers for its 200 aviation simulator programmes, as well as the hobby users who make up the overwhelming majority of purchasers of the 100 railway products – though professional train drivers also approve, Mr Phillips said.

“We have a lot of industry veterans here at the moment. We could carry on as we are, but we want to build up our resource. We have scope to release many more products than we do.”

INFORMATION: Just Flight and Just Trains are at 2 Stonehill, Huntingdon PE29 6ED: telephone 01480 377477; or