The dream grew and transformed!
How my Sims Story began... from 2010 to 2023.
CSA - Aeronautical Simulation Center The creation of one...two simulators, from Enthusiast to Professional. My story is unique among simulators in Portugal, as only with a lot of commitment and willpower was it possible to get here. Anyone who visits my commercial space certainly understands how I live this story every day. Moving on to the story…. One day I was invited by a friend of mine to see his simulator, which had a PC and a joystick and other accessories, you could connect to Vatsim / Ivao, it was funny and aroused my curiosity. My Father already had more than 30 years of service at TAP, but I have always turned to IT since I was 16, when I opened a micro-company in 1999 in the IT area. As i am very curious, seeing these accessories connected to a PC awakened in me a new passion that today I cannot separate myself from, this in 2007. The project started in my parents garage in 2010. As I have a computer company, it is easier to acquire material. So I started to analyze/read articles about planes/simulators on the internet, I acquired a good PC and several screens to simulate different planes and using FSX. In 2011 there was a turnaround and a very big one... because through my constant research on the internet I saw that there was an annual fair in Amsterdam (Lelystad), and as an adventurer I started to plan the trip (Airplane / Hotel / Train...), in on November 4th, 2011 there I was in Lelystad, on the 5th I went to the fair and… show… thousands of people with the same passion (after all, I'm not crazy… alone :) ), I spoke with several people and cockpit manufacturers´ s (almost real) and that's it, I made the first contacts and that's how my wallet is ruined :) . I had to choose between the Boeing and the Airbus, as at the time it was very difficult to get all the material for the Airbus, the Boeing 737 NG came along. On the 5th of December 2011 I placed the order with the chosen supplier (MIP, CDU bay, Glareshield, + MCP and Efis's, on the 13th of February 2012 it arrived…with some missing parts, through some emails there it was possible to solve the things with the supplier; of course, this order was one of many that I had to do. During 2012 I acquired the LCD's for the CPT & FO, and the Gauges. At the end of 2012 I started to acquire the materials for the Pedestal (Nav,Comm,ATC,ASP's,ADF's...etc.), I only finished the pedestal in 2013. Still in 2013 I acquired the Yoke for the CPT. However, in 2014 came the Yoke for the FO, the P&P throttle and the interconnected rudders ( here I was very lucky, because an unscrupulous supplier screwed many customers... I was lucky.) Also in 2014 the CDU's came and later in 2017 I exchanged the Chrono's for others (replicas of the B737 NG). Now the fun part began… creating a structure to accommodate the simulator parts. In 2014 there was still so much to go and thousands of euros already spent… with no end in sight… it is necessary to have a truly solid support to get here, having a wife, three children and giving monetary support to one more (the fattest one :) ), it's work. The base was still missing, which I asked a friend for help with, it was the first base… I'm on the third and I'm going to end up on the fourth version. But I didn't give up... I had already researched enough to have in my head and on paper all the necessary measures for its implementation. I bought a cutting machine, and there I started the quest, in which I redid the base, and created the entire structure of the box. I also made the pilots' Seats (seats) in wood, and had them upholstered by a cousin of mine. The entire structure of the simulator houses the 5 simulation screens, the 4 screens for the instructor, the 6 servers for the entire simulator, 5.1 surround system, UPS and all the necessary cabling for its operation. In 2015 I already had the structure of the simulator complete… what a task, but it was worth all my effort. During that year it crossed my mind to take a commercial pilot course… it was just a thought :) , because when I arrived in Tires they said €57,000… see you later. The investment I had already made already exceeded that value and thus it would not work... during that year I met one of my best friends, an aircraft maintenance technician from Portugália, and during one of our many conversations, he told me why I didn't launch myself into the professional field, because nobody had a simulator like this to play with…I laughed my ass off (only me :) ). Sometimes everything makes sense, not at the time but in the future. When I went to Tires for a fundraiser for the commercial aviation course…someone mistakenly sent me all the fundraising and marketing contacts to my email (hundreds of them :) ), but I saw them as an excellent business opportunity. My friend created the initial site, I completed it with the content and valences for which the purpose of the simulator would serve. With so many contacts it was simple, I started sending them little by little...and soon Visão magazine called me for an interview...I couldn't believe it, when the magazine came out, on March 4, 2015, almost at night I already had the my first client, 20h pack :) . Then it was just a matter of waiting for TVI, RTP and other magazines/newspapers to report. At the end of 2016 I acquired the last element I was missing, Overhead (FWR & AFT). In 2017, there were already many Portuguese and foreign pilots and companies in the field preparing for airlines or the companies themselves to train their pilots. Also in 2017, I already do most of the pilots' follow-up for the assessments, as my experience has grown so much that I acquired this new aspect. During that year I had the entire exterior of the simulator decorated and also the van. I acquired the original CPT & FO chairs and others for the leisure area and the instructor area. In 2018, I started to upgrade some components, not because they were having problems, but to be 1:1 with the real thing. In short, this is the simulator created to train: Assessments, CRM, Procedures and Type-Rating’s. At the end of March 2018, after many words of encouragement for the creation of a new simulator, the Airbus A320 appears, both for enthusiasts and professionals. It is a project with even more aspirations, maximum quality for top performance, always supported by a great software company for the systems. Anyone who knows me knows that I never stop thinking. In 2019, the business was growing at a good pace, the quality I present and affordable prices, it's hard for anyone to present better. I spent a few months looking for a new space, when suddenly... right in front of my apartment, a store appears that I never thought would have the size I came to check, this is exactly what I wanted. However, my head soon started working on this great project. With the knowledge I acquired throughout my life, I designed my store myself. When I started, I never thought that so much was needed (Insurance, Video Surveillance, Central Alarm, Emergency Lights, Cabling, Air Conditioning…), well it was really a big project. Of course, the constructions of the two simulators already left me very well prepared. However, I had to analyze several possibilities for the investment, there I managed to complete everything by doing the deed in October 2019. Renting premises has never been my thing, I prefer to make an effort and buy, because after a while the property is ours. But it is hard. Soon after, clean, dump everything from the store. The store already had divisions, but for my business it just wasn't enough. I cleaned and left the store as if it were brand new, of course my wife's help was welcome :) . Now with the project that I did for the simulators, another big project began, that of giving life to the construction of the new interior of the new store. A builder friend of mine helped as much as he could with the time he had left over from other clients. Building from scratch is always a big project, with advances and setbacks. However…COVID. The worst thing happened to anyone who has a business… I had to stop the business for 4 full months, it was devastating. Doing works of this scale and the money and not going in... With the help of my family and my parents, I managed to survive there. The covid there continued to harm my business a lot... meanwhile I managed to finish the construction project there. Now it was time to move the simulators from the garage to the shop… what I suffered, thousands of euros on top of trucks. It was more of a big project to move everything, I hired a trucking company to do the move, the logistics were really impressive, everything went smoothly. Dismantling everything from the garage, putting it on top of the trailers, securing the load, very low speed on the journey, stopping traffic and unloading and putting everything back in the new space, with me supervising everything..., it was a good night's rest. .. just thinking about it, but that's it, my heart survived. At the end of 2020 everything installed, store ready, I started welcoming my customers to the new space. From the garage to this new commercial space, it has nothing to do. In the new space, I have a room for the servers that is climate controlled and permanently controlled. Three rooms for simulators… yes 3, as there will still be a third simulator. Two training rooms fully equipped with whiteboards and TVs for multimedia projection. A computer room to set up my computer business, double WC for ladies and gentlemen, and a space to receive clients, in which in 2023 I already have a simulator to give the first approach to the business. Covid only started to slow down towards the end of 2021, 2 years of slow business, it was really demanding for any business! In 2022, leaving the covid behind!, business started to rise again, as the aviation companies are the ones that give great encouragement to the business, through the hiring of new pilots. 2023 I hope it brings all the best and that my clients feel good in this new space. Acknowledgments: To my Wife and children, Neighbors, Friends and my great friend (he knows who he is :) )., Thank you. Special thanks: To my PARENTS :) , thank you very much. If you are a professional, don't go to an assessment without preparing yourself in our simulators!