Reality Seven - Exterior thales_logo.jpg

Modern Classic - Steve Harper Interview

Modern Classic - Steve Harper Interview

Thu 24th March 2016

In late 2015 Keith Adams of Modern Classic interviewed Steve Harper in his Studio about this past...

Reality Seven - Theme sketches 'Bird in Flight' 2007.05

19 years after designing the first of a new revolutionary type of full flight simulator Concept 90, in May 2007, there was a return to the same site in Crawley UK, to create an all new device.

Thales Training & Simulation, a division of the Thales Group, have become the new owners of what was once Rediffusion Simulation, and were at that time producing the spiritual evolution of the C90 design.

Over time, the original concept had been diluted and developed by the various owners, and Thales realised that a whole new product would restimulate the market.

Concept 90 had addressed how to create a shorter leadtime from order to customer approval, but the new product brief sought to reduce that time yet further.

The goal was to develop a craft which could be commissioned in modules, and then shipped directly to the customers site, for final assembly.

Previously the commissioned simulator had been built, approved, stripped down and rebuilt at the customers, which had required a seriously large escorted shipping activity.

The new craft would have to fit into standard shipping containers.From a design perspective, this posed many new challenges.

SHADO, in conjunction with SEMCON Engineering Ltd, began the project in earnest in August 2007, and from the onset, the modularity of the design was used to help to create bold character lines, shapes and features, to enhance the crafts appearance.

The unique graphical style was inspired by ‘a Bird in Flight’, and the first sketches, created by Steve Harper during the first meetings, were soon developed as ALIAS surfaces by Di Pryce Evans, in a matter of a couple of days.

Complimented by a simple and practical Interior theme, sketched out by Laurence Cutts, the design was soon established and the full engineering programme could begin.

Throughout the simultaneous development process, there were many long established assumptions questioned, and as a result, the simplicity of the rationalised design evolved into a beautiful and practical package. 

A product which ‘can fly, but never leaves the ground, and has legs but cannot walk’.

At the ‘Reality Seven’ launch in February 2009, the design was shown to have exceeding the customers’ expectations, and has once again revolutionised the Flight Simulation Industry.