First Public Commercial Flight Simulators To Open In London

Courtesy Emirates Airlines

The first public commercial flight simulators, including two Airbus 380s and two Boeing 777s, are the centerpiece of a new aviation-themed attraction by Dubai-based Emirates Airlines that will open in London this July.

The simulators will utilize full landscape visuals to allow visitors to test what it feels like to take off and land commercial jets. The technology is one part of what is called the Emirates Aviation Experience, an attraction situated at the south side of the Emirates Air Line, a cable car that stretches across the River Thames. The attraction will also give a nod to aviation history and achievements through interactive displays.

“The purpose of this centre is to provide a fun, yet educational, overview of just what it takes to successfully get a 560 tonne aircraft off the ground and 40,000 feet into the sky. Our aim is to explain the intricate science of modern aviation, in a hands-on, entertaining and instructive environment,” said Emirates Airline President Tim Clark in a press release.

Emirates has been investing heavily in the United Kingdom since the company first began operating services there in 1987. The airline is the first sponsor to feature a company logo on the London Tube map, and this new attraction will further broaden their presence and increase their visibility in the U.K. But for travelers, it’s just another fun thing to do in London.

Tube Trolls: Funny Signs Spotted On The London Underground

Pay close attention the next time you ride the London Underground: a group of creative commuters are shaking things up by re-labeling signage inside “the Tube.” The subversive street artists are cheering up riders by slightly modifying signs that passengers see over and over again on their daily commutes, including maps and warnings (plus a few of their own creations for good measure).

In what is probably an illegal act, the artists are making cracks at how people on public transportation tend to avoid eye contact at all costs and modifying maps using good old British humor. Click through the gallery below to see a collection of hacked signs collected on Reddit, and feel free to clue us in on others you’ve seen in the comments below!

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[All images courtesy Reddit]

London Sets 21 Guinness World Records In Six Months

Officials from the Guinness World Records have been hard at work in London over the past six months. More than 16,000 new record holders have been named as people from across the city attempt to beat more than 20 records. They’ve done a lot of strange things in order to take over the ranks, including the longest curtsey relay in five minutes, the fastest hula-hooping marathon, the longest line of fanfare trumpeters and more. Today, over 100 soldiers completed the 21st and final challenge: the record for “most people dipping egg soldiers simultaneously.”

A traditional British breakfast, egg soldiers are soft-boiled eggs eaten by dipping buttered strips of toast into the runny yolk. The soldiers pictured above lined up and ate their egg soldiers on command in a carefully orchestrated event. The attempt to beat such a large number of records was launched by London & Partners, the promotional organization for the city, in order to celebrate London’s people, attractions, universities, businesses, sports and transport. A full list of records that have been broken over the past six months in London is available after the jump.

1. Longest marathon hugging welcoming the world to London
2. Longest curtsey relay in five minutes
3. Most entrants in an egg hunt competition
4. Largest reading lesson (multiple venues)
5. Most expensive chocolate egg sold at auction (non-jeweled)
6. Largest archaeological archive – Museum of London
7. Tallest costume to complete a marathon
8. Fastest marathon hula-hooping
9. Fastest marathon on stilts (7-9 were just three of the 29 Guinness World Records set at the 2012 Virgin London Marathon)
10. First recorded Mr. Punch puppet show – to commemorate 350 years since Mr. Punch first appeared at London’s Covent Garden
11. Most Portrayed human literary Character In Film & TV – Sherlock Holmes
12. Longest line of fanfare trumpeters
13. Oldest continually working film studio – Ealing Studios
14. Most people throwing mortar boards simultaneously – celebrating international students in London
15. Longest club DJ session relay – 100 DJs at Ministry of Sound for London based Charity OneLife
16. Largest parade of boats – as part of the Thames Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant
17. Largest treasure hunt game celebrating The Mayor’s Team London Ambassadors
18. First underground railway system – to TFL and London Underground
19. Largest composite photograph exhibition by artist Clare Newton
20. Oldest bicycle shop – established in 1860 in Sutton, London
21. Most people dipping egg soldiers simultaneously

London Tube ‘Ghost Station’ May Be Brought Back From The Dead

London Tube
A London Tube station that hasn’t been used for more than half a century may become the city’s newest attraction, the BBC reports.

Brompton Road station on the Piccadilly Line closed in 1934 because it was underused. During World War II, it served as the headquarters of the Royal Artillery’s anti-aircraft operations. The station has changed little since then, with much of the wartime equipment and signage still there. There’s even a vintage map of London still hanging on the wall.

Now The Old London Underground Company is going through the process of renting the site, which is still owned by the Ministry of Defense. It plans to preserve part of it for its historical importance while adding a restaurant to the roof and climbing walls to the drop shafts.

So-called “ghost stations” are objects of fascination for some Londoners. There are more than 20 of them and you can occasionally catch a glimpse of one if you look at the right moment on the right line. One good online guide is the appropriately named London’s Abandoned Tube Stations website. Their Brompton Road section has some cool photos and there’s also a spooky virtual tour courtesy Zodiac Blue here.

While the deal hasn’t been finalized, the company has announced its intention to develop more ghost stations.

[Photo courtesy Nick Cooper]

London Underground planning 24 hour tube service during 2012 Olympics?

london undergroundThe London underground may be one of the best systems in the world, but overnight service is still something not offered. Sure, there are plenty of late night bus services, and minicabs are usually everywhere, but once the 2012 Olympics come to town, chances are there won’t be enough buses to transport everyone.

Transport for London and the union representing tube workers are meeting to discuss the possibility of a round the clock service between July 27 and August 12, to help get visitors where they need to be.

As usual, 24 hour service will all depend on pay and staffing issues. To make matters worse, current pay issues have even raised the possibility of strikes during the upcoming Royal Wedding and the 2012 Olympics. Time will tell whether the workers get their demands met before these big events.

[Photo: Flikcr/fofiko]