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Flying the world from a Shropshire airfield

A flight simulator business is using a former shipping container to transport its customers to the skies of the world.

Step into a storage unit on an airfield in Shropshire and the magic of virtual reality can conjure the approach over the blue Mediterranean of the Cote D’Azur into Nice, the heat haze of the deserts of Australia or the hectic flight paths to Heathrow.

Newly-launched Chesim Air Ltd is the brainchild of retired Shropshire agronomist and keen pilot Nigel Chesters and the 20-foot storage unit provided by Denbigh-based Container Sales Centre is the perfect base for his operation.

Nigel, 60, caught the flying bug ten years ago when a friend bought him a flying lessson: “I used to hate flying,” he said: “But I went up with an instructor for an hour and I loved it.

“He told me to land the plane and I know there were dual controls but I must have made a reasonable job of it and I was hooked and carried on and got my pilot’s licence.”

The container is a perfect host for what is part of an actual aircraft. The simulator with its wrap-around screen is housed in the actual cockpit of G-WARZ, a 1997 Piper Cherokee Warrior two-seater with a state of the art G1000 avionics suite.

Nigel added: “It needed to be self-contained and secure and for the simulator to work properly it needs to be in darkness and so the storage unit from CSC is perfect.

“You can get flight simulator programmes for your computer but they don’t come with wrap-around screens which give you the actual sensation of being in a real aircraft which this is and this is the first of its kind around here.

“It’s a business and anyone can book an hour session and I’m already getting plenty of interest.”

Denbigh-based Container Sales Centre is a newly-launched business specializing in the sale of new and used shipping containers which range in sizer from 10-feet long up through 20-footers to 40-foot units, all eight feet high and eight feet wide, from 640 to 2,560 in cubic feet in volume.

Each unit is watertight and they can also be insulated and they provide versatile storage options or for the more ambitious, a range of possible uses including office space and even as component parts of innovative new homes.

CSC sales consultant Lisa James said it was a prime example of how the units can be put to a range of practical uses and the fact that it can create a perfectly dark environment made it perfect for Nigel’s requirements.

She explained: “CSC containers range in size and price depending on people’s needs and we offer the full range from brand new to used ones which buyers can fit out to their own bespoke requirements.

“Basically they can do whatever they like within the space – some people insulate them and even fit windows to use them as an office. Others just want them as a simple and safe storage facility.

“An advantage of buying outright is that you can also paint the exterior to your own taste including having your company branding if you are launching your own business.”

Prices range from £350 for small pre-used units needing repair, used wind and watertight units to new ones with the prices ranging between £2,000-£4,000 and the Container Sales Centre Ltd, can also arrange delivery to most places in the UK.

For information about Container Sales Centre go to

Captions: Ready for takeoff - Lisa James, of Container Sales Centre, and Nigel Chesters, of Chesim Air Ltd, at Sleap Airfield.

Picture by Mandy Jones Photography.

The realistic view from the cockpit of the simulator.

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