A couple of weeks ago, we spent the weekend in London seeing the sights and spending some quality time together as a family. Emirates Air Line had heard we were in the area and invited us down to North Greenwich to see the city from high above the Thames from one of their cabins.
We were also invited to try out the Emirates Aviation Experience and as we all have a rather geeky fascination with planes, we jumped at the chance.
Emirates Aviation Experience
The Emirates Aviation Experience is best described as an interactive aviation journey. Situated next to the Emirates Air Line, the Aviation Experience gives passengers a glimpse behind the scenes of a busy airport with interactive exhibitions, flight simulators and informative galleries.
As we entered the experience, Olly was fascinated with the real Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine. The sides of the engine have been taken away so you can see close up all the mechanics and parts that make up the powerful engine. Unfortunately, the touch screen interactive display wasn’t working so we couldn’t get much information but we still stood in awe of the size of it.
As we made our way around the exhibition, both the boys became engrossed in the touch screens and hubby tried his hand at loading a plane full of cargo against the clock. Olly was given a children’s activity sheet and I spent a good fifteen minutes watching the video wall as an A380 airbus came into the terminal and you could see the aircraft turnaround process in action. There’s so many things that you don’t see as a passenger, I found it really fascinating.
Along with the replica A380 seats to try out for size and the Airbus A380 cockpit to sit it, the boys had a whale of a time. Olly loved pretending to be the pilot and they both enjoying imagining for five minutes what it must be like to actually pilot a plane.
The highlight of the experience for us was testing out our flying skills in the A380 Airbus flight simulator. Hubby took control and I sat in the co-pilot’s seat and with guided assistance we managed to safely take off from a London airport and cruise into the sky. Having never sat in a real cockpit before, we both found the simulator really interesting. I only had a couple of jobs to do including keeping the speed constant and taking up and down the landing gear but I found it a struggle as there was so much to look at. Hubby absolutely loved the flight simulator even if we did miss the runway and have to abort our landing!
We all enjoyed the Emirates Aviation Experience. It gave us a good insight into the behind-the-scenes and made us all a little more excited about our forthcoming Summer holiday.
Emirates Air Line
Despite being a little nervous about taking a cable car over the River Thames, I’m always keen to try out something new and not show my fear in front of Olly. It was a clear dry morning so we took a return journey from Emirates Greenwich Peninsula across to Emirates Royal Docks. Luckily for us we had a cabin to ourselves so we could relax and take in the views.
To my surprise, the ride was smooth and comfortable. I’m not a huge fan of heights so didn’t fancy looking down or moving around inside the cabin but I felt safe enough to do so once the cabin was in flight.
Olly really enjoyed looking out down onto the road and was more interested in the trains, diggers and bin lorries than the views down the River Thames and towards the O2 and the London skyline.
The return crossing took about twenty minutes and is an excellent way to get a 360 degree look at the area. We saw planes take off from London City airport and saw boats sail down the river past the Thames Barrier.
We all really enjoyed our ride in the Emirates Air Line cabin and would definitely do it again. For prices and further information, visit the Emirates Air Line website.
Disclosure: We were given free entry into the Aviation Experience and a free return trip on the Air Line in exchange for this review. All words and images are my own.