Red Hawk Down

By sizemore Last edited 161 months ago
Red Hawk Down

Here at Londonist we've never considered driving a bus around London to be an easy job. Navigating the capital on four wheels is bad enough without having to steer a large red dinosaur down streets designed to hold plague carts. Then there are the passengers to deal with and to be frank, the prospect of having to drive a night bus reduces us to tears.

So we weren't too surprised to learn that Arotech, a company usually brought in to provide training technology for F-15s (all-weather, extremely manoeuvrable, tactical fighter planes designed to gain and maintain air superiority in aerial combat), are building "the UK’s first full-mission transit bus simulator".

We love the phrase "full mission". It stimulates the part of our mentality that forces us to buy Playstation games.

According to a press release on the Arotech website the new state of the art simulators will use:

"computer-generated imagery (CGI) to provide a panoramic seamless display, including the use of real mirrors to view displays positioned behind the bus operator. A realistic, right-hand drive, virtual driving world representative of roads in London is being developed based on troublesome intersections and areas identified by First and London Buses".

We hope the simulator will also incorporate the following features:

  • Having to explain to irate passengers why you can't take their money when the stupid new ticket machines are broken.
  • The empty beer bottle that rolls from one end of the bus to the other whenever you take a corner.
  • The one guy with the headphones that fill the bus with tinny drum n bass.
  • The repeated phrase "I'm on the bus" coupled with a variety of novelty mobile phone ring tones and the occasional screaming baby.
  • The good news is that we can expect the simulator to help reduce the number of bus related accidents, but the bad news is that Tom Clancy will probably release a spate of London bus based techno thrillers once he hears about it.

    Last Updated 01 February 2005


    Yay. That will mean less learner drivers sailing past in empty buses when the other buses are too full to get on.


    The release should also include the following features:

    * How to pump the brakes to ensure that the maximum
    number of standing passengers fall over

    * Extra points to be scored if you can break when
    passengers are coming down the stairs.

    * Extra points if you can make a mother with
    children fall over when you emergency brake at
    a changing traffic light

    * Points scored for each bus stop you refuse to
    stop at. More points to be scored, the more
    passengers there are waiting at the stopp. Bonus
    if its raining or freezing cold

    * Driving the bus whilst sending a text message or
    talking to a friend. Emergency braking and
    using a mobile at the same time takes you to a
    next level

    * Shutting the doors and driving off before all
    passengers have got off will be a pre-requisite
    for leaving the first level

    * Finally, using the Oystercard machine to balance
    a bag of chips next to the glass can be set


    All good points, Paul. And don't forget:

    Driving right up the arse of some poor cyclist and then overtaking them right before the bus stop so that you can cut them up when you pull in.