Dunedin flight simulator popular with tourists - WFLA News Channel 8

Dunedin flight simulator popular with tourists

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DUNEDIN, FL -

A Tampa Bay business is taking flight and makes it to the number one spot of TripAdvisor.com's best attractions in its first year.

Sim Center Tampa Bay, nestled in Dunedin, is drawing people from all over the world who want to experience what it's like to fly a Boeing 737 jetliner, or F-16 and F-35 fighter jets. 

"We have people planning their vacation around this, in Dunedin people don't even know we exist, but there are people from around the world that come to our area strictly for this," said Peter Repak.   

Repak, born in Hungary, said living out the dream of becoming a pilot in a communist regime was never a possibility.  After moving to the area in the early 90s and becoming a U.S. citizen, the aviation hobbyist spent 20 years building near-exact replicas to simulate flight. 

"I never had the chance to become a pilot, but this is the next best thing," Repak said. 

When Sim Center first opened in Dunedin, Repak realized that people all over the world share his dream of flying. 

"If you're into flight simulation, an aviation enthusiast, or ever wondered what it might feel like to go into combat, we can give you that experience," Repak said. 

In the coming months Repak hopes to move to a larger location, purchase and retrofit a retired F-16 and turn over 30 percent of money earned from the simulator to support the men and women of our military.

"People don't realize what it means to be an American, the foundation of this country is like no other," said Repak who proudly showed off his  naturalization papers framed and hanging in his office.

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