Miles dream-come-true adventure with Guide
Software Express helps to make dreams come true
6th Apr, 2007
Software Express supports 'Seeing is Believing' campaign by designing a special equipment to enable a blind adventurer, Miles Hilton-Barber, to conduct a microlight flight from London to Sydney.
Miles has always dreamed of making such a trip. Having a life-long interest in aviation, inherited from his father, who was a pilot in Rhodesia, Miles hoped to follow in his father's footsteps, joining the air force in Rhodesia when he was 18. However, as his sight deteriorated, he was soon forced to leave the air force. Although this was a huge disappointment for Miles, he never gave up on his dream to fly.
Now, 38 years later, he is hoping to "live a dream I have had in me since I was a child". Miles and his sighted co-pilot, Storm Smith, are hoping to complete the 13,000 mile trip in 45 days, landing in Sydney on 30 April 2007. To track his journey, Miles will have 3 video cameras attached to the microlight, and will compile a video diary along the way. It is hoped that the trip will raise £1 million towards the prevention of blindness in developing countries.
Being a part of a wider campaign, the trip aims to raise awareness of preventable blindness throughout the world. Standard Chartered Bank, the main sponsor of the trip, began fund-raising for this cause under their 'Seeing is Believing' campaign. They are also corporate sponsors of the wider 'Vision 20/20' campaign, which aims to tackle this problem that affects 75% of the 37 million blind people worldwide.
A wireless keyboard can be used with the package to type in flight plan coordinates and type notes. Guide also offers Miles some in-flight entertainment, by enabling him to play music and audio books throughout the grueling 180 hours expected flying time. Guide will be controlled using a customised tactile switch unit, also developed by Software Express, which will be strapped to his leg throughout the flight.
According to Miles, "none of this would be possible without Guide. Not only has it enabled me to live my dreams, but it will also contribute to thousands of people being able to see again". Miles also hopes that, in the future, Guide can be adapted to help other blind pilots and even sailors to plan their own adventures.