The Link Trainer
The Link trainer was the first flight simulator created by Edwin Link. Link was an engineer at his father’s organ building business. In 1928 he left the family business to begin work on a “pilot trainer” and in 1931 he received a patent. Most of his first sales were to amusement parks. In the beginning there was very little interest by the flying community in Link’s trainer. In 1934 the Army Air Corps bought six Link trainers to assist in training pilots to fly at night and in bad weather, relying on instruments. By the 1940’s Link sold approximately 10,000 trainers to the military.
An instructor sat at the desk and transmitted radio messages which the student heard through his earphones. The student relied on his instruments to fly the Link through various maneuvers while his navigational course was traced on a map on the desk.
The Link trainer holds a significant place in history, it was the first true flight simulator. It provided safe training to student pilots during the 1930’s and 40’s.
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