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Thread: Link Trainers

  1. #1
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    Default Link Trainers

    The ubiquitous wartime Link Trainer followed pilot traineers from Initial Training School through all levels of flight training, including at the British Adavanced Flying Units and Operational Training Units. I am of the impression that there was little to distinguish the Link that the tyro encountred in Canada from that experienced at an OTU, whether it was a single- or twin-engined OTU. But am I wrong ? Were there advanced versions (or locally produced modifications) that recognized the pupil had advanced beyond the original "blue box" ?

  2. #2
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    As I recall, the standard LT was capable of being set to simulate most things the instructor wanted, to quite a high degree of complexity.

    It was really only the advances in electronics, particularly digital rather than analogue electrics, which saw its retirement.

    I first met it as an apprentice at Halton, and later worked for GPS - as Link became - in Aylesbury where they had broadened out into simulators for, among other things LT Busses and tube trains.
    Alan Gordon,
    61st Entry, 3 Wing, A Squadron and later, Admiralty Ferry Crews.

  3. #3
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    The most interesting thing about the Link Trainer was that it was designed originally to reduce the cost of pilot training (these models were later called "Visual Links"), and normally had wings and open cockpit, plus a visual setting with sky and clouds overhead, and a working horizon (thus the "visual" aspect), and some were delivered as cute little biplanes. However most flying instructors were of the opinion that the Visual Link was too crude in its "feel" as to be of little use for initiating normal humans to the feel of a real aircraft, and most air forces in WW2 used their Links purely for instrument flying practice, with the "box" over the pilot' s head, and no or very small wings. Thus the military models were never intended to simulate any specific type or configuration of aircraft, and were purely set up as a test of instrument comprehension and control manipulation for the purpose of accurate instrument flying over a prescribed course. However I believe that the Link company still fondly hoped for quite a while that their invention might be used for some pilot training duties. I was also surprised to hear that the original Mr. Link (an American) was still alive and living in Switzerland as late as about 200 or 2001!
    David D

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