link1 1929 Link Trainer
link4 1929 Link Trainer
link3 1929 Link Trainer

About the Link Trainer

Edwin Link developed this trainer in 1929 because of the need for a safe way to teach new pilots how to fly by instruments. The trainer resembled a toy airplane, with the short wooden wings and fuselage mounted on a universal joint. Organ bellows, driven by an electric pump, made the trainer pitch and roll as the pilot worked the controls.

Link’s first military sales came as a result of the Air Mail scandal, when the Army Air Corps took over coverage of U.S. Air Mail. In a 78 day period, 12 pilots were killed due to unfamiliarity with instrument flying conditions. As a result, the Air Corps ordered the first 6 pilot trainers at a price of $3,500 each.

More than 500,000 U.S. pilots were trained on Link simulators.

Donated by Jean Freeberg.