We are well advanced on our creation of a new 'Link Trainer' at Ashburton, it will be for the aviation museum but is actually being built off-site.
This is somewhat of a replica of the WWII era Link Trainer, there must have been many of these in NZ and a few survive, we even had one that has basic movement controls and the instructors' station with the plotting 'crab'. We do not try to get this fully operational and being 80 years old we do not allow museum visitor to play with it. Our new unit is being built to the same basic design and size and will be operational and available for mature visitors to go through a training exercise.
The base unit is a steel frame in which is mounted a reduction gearbox and a big(ish) stepper motor. This unit of course supports the trainer 'aircraft' and will provide 360 degrees azimuth movement.
The aircraft will be mounted at top of a vertical column and will be able to pitch 22 degrees up and down and roll 22 port/starboard. Control surfaces will move in response to pilot control inputs.
The aircraft will be enclosed as per the original. There will be basic controls, control column with wheel, rudder pedals, trim x 2 , flaps, throttle etc etc.
Although somewhat resembling an original Link Trainer there will be no air turbine or bellows, we are using steppers for movement and VDU for the panel. MS Flight Simulator (I am not sure of the version yet).
Using MSFS does give us scope for expansion of the Link experience to include scenery (although there is not much to see outside when flying IMC) and potential landing etc.
We have an A3 plotter to record the 'flight' as was done with the WWII 'crab'.
We have various documents, charts, etc relating to the 4 way Radio Ranges and installed around the world. In our vision a pilot could arrive somewhere off the east coast of the South Island and use the radio beam system to find Christchurch and make an approach, all with the hood down and without ILS, GPS, VOR or NDB to find his way relying only on compass and morse code signals on his radio receiver. Success will be when he breaks through the clag to see the runway ahead of him!
The base is well advanced, the wings are in the paint shop, the fuselage is almost ready for painting. Controls are well on the way, the upholstery has arrived.