The Link Trainer was created in 1929 out of the need for a safe way to teach new pilots how to fly by instruments.
Ed Link used his knowledge of pumps, valves and bellows gained at his father’s Link Piano and Organ Company to create a flight simulator that responded to the pilot’s controls and gave an accurate reading on the included instruments. Link Trainers were produced between the early 1930s and early 1950s and during World War II, they were used as a key pilot training aid by almost every combatant nation.
More than 500,000 US pilots were trained on Link simulators, as were pilots of nations as diverse as Australia, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, Pakistan, and the USSR.
Now it’s your opportunity get into the LINK cockpit and fly this historic simulator!
For all these experiences, any guests joining will need to need to pay the standard museum admission charges.
Link trainer experiences are not currently available due to the colder weather Nov 2023
Minimum operating temperature for the link is around 16C and we do not want to risk running it while the low temperature in its unheated location could damage it.
- Link Basic. £50 – inc. museum admission
An opportunity to fly this historic flight trainer and experience instrument flying and basic navigation techniques. The experience will last roughly 45 minutes and will include a full briefing from an experienced pilot and 20-30 minutes actual flying time.
- Link Advanced. £75 – inc. museum admission
Similar to the core experience but will last nearer an hour and will include the use of the flight plotter to record the route taken. This is an opportunity to experience some specific WW2 flight training courses and see how you fare as a WW2 fighter pilot.
- IFR Training. £150 – inc museum admission.
This experience is suitable for anyone but targeted at individuals with a pilots license, or anyone considering learning to fly. This experience is likely to last 1-2 hours.
This is an opportunity to gain some experience of instrument flying in a safe environment and far cheaper than formal IFR training. You will use the EasyVFR software to plot a route in the south of England and then use the Link with the doors and covers closed to attempt to fly that route on instruments alone. The route you fly will be plotted so you can see how you did.
NB:- If you wish to take an extended course of IFR experiences to improve your IFR rating, then we will look at discount options depending on hours you wish to book. Please contact the museum and ask for a member of the Link team to contact you.
- Coming soon experiences and additional features (2022)
- Use the WW2 VOR radio equipment to attempt to navigate a pre-determined route.
- Opportunity to gain confidence using the radio while flying.
Please book your experience via our webstore at: link-flying-experience
Safety and limitations
The flight experience is only available to those 18 or over. Due to the age of the equipment and the confined cockpit space a degree of agility is required of the pilot. The instructor reserves the right to terminate the experience at any time on the grounds of safety. Due to the age of the Link and it’s operating limits we need to implement a weight limit of 16st for anyone flying as it cannot operate correctly with heavier pilots