SimuFlite celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, but the company’s roots go farther back than that, all the way to the Link Trainer.
When Edwin Link, son of a piano and nickelodeon manufacturer in Binghamton, N.Y., patented his flight simulator in 1929, it proved to be more popular with amusement park operators than with flight schools. World War II changed that, though, and his “Blue Box” helped train half a million pilots.
As the value of simulator flight training continued to grow throughout the 1950s, Link Aeronautical merged with General Precision Equipment and was later acquired by Singer, which purchased SimuFlite soon after it was founded at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW) in 1984. After a series of mergers, CAE acquired SimuFlite four years ago.
So, while it has a complex pedigree, SimuFlite nonetheless can trace its ancestry to the Link Trainer. That’s probably why you can find an original Link “Blue Box” in the company’s lobby at DFW.