Edwin Albert Link - Aviation

Aviation

He took his first flying lesson in 1920. In 1927, he obtained the first Cessna airplane ever delivered and eked out a living by barnstorming, charter flying and giving lessons.

As a young man, Edwin Link used apparatus from his father's automatic piano and organ factory (of the Link Piano and Organ Company) to produce an advertising plane. A punched roll and pneumatic system from a player piano controlled sequential lights on the lower surfaces of the wings to spell out messages like "ENDICOTT-JOHNSON SHOES". To attract more attention, he added a set of small but loud organ pipes, also controlled by the roll.

In the 1920s, he developed the Link Trainer, "a fuselage-like device with a cockpit and controls that produced the motions and sensations of flying." Much of the pneumatic system was adapted directly from technology used in the organ factory (in the 1970s Link used parts scavenged from an inoperative trainer to help rebuild a Link pipe organ). He formed the Link Aeronautical Corporation in 1929 to manufacture the trainers. His few early customers were amusement parks, not flight training schools; the early models served as amusement rides. Finally, in 1934, the United States Army Air Corps bought six. During World War II, more than half a million airmen were taught by the Link Trainer.

Together with his wife Marion Clayton Link, whom he had married in 1931, Edwin Link managed the very successful Link Aviation, Inc. He contributed a great deal to the Binghamton, New York area, where he set up a production facility that at one time employed thousands of workers. The field on which Greater Binghamton Airport lies is named after him, and there is an original "Blue Box" on display in the terminal.

Link was awarded the Howard N. Potts Medal in 1945 for developing training devices for aviators. In 1953, Edwin and Marion Link established The Link Foundation. The foundation continues to provide grants and fellowships in aeronautics, simulation and training, ocean engineering, energy, and organizations of interest to the Links. Ed Link received an honorary degree from Binghamton University. In 1976, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Read more about this topic:  Edwin Albert Link

Other articles related to "aviation":

Naval Aviation - History
... naval aviation began with pioneer aviator Glenn Curtiss who contracted with the Navy to demonstrate that airplanes could take off from and land aboard ships ... Hibernia then transferred her aviation equipment to battleship London ... However, shipboard naval aviation had begun in the Royal Navy, and would become a major part of fleet operations by 1917 ...
Aviation - Environmental Impact
... In addition, there are environmental impacts specific to aviation Aircraft operating at high altitudes near the tropopause (mainly large jet airliners) emit aerosols and leave contrails, both of which can ...
Swissair - History - Founding Years
... The founding fathers were Balz Zimmermann and the Swiss aviation pioneer Walter Mittelholzer ... Two days later, Swissair's aviation was closed completely ... On July 30, 1945 Swissair was able to resume commercial aviation ...
Naval Aviation
... Naval aviation is the application of manned military air power by navies, including ships that embark fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters ... In contrast, maritime aviation is the operation of aircraft in a maritime role under the command of non-naval forces such as the former RAF Coastal Command or a nation's ... naval aviation ...