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Thread: Link Trainer and X-Plane

  1. #1

    Link Trainer and X-Plane

    EAA Chapter 44 in Rochester NY owns a 1960’s Link General Aviation Trainer (GAT-1.) It is currently INOP and our Chapter electrician has been trying to get it running on the old electronics for several years. If and when he does, we want to try to marry it with X-Plane, to have them communicate with each other and to work together to provide a full-motion, 3-axis experience with either 3-monitors in the cockpit or an Occulus Rift headset. That’s the goal.

    But first we have to get it running. So I have two questions: Does anyone out there have experience with Link Trainers and getting them running? And, does anyone know if these two CAN be married or if they already HAVE been joined in Holy Simlock. Chapter 44 would appreciate any leads. Thanks.

    Bob Nelligan-Barrett
    EAA Chapter 44
    Rochester NY

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Trailbossbob View Post
    EAA Chapter 44 in Rochester NY owns a 1960’s Link General Aviation Trainer (GAT-1.) It is currently INOP and our Chapter electrician has been trying to get it running on the old electronics for several years. If and when he does, we want to try to marry it with X-Plane, to have them communicate with each other and to work together to provide a full-motion, 3-axis experience with either 3-monitors in the cockpit or an Occulus Rift headset. That’s the goal.

    But first we have to get it running. So I have two questions: Does anyone out there have experience with Link Trainers and getting them running? And, does anyone know if these two CAN be married or if they already HAVE been joined in Holy Simlock. Chapter 44 would appreciate any leads. Thanks.

    Bob Nelligan-Barrett
    EAA Chapter 44
    Rochester NY
    These people in Australia have been working on a Link Trainer project which was well on the way when I saw it a year ago.
    Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre
    Location: Nhill Aerodrome, VIC, 3418

    P: +61 490 657 770
    E: nahc3418@gmail.com

  3. #3
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    I've got experience with a Link ANT-18, the WWII model, but that wouldn't apply much, here. The ANT-18 was, basically, an analog computer using vacuum instead of electronics.

    When you say, "get it running," what's the state, now? When you power up, does it just sit there, or....?

    From NASA report NASA-CR-86294, it appears that the aircraft information such as pitch, roll, rate of climb, etc. is available at the slip rings under the cabin.

    https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=19700005776

    Page 15 has a signals list; don't think it's a complete one, though. You would need something to do the Analog to Digital conversion and the appropriate port into the X-plane world.

    Ron Wanttaja

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    The museum I work for part-time has a WWII vintage link trainer. They worked with some local group to restore it to (mostly) working order.

    Responding to the original thread; I know a guy who worked on newer Link trainers for the military, T37, C130, Chinook, etc. I can get in touch and see if the GAT-1 is something he might be able to help with.

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