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[[image No. 92 - black & white photograph of Ed Link with his mother and niece]] Edwin Albert Link "My first trainer was built in my father's piano and organ factory. It all came about because I had real difficulty in learning to fly in 1925 and 1926." Ed Link didn't teach others to fly because he was a first-rate instructor, or because he liked to teach. "I just needed the money," he says with candor. "Money wasn't easy in those days." The idea of a flight trainer flowered as he became more concerned that too many students placed too much faith in the quality and character of their instructors. "Hell, in those days, you where an older timer if you had 50 hours in the air." By the end of 1929, the first Link Trainer had been sold to the Navy and installed at Pensacola, Fla. Ed knew it would work; he had developed a testing program with the kind of thoroughness that was--and is--typical of his creative engineering spirit. The Link Flying School, during 1929 and 1930, graduated 135 qualified pilots, a remarkable number for the period, in relatively isolated Binghampton, N. Y. It was here that each student was required to "fly" five hours in the trainer before his solo experience. "They were my historical guinea pigs," Ed says, with laughter. Link instrument flying trainers, crew trainers, radar, and navigation trainers, are now used in nearly every nation of the world. [[image - small drawing of a propeller]] Edwin Albert Link: born Huntington, Indiana, July 26, 1904. [[image No. 93 - black & white photograph of Link Trainer]] [[image No. 94 - black & white photograph of Charles Lindbergh, Major Thomas Lamphere, Richard Bennett, and Ed Link]] [[caption]] Ed Link with his mother and niece (92) at Binghampton, N. Y., airport, 1928, the year of prototype manufacture and testing of the Link Trainer (93). At Choconut, Pa., 1928, Link (far right) and Richard Bennett flew spare parts to disabled Curtiss P-1s flown by Charles Lindbergh, left, and Major Thomas Lamphere (94). [[/caption]] 38
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