Link Trainer

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R5868
Flying Officer
Flying Officer
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Link Trainer

Post by R5868 »

Below are details of the training done on a Visual Link Trainer as described in "The Arnprior Experiment – An Appraisal of Pilot Selection Procedures in the RCAF and RAF"
by Edro Italo Signori.

Visual Link Test of Flying Aptitude

The VLT was designed to measure psychomotor coordination and was used as a basis for assessing pilot aptitude. The assumptions that underlie the use of other psychomotor tests for assessing pilot aptitude apply here also. Candidates who attain high scores in the test situation are deemed to possess certain abilities that are important to flying in a degree that make them better prospects for flying training than others. The factual support for this assumption rests on the fact that numerous investigations on the use of psychomotor tests for assessing pilot aptitude show a positive relationship between test scores and achievement in flying training.

The test consisted of a miniature airplane situated in the centre of a circular room, on the wall of which was painted a scene that resembled a view one might see at a high altitude near coastal waters. From the standpoint of the test, the significant features of the view besides the horizon line, were a lighthouse, a bomber and a battleship on a level with the horizon, which served as targets for various exercises.

Candidates were tested individually by specifically trained examiners on a total of eight different exercises that were spaced over six test periods of approximately ½ hour duration each. Normally the test periods were spread over a period of 2 weeks.

The exercises were based on elementary activities encountered in a real flying situation. They are so organized that the more complex activities in later exercises depended on what was learned in the earlier ones. The activities covered in each of the exercises were as follows:

Test Period 1

Exercise 1 – Rudder Control. In this exercise the candidate was instructed on how to control right and left rudders, swing at a constant rate of 360° in 30 seconds and stop on a heading. 12 minutes.

Exercise 2 – Elevator Control. The object of this exercise was to teach the candidate how to raise and lower the nose of the Link within a designated vertical distance, at a uniform speed of IQO in 8 seconds. 6 minutes

Test Period 2

Exercise 3 – Aileron Control. Candidates were instructed on how to bank right and left at a uniform speed and note the angle made by the wings and horizon line. 9 minutes

Exercise 4 – Further effects of Rudder. This was a demonstration exercise which was designed to familiarise the candidate with the effects of rudder when elevator and aileron controls are unchecked. Candidates were not tested at this time.

Test Period 3

Exercise 4a - Rudder and Elevator. The exercise combined the features of Ex. 1 and 2 above, i.e. candidates were required to keep the nose level while turning right and left and stopping on a heading. 10 minutes

Exercise 4b – Rudder and Aileron. This combined the features of Ex. 1 and 3. Candidates were required to keep the wings level while turning right or left and when coming to a stop. 9 minutes

Exercise 5 – Further Effects of Aileron. This consisted of a demonstration of how the Link is affected by aileron control when elevator is unchecked and rudder is neutral.

Test Period 4

Exercise 5a Rudder and Aileron. Candidates were required to bank right and left smoothly while holding the nose on a target with the aid of the rudder. 7 minutes

Test Period 5

Exercise 6 – Turning and Stopping. This exercise required candidates to keep the wings and nose level while swinging smoothly right or left and when stopping. 10 minutes

Exercise 7 – Rough Air. In this exercise candidates were required to keep the craft level and the nose on a target in ‘rough air’. Rough air was supplied mechanically by bellows situated at the base of the craft. 10 minutes

Exercise 8 – Banking. This exercise required the candidate to bank smoothly while holding the nose level on a target with all controls free. 10 minutes

Test Period 6

During the 6th period Exercises 6, 7 and 8 were repeated under the guidance of another examiner.

The foregoing exercises presuppose a uniform amount of preliminary practice and familiarization with the test exercises. Practice was given in the speeds that were to be maintained during all the tests. Speeds for horizontal and vertical movements of the Link were allowed certain tolerances. For a full 360° turn, the speed was allowed to vary between 27 to 33 seconds. Except for the demonstration exercises, candidates performed under standard tost conditions for each exercise. During the test trials, recordings of performance were made from three scales attached to the base, below the rear body, and underneath the left wing of the Link. The base scale (horizontally placed) made it possible to record deviations in horizontal movements of the Link while the other two scales (vertically suspended rods) were used to record vertical deviations in elevator and aileron movements. Test trials generally called for a movement of the Link under specified conditions, e.g. in EX. 4A, a candidate was required to keep the nose of the craft level while turning right or left and come to a stop on a target. Errors were committed if the nose of the Link was not level and if the candidate stopped before or after the target. In both instances deviations from the 'true* path and target heading were recorded by the examiner from the appropriate scales attached to the craft. A similar procedure was followed in all the exercises.

Candidates who committed no errors in any of the exercises automatically received a score of 100. Wherever errors were indicated, weighted subtractions, depending on the exercise, were made from 100. The remainder constituted the candidate's preliminary VLT score. At the 6th period candidates were again examined on exercises 6, 7 and 8 by another examiner. Again errors, weighted according to the exercise were deducted from 100. An average was then taken of the candidate's first and second VLT scores. This constituted the candidate’s official VLT score.
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