Icarus, Pegasus, da Vinci's flying machine and Wright brothers airplane probably didn't have a flight simulator, since computer science was not yet developed enough (Antikythera ancient analogue computer in 70BC, Wright brothes until 1948, ENIAC introduced in 1946).

So, which bird was the lucky one, to first be accompanied by a flight simulator?

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    $\begingroup$ if you count the WW2 era Link Trainers, probably some early 1940s training aircraft like the Harvard. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Jan 17, 2019 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ @jwenting I didn't know about Link Trainers. At a glance, I cannot tell the difference between a fl. simulator. Every airplane is a candidate.. ;) $\endgroup$
    – gsamaras
    Jan 17, 2019 at 8:01
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    $\begingroup$ Planes do not use flight simulators. Pilots do. Any flight simulator has a limited accuracy. First flight simulators were not specific to a type. I have the feeling that the questions you want to ask is: What is the first airplane that has been modeled in a flight simulator with relative accuracy? $\endgroup$
    – bogl
    Jan 17, 2019 at 9:51
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    $\begingroup$ So your asking what plane was the first to have a dedicated flight sim that trained pilots? $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Jan 17, 2019 at 14:20
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    $\begingroup$ @Alex nicely put. Maybe the title of my question should be your comment... $\endgroup$
    – gsamaras
    Jan 17, 2019 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


According to the Oakland Aviation Museum the first known was a simulator to learn to fly the Antoinette monoplane, although they don't provide any references for this, so I can't say that is entirely true.

The link trainer is the best known trainer and they were built in 1927 by Edwin Albert Link. They were used to train Army Air Corp pilots for instrument training in all weather conditions. The link trainer continued to be the sought after training device in WWII as well training almost all US Air Force Pilots.Link

If I find more information I will update my answer as best as possible.

I know typically answers on Wikipedia aren't the best but this one is littered with references that would take entirely to long to search out for ones self.

  • $\begingroup$ I can't find a source but I'm pretty sure that the first modern airliner type sim was developed for the DC-4/6. There is a clip somewhere of Arthur Godfrey's show in the mid 50s he did from the terminal at Idlewild Airport (JFK) that included a visit to a training sim, which was a DC-4 or 6 IIRC. Maybe fish around in that direction. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jan 17, 2019 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is the source you are looking for $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Jan 17, 2019 at 14:54

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