Antoinette Learning Barrel
The Antoinette Company in 1909 built a rather peculiar device: the “Antoinette Learning Barrel”. It consisted of two half barrels on top of each other. A seat with a steering wheel on either side, identical to those controlling the pitch and roll of the real aeroplane was fixed to the top one of the two barrels. Moreover, the trainee also had his feet on a rudder allowing the device to swivel in yaw. In front of him was a reference bar, which he was required to line up with the horizon. The bottom half-barrel on which the whole system rested was in a state of unstable balance. It was mounted on a swivel head and moved by human operators to represent pitch, roll and yaw. Thanks to this very simple arrangement, the trainee pilot only kept his balance by correctly manipulating the different controls. He thus gradually familiarised himself with the delicate manoeuvres required to fly the Antoinette monoplane. Several samples of the “Antoinette Barrel” were built after 1910. A one-to-one replica can be found in the entrance hall of the Airbus Training Centre in Toulouse, France.
One of their earliest pupils was the adventurer Hubert Latham. Within months of learning to fly Latham became the company's principal instructor. His pupils in 1909 included Marie Marvingt, who became the first woman to fly combat missions as a bomber pilot and established air ambulance services throughout the world, and Infante Alfonso, Duke of Galliera, cousin of King Alfonso XIII of Spain and the first Spanish military pilot.
The North American Museum of Flight Simulation invites people of all ages and from all regions to explore the wonders of flight simulation. It will do this by collecting and displaying working and static Flight Simulators and their history, showing the significance—scientific and technical, as well as economic, that simulators have contributed to the North America and the worlds aviation industry.
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