He was also a pilot, but dissatisfied with the amount of real flight training that was available, he decided to build a ground-based device to provide such training without the restrictions of weather and the availability of aircraft and flight instructors.
Firing at a moving target requires aiming ahead of the target (which involves the so-called lead angle) to allow for the time the bullets require to reach the vicinity of the target.
This is sometimes also called "deflection shooting" and requires skill and practice.
During World War I, some ground-based simulators were developed to teach this skill to new pilots.
The best-known early flight simulation device was the Link Trainer, produced by Edwin Link in Binghamton, New York, USA, which he started building in 1927.
He later patented his design, which was first available for sale in 1929.
The Link Trainer was a basic metal frame flight simulator usually painted in its well-known blue color.
Some of these early war era flight simulators still exist, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find working examples.
The Link family firm in Binghamton manufactured player pianos and organs, and Ed Link was therefore familiar with such components as leather bellows and reed switches.
This article is about flight simulation in general, but focuses mainly on professional devices.
For lower-end, non-professional or recreational simulators, see Amateur flight simulation.
For the Microsoft product, see Microsoft Flight Simulator.