Make-Believe Warfare

Firing ersatz machine guns from mock-up gun turrets at a model of the latest Messerschmitt Me-109 that goes roaring along a synthetic skyway may sound like an interesting game to the uninitiated. But AAF fledglings will tell you differently. Even combat pilots come from sessions in these synthetic training devices as jittery as though they had been on battle missions. Scores of these ground training aids have been developed by the Training Aids Division of the AAF for use wherever combat crews are in the making Most ingenious of the lot are the Link Trainer, the Gunairstructor, the Celestial Navigation Trainer. Some of the less publicized items of TAD equipment are shown here. And there are still other devices — advanced bomber trainers, fighter interceptor aids, crew procedure trainers — which promise to duplicate nearly every air experience. They all add up to the uncanny first-combat skills of American airmen — skills that are produced in a fraction of the time required by older training methods.

This article was originally published in the January, 1945, issue of Flying magazine, vol 36, no 1, pp 46-47.
The PDF of this article includes seven photos of training simulations, cutaways, and mockups.
Photos credited to USN, Douglas, Boeing.