A few years ago, during one of the AAA/APM Fly-in's, Tom Huf (Bamboo Bomber) let it be known that he would be interested in restoring the APM's Link Trainer. Then last year he made good on that promise when, during the 2010 AAA/APM Fly-in, the Link was disassembled, loaded in a trailer and eventually transported to Tom & Elaine's (Elaine of pink L-16 and Stinson 10 fame) private airstrip near Kingsley, PA by Dave Lamb and Ben Taylor.
The completed Link back on display in the APM.
Tom, Elaine and Barry Taylor preparing to unwrap and unload the Link after it's trip back to Antique Airfield from PA. That's local AAA member Clint Swan's Champ in the background.
Tom & Elaine have returned with and completed re-assembly of the Link, so it's once again on display in the APM annex. This by the way, is the third Link Trainer Tom has restored, with others on display at the EAA museum in Oshkosh and the Piper museum in Lock Haven.
The heavy parts (base and octagon/bellows) safely placed and re-assembled in the APM annex.
Tom and Elaine's restoration of the Link is magnificent! While not operational due to a few key parts missing, it is nevertheless restored to near original condition. Details such as the correct zippered inspection access, cotton covering (unbleached muslin similar to Grade A cotton) and nitrate dope for the interior, the correct nickel plated grommets to attach the seat covering, refaced original instruments (done by Keystone Instruments in Lock Haven, PA), correct colors and markings etc. will make this an outstanding display for years to come.
Fuselage mounted. Next wings, tail and other auxiliary parts.
During the restoration it was discovered that this is perhaps the oldest Link Trainer in existence. It is sn # 708 of over 10,000 built. According to Tom it's the only one he has ever seen with a wooden stick (most Links had either an aluminum stick assembly or a control wheel). Other details that set it apart from later Link's include a fabric covered hatch as opposed to an all wooden one and the aforementioned zippered inspection access.
It's beginning to look like an airplane er .....
The Link will draw lots of attention we're certain.
The restored cockpit and instrument panel.
A view of the "other" side.
Elaine, Tom and RLT discuss the restoration and Link history.
Thanks to all whom had a part in this project but especially to Tom and Elaine for their hard work and dedication.