Antoinette Barrel (1909): the world’s first aircraft simulator

Built by the Antoinette aircraft company in the workshops of Mourmelon (Champagne, France), this ball-joint mounted cockpit was manually operated in the yaw, roll and pitch axes, and was used for pilot training. This primitive simulator, made of two half-barrels balanced on top of each other, allowed the trainee pilot to practice using the unusual flight controls of the Antoinette aircraft (the two wheel system was less intuitive than a control stick).

Antoinette was a French manufacturer of light petrol engines. Antoinette also became a pioneer-era builder of aeroplanes before World War I, most notably the record-breaking monoplanes flown by Hubert Latham and René Labouchère. Based in Puteaux, the Antoinette concern was in operation between 1903 and 1912. The company operated a flying school at Chalons for which it built one of the earliest flight simulators.

Aeroscopia (Toulouse)

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