Flight Tutor (First)

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Flight Tutor
Other Name(s) Aerotrainer
Orientator
Airplane Instructor
Type Rotating ride
Built 1931
Opened 1931
Closed 1931 (Sales company went out of business)
Manufacturer Springfield Welding and Supply Company
Air Craft Appliance Co.
Designer W. E. Hoffman
Height 20 ft. (6.1 m)
Vehicle Type Airplane
Number of Vehicles 1
Riders per Vehicle 1
Inversions Varies

The first Flight Tutor (sometimes called an Aerotrainer, Orientator, or Airplane Instructor[1])[2] was one of two devices at Olentangy Park that was designed after flight simulators used by the U.S. Flying Service at the time.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

The Flight Tutor, a unique addition to Olentangy Park, was unveiled on the park's Easter Sunday opening in 1931. It marked a significant milestone as the first of its kind to be permanently installed, having previously been a temporary attraction at only four other locations.[10][11][12]

Invented by Wright Field aeronautical and mechanical engineer W. E. Hoffman in 1929,[13] it looked like a wingless plane with a fuselage body, with rudder, elevator, and aileron control surfaces, mounted on a steel[14] double-tripod frame 20 feet (6.1 meters) tall.[3] The propeller in front was controlled by a 15-horsepower electric motor, and a circle of fins behind it blew air onto the rider to simulate an airspeed of 70-150 mph (113-241 kph).[15] Stairs led up to a nearby platform where riders could board the ride using a gangplank held by one of the two ride operators. Riders would get strapped in and control the plane with realistic controls to loop, spin, roll, dive, and stall without risk.[4][16][10][17][18][19][7] The inventor claimed a half hour in the tutor was equal to three hours in the air.[20]

It was installed near the entrance to the Red Devil, south of the Midway.[21][19][22] Its success led to a second version of the ride being installed further north.[6][7] The rides were manufactured by the Springfield Welding and Supply Company and Air Craft Appliance Company (both in Springfield, Ohio) and sold through the Aircraft Appliance Sales Corporation (in Delaware). [23] The Army Flying Corps later found it obsolete, which had little if any practical value[24] and the sales company went out of business in 1932, so this ride was only at the park for one season.[10][25]

See Also

References

  1. Barret, Richard E. "Olentangy Park: Four Decades of Fun." Columbus and Central Ohio Historian. Vol. 1. April 1984. Pg. 11.
  2. "New Concern to Make 'Orientator' to Teach Flying Without Planes." Springfield News-Sun (Springfield, Ohio). 9 June 1929. Pg. 23. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107108977/new-concern-to-make-orientator-to/
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Circus Thrillers: Army's 'Green' Flyers Get Stunt Training Near the Ground." The Columbus Dispatch. 6 October 1929. Pg. F9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "On the Rialto: Flight Teacher." The Columbus Dispatch. 3 April 1931. Pg. 22A.
  5. "Sunday Only." The Columbus Dispatch. 11 April 1931. Pg. 8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "New Flight Machine." The Columbus Dispatch. 17 April 1931. Pg. 2B.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Another Tutor Picked For Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 19 April 1931. Pg. 60.
  8. "Dressed Up: Features Added to Airplane Which Goes Nowhere." The Dayton Herald (Dayton, Ohio). 23 April 1929. Pg. 2. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107108176/dressed-up-features-added-to-airplane/
  9. "Mechanical Flight Tutor Recent Development At Field 'Real Instructor'". Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio). 28 April 1929. Pg. 4. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107108369/mechanical-flight-tutor-recent/
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Flying to Be Park Feature." The Columbus Dispatch. 5 April 1931. Pg. 10D.
  11. "Leviathans Play at Olentangy." The Columbus Dispatch. 20 April 1931. Pg. 10A.
  12. "On the Rialto." The Columbus Dispatch. 24 April 1931. Pg. 20A.
  13. "How to Fly Without Flying." The News-Herald (Franklin, Pennsylvania). Photo. 29 June 1929. Pg. 12. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107109257/flight-tutor-photo-and-details/
  14. "Flight Tutor Gives Student 'Safe' Thrills." Arizona Republic (Phoenix, Arizona). 8 September 1929. Pg. 26. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107109482/flight-tutor-gives-student-safe/
  15. "New Concern to Make 'Orientator' to Teach Flying Without Planes." Springfield News-Sun (Springfield, Ohio). 9 June 1929. Pg. 23. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107108977/new-concern-to-make-orientator-to/
  16. "First Sunday at the Biggest Park." The Columbus Dispatch. 5 April 1931. Pg. 62.
  17. "Western Band." The Columbus Dispatch. 8 April 1931. Pg. 16A.
  18. "Another Sunday At Olentangy Park." The Columbus Dispatch. 13 April 1931. Pg. 12A.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Raper, Tod. "Shifting Scenes." The Columbus Dispatch. 15 April 1931. Pg. 2B.
  20. "How to Fly Without Flying." News-Herald (Franklin, Pennsylvania). Photo. 29 June 1929. Pg. 12. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107109257/flight-tutor-photo-and-details/
  21. "Flying to Be Park Feature." The Columbus Dispatch. 7 April 1931. Pg. 14A.
  22. "That Busy Place, Olentangy." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 10 May 1931. Pg. 56.
  23. "Entertaining the Multitude." Springfield News-Sun (Springfield, Ohio). 13 April 1931. Pg. 12. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107183824/entertaining-the-multitude/
  24. "Air Corps in Need of More Ship Pilots." The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana). 13 November 1932. Pg. 7. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107184439/air-corps-in-need-of-more-ship-pilots/
  25. "AIRCRAFT APPLIANCE SALES CORPORATION." Open Corporates. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_oh/145885