Flight Tutor (Second)

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Flight Tutor
Other Name(s) Aerotrainer
Airplane Instructor
Type Other
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
Vehicle Type Airplane
Number of Vehicles 1
Riders per Vehicle 1
Inversions 0

The second Flight Tutor (sometimes called an Aerotrainer, Orientator, or Airplane Instructor[1])[2] was one of two devices at Olentangy Park designed after flight simulators used by the U.S. Flying Service at the time.[3][4][5][6] It was added to the park for the official opening of the park in 1931 after the original version saw tremendous success.[7][8]

This version looked like a wingless plane with a fuselage body, with rudder, elevator, and aileron control surfaces, but it was limited to "take off" and "landing."[9] 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 take off and land without risk. It was mounted on a pyramid and moved on a fixed 6-foot rod controlled by compressed air. It also had a motor to twirl the propeller.[10][5][11]

It was installed near the entrance to the second Ye Olde Mill at the north end of the Midway.[10][4][5][11] 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). [12] The Army Flying Corps later found them obsolete and had little, if any, practical value[13] and the sales company went out of business in 1932, so this ride was only at the park for one season.[14]

See Also


  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. "Sunday Only." The Columbus Dispatch. 11 April 1931. Pg. 8.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "New Flight Machine." The Columbus Dispatch. 17 April 1931. Pg. 2B.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Another Tutor Picked For Park." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 19 April 1931. Pg. 60.
  6. "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/
  7. "Leviathans Play at Olentangy." The Columbus Dispatch. 20 April 1931. Pg. 10A.
  8. "On the Rialto." The Columbus Dispatch. 24 April 1931. Pg. 20A.
  9. "Dance Promises." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 26 April 1931. Pg. 66.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Raper, Tod. "Shifting Scenes." The Columbus Dispatch. 21 May 1931. Pg. 18A.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "That Busy Place, Olentangy." The Columbus Sunday Dispatch. 10 May 1931. Pg. 56.
  12. "Entertaining the Multitude." Springfield News-Sun (Springfield, Ohio). 13 April 1931. Pg. 12. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/107183824/entertaining-the-multitude/
  13. "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/
  14. "AIRCRAFT APPLIANCE SALES CORPORATION." Open Corporates. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_oh/145885