Conflict & Society Seminar 9

Join us for 'Faking it? The RAAF’s adoption of flight simulation, 1936–60'

Image caption: Advertisement for the Redifon F-86E simulator. Source: NAA A705 208/18/344, Synthetic training devices - Aids to flying training - Procedure - Trainers (flight simulators)


In 1947, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) suffered the highest flying accident rate in its history. Its newly established Synthetic Training Panel soon investigated the novel Dehmel-type flight simulators entering service with American and British air arms. Unlike the generic Link Trainer, flight simulators employed analogue computers to replicate the flight envelope, procedural drills and emergency responses for a specific aircraft type. Combat experience from Korea also fed into the RAAF’s 1952 decision to order two dedicated flight simulators for its Avon Sabre fighter. Did this new approach truly transform Australia’s airpower preparedness, flying safety and operational capabilities? This webinar seeks to answer this question, and more. 

Click here to listen to the recording


Meet the speaker:

Dr Peter Hobbins

Peter Hobbins

Dr Peter Hobbins leads the curatorial, library and publications team at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. He is also Chair of the Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT) and a Councillor of the Royal Australian Historical Society. Peter’s historical studies have explored medical research, snakebite and its remedies, epidemics and quarantine. Over 2016–19, his DECRA project at the University of Sydney investigated the development of aviation medicine and flying safety systems in Australia. Peter’s current work includes the Royal Navy’s role in the nineteenth-century Pacific Ocean and how life aboard troopships has reflected Australian ideas of citizenship.

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