Local museum recognized for preservation of Link Simulators
(BINGHAMTON, NY) – Three historic Link Aviation Flight Simulators have helped one local museum land the world’s premier computer conservation award. The Center for Technology and Innovation, also known as TechWorks!, is the recipient of the 2018 Tony Sale Award (TSA) for computer conservation for its project to restore three generations of flight simulators. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Broome County Executive recognized TechWorks! for its achievement at the Broome County Office Building on Thursday.
“The team at TechWorks! is doing a terrific job to preserve our region’s history of innovation,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “The restoration of these simulators enable visitors to the museum to not just learn about the Link legacy, but actually experience it. This award is well-deserved and should be celebrated by the entire community.”
“This award demonstrates the power of partnerships and the team at TechWorks! is nothing short of incredible,” said County Executive Garnar. “Broome County is proud to be the home to Techworks! and very grateful for the history and experiences they provide at the museum in Binghamton.”
Hundreds of thousands of pilots from World War II and on were trained on flight simulators (commonly known as the “Blue Box”) produced by Binghamton’s Link Aviation. TechWorks! successfully restored three original simulators, including a World War II-era analog flight trainer, a 1960s solid-state hardware version, and a 1980s digital simulator.
“The Tony Sale Award recognizes the dedication of three teams -from SUNY Broome, the Watson School, and Link veterans,” said TechWorks! Executive Director Susan Sherwood. “The teams began work in 2006 to bring three generations of flight simulation computing – mechanical, analog, and digital – back to life for TechWorks! Visitors get a real feel for the consequences of their actions – learning that eyes on the instruments and a gentle touch on the controls will result in a smooth flight and safe landing. These projects launched students’ careers, helping them land jobs at Anaren, Lockheed Martin, NASA, and elsewhere.”
Established in 2012 in memory of computer conservation pioneer Tony Sale, who rebuilt Colossus, the World War II code-breaking computer, the award recognizes efforts around the world to save the transformative devices that led to today’s digital world. The award is presented by Britain’s Computer Conservation Society and sponsored by Google UK.