QANTAS flight simulator pioneer Ray Page shares his story of forward-thinking and risk-taking that revolutionised the role for flight simulators in pilot training.

It’s an old notion that you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake. Meeting Mr Ray Page — a key figure in the development of flight simulation in Australia — you have shaken hands with a man who understands the full weight of this gesture. This simple act often finalised Page’s ambitious business decisions. As we celebrate a century of aviation simulation, we reflect on how one man established a role for flight simulation in Australia, and in turn, how flight simulators paved the way for simulation technology across multiple industries.

Page was directly involved with the development of the Qantas B707 flight simulator — one of the two first full flight simulators ever produced. There was a clear need to push past certain technological barriers. One of the biggest challenges Page and his colleagues faced was acquiring sufficient data to program into the simulator. As he describes, aviation simulation was a “slow evolution” in both a cultural and technological sense.

 Words: Emilie Guillemain – Photos: Nicolette Johnson

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This story appears in the May 2014
print edition of Simpublica Magazine.
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