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Flight simulator

A flight simulator is a device that artificially re-creates aircraft flight and the environment in which it flies, for pilot training, design, or other purposes. It includes replicating the equations that govern how aircraft fly, how they react to applications of flight controls, the effects of other aircraft systems, how the aircraft reacts to external factors such as air density, wind shear, precipitation, etc. Flight simulation is used for a variety of reasons, including flight training, the design and development of the aircraft itself, research into aircraft characteristics and control handling qualities. In 1910, on the initiative of the French commanders Clolus and Laffont and Lieutenant Clavenad, the first ground training aircraft for military aircraft were built; the "Tonneau Antoinette", created by the Antoinette company, seems to be the precursor of flight simulators. An area of training was for air gunnery handled by a specialist air gunner. Firing at a moving target requires aiming ahead of the target to allow for the time the bullets require to reach the vicinity of the target.

This is sometimes called "deflection shooting" and requires skill and practice. During World War I, some ground-based simulators were developed to teach this skill to new pilots; the best-known early flight simulation device was the Link Trainer, produced by Edwin Link in Binghamton, New York, USA, which he started building in 1927. He patented his design, first available for sale in 1929; the Link Trainer was a basic metal frame flight simulator painted in its well-known blue color. Some of these early war era flight simulators still exist, but it is becoming difficult to find working examples; the Link family firm in Binghamton manufactured player pianos and organs, Ed Link was therefore familiar with such components as leather bellows and reed switches. He was a pilot, but dissatisfied with the amount of real flight training, available, he decided to build a ground-based device to provide such training without the restrictions of weather and the availability of aircraft and flight instructors.

His design had a pneumatic motion platform driven by inflatable bellows which provided pitch and roll cues. A vacuum motor similar to those used in player pianos rotated the platform. A generic replica cockpit with working instruments was mounted on the motion platform; when the cockpit was covered, pilots could practice flying by instruments in a safe environment. The motion platform gave the pilot cues as to real angular motion in pitch and yaw. Aviation flight schools showed little interest in the "Link Trainer". Link demonstrated his trainer to the U. S. Army Air with no result. However, the situation changed in 1934 when the Army Air Force was given a government contract to fly the postal mail; this included having to fly in bad weather as well as good, for which the USAAF had not carried out much training. During the first weeks of the mail service, nearly a dozen Army pilots were killed; the Army Air Force hierarchy remembered his trainer. Link flew in to meet them at Newark Field in New Jersey, they were impressed by his ability to arrive on a day with poor visibility, due to practice on his training device.

The result was that the USAAF purchased six Link Trainers, this can be said to mark the start of the world flight simulation industry. The principal pilot trainer used during World War II was the Link Trainer; some 10,000 were produced to train 500,000 new pilots from allied nations, many in the US and Canada because many pilots were trained in those countries before returning to Europe or the Pacific to fly combat missions. All US Army Air Force pilots were trained in a Link Trainer. A different type of World War II trainer was used for navigating at night by the stars; the Celestial Navigation Trainer of 1941 was 13.7 m high and capable of accommodating the navigation team of a bomber crew. It enabled sextants to be used for taking "star shots" from a projected display of the night sky. In 1954 United Airlines bought four flight simulators at a cost of $3 million from Curtiss-Wright that were similar to the earlier models, with the addition of visuals and movement; this was the first of today's modern flight simulators for commercial aircraft.

The simulator manufacturers are consolidating and integrate vertically as training offers double-digit growth: CAE forecast 255,000 new airline pilots from 2017 to 2027, 180,000 first officers evolving to captains. The largest manufacturer is Canadian CAE Inc. with a 70% market share and $2.8 billion annual revenues, manufacturing training devices for 70 years but moved into training in 2000 with multiple acquisitions. Now CAE makes more from training than from producing the simulators. Crawley-based L3 CTS entered the market in 2012 by acquiring Thales Training & Simulation's manufacturing plant near Gatwick Airport where it assembles up to 30 devices a year UK CTC training school in 2015, Aerosim in Sanford, Florida in 2016, Portuguese academy G Air in October 2017. With a 20% market share, equipment still accounts for more than half of L3 CTS turnover but that could soon be reversed as it educates 1,600 commercial pilots each year, 7% of the 22,000 entering the profession annually, aims for 10% in a fragmented market.

The third largest is TRU Simulation + Training, created in 2014 when parent Textron Aviation merged its simulators with Mechtronix, OPINICUS and ProFlight, focusing on simulators and developing the first full-flight simulators for the 737 MAX and the

Southport shipwrecks

Over the years, a number of ships have foundered off Southport. For the purposes of this article, the Southport area shall be considered as Southwards from Lytham St Annes to Freshfield; the German barque Star of Hope was on a voyage from Wilmington, North Carolina to Liverpool, carrying a cargo of cotton. It was caught in a Force 10 gale in the Mersey approaches; the ship was reported to be in distress and it was reported that her nine crew were safe on the Crosby lightship. The German barque Mexico ran aground near Taggs-Island off Birkdale on 9 December 1886; the crew of twelve were saved by the Lytham lifeboat Charles Biggs, but the Southport and St. Annes lifeboats both capsized, with 27 of the 29 crew being killed; the Mexico came ashore opposite the Birkdale Palace Hotel. An American sail-steamer of 2,372 GRT, SS Zealandia was on a voyage from New York to Liverpool with a cargo of mugs and treacle when she ran aground on the Horsebank on 2 April 1917; the SS Chrysopolis ran aground on the Spencers Bank in fog on 14 February 1918.

She was on a voyage from Genoa to Liverpool with a cargo of copper ore. During attempts to refloat her using two tugs, her back was broken and she became a total loss. A gale sprang up, resulting in her 38 crew and a further four salvors being rescued by the Southport lifeboat; the steam trawler Endymion was being towed from Fleetwood to Preston when she broke free of her tow and grounded on the Horsebank on 31 July 1933. Salvage attempts failed and she was used for target practice during the Second World War; the Blue Star Line's refrigerated cargo ship SS Ionic Star of 5,594 GRT, was inbound to Liverpool from Rio de Janeiro and Santos with a cargo of cotton and meat. On 16 October 1939, she ran aground about a mile west of Formby Point. Although her cargo was salvaged, the ship was declared a total loss. A contract was let for her salvage, but the position of the ship made this too difficult to achieve and she was used for target practice during the Second World War; the 434 GRT Liverpool Pilot SS Charles Livingston came ashore at Ainsdale on 25 November 1939 in a gale.

Lifeboats from Lytham and Blackpool were launched, with the Blackpool lifeboat Sarah Ann Austin rescuing six crew. Four others reached the shore. A further 23 crew were killed; the vessel had misreported her position as between the Bar lightship and Great Orme Head, leading to lifeboats from Hoylake, New Brighton and Rhyl being launched. Two silver and two bronze medals were awarded by the RNLI for this rescue; the 8,183 GRT Henderson Line liner SS Pegu ran aground in the Crosby Channel on 24 November 1939 due to buoy lights being extinguished as a wartime measure. The New Brighton lifeboat rescued her 103 crew but it proved impossible to refloat Pegu; the schooner Happy Harry was wrecked on 15 September 1950 against Southport Pier. She had grounded on Taylor's Bank and her crew were rescued by lifeboat. Happy Harry was refloated and sailed to Southport where she was anchored, but she dragged her anchor and crashed into the pier. Southport Corporation wanted the ship removed, she was dragged away from the pier and burnt.

Blackpool shipwrecks

Veronica Fish

Veronica Fish is an American comic book artist and painter best known for her work with Marvel Comics and Archie Comics. Veronica Fish attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City for two years and received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, her style has been described as "ultra-expressive and playful." Fish teaches at the Worcester Art Museum and designed the Museum's mascot "Helmutt the Dog."Her paintings have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York and London. In 2015 Fish took over regular artist duties on the rebooted Archie comic book series, she created the initial concept art for The CW TV show Riverdale, based on the Archie comics. In 2016 Fish was announced as the artist on Boom! Studios roller skating comic SLAM. Fish is married to fellow artist Andy Fish. Veronica Fish's comic and graphic novel work include: Spider-Woman #10 - 17, with writer Dennis Hopeless Spider-Woman: Shifting Gears Vol 3: Scare Tactics trade paperback, with writer Dennis Hopeless Spider-Gwen Annual 2016, with writer Jason Latour Silk #4 - 5, with writer Howard The Duck #2, with writer Chip Zdarsky Archie, Vol. 1, by Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, Veronica Fish Archie, Vol. 2, with writer Mark Waid Archie #5 - 10, with writer Mark Waid.

Betty & Veronica #1, Variant cover. Over the Garden Wall #1, Variant cover. Adventure Time #54, Variant cover. Goldie Vance #2, Variant cover. Clarence Quest #1, Cover SLAM!, with writer Pamela Ribon Geeks & Greeks graphic novel, with writer Steve Altes Pirates of Mars, Volume 2: Gods + Monsters Challenger #1-3, by Kristopher Waddell Dracula: The Dead Travel Fast Pirates of Mars, Volume 1: Love + Revenge Official website