Reaction Control Trainer at Edwards AFB
The Reaction Control Trainer was built to familiarize future spacecraft pilots with the technique of attitude control with small thrusters. The cockpit of the trainer contains an aircraft seat and basic instruments for displaying the attitude of the trainer. By moving a handle (control “stick”) on one armrest, the pilot can activate high pressure gas thrusters and move the trainer in any of the three axis (roll, pitch, yaw).
This trainer was built in 1962 and used at Edwards Air Force Base (left). It was declared surplus by the Edwards Air Force Base Redistribution and Marketing Branch and shipped to the museum in 1970. After extensive refurbishment in 1975, the trainer was placed on display in the museum rocket garden.
Due to weather damage over the years, the trainer was removed from display in 2007 and place in protected storage.