Data General Nova Star Trek (Rockwell Collins vs. Vaisala SPT11A)

Erik Baigar erik at
Tue Apr 26 12:51:49 CDT 2016

> Erik is not the only one.  Check out Tatiana van Vark.  Here's a picture of 
> what is in her DINING ROOM, the complete electronics suite from a Vulcan 
> bomber!

Yes, Tatiana is the queen of collecting this kind of
stuff and she has an excellent page!

> There's also a video of her picking up a Litton inertial measuring unit and 
> moving it around, there's 3 racks of gear to support it.

Well, I have a similar video of my "baby" which is somewhat
newer - look at
beginning minute 5:00. The LN-3 you can see in Tatiana's video
is from the 1960ties (F4, F104 and many others) and all computation
is done mechanically using gears and ball resolvers for Sinus/Cosinus.

In the FIN-1010 shown in my video being from the 1970ties, some
calculation (e.g. integration of rate to orientation) is still done
mechanically within the gyroscopes, platform alignment and maintaining
the position of the platform as well as flipping the gimbals is
accomplished by an analog computer (OpAmps and so on). Last but
not least a bitserial digital computer is supervising the analog
computer and changing its "program flow". Additionally the digital
machine contains routines for calibration of gyro drift etc. The
digital computer also solves the navigation equations of direction
and distance to goal.

So the fascinating thing is the combination of different technologies
and the outstanding precision needed and achieved by the mechanical

Altough the digital machine consists of only ~200 TTL chips, it is a
32 bit machine and delivers 33 navigation oututs per second. BTW:
This enabled the Tornado aircraft to fly autonomously 200 ft
above ground at supersonic speeds passing certain preprogrammed


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