Collins Aerospace Museum


Collins Aerospace
Early History:
 by: Arlo Goodyear
 –The Collins Story
 by: Ben Stearns
 –Echo Hill Story
 by: Nancy Zook
 –The Iowan Magazine
 by: Ed Marriner
 –CQ Magazine

Our Founder:
Friends of the Museum:
Retiree Stories ···

· · Stories Contributed by Collins Aerospace Retirees · ·
Several retirees have added their special memories …just click on the read link below.
Name   Title Text… Contributed
Terald Lamb read Flying in the 1980 Before the late 1980's there was very little forma… March '15
Terald Lamb read The Doppler Naviagton System In the late 1950's and early 1960's Bendix and Col… March '15
Terald Lamb read Equipment On Art's Boat in Miami Collins hired summer engineers to allow individual… March '15
Terald Lamb read Development of Flilght Control Guidance Art Collins owned the patent on the Horizontal Sit… March '15
Terald Lamb read Flight Testing the Kineplex Modem System One of our flight test and transportation aircraft… March '15
Russ Colton read Memorable Events Working with Art Collins and Dr. Lippisch Dr. Lippisch was a German scientist who came to th… September '12
Terald Lamb read The First and Last Time I Met Arthur Collins Arthur Collins was a genius and scientist who had … June '12

· · Development of Flilght Control Guidance · ·
By: Terald Lamb
Art Collins owned the patent on the Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI). It was basically an instrument that integrated the aircraft heading, course and the radio navigation display without the pilot having to do the computation of the course, determining the closest direction to turn to get on a course or to set each course manually.

The next logical step was to build on Art's philosophy and provide a computed guidance command to the pilots with a newly designed attitude guidance instrument so the pilots didn't have so much workload determining which course to steer. The idea was to have all the variables needed to fly a course being used to compute one guidance command. This included such things as eliminating the effects of cross wind errors on the course by computing a crab angle to correct for any cross wind even in dynamic conditions of changing course and wind conditions. There was also a desire to develop some kind of vertical guidance commands for display and to calculate a command to use as an input to the autopilot. The answer was to build an integrated unit that had the flight director and autopilot with common circuitry and mechanical design. We called it the AP-103. The basic system initially just had the lateral commands with some circuitry designed using transistors. The basic power to drive the servo motors to move the aircraft surfaces were still done with magnetic amplifiers.

The new designs were being tested in the labs in Cedar Rapids and in Collins engineering aircraft. This was an interesting time. The magnetic amplifiers (mag amps) were really transformers with a winding to control the outputs. They were filled with tar. In use the mag amps got very hot. If they were stressed too much, they would blow up spraying tar all over everything. This happened occasionally. You could always tell someone who had just had this experience as their white shirts would be covered with tar. The most interesting situation like this was a person was leaning over the unit with its dust cover on when a mag amp blew. In those days engineers always wore white shirts and ties even when working on airplanes. The mag amp would spray tar through the holes in the unit dust cover. An engineer wearing a white shirt with black polka dots was a dead giveaway that he or she had over-stressed a mag amp.
óMarch 16, 2015
Terald retired in April 1996 after working 35 years in Certification.
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