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Showing posts from October, 2013

Junk Store Gyro, Tom Clancy And A Replica Avro Arrow

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Boomer Memories of the Cold War Aerospace Industry as it spins, flies and slips off the Mortal Coil


I spent over 15-years working for a company that made very expensive, highly accurate navigation systems for military and commercial aircraft.  Towards the end of the Cold War, Litton Systems Canada modified an aircraft navigation system for the US cruise missile programme. Employment and profits soared - but as with most things Boomer, it all eventually leads to Bust.

The cruise missile was the first low cost missile to use a terrain mapping system (think of it as a precursor to Google Maps) that allowed it to fly close to the ground, past mountains and even tall buildings to blow up a target.  The Litton spinning wheel gyroscopes made sure that the missile knew where it was at all times. It was a technology leap forward in modern warfare. Mindful of the "Red" menace, very little news of the Canadian made navigation equipment was made public.  We were under watch, even the PR …