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 by: Arlo Goodyear

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 by: Nancy Gibbons Zook
 from: The Iowan Magazine

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 by: Ed Marriner
 from: CQ Magazine




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Retiree History Stories


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• • Stories Contributed by Rockwell Collins 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’s 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

• • The Doppler Naviagton System • •
By: Terald Lamb
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Bendix and Collins were scrambling to come up with better navigation systems. One such system used the Doppler effect to compute a navigation position. The Doppler system itself was pushing the technology and the components we were using were not adequate to easily provide the required performance. We uses a lab standard tunable air capacitor to detect the Doppler effect. Our supplier was astounded that we would use a scientific device in airborne avionics.

Our designs had a certain amount of "art" in them. As an example, a normal rule of thumb is that the test equipment should be 10 times as accurate as the unit being tested. In the Doppler case, the system was more accurate than the test equipment. To get the system to operate properly required using intuition to adjust the critical components in the hardware.

About the first week as project engineer, I got a lesson on how people perceive things. Les Bowen, one of the field engineers covering the Doppler systems called and indicated that he was having a problem with one his customers accepting the way the Doppler was working in his aircraft. The customer was Texaco who had taken delivery of a Lockheed Jetstar aircraft. I was sent out to New Jersey to help Les convince the Chief Pilot that the system was operating OK. There had been some problems on this particular aircraft caused by the installation. The installer must have had a shortage of long wires as the installation contained a lot of short wires spliced together. In a few cases these short wires were two feet long spliced to make a 20-foot run. This didn’t directly affect the performance, but it must have cost a lot more in labor and materials to install the system this way.

When I got to the aircraft Les and I ground checked the system and it seemed to work fine. At least, Les said it was. At this point I hardly knew one piece of equipment from the other. We then met with the Texaco Chief Pilot, a man named Baldwin. He asked about each operational issue he had with the system. Les would explain what we had done to fix the problem. Baldwin would turn to me and ask, "Is that right". I would reply, "Yes, that is correct." Baldwin then said he would like me to ride with him when he took one of the Texaco VPs to Washington, DC and watch the system operation. I agreed and we took off in a couple of hours for Washington. The system worked fine. In the meantime, I didn’t have the vaguest idea whether it was operating right or not, but Baldwin was satisfied and thanked me for coming out. At this point sayings like, "An expert is someone who is 50 miles from home" started to make sense.
—March 16, 2015
Terald retired in April 1996 after working 35 years in Ceertification.
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