Machine Design

Looking Back

10 YEARS AGO — MAY 7, 1998 Virtual development for aircraft: Lockheed Martin will perfect the Joint Strike Fighter and other advanced aircraft with the help of visualization software from Engineering Automation Inc.

The firm’s VisProducts, which include VisFly and a VisMockUp digital prototyping package, will help Lockheed, along with Northrop Grumman and British Aerospace, develop tactical aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and the U.K.’s Royal Navy.

30 YEARS AGO — MA Y 11, 1978
Power switch tube for fusion-test reactor: A vacuum tube designed to switch 200 kV with currents to 125 A has been developed by RCA for use in the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor project at Princeton University. The 320-lb, 22 42-in. tube, described as the world’s most powerful, is one of 12 that will be installed. The 12 switch tubes will regulate the power for heating the fusionreaction plasma when the reactor becomes operation in1981. Computers were used to analyze the tube’s electrical characteristics and to configure the shape of the anode using FEA.

50 YEARS AGO — MA Y 1, 1958
Telescoping tail turret for the B-58 is patterned after the old collapsible metal drinking cup. The design provides a good sweep of the sky without disturbing airflow at supersonic speeds. The turret houses a sixbarrel, 20-mm version of the Civil War Gatling gun. The weapon can fire 5,000 1-lb shells/min, posing a problem in ammunition conservation. This is solved by a highly sensitive radaraiming device, above turret, which seeks out a target and fires the gun in controlled bursts. Turret and radar system were developed by Electronics and Avionics Div., Emerson Electric Co., St. Louis.

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