Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Hummingbird

We pushed state-of-the art engineering
by Walt W.

In 35 years in the business, the greatest job was in the late 1960s building the XV-4B Hummingbird VTOL at Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia. The design team was in one room, and the bird was built in the adjoining room. It was true hands-on engineering! We were pushing the state-of-the-art with analog fly-by-wire and stability augmentation. A lot of simulation was used to develop the system. It was a high-risk program and we only got 10 flights before we lost the plane (the pilot ejected safely), but it was a terrific experience for all involved.

Simulation was cutting-edge!