Aerospace & Defense Components

This section includes components which are specialized for aerospace and/or defense operational roles.

Airesearch 948958-18 Electronic Turbine Control
 Airesearch 948958-18 Electronic Turbine Control

The Airesearch 948958-18 Electronic Turbine Control (ETC) is the control unit of the Boeing 747-100 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). The APU is a gas turbine generator, located in the tail of the aircraft, which provides power for all non-propulsion functions. The ETC is a simple computer which regulates fuel flow to the APU turbine, calculated as a function of exhaust gas temperature and/or turbine RPM. The unit pictured here was originally installed in a Boeing 747-123 (cn 20103/65), which first flew on August 8, 1970.

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A.W. Haydon Elapsed Time Indicators
 A.W. Haydon Elapsed Time Indicators

Devices included in this entry:

A.W. Haydon 7008-02 10,000-hour elapsed time indicator (pictured in thumbnail)
A.W. Haydon 7010-03 9999.9-hour elapsed time indicator
A.W. Haydon A25224 2500-hour elapsed time indicator


A.W. Haydon, primarily a motor manufacturer, is known among militaria collectors for their aircraft clocks. In addition to conventional clocks, Haydon produced other time measurement devices for use in aircraft, most notably high-range hour meters. Haydon aircraft timers are typically built upon a synchronous motor, driven at 115VDC, 400Hz.

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Bulova Accutron TE-14
 Bulova Accutron TE-14

The Bulova Accutron TE-14 Calendar Clock is a small panel-mount clock with a 1000-day resettable counter. The TE-14 is based on a standard Accutron 214 tuning fork movement, used in early models of Accutron wristwatch. Folklore states that this specific type of clock was used in Cold War-era photographic reconnaissance aircraft. The TE-14 was also available with a 1-31 day display in place of the 1000-day counter.

Bulova's earliest contributions to the US space program consisted of Accutron instrument timers, used aboard numerous satellite and manned flight programs. The Bulova Timer Laboratory ultimately produced over 200 different models of military and industrial instrument timers with specialized complications, including a 1000-day counter, a 5-year switch, a cycle timer and a digital output timer. Such devices are among the rarest of all Accutron timepieces.

For more information about the development of these fascinating devices, please refer to our Accutron-specific website.

Accutron: A Chronometric Micro-Powerplant (PDF)

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Century Electronics 409 Oscillograph
 Century Electronics 409 Oscillograph

Devices included in this entry:

Century Electronics 409B Oscillograph (pictured in thumbnail)
Technology Incorporated 072621D30017 bridge control unit
Technology Incorporated network box (unknown P/N)
Technology Incorporated / Natel Engineering Co. 2nd Harmonic to DC Signal Converter (unknown P/N)


The Century Electronics 409 Oscillograph is a flight data recorder system, widely used in both military and civilian aircraft through the 1960s and 1970s to study aerodynamic performance and stresses. The 14-channel 409 was employed in dozens of different fixed- and rotating-wing aircraft, to record any conceivable performance factor. Such factors include altitude, airspeed, acceleration, roll rate, pitch rate, vertical ground height, vertical load factor, rotor rate, engine torque and available weapon stores. The example pictured here is mounted on a pull-out tray with a Technology Incorporated 072621D30017 bridge control unit, and was used to record structural stresses and other flight characteristics in the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

Century Model 409 Oscillograph Operation Instruction Manual (PDF)

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EG&G DT-150 Light Intensity Detector
 EG&G DT-150 Light Intensity Detector

The Edgerton, Germeshausen & Grier (EG&G) DT-150 Light Intensity Detector is the light sensing component of the AN/ASH-4 Light & Time Recording Set, a type of non-imaging radiometer known as a bhangmeter. Bhangmeters utilize a phototube or photodiode sensor to record a nuclear explosion's light intensity over time. Such detonations have a characteristic double-peak light emission curve. By measuring the time between the two peaks, a determination of the nuclear device's yield may be obtained.

The AN/ASH-4 is part of the Indirect Bomb Damage Assessment (IBDA) system, a specialized instrument package installed on a B-50D Superfortress strategic bomber. The IBDA system consists of the AN/ASH-4, AN/APQ-24 Radar Set and a K-17 Aerial Camera. The AN/ASH-4 was also installed in two Lockheed F-94 Starfires. The IBDA system was used to examine atmospheric detonations during Operation Teapot, a series of 14 nuclear test explosions conducted at the Nevada Test Site in 1955.

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Giannini Controls Corp. 580T3-1 VGH Recorder
 Giannini Controls Corp. 580T3-1 VGH Recorder

This mysterious device is a USAF flight data recorder. The military contract number AF33(657)-10464 originated at Wright-Patterson AFB in the early 1960s, and is one of the earliest flight data recorders known to exist. The computer and tape cartridge modules are sealed by a strip of copper around their perimeter.

The installation record on this recorder is blank, indicating that it was never actually installed in an aircraft.

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Honeywell GG440A18 'Golden Gnat' Rate Gyroscope
 Honeywell GG440A18 'Golden Gnat' Rate Gyroscope

The Honeywell GG440 Golden Gnat rate gyroscope was a common feature of Cold War-era military guidance equipment. The GG440 and its direct descendants were used in the F-104, F-4, F-15 and F-16 aircraft, as well as numerous radar and missile systems.

It appears that Honeywell no longer produces these devices, and legacy support is provided by the military contractor US Dynamics.

FLIGHT International Magazine, March 14, 1963: MH-97G Autopilot for the F-104G (PDF)
US Dynamics Rate Gyroscopes: 475 Series Datasheet (PDF)

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Litton Aero Products LTN-72R Control Display Unit
 Litton Aero Products LTN-72R Control Display Unit

The Litton Aero Products LTN-72R Control Display Unit is the logic and display portion of the LTN-72R inertial navigation system. The LTN-72R was used in a number of commercial aircraft in the early 1980s, including the Boeing 737, Lockheed L-1011 Tristar and the McDonnell Douglas DC-8. The LTN-72R CDU has an illuminated keypad and a 5-line by 16-character alphanumeric display, designed for visibility in varying lighting conditions.

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Lockheed Electronics I900-I0A-I248
 Lockheed Electronics I900-I0A-I248

The Lockheed Electronics I900-I0A-I248 Position Transducer, also known as a "string potentiometer", is a simple sensor used to measure the relative distance between a fixed and movable element on an aircraft. This device consists of a Conrac Spiralpot 500 ohm precision potentiometer, a spring-loaded spool and a braided steel cable, enclosed in a rugged avionics housing.

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Tempo 9223
 Tempo 9223

The Tempo 9223 Bailout Alert Flasher is similar to the conventional bi-metal turn signal flasher relays found in automobiles, but with a much higher urgency coefficient. The 9223 meets Convair aircraft specifications, and was likely a component of the Convair B-36 strategic bomber.

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Technology Incorporated 440-45336 SCU (Modified)
 Technology Incorporated 440-45336 SCU (Modified)

The Technology Incorporated 440-45336 Signal Conditioning Unit is a module which converts signals from various flight data sensors into signals usable by oscillographs and other recording equipment. The unit pictured here is a highly modified version of the 440-45336, and was part of TF-102A operations by the California Air National Guard 196th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, located at Ontario Airport, California.

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Technology Incorporated A/A24U-10 Test Set Model No. 2
 Technology Incorporated A/A24U-10 Test Set Model No. 2

This test set was used to test and verify the magnetic tape media used with the A/A24U-10 VGH flight data recorder. The A/A24U-10 was used in various flight programs in the early 1970s, including Project High Wire, a modernization program for selected F-100C, D and F Super Sabres, designed to provide information on velocity, G-force and altitude in relation to mission requirements and fatigue life of aircraft structures.

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Tracor Aerospace TA 7900 Control Display Unit
 Tracor Aerospace TA 7900 Control Display Unit

The Tracor TA 7900 Control Display Unit is the interface portion of the TA 7900 OMEGA / GPS flight navigation system. OMEGA was a global network of radio navigation beacons which operated from 1971 to 1997. Unlike the LTN-72R CDU pictured above, the TA 7900 CDU employs a small CRT display.

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Western Electric GS-15310 Switch Box
 Western Electric GS-15310  Switch Box

This electronically uninteresting piece of technology is a Western Electric GS-15310 Switch Box, an interface component of the M33 anti-aircraft fire control system. The M33 is a 1950s-era mobile fire control radar installation, which provides targeting data for 120mm and 90mm anti-aircraft cannon batteries. A single M33 system automatically tracks and computes for four cannons, at a range of up to 75 miles. This four-switch control box appears to be a handheld console, as it has no provisions for mounting.

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