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Thread: A glimmer of hope goes dark

  1. #1

    Sad A glimmer of hope goes dark

    In 1969 I had the privilege of meeting the working types in simulation at McDonnell Aircraft. At the time McDonnell had the contract for the flight simulators for the C-5A and the a-7E. They were unhappy with how things were progressing and had decided to get out of the business and only do engineering simulation from then on. I had worked with the USAF Navigation Training people at Mather AFB who had made some procedures training mockups, mostly for celestial where the B-52 had an MB-1 astrotracker that prequired precomputation as well as LORAN A. I got chastised severely, in 1968, for trusting the instructor grading standards and sent over to bean count the pipeline on A-4 Skyhawk overhaul. I was told in no uncertain terms that LTV, the A-7 contractor, had the preferred learning curves in a recent study.

    I worked for a man with a Phi Beta Kappa key, R.C.P. Jackson in Operations analysis. He also was in charge of Military Plans at Douglas Long Beach facility. He got me the appointment with Bill Murden, his friend and equivalent at McDonnell. Bill Murden was Mr. F-4 Phantom. His current assignment was to capture the FX program for McDonnell. One of the tools that McDonnell had developed through the years was a computer simulation of Pursuer-Evader they called Air Battle Simulation-I. For FX they had upgraded this program to being able to let both simulated aircraft attack and evade the other. This benefitted from some USAF flight test in Combat Hassle and Combat Atlas with coplanar fights that used fuel load to achieve stepped wing loading and thrust loading asymmetries. Dissimilar aircraft at that time was considered an unwanted confusion. The new tool ABS-II could accommodate data for dissimilar aircraft and also allow maneuver in three dimensions. I was introduced to two analysts, Mike Mateyka and John Sinnet who were using the tool on the FX proposal. I was also told that the tool had been provided to what was to become McDonnell-Douglas Astronautics- West to use on a Navy study of a Quickturn missile. When I got back in California I went to MCAC-West and met James Beckwith, a manager, and his analyst Norman Ko as they were getting the software running on their Control-Data CDC 6400. At Long Beach a student-engineer was working part time on getting a copy of the card decks to run on an IBM 360-85. IBM used 32 bit words and CDC used 60 bit so it was nearly a year before all the COMMON expression in FORTRAN was consistent.

    Last year Microsoft ceased to support my DELL ALIENWARE Windows 10 with Flight Simulator 10. As I worked it out, I am not going to be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Burlington, Ontario
    Brings back memories! Especially when you mentioned FORTRAN!
    See my latest video here at The Flight Level

  3. #3
    As I read the obituaries of the true over achievers of my predecessors who became peers, I can see where I was an over attempter who sometimes filled in for fade when a new natural or man-made change showed the need for an approach to a challenge and not simple competition. As such, the accomplishments I did achieve became programs where competitions occurred. I had met simulation as it seeped over from the Astronautics side of Douglas as proprietary Simscript and IBM General Purpose Simulation I and II. These were more what today we would call games languages. I saw a table set up out at China Lake that had been used with various objects to simulate a project to replace the existing air launched anti-radiation missiles. A simple example of where I landed came when my youngest son bought a Microsoft joystick with haptic feedback to play with the current Microsoft Flight simulator. When he attempted rooftop takeoffs with the helicopter, he found it would lift and he just let it fall off the edge of the building to begin. After he showed me when I visited him I decided to get a current joystick and the current game. What I found is he had not calibrated his stick!! When I reported this to him he was very angry at the makers. "Why didn't they tell me this!!" and he took the game off his computer. This was a while ago. I now have all my photographs, music and flight simulators off my computer which is getting venerable being an ALIENWARE. My grandson has the Lockheed developed flight simulator on his computer and both he and his sister preferred a games controller or to use a finger on a tablet. Now I understand how ColonelBoyd ended up with decision criteria.

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