Supersonic Airliners May Use Inertial Navigation Systems


So, 57 years ago, started a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of October 12th 1960.

The story continues:

At present the cost of producing gyros with sufficient mechanical accuracy to have very low drift rates is so exorbitant that no commercial aircraft operator could afford to fit the equipment.

Manufacturing techniques are improving and there is a healthy exchange of information between Britain and the US on these problems.

It must be remembered that even after even after the production of a near-perfect gyro there are environmental problems which greatly affect accuracy. For example, in a practical system the

environment of the inertial pla form must be temperature controlled and temperature gradients in the gyro itself must be minimised.


The platform must also be protected from vibration. A further drawback is the time required for setting up the inertial platform before flight.

Inertial navigation would find its main cicil aviation application in navigation on routes which are badly served by conventional radio links. Areas, for example, such as the polar regions where ground equipment is difficult to install and maintain.

N.B The illustration is from the original article and shows a shape very like Concord which was to have its first flight nine years later on March 2nd 1969


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