Prototype TV Tabular Display

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0060
Category: Head-Down Display [HDD]
Object Type: Display Unit
Object Name: Prototype TV Tabular Display
Part No: ?
Serial No: 78429
Manufacturer: British Aircraft Corporation
Division: Warton [of BAC]
Platform(s): Tornado 
Year of Manufacture: Unknown
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Archive Object Store

Serial No. 78429
Part No. GES02479-401
Interim T.V. Tabs P.U.
Mfr. BAC Warton Electronics
EEP 706


Found in Amsterdam

In the Tornado, the large amount of data available from the central computer and the need to provide a computing system control unit, which is usable in the demanding low level high speed flight regime led to the adoption of a multi-function electronic display system (TV Tabular Display) as the principal means of communication between the main computer and the rear seat Navigator. Two identical display units are mounted to the left and right of the Navigator's combined radar map display in both the Tornado IDS (Interdictor Strike) and ADV (Air Defence) variants.

The main computer controls the generation of synthetic data for these CRT displays according to the mode selected. The display units also accept video information (for example from sensors such as infra-red systems, radar or TV missiles) and can display pictorial information overlaid by the synthetically generated data. These are in effect computer terminals allowing the Navigator to program or reprogram the main computer and to display all information available in either tabular or graphic form. The navigator selects the display mode (format) and inserts or amends data by means of the keyboard provided beneath each screen. Additionally the TV mode enables the display of raster type pictures from other sensors such as infra-red systems, radar or TV missiles.

This prototype unit was found in a Hut on the Rochester site and was apparently made at Warton ( it is marked BAC Warton/Panavia). This would be prior to the merger when Warton was the British Aircraft Corporation. Quite why it came to be made, or exactly when, remains a mystery. It has a similarity to the final production TV Tab particularly in the keyboard but is possibly not even of military construction.

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