|Category:||Head-Down Display [HDD]|
|Object Name:||Tornado E-Scope HDD CRT Assembly|
|Part No:||CRT THX4636.1.E156 H309|
|Serial No:||833/702 Fab: 93/35|
|Division:||Electronic Tubes [of Thomson]|
|Year of Manufacture:||1989|
|Location:||Archive Object Store|
Thomson Tubes Electroniques
TDO 38120 St Egreve
Made in France
The contract covering the development and production investment for the Royal Air Force's mid-life update (MLU) for their 229 Tornado GR1s was signed in April 1989.
The heart of the Tornado mid-life update is the combined forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and night vision goggle (NVG) navigation capability, backed up with terrain reference navigation (TRN).
The new TF display is a colour E-Scope which was the world's first application of beam-index technology. This could provides a brightness level high enough to enable easy reading of the display in direct sunlight.
A trials version of this TF display was tested on a Tornado at RAE and a development contract for terrain-following display was awarded to Ferranti.
At this time it was felt that Liquid Crystal Displays were too immature and the commercial panels were not available in the E-Scope size (the small requirement meant that the cost of a custom design was prohibitive). GEC Avionics bid a limited colour display using LCD Shutters in front of a Broad Band Phosphor CRT. This combination was not as attractive as a full colour display offered by the Beam-Index solution and the Specification was adapted to allow a small increase in the E-Scope size to accommodate the technology.
In the event the MLU project stalled. In March 1993 a new Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) project was launched and in1994 the UK signed a contract for MLU of GR1/GR1A/GR1Bs to GR4/GR4A standard. By now a source of LCD panels was available and the MLU displays us were all replaced with this technology. This CRT is non-functional but was made by Thomson Tubes Electroniques.