Tornado E-Scope Head-Down Display

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0062
Category: Head-Down Display [HDD]
Object Type: Display Unit
Object Name: Tornado E-Scope Head-Down Display
Part No: Unreadable
Serial No: 0007
Manufacturer: Elliott Bros
Division: Airborne Display [ADD]
Platform(s): Tornado 
Year of Manufacture: circa 1979
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Archive Object Store

Type No. ???????
Ref. No. ??????5?
Ser. No. 0007


The E-scope was fitted to the Interdictor Strike Version of the Tornado GR1. A key piece of equipment in this version is the Terrain Following Radar which feeds an automatic terrain following system. This system controls the flight path of the aircraft to a pre-set clearance height above the terrain. The computer generates a theoretical "ski-toe" shaped envelope in front of the aircraft and compares this to the actual radar terrain return. If at any point terrain is found to penetrate into the envelope an automatic pull-up command is given. The E-Scope displays the theoretical and actual envelopes so that the pilot can monitor the system at all times. While the radar information is in polar co-ordinate it is presented in a modified form on the display: the vertical axis represents antenna angle while the horizontal axis represents the logarithm of range. For the E-Scope, Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems Limited adopted a novel technique of logarithmic processing of the range information to preserve a simpler linear X-deflection scan. The principal advantage of this approach is the efficiency resulting from the processing of low voltage signals instead of high current deflection waveforms.

The E-Scope uses a high brightness green monochrome Cathode Ray Tube with a contrast enhancement filter. This is a functional unit but currently lacks the top cover.

It would have been manufactured around 1979.

The E-Scope had system trials on Buccaneer XT272 in 1980 at Warton and was shoehorned into the front cockpit.

The Tornado originally came in two variants; the Interdictor Strike Version (IDS) for the German, Air Force and Navy, Italian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force, and the Air Defence Version (ADV) for the Royal Air Force only. Marconi-Elliott Avionic Systems provided a wide range of equipment for both variants.

• Digital Autopilot Flight Director System (AFDS)in conjunction with Aeritalia, Italy
• Command Stability Augmentation System (CSAS)  in conjunction with Bodenseewerk, Germany
• Quadruplex Actuator Integrated into Fairey Hydraulics power control unit
• Stores Management System (SMS) in conjunction with Selenia, Italy
• Fuel Flowmeter System in conjunction with Teldix, Germany and OMI, Italy
• TV Tabular Display System in conjunction with AEG Telefunken, Germany
• Combined Radar and Projected Map Display (CRPMD) from Ferranti
• E-Scope Display System
• Triplex Transducer Unit
• Central Suppression Unit
• Engine Control Unit

RAF IDS variants were initially designated the Tornado GR1 with two variants called the Tornado GR1A and Tornado GR1B; the Tornado F3 was yet another version.

The contract covering the development and production investment for the Royal Air Force's mid-life update (MLU) for their 229 Tornado GRl and F3 aircraft was signed in April 1989. The upgrade included the following:

• Introduction of a new avionics architecture built around a 1553 databus.
• New sensors & Displays consisting of a Forward Looking Infra-red sensor, a Pilot's Multi-Function Display with digital map, wide angle HUD, Computer Symbol Generator, Video recording System and a Computer loading System.
• New Armament Control System consisting of a Stores Management System, a Weapon Interface Unit linked to a 1553 databus within a 1760 interface.
• A Night Vision Goggle compatible cockpit and the aircraft is also equipped with Forward Looking InfraRed (FLIR)
• Terrain Reference Navigation /Terrain Following Display/Terrain Following Switching & Logic Unit /Covert RadAlt.

Ferranti won the contract for the new HUD, Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCD) to replace the TV Tabs, EHDD and E-scope. To support the new avionics a new Computer Signal Generator (CSG), with several times the computing capacity of the original Tornado main computer, and using the new high level ADA progamming language was procured

The Ferranti Nite-Op jettisonable NVGs were also procured under a separate contract.

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.

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