|Object Name:||Inertial Platform (space model)|
|Year of Manufacture:||circa 1960|
|Location:||Archive Object Store|
This was possibly the unit shown on the Elliott stand at SBAC show in 1960. Just before Farnborough, Elliott Brothers had for the first time exhibited a wooden model of an inertial platform and it had been known for some time that they provided the inertial navigator for the ‘Blue Steel' air-to-surface missile. The ‘Blue Steel’ IN platform alone was large and heavy weighing over 180lbs and was nearly 2ft in diameter so was not suitable for many other applications.
In an attempt to make use of the experience from that design the Company embarked on a ‘Private Venture’ project for the development of a general-purpose instrument for aircraft navigation, and an experimental stable platform, E5 was built. This project was not completed, as it was realised that the platform was still likely to be too bulky for many applications, and improvements in technique appeared to offer scope for a reduction in size. This was eventually realised in the highly successful E3 stable platform.
The company research laboratory FARL designed the E3 platform in 1961 with the latest transistor circuits and the design was productionised by the Inertial Navigation Division. The weight was reduced to under 30lbs. The first flight of the E3 platform was in a Gloster Javelin at Cranfield with the unit mounted under the
canopy between the pilot and the observer. The E3 Platform also had a trial fit in a Comet in 1964 which was managed by John Keeble. IND manufactured the system for the Nimrod MR1 with over 100 platforms being made between 1964 and 11970. The work led to the even more successful E3R for the Jaguar NAVWASS.