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TSR-2 Pilot's [AFCS] Controller Panel

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0135
Category: Flight Control
Object Type: Module/Sub-Assembly/Component
Object Name: TSR-2 Pilot's [AFCS] Controller Panel
Part No: D9320/56 Iss4
Serial No: DNL. 21652
Manufacturer: Elliott Bros (London) Ltd
Division: Unknown
Platform(s): TSR-2
Year of Manufacture: 1963
Dimensions: Width (mm): 165
Height (mm): 230
Depth (mm): 5
Weight (g): 220
Location: Triple Shelf Unit, LH (control panels) [Main Store]

Pilots Controller
D9320/56 Iss.4.
Ser.No. DNL. 21652
Insp. DNL30
Date 10/63
115 Volts 400 cycles.


In 1958 the Airborne Computing Division of Elliott Automation lacked a suitable computer for airborne application so sought a licence from Autonetics Division of the North American Aviation Corporation to use their Verdan Digital computer. The computer was repackaged by Autonetics into an ATR box. Elliotts AFCS used two interlinked computers one primarily for Navigation but with a reversionary bombing mode and the other reversed these roles. This system could be considered to be the direct ancestor of the subsequent system for Concorde. (see Simon Lavington ‘Moving Targets’ )
This panel was mounted on the TSR-2's front cockpit right-hand side panel. Its front legends indicate it was for the AFCS [Automatic Flight Control System].

It has two clear windows that allow visibility of the digital value being set as the adjacent knob is turned. The panel's rear is also marked: 115 Volts 400 cycles, implying it is an illuminated control panel, though the means of illumination or power connection are not apparent.
The rear of the panel is inscribed "1338".
On 6 April 1965, the cancellation of the TSR-2 was announced in the House of Commons. The Secretary of State for Defence, Denis Healey, explained that the government had been very reluctant to do so, but that the cost of the TSR-2 program was becoming an "intolerable burden", because the total cost of £750 million amounted to £5 million per aircraft, assuming a production run of 150 aircraft. After the cancellation, the three TSR-2s built were immediately grounded; they were never to fly again. Both the Imperial War Museum and the Aerospace Museum at Cosford have one of the remaining airframes to mark a tragic period of Government ineptitude.
This item was in the original Elliott Collection Ref: 2051

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