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A-4 HUD Electronics Unit

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0200
Category: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Object Type: Signal/Data Processor
Object Name: A-4 HUD Electronics Unit
Part No: 229-002968-02
Serial No: GQZ 0090
Manufacturer: Elliott Automation
Division: Airborne Display [ADD]
Platform(s): A-4 Skyhawk
Year of Manufacture: circa 1974
Dimensions: Width (mm): 272
Height (mm): 190
Depth (mm): 390
Weight (g): 12,180
Location: Rack RAA05 [Main Store]

Ser No 0090
Ser No 0088
Eldec Power Supply 1:
Power Supply, 5 Volt
Serial No 496
Part No 229-002964
Eldec Power Supply 2:
Power Supply, Low Voltage
Serial No 531
Part No 229-002963


This particular design has a small box on the side of the EU which has a Stores Management function and is called the Weapon Delivery Insert Panel (WDIP) where stores are selected by push buttons as they are loaded. The WDIP is marked: "27489 Assy, 229-002966, Ser No 0088"
The EU's two Eldec power supply modules were both made in Dec 1974 and are marked:
"Power Supply, 5 Volt, Serial No 496, Part No 229-002964" and "Power Supply, Low Voltage
Serial No 531,Part No 229-002963".
This EU has a Divisional (229) Part Number which is of a pattern used for all equipment of that date unlike the ‘coded’ Part Number used on C0325. The Serial Number is preceded by GQZ like most of the boxes in the A-4 system of this date rather than SMP used on C0325.

The success of the A-7 Corsair HUD was followed by a system for the H, M and N variants of the McDonnell Douglas A-4 SkyHawk. About 465 systems were delivered, from about 1970 to 1978 to the U.S and elsewhere. The system was distributed into the Pilot’s Display Unit (PDU), Video Signals Unit (VSU), High Voltage Power Supply (HVPSU) and the Electronics Unit (EU). It was recognised that all of the information used in the weapon aiming calculations was already being supplied to the HUD to draw the symbology format for the attack phase. A modified interface design, faster logic and expanded store in the waveform generator gave a very effective and self-contained, greatly improved, gun, bomb and missile sight and aiming system which could be installed in many different existing aircraft. Most importantly: because the unit had its own highly capable A to D interface, it could use the existing sensors, gyros, etc. in any aircraft without requiring major internal systems modifications in the aircraft.

As only one display and one weapon aiming format were required simultaneously the HUD Processor speed was found to be adequate for both tasks. An Air to Air gun aiming and a CCIP bombing mode were provided initially.

The HUD Weapon Aiming Computer HUDWAC allowed a precise calculation of Lead Angle. The wider dynamic range of the HUD also permits closer matching of the pilot and airframe kinematics for target acquisition and tracking. This was a big advantage over even the most sophisticated Gyro Gunsight. It was now possible to give displays with better visualisation to the pilot with bullet line or tracer line and these ‘line cues’ increased the probability of a snapshoot against crossing targets over the ‘point’ cue fixed reticle. The HUD system for the US Marine Corps’ A-4M Skyhawk attack jet was the first product of this new concept a HUD weapon aiming computer or HUDWAC which proved to be a world first for the Company. In later designs the Program Store was increased to 4096 words and the Data Store to 128 words the weapon aiming capability was significantly increased. Such enhanced systems were flown on the Mirage Milan, the YF-16 and the YF-17. This system finally reached an 8k instruction PROM store.

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