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A-7 FLIR HUD & EU with SCADC CPU 140/A unit

Technical Information

Catalogue No: PM37343
Picture Type: Rochester Photo Negative
Topic: Head-Up Display [HUD]
Title: A-7 FLIR HUD & EU with SCADC CPU 140/A unit
Platform(s): A-7 Corsair 
Date: 6 Jan 1988
Width (mm): 127
Height (mm): 102
Copies: 1
Location: Negatives Cabinet PM ("54/") [RAA Office]
Notes:

The A-7D/K HUD system incorporated the functions of the F-16C/D in particular the FLIR night vision presentation. The aircraft was also fitted with the SCADC Air Data Computer and was operated by the US Air National Guard.

Ling-Temco-Vought responded to the VA(L) competition which was for a new fighter to replace the US Navy A-4s. In March 1964 the company received a contract for the initial batch of aircraft, designated A-7. In 1965 the aircraft received the popular name Corsair II. It was the first US aircraft to have a modern HUD which displayed information such as dive angle, airspeed, altitude, drift, and aiming reticle. In 1967 it was announced from Dallas in Texas U.S.A that Elliott Flight Automation had been awarded a four year contract to supply LTV with Head Up Displays for the A-7. The initial contract was worth £14million for 1,200 displays and was the largest ever awarded to a British firm.

The highly innovative optics was manufactured by Pilkington in North Wales. It had a 5" exit lens giving a 20° TFoV and had a two position combiner. The optics incorporated a clever split prism with dichroic coatings to allow the injection of a red Standby Sight from each side which was coupled to small lamps by fibre-optics. The A-7 Electronics Unit had a flexible symbol repertoire and the more complex symbols necessitated a faster writing rate. A key new requirement was the specification for a high level of built-in test. The HUD was part of the sophisticated ILAAS weapon system and this introduced predominantly digital serial data links for the aircraft data.

By 1970 the A-7D and A-7E began to move to squadron service and pilots were reported to say that "they like it better all the time". It was doubling the weapon delivery accuracy. Also in 1970 Elliott Flight Automation was awarded a Double Queen’s Award for both Export of all products and Technology of the Digital Head Up Display. In 1971 Vought Aeronautics Corporation donated a silver cup to be known as the Corsair Trophy in recognition of the Division’s achievements in designing, developing and manufacturing the A-7 Head Up Display. Much later in 1978 the Corsair Building was opened at Rochester again to note this very important programme.

The A-7 HUD was the breakthrough into the US market and was the start of a golden era for HUDs; 2534 to of this design were made and build rates exceeded 30/month at one time.

In 1981 Instrument Systems Division began the design of a new generation of Air Data Computers designed for the combined USAF and USN Standard Central Air Data Computer (SCADC) programme. The system was designed to fulfil the retrofit requirements of 38 different aircraft types and to do so with only four configurations. The aircraft types include the following:-

 

A-4M and TA-4J Skyhawk, A-6E/F, KA-6D and EA-6A Intruder, EA-6B Prowler, TC-4C Gulfstream, A-7D/E/K and TA-7C Corsair II, C-2A Greyhound, E-2C Hawkeye, KC-135 Stratotanker, C-5A/B Galaxy, C-141A/B Starlifter, F-111A/E/D/F, FB-111A, EF-111A, F-4C/D/E/G/J/N/S, and RF-4B/C Phantom and the S-3A/B and US-3A Viking. In 1992 an order for a further 290 units was received, being the eighth option, bringing the total procured to 5552 units. 387 units of the SCADC system were at this time being supplied for the F-14 Tomcat.

 

The high commonality was achieved with a unique software re-configurable design. Output parameters, ranges and scalings are selected for each aircraft type by the software, which recognises the host from a code wired into the aircraft connector pins. The SCADC core hardware set provides over 80% of the hardware in every application and the remainder is addressed by one or two special-to-type modules. A multiplicity of analogue interfaces can be handled and the Mil-Std 1553 DataBus is also a feature. Production commenced in 1985 with first deliveries the following year and in 1989 these deliveries surpassed 4,000 units. In addition in 1988 ISD received the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement for SCADC.

 

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