Bendix MG-1 Central Air Data Computer—Part 5: Final Repairs and…It Works!

The Bendix MG-1 Central Air Data Computer (see Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 for details) used air data sensor input to the gears and cams of the mechanical computer that calculated altitude, air speed, Mach number, and other flight data for the supersonic fighter aircraft in which it was installed.

Previous episodes have explored how gears and servomechanisms evaluate mathematical functions which would take hundreds of lines of machine code to calculate with digital computers, repaired some mechanisms that have aged poorly, and delved into how the computer interfaces with sensor input and cockpit instruments. Now to get it running: repairing the ravages of time on electronic components (as usual, mostly capacitors which have lost their capacity) and building interfaces to a motley collection of cockpit instruments bought on eBay.

Then it’s time to hook up the test set and observe this mechanical marvel doing its thing more than half a century after it was designed.


I can hardly wait to see similar wonderments from the present and coming generations of DEI selection.

In law school, I learned that crimes of conspiracy requires especially severe penalties because action in concert was a force-multiplier of the bare criminality damage which could be done by an individual. The inverse of this, I think, is instructive for today. Take the ideas of an individual whose only attribute is “diversity” and no amount of communal effort will produce “silk purses”.

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