Electronics in the Evolution of Flight

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Electronics in the Evolution of Flight traces the paired history of modern aviation and electronics through their births in the minds of early thinkers and dreamers, such as the Wright Brothers and Alexander Graham Bell, to their eventual “marriage” under the name avionics. Author Albert Helfrick provides a thorough account of the roles played by the famous and the obscure, from Edwin Howard Armstrong to Nikola Tesla and David Sarnoff, in the successful creation of aviation technology.

Helfrick does not limit his discussion to the flying machines themselves, but instead focuses much of his work on the advancement of electronic systems that have kept them in the air and turned aviation into the industry it is today. He gives a clear explanation of technical definitions and acronyms, including Radio Detection and Ranging (RADAR), the Instrument Landing System (ILS), the difference between short waves and microwaves, as well as the role of amateur short-wave radio operators in proving the usefulness of amazingly short radio waves in communication. With an easy familiarity, he reviews topics as varied as the Morse code, the Radio Club of America, and the evolution of microprocessors.

Helfrick covers the history of all of the engineering and electronic developments involved in getting an airplane off the ground and keeping it in the air; he does so in a style that will satisfy the curiosity of every reader, from engineer to layman.

ALBERT HELFRICK, a professor of avionics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, has spent twenty-five years designing avionics. He has done research for government agencies as well as private corporations, including NASA and Boeing. His prior books include Principles of Avionics, Avionics Test Equipment Handbook and Directory, Practical Aircraft Electronics Systems, and Modern Aviation Electronics.

Helfrick traces the paired history of modern aviation and electronics, or avionics, from its earliest years to the indispensable tool it is today. He provides a thorough account of the roles played by the famous and the obscure, from Edwin Howard Armstrong to David Sarnoff, in the successful creation of aviation technology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585443345
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Series: Centennial of Flight Series , #9
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The dreamers and philosophers 3
2 Childhood : radio and aeroplanes 20
3 Coming of age : the development of air travel 49
4 The war years 67
5 The return of air travel 90
6 The space race : lessons learned 105
7 The computer age : a small chip starts a big revolution 129
8 The electronic airplane : learning to fly without an aircraft 154
9 The role of electronics in the second century of flight 175
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