EARLY TRANSISTOR HISTORY AT BELL LABS

An Interview with Homer Coonce

 Early Transistor Digital Logic - Flyable TRADIC to Nike Zeus

 

Oral History – Homer Coonce

(Continued)

 

Additional TRADIC commentary, based on material supplied by Homer Coonce and Maury Irvine.

 

1. The TRADIC (Transistor Digital Computer) Phase Two Program, also called TRADIC flyable-research-model program, or “Flyable TRADIC”, was authorized in 1954 by the U.S. Air Force.  The contract authorized the development and delivery of two systems and associated test equipment. 

 

2. One of the Flyable TRADIC units, along with all associated components of the bombing and radar equipment necessary for operation, was maintained “on the ground” as a test vehicle. (See top photo, right).  

 

3. The other Flyable TRADIC unit was installed in a C-131B aircraft (lower photo), with initial test flights conducted at the New Castle County airport, Delaware [2].  The result was the first airborne transistor digital bombing and navigation system.   

 

4.  The entire purpose of the TRADIC project was to develop the transistor computer technology to the point where an actual military spec computer could be manufactured and installed in an actual combat plane and used as the control unit for a bombing and navigation system. Maury Irvine’s excellent 2001 article [3] provides an authoritative account of the various TRADIC computers.     

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Oral History – Homer Coonce

(Continued)

 

Flyable TRADIC “On the Ground” Test Unit.

 

 

Flyable TRADIC Evaluation Flight

 on a C-131B Aircraft.

 

Go To Coonce Oral History, Pg 7

COPYRIGHT © 2005 by Jack Ward.  All Rights Reserved.  http://www.transistormuseum.com/

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