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Tue, 26 Oct 1999 14:20:42 -0600
text/plain (36 lines)
On Tuesday, October 26, 1999 1:20 PM, jim hopper
[SMTP:[log in to unmask]] wrote:
<snip>
> jim
> At a recent computer software engineering course in the US, the
participants
> were given an awkward question to answer.  "If you had just boarded an
> airliner and discovered that your team of programmers had been
responsible
> for the flight control software, how many of you would disembark
> immediately?"
>                      unknown author

I actually flew on an aircraft in which I wrote the flight control system
software.

The Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) is a modified Gulfstream business jet
that pilot astronauts use to practice landing the shuttle without actually
flying the shuttle (due to obvious reasons). The shuttle's flight control
system and aerodynamic properties are modeled and then used as inputs to
the native flight control system (which I also wrote).
The STA has several peculiarities... It's the only airplane (that I know
of) that deploys its thrust reverses in flight! A successful "landing" is
actually ~20ft above the runway because the STA is a much smaller aircraft
then the Shuttle.
We re-wrote the flight control software in Ada83. The original software was
written in the 70's using assembly.
Just before I left the project I was able (& eager) to ride on an STA
during one of it's checkout flight over the Gulf Of Mexico.

Robin P. Reagan - Software Engineer  [log in to unmask]
SEAKR Engineering, Inc.              v-303.649.1763x10
12847 East Peakview Avenue           f-303.649.1326
Englewood, CO  80011
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" -Albert Einstein-

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