86. Application of IBM Equipment to Weight Control


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T J Moffett: 86. Application of IBM Equipment to Weight Control. 1953.



‘The contractor shall provide for an adequate system of weight control’ or similar wording is as familiar to aircraft weight engineers as the back of their hands. In a liberal sense, these few words are the justification of a weight engineer’s existence. It follows that, for a weight engineer to function properly, it is a prime necessity to have some system that is flexible enough to encompass all possible designs and is broad enough to mesh into all design phases from inception to completion. The development of such a system, and the associated problems of maintaining it to keep pace with the ever increasing complexities of modern aircraft design, has consistently been a major problem in every weights group.
This presentation is made primarily in the hope that it will furnish impetus to the practical acceptance of applying card-punch methods, a modern concept, to the modern problems of weight control. It is, however, also made as an example of things to come so that procuring and manufacturing agencies alike may take note that future specification requirements must allow for cardpunch equipment application in so far as the form in which these requirements are to be met is concerned. The ability of present and planned electronic cardpunch machines to provide an almost unlimited variety of information in fantastically small time intervals is limited only by the imagination of man, but the practicability and cost savings of asking a machine to accomplish a task lies in allowing it to perform that task in the manner best suited for it. If our required end result is a home run, we wouldn’t ask our clean up man to do it with a golf club although conceivably he might be able to do it. The scope of this paper is, however, not to suggest specific changes in current weight specifications; the time has not yet arrived when we know exactly what form the changes will take, but it draws near. It is enough now to realize that, if electronic card-punch equipment is invited to find its place in weight control, some consideration must be given to the conditions of the invitation.


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