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Draper, C. S. (Charles Stark)
Oral history interview with Charles Stark Draper, 1983.
In this interview, Charles Stark Draper discusses his life and career. Topics discussed include: childhood and early education, Missouri; early interest in machinery; admission at age fourteen to University of Missouri; Stanford University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); failed pilot trainee, Army Air Corps; instructor of Aircraft Instruments course; redirection towards studies in physics; failure of MIT Physics and Aeronautics departments to cooperate; origination of material for Aircraft Instruments; success of F 14 gun sight invention, World War II; early development of SPIRE and FEBE systems; inadequacy of radio guidance; evolution of Aircraft Instruments into Control, Instrumentation, and Guidance courses; negative outcome of Air Force Advisory Committee meeting on transition from planes to missiles due to pressure from aircraft companies; subsequent obsolescence of B 36 and other aircraft; lack of cooperation among branches of military; Wilson memorandum on Missions and Roles; development of Polaris, THOR, and TITAN systems; necessity and development of inertial guidance systems for submerged and long range missiles; Apollo manned moon rocket development; MIT's disassociation from laboratory after anti-military protest of 1960's and 70s; exclusivity, originality of laboratory's work; difficulty of owning patents, funding problems, not-for-profit vs. for profit institutions; recollections of Apollo.
Aeronautical engineer. Ph.D, physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1938).
Draper, C. S. (Charles Stark)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautical engineers.
Guidance systems (Flight).
Interviews. aat
Oral histories. aat
Transcripts. aat
Smith, P. K., interviewer.
Columbia University. Oral History Research Office. Box 20, Room 801 Butler Library, New York, NY 10027, USA