Navigator Systems Division of International Telephone & Telegraph
I was invited to join ITT's Navigator Systems Division as President and Chief
Executive Officer by Harold Geneen, President of ITT Corp. in 1969. Needless to
say having the opportunity of running your own show was compelling and I
accepted on the condition that I could have a new Piper Turbo Navajo demonstrator
aircraft built to my specifications. My condition was accepted so I moved to
our new offices in Rockville, Maryland just across the Potomac River from my
home in Virginia. While the Turbo Navajo was being built and outfitted I
purchased a little two place Culver V to commute to our summer home at
Chautauqua Lake, New York. This neat little rascal
tri-gear aircraft would cruise about 110 miles an hour and had electric landing
gear retraction. Flying time from Virginia to New York was only about 2 hours.
ITT Navigator Systems major product line was the Decca UK (England) integrated
moving map display for airline aircraft which received inputs from VORs (visual
omni range), ground based DMEs (distance measuring equipment), low frequency
Lorans, low frequency Decca navigators and inertial navigation systems. The
display was mounted in the center console between the pilot and copilot as
shown below. It graphically displayed your actual location almost anywhere in
the world at any time whereas an inertial navigator displayed and continuously
updated your latitude and longitude. The pilot then had to translate his latitude
and longitude into a position on the map on his lap. Of course the ITT Navigator
had to have the correct moving map installed for the route being flown.
The Piper Turbo Navajo was finally delivered fully equipped as my demonstrator
aircraft. Even with all the integrated avionics and two moving map displays plus
a conference table there were still seats for the pilot (me), and six passengers.
This time I had a Bendix X-band weather radar which was superb, the Collins integrated
flight system which was my favorite from my Viscount flying days. With the radar
altimeters tied into the autopilot's flare computer and the ILS receivers into
the autopilot's navigation computer it could actually make a completely automatic
approach and landing....hands off except for throttle control. My first demonstration flights were with
Pan American in Miami. My good friend, Pan Am's Chief Pilot Technical, actually
drooled when he could see what that aircraft could do. Other demos followed.
My three children and I often would fly the Navajo up to Bryce's Mountain for
a day's skiing during the winter season.
ITT owned the vast Sheraton Hotel chain. Along with all of Navigator System's
senior managers and their wives, we flew down to Puerto Rico and had a week's
staff meeting at the San Juan Sheraton Hotel. It was fun, games and actually
accomplished a great deal.
The first air line that outfitted their fleet was Flying Tigers in Los Angeles
who installed our integrated navigation system in their entire long range
DC-8 freighter fleet.
A year later I was promoted to ITT's Corporate Headquarters in New York City as
Wordwide Product Line Executive for Commercial Aviation Electronics and Marine
Electronics. My flying changed from pilot to passenger on ITT's fleet of six
Gulftream I turbo prop aircraft and their custom 6000 mile long range Boeing 727
which had dual Litton LTN-51 inertial navigation systems.