After two years of making electronic "seeing eye" systems for the Army's Scout helicopter, the workers at McDonnell Douglas Astronautic Co.'s plant in Huntington Beach were able to see one in operation last week.
The helicopter's Mast Mounted Sight uses telescopic television and heat-sensitive cameras to see long distances during the day or night. The sight system consists of a sphere loaded with cameras and antennas and perched above the helicopter's rotors, video screens in the cockpit and computer equipment in the rear of the helicopter.
Following the demonstration last week, the helicopter was flown to Fort Eustis, Va., where it will begin field operations for the Army. McDonnell Douglas recently received a $102-million contract to produce an additional 39 sights and spare parts.