Statement of Status of Project Whirlwind Prepared for the Research and Development Board
Forrester, Jay W.
On August 29, 1949 the Ad Hoc Panel on Electronic Digital Computers of the Research and Development Board Committee on Basic Physical Sciences visited Project Whirlwind. Since that time the Whirlwind computer has been brought much nearer completion, equipment is now being connected for using Whirlwind in real-time air defense research for the Air Force, and plans for the first year of machine use have been crystallized. The arithmetic element, the central control and 32 registers of test storage have been operating as a system since September 1949. All circuits and storage tubes for the first of two banks of electrostatic storage are installed and undergoing test. They should be connected to the computer in July. In the fall of 1950, the first applications of the Whirlwind computer are to begin. Half of the time will be devoted to real-time air defense work and half for exploring other applications of high-speed digital computers with emphasis on science and engineerings Additional terminal equipment to enhance the overall usefulness of Whirlwind is to be installed during the fiscal year 1950-51. From the start of operation in the fall of 1950, usefulness and availability of Whirlwind will increase about linearly to full time availability of the machine and all proposed terminal equipment in the fall of 1951.