Science: Let George Do It

Step by painful step, pilots are learning how to land their aircraft in the foulest weather. Latest step: Hitching electronic landing systems to the automatic pilot, known to service pilots as "George."

Two electronic instrument-landing methods are already in practical use. One, ILS (InstrumentLanding System), projects into the sky a narrow beam of high-frequency radio waves. Slanting at a gentle angle, the beam forms a "glide path" which an airplane equipped with the proper instruments can follow down through the fog.

The other system, GCA (Ground-Controlled Approach), watches the approaching airplane through the fog by radar. Operators, who know exactly where the airplane...

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