Guidance System, Inertial, Aircraft, XN-1


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The XN-1 was one of the first all-inertial systems that successfully assisted in navigating an aircraft. That is, it used techniques that relied entirely on self-contained devices including accelerometers, gyroscopes, and computers; with no reference to outside information such as radio signals or visual sightings of the ground or stars. Developed by the electromechanical department of North American Aircraft (established as the Autonetics Division in 1955), it demonstrated this capability in a flight of a C-47 aircraft in May, 1950.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the United States Air Force.


aluminum, steel, brass, copper, Magnesium, Cadmium Plating, Natural Fabric, Phenolic Resin, plastic, nylon, Rubber (Silicone), glass, paint, paper


  • 3-D: 85.1 x 67.3 x 154.9cm (33 1/2 x 26 1/2 x 61 in.)
  • Storage (aluminum pallet and frame with fabric dust cover): 122.6 × 182.9 × 104.1cm, 230.4kg (48 1/4 × 72 × 41 in., 508lb.)

Country of Origin

United States of America

Physical Description

Generally cylindrical containner with plastic covered cutaway section that reveals electronics inside.


AVIONICS-Electronic/Satellite Navigation

Inventory Number


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