Autobiography of a Rocket Scientist
Lilburn Smith is an Electrical Engineer who was forced to turn Rocket Scientist by world events and the twist and turns of his own career. All Lilburn wanted from a career was to build state of the art radio receivers and transmitters. When he graduated from college he could not find a job which fit his dream. He joined Texas Instruments building military electronics equipment hoping someday to be able to build communication radios. The Cuban Missile crisis forced Lilburn into an assignment building and testing Shrike Missiles. From there he went to Applied Technology Incorporated where he built and tested radarhoming and warning equipment in support of thefamed Wild Weasels of the Viet Nam war. Back in Dallas at TI, Lilburn designed the guidance section for the first Laser Guided Bomb. He tested the LGB at Eglin AFR and assisted in training the airmen who took it to war. He then was a co-inventor of the laser guided artillery projectile. At Martin Marietta in Orlando Florida he worked on the Hellfire missile and the Copperhead 155mm projectile. At LTV in Grand Prairie Texas he was assigned to a revolutionary missile called the HVM. The missile had no explosive warhead but instead depended upon kinetic energy to defeat armored vehicles. From there he went on to manage the development of the aiming equipment for the Multiple Launch Rocket system. After leading an expedition to Saudi Arabia, he then directed the design of the launcher and fire control of the LOSAT anti-tank missile, which he tested at White Sands Missile Range. Lilburn contributed greatly to the modern method of conducting war from a distance with precision weapons instead of risking troops.
- Paperback | 102 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 6.6mm | 208.65g
- 28 Jan 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations
About Lilburn Smith
Lilburn Smith was born June 20, 1937 in Meadow, Texas as the Great Depression was winding down. The family moved to Lubbock when Lilburn was three. He attended public school in Lubbock and entered Texas Tech University in 1955. Upon graduation from Tech in 1959 he accepted a job with the Government Products Group of Texas Instruments. His first rocket assignment was the Shrike missile. Afterwards he worked on Radar Homing and warning equipment at Applied Technology in Sunnyvale California. Back at TI he contributed to the design and testing of the first deployed laser guided bombs and the first guided artillery shell. He worked on the Hellfire missile and the Copperhead laser guided artillery shell at Martin Marietta in Orlando Florida. At LTV and its derivatives in Dallas he contributed to the design and field testing of the Multiple Launch Rock System and the Line Of Sight Antitank missile, plus assorted other projects. Now retired in Hurst, Texas, Lilburn fishes, reads, and assists his wife Caroline Clemmons in publishing her award winning historical romances.