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In the recent Undecided with Matt Ferrell video Why the Future of AI & Computers Will Be Analog after about 05:44, the Original Star Trek TV show's Mr. Spock is shown holding an analog flight computer. I don't know the episode, but by the looks of the open electronics racks in the background on the left, this seems to be an emergency situation and the device is a backup measure.

Asked separately on Science Fiction & Fantasy: In what TOS episode did Spock use a prop known as an analog flight computer, and why did he need to turn to a "handheld device" in this case?

Is it possible from the screen capture here, or from other sources, to determine which model of flight computer was used to film this scene?

Note that Star Trek the Original Series or "TOS" was filmed between about 1966 and 1969.


In general, it was never that analog computing didn’t do its job — quite the opposite. Pilots still use flight computers, a form of slide rule, to perform calculations by hand, no juice necessary.

"In general, it was never that analog computing  didn’t do its job — quite the opposite. Pilots still use flight computers, a form of slide  rule, to perform calculations by hand,  no juice necessary." Screenshot from the Undecided with Matt Ferrell video "Why the Future of AI & Computers Will Be Analog" https://youtu.be/6Y6FJVqzivc?t=352

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    $\begingroup$ It's certainly an E6B. Are you looking for the exact manufacturer and manufacturer P/N? If so, that might be hard to find, but the internet is the right place to ask that question! $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ @KennSebesta If someone recognizes that or knows of an online "flight computer museum" (similar to the Transistor Museum) they may be able to pin it down. That would be wonderful! I'd probably add a bounty to that answer. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 17 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ There are various models at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Apr 18 at 17:45

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It looks just like the ubiquitous E6B.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes it does have the right form factor. It would be great to see a photo of the back side. Perhaps the one in the question is an older, vintage version - the yellow plastic ring...? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Apr 16 at 5:16
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    $\begingroup$ If Spock uses it then it's good enough for me! $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Apr 16 at 7:45

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