Draper (1901-1987) is referred to as the “father of inertial navigation” for evolving the theory, inventing and developing the technology, and leading the effort to use the navigation systems in aircraft, spacecraft and submarines.
Draper also developed engine pressure, vibration and combustion indicators.
During World War II, he developed gyroscopic guidance and control instruments used on guns, bombs and rockets.
After the war, he directed development of aircraft guidance systems as well as inertial guidance systems for the Thor, Titan, Polaris and Poseidon missiles.
He led the development of the spacecraft guidance systems in the 1960s for NASA’s successful Apollo lunar landing missions and for its orbital astronomical observatory.
Draper led the development of the “fly-by-wire” aircraft central system, the guidance systems for Trident missiles and Skylab spacecraft; the guidance system for the Navistar satellite, and the guidance system for the space shuttle.