Whirlwind not only was the first digital computer able to operate in real-time, but also was the first digital computer at MIT. During World War II, the U.S. Navy asked MIT for help in designing a universal flight simulator that used an analog electromechanical computing system. Gordon Brown, head of MIT’s Servomechanisms Lab, thought this was just the problem to keep his brilliant young assistant director Jay Forrester at MIT busy.
1951. Whirlwind I Computer. The Whirlwind project began during World War II as part of a research project to design a universal flight trainer that would simulate flight. It began at the MIT Servomechanisms Laboratory in 1944 with the initial analog focus, changing to the development of a high-speed digital computer. Jay W. Forrester invented random-access, coincident-current magnetic core storage as part of the design completed in 1951.