The first cockpit autopilot

The first electric autopilots on non-commercial vessels probably appeared in the United States. The first TILLERMASTER, a miniaturised autopilot developed for small fishing boats, was produced in 1970.

British engineer Derek Fawcett, formerly employed at Lewmar, launched his AUTOHELM brand in 1974. AUTOHELM soon dominated the world market, with its small push rod models being particularly successful. The systems were manufactured in large production runs by a work force which quickly expanded to 200.

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