The name refers to the design of the altazimuth
mounting which although simple in principle, and usually made from plywood, is very stable in use.
telescope similar to the ESO New Technology Telescope that was proposed for Sutherland before the SALT project came along.
The trend among modern telescopes, including the NTT, is to use an altazimuth
mount, in which one rotation axis is horizontal, the other vertical.
He replaced it with a home-made altazimuth
tripod, which in turn was superseded by 'a roughly equatorial stand of iron, mounted on wooden legs' and subsequently by a Wray equatorial and tripod.
5-4 metre telescopes of the 1970s and 1980s, and the ESO NTT (European Southern Observatory New Technology Telescope), the first major altazimuth
design and the precursor of the present generation of large telescopes, which are covered in the chapter 'Technology to the Rescue'.
The 30-inch is a permanently mounted altazimuth
telescope of 3 tons moving weight, turning on a base ring 10 feet (3m) in dia-meter--the azimuth 'bearing'--itself bedded on a foundation of 7 tons of high-specification reinforced concrete.
Ainslie mounted the new mirror in a square mahogany tube, half an inch thick and with an internal diameter of 10 inches (he would have preferred 101/2 inches in hindsight), atop an altazimuth
stand that he had previously used for his 61/2-inch (165mm) Calver.