In 1943 Project Whirlwind (Whirlwind I) began as an analog flight simulator project at MIT. About November 1945 the project switched from analog to digital electronics. Formal design of the machine began in 1947.
By 1950 Project Whirlwind was in limited operation at MIT as a general purpose computer. It was the first computer that operated in real time, with the first video display for output, and it was the first computer that was not just an electronic replacement of older mechanical systems. On April 20, 1951 Whirlwind offically began operation at MIT. Whirlwind I included the first primitive graphical display on its vectorscope screen. Whirlwind was not decommissioned until 1959.