Astrograph Type A-1

Discussion in 'Basic' started by 2banaviator, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. 2banaviator

    2banaviator New Member

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    Hi All, new to the forum but not the subject matter!

    I've been fortunate to acquire a complete, intact, WW2-vintage Astrograph Type A-1. It has the projector, the bulbs, the height gauge, the wooden case, and best of all: each original star chart film in its aluminum canister.

    I've been looking for a set of original instructions for the kit. There must have been a technical order document published during the 40's for this instrument, but I've not found it anywhere. It's not even referenced in the Navigators Information File dated July 1945, so it may have been obsolete by then.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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  3. 2banaviator

    2banaviator New Member

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  4. 2banaviator

    2banaviator New Member

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    #4 2banaviator, Sep 21, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
    Here are some of the photos:

    The projector is affixed to the underneath of the lid by 3 spring-loaded hangers. These hangers are used to suspend the projector over the navigators map table at a height specified by the enclosed height gauge (stored in a slot to the bottom left). The desired star chart (already on a spool) is loaded into the projector and advance by turning the large black wheels. When illuminated, the star chart is projected onto the terrain map on the navigators table.
    IMG_6090.JPG
    The 6 round objects in the upper corner are spare lamps for the projector.
    Interesting to note that the charts span from 68deg North (just north of the Arctic Circle) to 45 deg South, with some charts that appear to simply be finer resolution of the sky shown in another chart.
    IMG_6093.JPG There is one star chart film loaded into the projector, you can almost see the black graphics on the clear film, below: IMG_6097.JPG
    Here is a good image of a star chart, which would be projected onto the terrain map on the navigators table. IMG_6096.JPG
     
  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Need machine!
     
  6. 2banaviator

    2banaviator New Member

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    I was fortunate to find an article from Flight magazine dated Sept 30 1943 (attached here) providing an overview of the Astrograph and how it was to be used. It appears that the concept was initiated by the British Royal Aircraft Establishment, with the final design refinement by Kodak. While the design described in the article is somewhat different than the instrument pictured above, the functions appear to be the same. To our UK members: Anyone ever heard of this instrument being used in RAF aircraft?

    Celestial navigation in the 1940's was certainly challenging, but I wonder if this invention contributed much to the cause....
     

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