WWII era US Navy Altimeter

Discussion in 'Other Electrical Systems Tech.' started by Geoff_A, May 7, 2010.

  1. Geoff_A

    Geoff_A New Member

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    My grandfather served in the Royal Australian Air Force through WWII, initially as a mechanic. He was stationed in New Guinea for a significant period of time. After returning he gave my father an altimeter from some kind of military aircraft, which my he then passed on to me. My father didn't ask any details about the instrument, unfortunately.
    I've recently been wondering about it - I'd like to know what type of aircraft it came from, if that is possible.

    On the back, it has printed:
    F.S.S.C. NO. 88-A-340
    MFR'S PART NO: 1583-2Q-A
    CONTRACT NO: 93190
    MFR'S SER. NO: 17407
    BENDIX AVIATION CORPORATION
    PIONEER
    REG. U.S. PAT. OFF

    I suspect it is a US Navy Altimeter because I've found this (link), which appears to be an installation manual of some kind. That site says the booklet was "Issued by the Bureau of Aeronautics - U.S Navy . F.S.S.C. No. 88-A-340" This intrigues me, since to my knowledge my grandfather and his squadron dealt exclusively with Australian aircraft.

    Also, is it likely that this altimeter has been treated with radium? Occasionally I've thought the numbers and hands faintly glow in the dark, but it's hard to be sure.

    I'm new to this site so I hope this is the right place for this question.
     
  2. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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    While I can't help you, there are many here who can pull just such a rabbit out of their hat, Geoff. I suspect that Bendix sold many instruments to commonwealth nations.

    At any rate, welcome to the forum.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hi Geoff;

    more than likely that altimeter went on several different aircraft and was treated with radium. Being encased, I don't think you have any worries.

    WW II ERA BENDIX AN-5761-1 ALTIMETER
     
  4. Geoff_A

    Geoff_A New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. The altimeter in the link FLYBOYJ posted looks exactly like it, despite the slightly different model number, Also, I've found this photo :
    [​IMG]
    of a P-40E cockpit, which is a little blurry but seems to have the same altimeter (just left of the compass). As far as I know Australia did use P-40s in New Guinea, so I that could well be the source. I didn't realise that any particular model of instrument would be used in many different types of aircraft or different countries like that but it does make sense.

    Also it's good to know it's not highly radioactive or anything.
     
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