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HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

Article about: Never knew my dad had this, dunno if its from a lancaster? or shackleton? differant year dates for differant parts, 1950's 60s and 70's. Tried to research and closest I can get is that it ma

  1. #1

    Default HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    Never knew my dad had this, dunno if its from a lancaster? or shackleton? differant year dates for differant parts, 1950's 60s and 70's. Tried to research and closest I can get is that it maybe from a ww2 mosquito? anyone any knowledge of these? saw a similar one kinda unused selling for 550. This one I found apparently still works

    any help on this would be appreciated
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    I would think that aircraft collectors would be very anxious to acquire that piece.

  3. #3

    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    Quote by SteveR View Post
    I would think that aircraft collectors would be very anxious to acquire that piece.
    Its deffinately an aircraft weapon sight and the ref to "Low Level" seems to indicate rockets or bombs??? Aviation collectables seem to go up and down and never seem to settle in their prices, sadly its hard getting decent money even for quality pieces at the moment. If you intend to sell id try ebay and start it off at a sensible price or try advertising in the militaria section of Gun mart Magazine or The Armourer Magazine. Its a finely made instrument and if you wanted one made today just imagine what the cost might be!! I have a MK5 Gyro gunsight from a Hawker Hunter and tried selling it a while ago but no luck so decided to keep it as its a great piece and they are becoming rare now. Either way its a great piece and id hang onto it for time being. Regards, Tim.

  4. #4

    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    This is definitely from the Shackleton. You can see the same unit in the Wikipedia article on the Shackleton, there's an image of the nose area and the bombsight is visible.

    I've never seen this system before, but looking at the unit I believe I can work out how it operates. The cylinder on the bottom is a gyro unit, probably the Sperry unit used on the Mk. XIV bombsight (see wiki article on that topic) although the label might be just a coincidence. The gyro is mounted so that it would stabilize in the climb/dive direction, and feeds into the large unit on the side of the bombsight. I suspect that there is a simple mechanical computer in there that uses the gyro's output to measure the dive angle of the aircraft and adjust the range angle based on that. At low altitudes, drag does not have long to act on the bomb and the trajectory is basically a straight line.

    The sight itself also appears to be taken from the Mk. XIV, the arm with the knob on the left is a give-away. That's used to tilt the reflector sight forward during the approach so the target can be seen in it long before the drop point. When the arm is moved forward it locks into place and is then operated by the control unit.

    The plug is likely used for powering the lamp in the reflector, the gyro and the computer.

  5. #5

    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    Not my field but I am sure it's pretty rare in this condition! Great item, thanks for showing it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    Hi Brataccus,

    This sight was adopted for use in low level attacks; primarily anti-shipping for Coastal Command when they determined that only a small percentage of the depth charges and bombs dropped were damaging their targets significantly. The early anti-shipping attacks were done by eye remember!
    In the event, the usage of this sight raised their effective bombing by a massive approximation of 35%.
    This sight was used in Coastal Command Liberators, and other CC aircraft such as Hudsons, Wellingtons, Beauforts and Mosquito BIVs.

    It was still in service in the late 60's early 70's as has already been indicated, on Shackleton's as well.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    SOAG stands for School of (Reconnaissance) and aerial gunnery, and that is one hell of a cool piece of aviation gadgetry, and i daresay is quite a rare piece, whatever you do DONT DROP IT !!!!!!

  8. #8

    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    thanks for the info all

  9. #9

    Default Re: HUGE and heavy relic found in dads attic ( (aircraft bombsight)

    If you put this up on eBay, please let me know. I will be the first bid you get!

    Regards, Corey

  10. #10

    Default

    Ok, after some research I have this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Le...ight,_Mark_III

    This is a very interesting design. I've written most (all?) of the Wiki articles on optical bombsights, and this is certainly the most unique I've seen.

    In the high-altitude role like the Mk. XIV the problem was that you would give commands to the pilot to turn onto the proper approach line, but when he turned the bombsight would not point at the ground any more, but one side or the other. So they used this Sperry horizon unit as a one-axis stable platform and used its output shaft to rotate the reflector sight front glass side-to-side. That way the sight was always pointed down (with a little lag of course) and the bomb aimer could continue sighting throughout.

    In the low-level case the pilot can see the target and make the side-to-side corrections very early in the run, so the roll axis movement is not an issue in the last seconds of the approach, which is when you drop the bombs in this case. However, it's generally a good idea to approach at low level or in a slight dive, and then pull up when you get close. So in this case, it's pitch stabilization that you need, and to do that all they did was take the Sperry unit from the Mk. XIV and turn it sideways. Done.

    The sight itself was not a crosshairs, but a moving series of lines projected from the large unit on the left. That unit has a rotating reticle of some sort (I'd love to see one opened up so I can figure out how it worked) that projected down onto the plate.

    The large plates at the very front are a bit of a mystery. I suspect they are filters that they would flip down for use when they turned on the Leigh Light. Again, I'd love five minutes with one to be sure one way or the other.

    So basically what they did was take the artificial horizon unit from the Mk. XIV and turn it sideways so it stabilized in pitch instead of roll. n.

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