Presented are three vintage WWII cockpit instrument panel gauges, from a B-17 or B-24 heavy bomber plane. The three gauges are Engine Oil Temperature, Pilot Deviation Indicator, and an Ammeter. The gauges were essential for maintaining control and managing performance, as well as navigating and communicating during bombing missions.
The main job of an Ammeter is to monitor the performance of the electrical system of the aircraft during flight. The Engine Oil Temperature gauge indicates the temperature of the engine oil in the plane. The temperature of the oil affects its viscosity and therefore flow rate and usefulness in lubricating the engine. An overheated engine oil could burst into flames and oil at low temperatures will turn sluggish.
The Pilot Deviation Indicator (PDI) was used by the pilot, co-pilot, and bombardier to navigate to the designated bomb drop position. The PDI was used in aircraft where the pilot and bombardier were physically separated and could not easily see each other. The indicator had to line up to zero before the bombs could be dropped accurately. If it strayed to the left or right the pilot would have to make manual corrections to keep the plane on zero to have a successful mission. The PDI gauge manufacturing was kept top secret during the war and people working in the plant to make them were sworn to secrecy.
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was a four-engine heavy bomber produced in the 1930's for the United States Army Air Corps. The B-17 earned a reputation as a fast, high-flying, long-range bomber with heavy defensive armament. It became known for its toughness based upon photos of damaged B-17s that safely returned to base. The B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber that entered service in 1941. A highly modern aircraft for its day, it first saw combat operations with the Royal Air Force. After America entered the War, production of the B-24 increased drastically. By the end of the conflict, over 18,500 B-24s had been constructed, making it the most-produced heavy bomber in history and a powerful symbol of US industrial might. Employed in all theaters by the US Army Air Forces and US Navy, the B-24s routinely served alongside the more rugged B-17s.
Good condition. Presented on a new, custom-built black metal stand. Some cloudiness to the gauges' glass fronts. Oil temp gauge has small green paint on glass- used as an indicator. Surface scuffs from past use. The Oil Temperature gauge and the Ammeter have metal labels on the back, with serial numbers and manufacturers information. Dimensions (on stand): 8 1/4" H x 12" W x 2" D.
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