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Thread: Compass for lancaster bomber?...

  1. #1
    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    Default Compass for lancaster bomber?...

    Went to the biggest Antique fair in Europe today. Newark Fair. picked up a couple of bargains ....an '85 CWC Quartz military watch (10), with original regimental strap, and this beast. for 30 i thought what the heck!!



    It's sprung, and apparently has the Lancaster? attachment on it. As normally when stored it's just the top part within a grey wooden box.

    Part numbers 6A/893 for compass & 6A/366 for the base


  2. #2
    Senior Member Flightpath's Avatar
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    Hi Paul,

    what you have there is an Air Ministry O2 observer's compass for takeing bearings. Used in all larger RAF aircraft inc. Lancaster, Sunderland ect. The compass is usually painted grey, althought yours has the azimuth circle on it the sighting prism with sun filters (mounts on the square lug) is missing.

    The mount is to hold it in the observer's position (dome or a hole in the roof) for takeing bearings.

    Pilots in Lancasters and Sunderlands had 'Type P4' (Spitfire/Hurricane had P6 until 1941 and then P6/P10).

    Hope this helps,

    cheers,

    -John

  3. #3
    Senior Member lysander's Avatar
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    Might be older

    Lancaster office:

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    Member jimmy jones's Avatar
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    Default

    that is to cool congrats..

  5. #5
    Senior Member foilguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info John, appriecated. Obviously someones stripped off the paint and mounted it on the mahogany base. It's one of those interesting curios. For 30 i thought 'would look good on my desk' Plus i always know where north is now Cool to think it was a bit of kit used in one of the WW2 planes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flightpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lysander View Post
    Might be older
    [/IMG]
    That's the P.4 pilot's steering compass in the Lancaster, Paul's compass goes in the astrodome for the nav to take bearings (stored when not in use). The nav would take a bearing with his O.2 compass and tell the pilot what to set his P.4 compass at and follow it.

    Here's my P.6 compass with a Spitfire A.S.I. & MKII clock and other items in my collection...



    The P.6 compass is about 1" diameter smaller than the Lancaster's P.4 compass.

    cheers,

    -John
    Last edited by Flightpath; 04-08-2010 at 22:55.

  7. #7
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    Default A link for you if you haven't viewed it already

    http://www.compassmuseum.com/aero/aero.htm


    I found my U.S. compass during my house move, it looks very similar to the one in the Lancaster pic John posted above.

    I'll take some pics this weekend.

    These are definitely nice pieces to pick up on the cheap.. I got mine in a box of aircraft parts. One the pieces was a radial engine thermometer, used for finding dead or non firing cylinders.

  8. #8

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    Only a curios: the base mount is the same of the RAF Astro-compass: it can be used by both the instruments.
    Congrats for the nice finds!

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