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Night Binoculars for the P-61 Pilot

Night binoculars for the P-61 Black Widow night fighter as described in the Pilot Training Manual for the Black Widow, P-61, Office of Assistant Chief of Air Staff Training, Headquarters AAF, Washington, D.C. The night binoculars combined 5.8 power night glasses with an optical gunsight. The P-61 pilot could use the night binoculars for both general flying and as a accurate gunsight.

p61-night-fighter-night-binoculars

Night Binoculars

P-61B’s have night binoculars for the pilot. With these binoculars, he can see to shoot accurately about four times as far at night as he can without them.

The night binoculars are mounted on a carriage that travels along a track straddling the windows to the left of the pilot’s seat. Normally, when not in use, they are stowed behind him, approximately over the front entrance door.

The night binoculars are a combination of 5.8 power night glasses and optical gunsight. They are mounted on gimbals, which prevent all vibration from affecting them, and are set in a frame which swings out from the carriage like a door.

When starting out on a mission in which he expects to use the night binoculars but doesn’t need them right away, the pilot usually pulls the binocular carriage forward as far as it will go but leaves the binoculars swung back against the carriage until he needs them.

When he’s ready to use the binoculars, the pilot swings them forward and then locks them in position directly in front of him by turning a handle at the top of the frame.

There’s a pistol grip at the left side of the binocular frame. With this grip, the pilot can rotate the binoculars from side to side and up and down, for searching. He must return them to the gunsight position before using them for shooting. A rheostat on the binocular frame controls the lighting of the gunsight.

With a little practice, the pilot can fly the P-61 at night while he’s looking through the binoculars. In place of the circle and dot of light in his regular gunsight, there is a horizontal row of four illuminated dots in the gunsight of the night binoculars. The pilot lines these dots up with the wing of the plane he is following and uses that combination for an artificial horizon. The inner dots of the gunsight are 10 mils apart and the outer dots are 70 mils apart. This scale enables the pilot to determine the enemy’s range with remarkable accuracy.

M26 Driver’s Controls

Diagrams of the driver’s compartment on the M26 armored tractor from TM 9-767: 40-Ton Tank Transporter Truck-Trailer M25, War Department Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, February 1944.

dragon-wagon-instrument-panel-drivers-controls

A–WINDSHIELD THUMB SCREW
B–SPEEDOMETER
C–AMMETER
D–INSTRUMENT PANEL LIGHT
E–TACHOMETER
F–OIL TEMPERATURE GAGE
G–TACHOMETER TELLTALE LOCK
H–FLOODLIGHT SWITCH
J–FUEL GAGE (RIGHT FUEL TANK)
K–WINDSHIELD WIPER
L–WINDSHIELD WIPER SWITCH
M–AIR HORN BUTTON
N–HAND THROTTLE LEVER
P–CHOKE LEVER
Q–RADIATOR FILLER CAP COVER
R–ENGINE EOMPARTMENT SIDE COVER (DOOR)
S–TURNBUCKLE
T–SIREN LIGHT SWITCH
U–BLACKOUT DRIVING LIGHT SWITCH
V–STARTER SWITCH
W–IGNITION SWITCHES
X–AUXILIARY TRANSMISSION SHIFT LEVER
Y–MAIN TRANSMISSION SHIFT LEVER
Z–RIGHT AIR BRAKE HAND CONTROL
AA–TRAILER BRAKE HAND CONTROL
AB–FRONT AXLE DECLUTCH LEVER
AC–ENGINE VENTILATOR
AD–FUEL TANK CHANGE-OVER VALVE
AE–ACCELERATOR PEDAL
AF–BRAKE PEDAL
AG–LIGHT SWITCH
AH–OIL PRESSURE GAGE
AJ–LEFT AIR BRAKE HAND CONTROL
AK–HEADLIGHT DIMMER SWITCH
AL–WINDSHIELD RACK
AM–CLUTCH PEDAL
AN–HAND BRAKE LEVER
AP–SIREN SWITCH
AQ–WINDSHIELD RACK
AR–WATER TEMPERATURE GAGE
AS–INSTRUMENT PANEL LIGHT SWITCH
AT–AIR PRESSURE GAGE
AU–CANTEEN
AV–FUEL GAGE (LEFT FUEL TANK)
AW–WINDSHIELD
AX–CHAIN AND WING SCREW FOR INSTRUMENT PANEL

 

M15 40-ton Trailer

Illustrations of the M15 40-ton trailer from TM 9-767: 40-Ton Tank Transporter Truck-Trailer M25, War Department Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, February 1944. The M25 Tank Transporter, nicknamed the “Dragon Wagon,” was a heavy tank transporter and tank recovery vehicle used in World War II that was based on the M26 6×6 armored tractor and the M15 40-ton trailer.

m15-trailer-front-view-dragon-wagon

m15-trailer-rear-view-dragon-wagon

 

Head Control for Hull Machine Gun

Unique head control for the hull machine gun in the Panzer III. (Source: Preliminary Report No. 5, Pz Kw III, School of Tank Technology, September 1942.)

 

P-40 Pilot’s Ground Checks

Ground checks for the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk from Pilot Training Manual for the P-40, Headquarters, AAF, Office of Flying Staff, 1943.

P-40 Pilot’s Ground Checks

P-40 Warhawk Pilot Ground Checks

Before you get into your airplane, look it over closely. Walk around and inspect the wings, fuselage and control surfaces. Look carefully; take your time.

Before you climb into the cockpit be sure you have checked all of the following:

1. Check your tires and tailwheel. See that the struts have plenty of clearance. An instruction plate on each strut shows the necessary clearance.

2. Make sure the cover is off the pitot tube.

3. See that the covers are on the gun hatches.

4. See that the caps are fastened tightly on the gas, oil, and coolant tanks.

5. Make sure the Dzus fasteners are secure, and check the fairing on the entire ship for looseness.

6. Find out whether the propeller has been pulled through. It needs at least four turns if the engine is cold.

7. See that the wings and wingtips are not damaged.

8. Check canopy for proper tolerance.

 

SBD-3 Flying Characteristics

Basic flying characteristics of the SBD Dauntless from Pilot’s Handbook Model SBD-3, Douglas Aircraft, 1942.

Flying Characteristics

The model SBD-3 airplane is a single engine, low wing, monoplane, designed for dive bombing or scouting operations from either shore stations or aircraft carriers. This airplane performs all ground and flight maneuvers with the normal characteristics of its type. As a land plane, this airplane will take off from the ground or carrier deck with or without the aid of a catapult, and will land on an ordinary landing field with or without landing flaps, or on a carrier deck in an arresting gear. Dive bombing maneuvers may be made with or without the use of the diving flaps.

Douglas SBD Dauntless

Continue reading SBD-3 Flying Characteristics

Appe Tunisia Photos

Bundesarchiv photographs by Appe (Arppe?) arranged by negative number:

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P-38 Instrument Panel

Diagram of the P-38 Instrument Panel from Pilot’s Flight Operating Instructions for Army Models P-38H Series, P-38J-5 and F-5B-1, T.O. No. 01-75FF-1, September 1943.

P-38 Lightning Instrument Panel

Labels: 1. Directional gyro; 2. Gyro horizon; 3. Compass indicator; 4. Fuel pressure gages; 5. Altimeter; 6. Airspeed indicator; 7. Turn and bank indicator; 8. Rate of climb indicator; 9. Manifold pressure gages; 10. Suction gage; 11. Hydraulic pressure gage; 12. Turbo overspeed warning lights; 13. Ammeter; 14. Tachometers; 15. Coolant temperature indicator; 16. Fuel quantity gages; 17. Clock; 18. Combination oil pressure and temperature gages (fuel pressure indicator not connected); 19. Flap and landing gear position indicator; 20. Space for BC-608 Contactor; 21. Carburetor air temperature indicator.
 

P-51 Mustang in Full-Scale Wind Tunnel

A full-size P-51 Mustang in the Full-Scale Wind Tunnel at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. (NASA Photograph.)

P-51 Mustang in Full-Scale Wind Tunnel at Langley
 

P-51B Mustang with Wing Gloves

A North American P-51B Mustang with wing gloves for research into low-drag performance in flight at Langley. Photograph courtesy NASA.

P-51 Mustang Research Wing Gloves