AeroAntique is pleased to share this instrument panel owned by one of our good friends. We welcome inquiries and are happy to put you in contact with the owner of this artifact. Please email us with the name of the artifact at email@example.com .
"This is the only known remaining original instrument panel from a Vildebeest. These very large single-engine tactical bombers entered service in the mid-1930s and were still operational in the Middle East, Malaya, and New Zealand in WW2. This panel is believed to have survived from the remains of either NZ136 (ex RAF K8084) or NZ138 (K8084). Both served with RNZAF 7 Squadron at Waipapakauri in 1942 (see image of panel as originally found prior to restoration). They carried an early version of ASV Mk.II surface search radar for maritime patrol duties searching for the Japanese submarines and German armed merchant cruisers that were suspected to be in New Zealand waters (which indeed they were), and were among several Vildebeests damaged or destroyed by a tropical cyclone that hit the base on 26 August 1942. The tail trim indicator and the placards are all new-manufacture, other instruments and fittings are original. Attached photo shows NZ122, a radar-equipped Vildebeest IV that never returned from patrol on 30 October 1942"