Ballistics Control Panel C-1, K-Series Bombing Navigational Computer, B-36 Peacemaker
This artifact resides in our Private Collection, yet we welcome inquiries from restorers, museums, or serious enthusiasts. Please email us with the name of the artifact at Curator@AeroAntique.com.
This is an authentic Cold War-era Ballistics Control Panel Type C-1 as used at the Radar-Bombardier's Station in the massive Boeing B-36 Peacemaker Strategic Bomber of the US Air Force. It is believed to be a component of the versions of the Sperry K-Series Bombing Navigational Computer (to be confirmed). See the page in the photo gallery from the B-36 Flight Manual indicating the location of this panel at the Radar-Bombardier's station in the nose of the B-36.
The panel has 5 knobs, 5 display windows, and one push button switch. The 4 large outer knobs allow the operator to adjust the Time-of-Fall (in seconds) of the ordnance, Trail (i.e., desired distance of aircraft from the point of impact at the time of impact, in feet), North/South Offset and East/West Offset (in 1000's of feet), all with corresponding windows which display the numerical or directional parameter associated with that knob. The center knob changes the operation of the controller from Line-of-Sight to SYN (assumed Synchronous), and a spring-action push button is labeled "Press for FW'D Sighting". In the lower center is a display showing altitude of the aircraft.
The Cycling Repair Record label in the upper right shows a service date of August 1955 at depot ACSK (unidentified by AeroAntique). It was manufactured by AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors, most likely under license from Sperry.
The photos don't do justice to the actual size of this panel, which measures 12 inches high, 8.5 inches wide, and 8 inches deep and weighs over 20 lbs. It is in terrific condition for its age. All knobs rotate and turn the indicator dials in the corresponding windows.
According to the February 1957 edition of Radio & Television News: