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Compass, KAI, Air Navigation Reflector, Japanese Navy Aircraft

Tokyo Aero

Compass, KAI, Air Navigation Reflector, Japanese Navy Aircraft


This is a WWII-era direct reading, reflector, magnetic compass,Type 2 or 3 KAI , made by Tokyo Aero Indicator Co, as used in aircraft of the Japanese Navy.

According to the online Funatsu Aviation Instruments Museum, this compass was used in the following aircraft:

  • Mitsubishi G4M Type 1 Bomber Betty
  • Nakajima B6N Tenzan Torpedo Bomber Kate
  • Type94 Recon Kawanishi E7K
  • Type 95 Model 2 Recon
  • Nakajima C6N Saiun Myrt
  • and others

The compass bowl rotates within its frame. Inside the bowl is the compass card, but long evaporated is the compass fluid. The KAI compass had a reflector assembly with a mirror to permit viewing horizontally, as this compass was mounted glass-up. The markings within the compass are reversed so they would read correctly when reflected in the mirror. The reflector assembly is missing from this artifact. The compass was once illuminated by a lamp mounted on the side of the compass frame. The compass frame is shock-mounted to absorbed bumpy flight conditions. The compass would have been mounted on a table or a pedestal, thru which the bottom stem would protrude, its purpose is unknown to us.  

The pointer does rotates, and the interior side of the glass requires cleaning. Measures ~6 inches diameter and ~7 inches tall.

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