Free Downloads of Documents related to Warbird Artifacts
Here are some documents that you may find helpful when collecting or researching warbird artifacts. These are public documents provided at no charge for your benefit. Be sure to check our home page for new warbird artifacts and news:
Index of Army Aeronautical Equipment with Navy and British Equivalents, Volume 6 - Instruments, Revised 01 March 1944. This 350+ page document is a master reference for instruments and related equipment and accessories used in aircraft of the US Army Air Forces, including many used in aircraft of the US Navy and aircraft made by US manufacturers for use by the British Royal Air Force. Each item page includes an illustration, specifications, dimensions, and manufacturers and their part numbers. The document file has been separated into smaller files for downloading here.
An updated version of the above entitled Accessories for Airplanes-Engines Interchangeability Cross Reference Charts TO-00-45-1 dated Feb 1945. The entire document contains numerous types of parts, but the file is too large to post here. So included here are the Introduction and the pages containing the instrument cross reference charts. This version contains some newer instruments (e.g., Flux Gate Compass System) and later WWII aircraft (e.g. the B-29) which did not appear in the above version, but also does excludes some older instruments used in earlier aircraft.
A similar document which cross references WWII-era aircraft instruments to aircraft of both the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Air Force is the 138-page RAAF 346 Types and Locations of Instruments in RAAF dated 1945. This document is rare and very worthwhile if aircraft of the RAAF and RAF are of interest (We didn't know that we had any instruments from Spitfires and Mosquito's until finding them in this document!).
If WWII-era US aircraft communication equipment is of interest, you'll want to download the Air Service Command's Airborne Radio Equipment Handbook, dated April 1943 (revised Feb 2001). This handbook describes radio systems of the time, components of these systems, their interchangeability, the aircraft which used these systems, and the location of the components within each aircraft.
One of the most comprehensive series of WWII/Post-WWII references for US military radio and radar equipment is the Graphic Survey of Radio and Radar Equipment Used by the Army Air Force, consisting of 5 sections of documents, below:
TM 1-413 Technical Manual Aircraft Instruments, dated Feb 1942 is an interesting guide to US military aircraft instruments of that era, their function, testing, maintenance, removal, and repair.
The US Navy's Training Course document Aircraft Instruments, NAVPERS 10333-A, dated 1954 provides a good introduction to instrument theory of operation, function, and maintenance of the types used in that era, with some interesting cut-away illustrations.
The WWII-era Aircrewman Gunnery Manual was published in 1944 separately by the US Army Air Force and the US Navy, but appear to be quite similar. The manual reviews the detail of the .50 Cal machine gun (and brief intro to the .30 cal machine gun and .45 cal pistol), gun sights and sighting, and the operation of the various power turrets used in bomber aircraft. Below you will find the US Navy version, split into smaller downloadable files:
- Introduction and This is Your Gun, Part 1
- This is Your Gun, Part 2
- Sighting and Sights
- Power Turrets, Part 1
- Power Turrets, Part 2, End.
And if WWII-era ordnance is of interest, the 366 page US Bombs and Fuzes, Pyrotechnics, published by the US Navy Bomb Disposal School September 1945 is a very comprehensive and useful reference.
While not specifically a warbird-related document, the US Federal Aviation Administration publishes a very helpful primer on aircraft instruments and how they function, including the underlying fundamentals of early mechanical aircraft instruments. You can find the document in pdf format at the the FAA website, just click here: Aircraft Instrument Systems.