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Autopilot Control Panel for A-5 Auto Pilot System, Sperry


Autopilot Control Panel for A-5 Auto Pilot System, Sperry


The A-5 Automatic Pilot was used primarily in WWII-era bomber aircraft of the Air Corps US Army such as the Consolidated B-24 Liberator (see photo of B-24 cockpit showing the location of the A-5 panel). The A-5 system appeared in aircraft manufactured during or before 1943, the year when the Honeywell C-1 system became the standard autopilot system for large multi-engine aircraft. Theoretically, the A-5 system may also have appeared in the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as well as bomber-trainer aircraft, but we've not yet found documentation to support this assumption. The A-5 was normally paired with the Sperry T-1 Bomb Sight system.

This is the "Control Unit", Sperry part number 644836, one of 15 components of the A-5 system (see diagram of system). The attitude control switch has a metal guard which prevents it from being switched off, so this might have been intended for an installation where this functionality was disabled. All other knobs and switches appear to operate mechanically as intended.  It is in experienced yet good condition for its age. The screws on the panel show a bit of surface rust, see photos, and some of the paint is chipped on a few surfaces. One of the mounts on the left side appears to have been slightly damaged during removal. The serial number prefix is "AC 42", evidence of a year of manufacture of 1942.  See spec sheet for dimensions. 

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