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Spotlight Animator, US Navy, Aviator Training Device, NAS Quonset Point

Pittsburgh Equitable Meter Co.

Spotlight Animator, US Navy, Aviator Training Device, NAS Quonset Point


Here is an unusual training device, a Spotlight Animator, made by the Pittsburgh Equitable Meter Company (which made gas meters, of all things) for and used by the US Naval Aviation Training Division by the Special Devices Section.

According to our friends at Wikipedia:

"In April 1941 when then-Commander Luis de Florez became head of the new Special Devices Desk in the Engineering Division of the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer). De Florez championed the use of "synthetic training devices" and urged the Navy to undertake development of such devices to increase readiness. In June, the desk became the Special Devices Section.  Throughout World War II, the Section developed numerous innovative training devices.... The Special Devices Section grew and became the Special Devices Division. In August 1946, the Division, at its newest home at Port Washington, Long Island, NY, was commissioned the Special Devices Center...."

The device projects a light onto a moving mirror. The mirror moves randomly, being driven by a series of electric-motor-belt-driven cams, and reflects a circular image onto surfaces as if projected by a spotlight. The student aviator is assumed to be training his aim on the lighted spotlit image. The elevation of the mirror can be raised and lowered.  

The device has been well-cleaned, lubricated, and adjusted by AeroAntique. The belt and lamp have been replaced.  It works well for a device its age.  Housed in its own case, which measures 8 inches wide by 18 inches long by 11 high.


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