Original Japanese WWII Type 89 Rokuohsha Machine Gun Aerial Camera - Zero Fighter Plane
Original Item: Only One Available. The official U.S. government designation for this is: Camera, Flexible Gun, Motion Picture, Rokuohsha (Konishiroku) Type 89, Japan. There is one of these cameras in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and it can be viewed at this link: https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/camera-flexible-gun-motion-picture-rokuohsha-konishiroku-type-89-japan
This is an extremely rare and highly sought after military collectible, a Japanese Machine Gun Camera manufactured during World War II. This Type 89 Rokuoh-Sha was made by Konishoruko Manufacturer Company, which later to became Konica.
A multi-purpose training device, this "gun" is effectively a camera mounted in an oversized housing, suitable for installation in a wing mount or waist-gun emplacement. When the trigger is pulled, the camera runs, with footage being taken of what the gun is aimed at, as well as an optional stopwatch; after landing, the film can be analyzed by the trainers for proper lead and burst timing. Measuring 29 inches overall with a matte black finish, a transparent housing and reflector array on the "barrel" for the stopwatch, mounting positions for a set of anti-aircraft sights (included), and nomenclature plates on top and on the right side behind the crank.
The camera is a Model 2, with a 75 mm Hexar lens, that was used for fighters and land-based bombers. This camera has a fascinating history in that it was used to train Japanese machine gunners during WWII. The camera would be mounted inside or outside the plane. When inside it is manned by the gunner, and outside it would be controlled remotely by cables. The camera takes 18x24mm pictures on 35mm cine film loaded in 2.5m strips.
The Type 89 camera was used to train gunners on the famed Zero fighter plane, the pilots would do in-air target practice with the camera recording accuracy. The film would then be processed and reviewed before true in-air combat (once pilots mastered the Type 89 camera with improved kills through target practice, the real thing was then mounted on the aircraft and said pilot was sent into battle).
The Mitsubishi A6M "Zero" was a long-range fighter aircraft, manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Company, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945.
This example of the Japanese WWII Type 89 Rokuohsha Machine Gun Camera still has all data plates and has serial number 7541 marked on the rear most plate, with additional numbers on the other plates. The Hexar lens still retains all original markings, though it is not possible to photo due to being so deep inside the camera.
There is damage to yellow celluloid bubble, with a portion missing and cracks that have been taped, and some of the screws that retain it missing. Also, both the front and rear sight are missing, though the mounting hardware is present. Overall condition very good with some age.
This camera is an amazing piece of history perfect for a collector of unique cameras or WWII memorabilia as they are very rare and difficult to find. The ones that do come to the market are routinely priced over $3000 as seen here http://blog.keh.com/machine-gun-camera/
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