Original U.S. WWII Army Air Force A-12 Aircraft Bubble Sextant - Dated 1942
Original Item: Only One Available. This a a very rare navigational instrument used on American bombers and fighters during WWII. The data plate on the sextant itself reads:
ARMY AIR FORCE
TYPE A-12 SERIAL AC42 4688
ORDER NO W535AC27735
MFR'S DRAWING NO. 11734
LINK AVIATION DEVICES INC
BINGHAMTON, N.Y., U.S.A.
This is an excellent condition World War II sextant manufactured by the Link Aviation Co. It was used by the Military before and after the war and was the last of a line of aircraft sextants whose design was influenced by use in open cockpit airplanes.
Celestial altitudes are measured by reference to an artificial bubble horizon. The bubble is electrically lighted for night use by standard C size batteries. The sextant is very unique in that it has two different optical paths that can be used. In one, the observer looks down into the sextant and sees the reflected image of the star overhead. We suspect this is the mode designed for open cockpits. In the other mode, the observer holds the sextant at arm’s length and sees the bubble reflected on a glass surface as an illuminated ring against the night sky. Readings are taken from a vernier scale.
A nearly identical example can be found in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at this link.
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