Original U.S. WWII T-1 Bombsight Component Used in Film Captains of the Clouds

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Portion of a Sperry T-1 Bombsight which was removed in July, 1941 from a RCAF Hudson Bomber used in the filming of "Captains of the Clouds" at Uplands airport in Ottawa, Canada. The Hudson bomber was severely damaged in a ground accident and the bombsight was removed and rendered inoperable. This portion was obtained by Pilot Dan Vickers, a film extra a Co-Pilot of one of the five Hudson bombers located at Uplands and used in the film. The part is mounted on a wood display board with photos and an explanation of what it is and where it came from. Also included are photo copies of four pages of handwritten notes of from the pilot that recovered this piece and his memories of making the movie.

The Sperry T-1 was the American version of the British Mark XIV bombsight. The British did not have enough manufacturing capacity for wartime needs, and approached the American Sperry corporation for assistance; approximately 23,000 were made. It was composed of a computer and a sighting head, connected by rotary drive shafts. It used 60 PSI air pressure and 27V DC to drive a series of bellows and gears/levers to compute the dropping and drift angles. Prior to the mission, the bombardier would dial in the bomb terminal velocity and target height above sea level. The computer would use pitot-static input to determine airspeed and altitude. When the bombardier entered the wind speed and direction, the computer would solve for the angles and adjust the sighting head.
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