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Installed at the bottom right of the B-26 pilot’s instrument panel just above the aircraft’s Amp Meter, the Free Air or Outside Air Temperature (OAT) gauge alerted the pilot to the outside air temperature.
Knowing the outside air temperature does not on the face of it, seem all that important, but to a pilot it provides the information necessary to make true airspeed and altitude density calculations essential to flight planning and aircraft fuel consumption.
The OAT gauge also serves as a critical early warning to potential icing conditions. Changes in altitude and passing through cloud or precipitation can cause the rapid formation of ice on the wing surfaces which can have dramatic effect on flight surfaces and aircraft stability.
At outside temperatures of between zero and minus 10 C the pilot is likely to encounter ‘clear icing’ where a glossy, thin and transparent layer of ice forms slowly over the wing surfaces reducing clean airflow over the wing increasing drag and reducing lift.
As OAT falls further, Rime ice can form which is a rougher and faster forming ice, trapping air pockets which reduce air flow and further increases drag. At higher altitudes in extreme conditions, rough Mixed ice can also form which will dangerously impact the aircraft’s aerodynamics.
As ice formation is difficult for the pilot to see from the cockpit, its often called the silent creeper in aviation circles and without keeping an eye on the OAT, the first thing a pilot might experience is significant loss of wing lift resulting in a sudden stall which may be difficult to recover from.
For larger and more modern aircraft like the B-17, De-icing systems could be switched on to reduce the impact of ice formation on the aircraft’s flight surfaces but for older and smaller aircraft, the only alternative was to either dramatically reduce altitude or exit cloud/rain formations if flight performance was being affected.
Whilst the B-26 Marauder had a ceiling height of just over 21,000ft and did experience wing-icing, most of its missions, especially in the latter half of the war, involved low altitude strategic bombing. Wing de-icing systems using heated engine gasses were experimented with but were never introduced into the final production model.
Manufactured by Weston Electric Inst Corp this 115412 T-52H, this Free Air Temperature Gauge comes complete with Manufacture’s plate and would look fantastic with its highly detailed 1/72 scale B-26 Marauder model perched atop its 100yr old Mango Wood stand. What a great original one-of-a-kind gift for any aviation enthusiast or budding, active or retired pilot!
This B-26 Martin Marauder Instrument comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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Your B-26 Martin Marauder, Free Air temperature gauge, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:
- Original Warbird Collectable
- Highly detailed, hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft.*
- Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
- Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
- Removable Magnetic Display Arm
*An upgrade to the larger and more detailed 1/48 scale model is also available for an additional $60 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)
Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale models are available with wheels & flaps ‘up or down’ and bomb bay 'open or closed'
Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 4 - 6 weeks approx.
Did you fly, crew or maintain a, A-20 Havoc or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.