Many of the USAAF and USN fighters and light bombers used a manual priming system on startup. This was common for carbureted engines and operated by a small hand-operated pump located in the aircraft’s cockpit.
The priming system drew fuel from the fuel tank selector switch or from the fuel line leading to the carburettor.
The P-39 Airacobra Parker Appliance Co. Engine Fuel Primer is a plunger-type pump where the pilot would first unlock the pump handle by twisting the small brass knurled knob under the Primer Handle. The spring-activated Pump Handle would then be pulled out to its stop.
He would pump the handle a number of times to spray fuel into the intake manifold, depending on that aircraft’s start-up procedures for the number of strokes and engine temperatures.
In multiple engined aircraft like the B-17 Flying Fortress, the copilot would first select an engine and then reach down to the floor on his right to give the handle a quick pump to clear any air from the fuel lines and prime the cylinder head. He would then switch on the ignition and toggle the starter motor for that engine.
Later combat aircraft and cargo transports employed an electric priming system which used small electric in-tank pumps powered by the aircraft’s main battery system.
As far as I can tell, this WWII Parker engine fuel primer pump appears to be in fully working condition, with the brass knurled locking nut revolving and the pump moving freely on its shaft spring. The whole unit can be disassembled and the only thing missing is the small red and black, round ‘ON - OFF’ identification tag that was usually placed under the three screws mounting the unit to the aircraft’s instrument panel.
Mounted in its 100 yr old Mango Wood Display Stand with engraved plaque and highly detailed custom built P-39 Airacobra model atop its magnetic arm, this would really make a fantastic pilot gift or a one-of-a-kind gift for that special aviation enthusiast in your life.
This P-39 Airacobra 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 P-39 Airacobra, Parker Engine Fuel Cockpit Primer, 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 $35 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)
Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale models are available with wheels & flaps ‘up or down’ and doors ‘open or closed'
Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 3 - 4 weeks approx.
Did you fly, crew or maintain a P-39 Airacobra or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.