Mounted inside the Beaufighter pilot’s port instrument cluster panel and protruding out the top, the Air Ministry and Crown stamped four channel (A,B,C,D) VHF Tuner worked with the bulky TR1143 VHF transceiver installed in all British fighters and light bombers.
The ‘A’ channel was used for 'air to ground’; ‘B’ for ‘air to air’; ‘C’ as an auxiliary channel for communication between fighters and bombers and ‘D’ as the emergency channel. All channels were crystal controlled and if a mission called for other frequencies, the airfield mechanics had to change the crystals prior to take off.
When America first entered the war in Europe and US aircraft began joint operations with the British, air to air and air to ground communications between US aircraft and their allies became problematic with the US operating on the HF band whilst the British used the VHF. The two incompatible radio setups made the coordination of flight formations extremely difficult
The USAAF were very reluctant to convert their HF radios across to the British VHF but did agree to the installation of a rudimentary mechanical clock transmitting device, the Contactor BC 608 or 'Pip-Squeak'.
The device had an electrical contact, which switched on a communication transmitter for 14 seconds every minute at a special frequency channel identifying the aircraft as 'friendly'.
The only problem with the 'Pip-Squeak' was that pilots could not transmit or receive verbal communications when it was running.
Eventually the USAAF agreed to convert to the VHF band but under their terms, securing a production license to build their own miniaturised version of the British VHF Cockpit Tuner - the SCR-522 and installing it in all US combat aircraft.
This unit is in extremely good condition with all the channel buttons and switches working as they should would make a fantastic collectors piece for any aviation enthusiast. What a gift for a pilot!
This Bristol Beaufighter Instrument comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
* Note that this Beaufighter Instrument is pictured with a 1/48 scale model rather than the standard detailed, but smaller 1/72 scale. Click on the 'Model Upgrade' option at the top of this page for the larger 1/48 scale.
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Your Bristol Beaufighter Type 4 VHF Cockpit Tuner, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:
- Original Warbird instrument
- Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft, or 1/48 scale model*
- 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 in the hand-built and airbrushed plastic version for an additional $35 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)
Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available with 'wheels & flaps up or down' and 'canopy open or closed' options with a choice of two Squadron markings and camouflage.
Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.
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 Bristol Beaufighter or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.