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In Stock SKU: 2324

Rare Fairey Swordfish General Electric Radio Altitude Indicator


As part of the US Lend Lease program, many British aircraft components and instrumentation had been developed and manufactured in the US togther with a number of radio and radar systems such as the US AN/APN-1 radio altimeter.

The General Electric Radio Altitude Indicator, ID-236/APA-61 was a component of Radar Bombing Navigational Computer AN/APA-61 and was used to measure and indicate to the pilot the altitude over the terrain during flight.

This was particularly critical for British coastal command fighter/bombers such as the carrier-launched Fairey Swordfish and Bristol Beaufighter and USN aircraft such as the TBF Avenger torpedo bomber and the SB2C Helldiver dive bomber.

The AN/APN-1 was the US Navy's primary airborne frequency modulated, radio altimeter which was designed to emit a downward signal from the aircraft's transmitter antenna.

As the terrain changed in hight and composition with the rise and fall of the aircraft's flight, a 'bounced' return signal would be received by a separate receiver antenna. The difference in signal frequency and time interval from send and receive gave a highly accurate height reading.

The timing and correct height of torpedo or dive bomb release was crucial to ensure the weapons had enough time to self arm and hit their targets.

The system provided a dual range indicator of 0-400 feet and 400-4000 feet; having an accuracy within plus or minus 6 feet on the 400-foot range and within plus or minus 60 feet on the 4000-foot range.

Both glass and casing are in excellent condition and the fully functioning lower left knob switches on the indicator, with the top right knob switching the measured range between 0-400 ft to 400-4000 ft.

This Fairey Swordfish Instrument comes complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in the aircraft cockpit.

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Your Fairey Swordfish, Radio Altimeter, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:

  • Original Warbird instrument
  • Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft, or opt for the highly detailed 1/50 scale version
  • 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

The 1/72 scale and highly detailed Super size 1/50 scale, hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available in 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 4 - 6 weeks approx.

Did you fly, crew or maintain a Fairey Swordfish or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.