Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Historic military technology for sale

An e-mail today drew my attention to the fact that World War II aircraft bomb sights are available on eBay - something of which I hadn't been aware.  For example, here's an example of the famous Norden bomb sight:

And here's the contemporary Sperry bomb sight:

(Click either image to be taken to its eBay auction page.)

I'm amazed to discover that these technological treasures are still so freely available.  I can't afford one, but at least I can be glad for those who can!



Murphy's Law said...

Can you get adapters for the Cessna 172G?

Rolf said...

Couple of thoughts. There is one in the museum in Bickleton, WA (pop 92). The US military spent more on the Norden bomb sight program than they did on the Manhattan project, and spent many millions on security of the device, even though the designer (a Swiss man) had given the plans for it to the Germans *before the war.* It was super accurate, and nearly useless, because conditions were only very rarely known well enough to put in the settings properly, and because navigation was so poor for much of the war that bomb loads were often dropped many miles from their designated locations. (Of course, when you are seven miles in the air, missing by a mile isn't so bad when you think about it.)

Larry said...

I remember being stunned a few years ago to see a Kriegsmarine 4-rotor Enigma machine for sale on Ebay. IIRC, it was well over $20,000 and going up.

Here's a plane, the Sentimental Joourney that I saw last fall in an airshow (along with Fifi, the only flying B-29). Sentimental Journey is fully (and beautifully) restored, with operational turrets, bomb bay, and Norden bombsight. If I'd only had a grand or two of Foxtrot India money, I'd have taken a ride.