Besides a rugged airframe and flight controls, guns and engines, a warplane typically contained a lot of instruments and non-armament equipment. Several of them were explained in magazine articles of the time. These included the famed Norden bombsight.

The Bombsight

Several articles explained the operation of the Norden bombsight and the principles behind its operation.


Flight instruments

Flight instruments are crucial to piloting the plane.

Navigation instruments

Navigation, or "avigation" as it was being called in the time leading up to the war, is critical on long, high-altitude flights. One of the basic instruments is the compass.

Radio and RADAR equipment

Radio and RADAR (Radio Detection And Ranging — the original acronym was spelled all caps until the magazines decided that was too much trouble) equipment were integral to the success of the air war, both on offense and defense.

Engine instruments

Engine instruments are underrepresented in my collection. Only a couple of instruments are described:

Instrument panel

Lifesaving equipment

Equipment that was not crucial to the flight and fighting could nonetheless be important to the operation of the warplane.
In this category, we have