Aeronautical Instruments & Tools
Price = n/a
Royal Flying Corps Mk III Aeroplane Dashboard Lighting Switchboard
Here we have a scarce and desirable RFC aircraft cockpit panel switchboard in superb original condition and just awaiting a connoisseur owner! The Mk III Instrument lighting set was introduced in the latter part of WWI and superseded the more basic Mk I and II versions which entered service from February 1915. The Mk III was fitted in a variety of RFC aircraft including the HP 400 bomber, the Bristol F2B, the Royal Aircraft Factory RE8 and the Sopwith Dolphin. The fascia plate is in very crisp condition and clearly indicates manufactured by A.P Lundberg & Sons, London. Andreas Peter Lundberg (1831- 1926), was born in Wermland, Sweden. He visited England in 1862 and subsequently became a naturalized British subject and remained here in the UK until his death. In 1882 he founded the firm of A. P. Lundberg and Sons who manufactured various types of quality lighting and associated switchboards, including this very fine example, that dates from circa 1916.
The panel features six brass switches that control (starting from the right) Accumulators No 1 & 2 (batteries), Miscellaneous, Rev counter, Aneroid (Altimeter), Compass and Airspeed indicator lighting. Below the bank of switches is the all-important RFC property mark of a War Department Broad Arrow and an 'A ' above, designating the Air Branch, so no doubts this is a genuine RFC issue set. Below it is the designation 'Mk III Aeroplane Dashboard Lighting'. The Mk I board was introduced in 1915 and was followed by the Mk II which comprised a lamp on a universal joint and a hood, fitted with a dimmer switch and was designed to illuminate the entire panel. The Mk III instrument lighting set was rather more sophisticated and had the facility to light each designated instrument separately and the full set was made up of the accumulators, the switchboard and a six individual lamp holders, brackets and caps to be mounted as appropriate beside the respective instruments on the panel. Following the end of WWI and with the formation of the fledgling RAF, the set was given the RAF stores reference number 5C/246.
The switch board features a metal fascia plate which is attached to a mahogany case attached by 6 original brass screws, whilst to the rear are two brass electrical terminals. The switches have a very crisp action; whilst for sale like all our stock as a collectable, if the inside proves as crisp as the out it may be possible, subject to the necessary checks, for this switchboard to be made airworthy again. So if you have an RE8 or a Sopwith Dolphin in the hanger this could be just the item you need! Whilst compact at 5.25" x 3.0" x 1.75" (13.5 cm x 7.5 cm x4.25 cm) it is beautifully formed and a really emotive piece. Many thanks to Alan Hulme for providing the excellent reference information which forms the basis of this description and we commend his specialist and invaluable guides, including his latest 'Cockpit instruments of British Military Aeroplanes Vol 1. We have a full set here in the Oldnautibits HQ which prove invaluable in our research.