Aeronautical Compass

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Object Detail

Standard pattern British military prismatic aircraft compass of First Worl War design origin. Aluminium and brass compass, set on cylindrical stand with brass plaque bearing name and patent number of the makers. Compass is attached to the stand in three areas. The top of the compass is screwed down and has a clear circular head to look inside, and a brass band is on the outside with the name of the compass and type number. Inside the compass is some liquid.
CH classification EXPLORATION Terrestrial exploration accessories
CH classification SURVEYING Terrestrial compass
CH classification TRANSPORT Aviation aircraft instruments
Production place
130 x 110 x 140
Media/Materials description
Aluminium (Metals - Non-Ferrous); Brass (Metals - Non-Ferrous); Indeterminate (Liquids)
History and use
Standard pattern British military prismatic aircraft compass of First World War design origin originally owned by Cecil "Doc" Maidment.

As a highly regarded Wright Company employee, Maidment had first been engaged by Kingsford Smith in 1927 to service the three Wright Whirlwind engines on the 'Southern Cross', prior to its trans-Pacific flight. He had earlier that same year serviced the engine that had successfully carried Charles Lindbeg across the Atlantic, having also serviced the engines on Byrd's polar expedition aircraft in 1926.

This particular example was patented by Captain Frank Osborne Creagh-Osborne (1867 - 1943) who was Superintendent of Compasses at the Admiralty and a British inventor. He developed several compass systems which were manufactured by H. Hughes & Son Ltd (as in this instance), Dent & Co & Johnson Ltd and also by Sperry Gyroscope. He also wrote several books about the development and use of aerocompasses.
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