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UPDATED MAY 2018 CLOCKS FOR SALE ME - CONTACT

DOUGLAS SBD-5 DAUNTLESS

JAEGER LECOULTRE CHRONOFLITE

THE CLOCK

In 1930 LeCoultre designed the first CHRONOFLITE, a clock for airplanes with double chronograph, the “Air Corps”, predecessor of USAF, bought to Jaeger of New York this clock, it was the first clock with “elapsed time”.

It was the movement more widely used before WW II, Smith from England mounted a CHRONOFLITE movement just with elapsed time, and the Russian Wostok copied the movement without license and equipped from the Policarpov I-16 Rata, up till the MIG 15. It was also used in racing cars of the 30 and 40 decades.

The first models of Chronoflite was built with a 12 hour DIAL and without “civil date”. All of them have 13 jewels and only one mainspring barrel for eight days.

The main disadvantage of this clock is the winding up, which is done counterclockwise. Frequently you would wind it up it in the wrong direction (which was the natural direction), and it would break.

Another inconvenient is that the minute hand move counter clockwise. Both of these problems were solved with Elgin Hamilton 37500 design.

 

 

THE PLANE

The Dauntless was the only U:S: aircraft to participate in all five carrier versus carrier engagements in the Pacific.

The first deliveries to the US NAVY in 1940, in spite of its laking in range and engine power, its vulnerability and exhausting to fly, and in spite of it wings cant be fold, it become a legendary and most successful shipboard dive bomber of all time.

It had more to do with the success in the Coral Sea battle and Midway where the Dauntless credited four Japanese carriers and one heavy cruiser than with the aircraft itself. The original NAVY contract called for 57, this number increased to 500 after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

THE COCKPIT

The most remarkable of the cockpit is the chart table, it was stowed in the middle of the main flight instrument panel making the vision of instrument difficult even with the table stowed.

In most pictures of Second World War you can see Dauntless pilots, flying leaning forward. That´s because the stick was too short, it had to allow chart table extension. (See last photo) you had to be very tough to withstand the g forces in this position.

The instrument panel was limited at each side in the upper part by the twin 50 mm machine gun butts, it took up a lot of space.

At the right hand side was located the landing gear handle labelled "W", the flap handle labelled "L", and the dive brake "D", more than one pilot lowered the gear instead the brakes in an attack, you really had be careful with those controls.

 

THE DIVE

The dive was iniciate 4 NM from the target, starting at 20.000 - 15.000, then pushing the stick forward in a 70º dive, at full dive speed the dropped was at 240 Kts. Air resistence buffeted the plane and deafened the earing, with one eye in the bomb scope and the other in the speed and mainly in altimeter, 1.500 ft was needed for a normal 6 to 8 g´s pull out, plus 1.000 ft for stay above bomb fragments. Once the bomb was released the pilot felt a jolt and the bomb pivoted downward behind the plane to clear the propeller. All dive took aproximately 40 second.

The procedure for a dive was:
1- Call over the inter phone to the rear gunner, letting him know we are about to dive and he should take his dose of ephedrine, a nasal spray that prevented an aviator´s eardrums from bursting due to the sudden change in altitude.
2- Reach under your seat to pull out bombs´arming pins.
3- Switch the plane to low blower and low prop speed. Then engage the full split flaps, which allowed you to zero in on my target.
4- Open up the pilot´s cockpit hatch in order to prevent the window from fogging up due to the change in temperature.
5 Finally, took your dose of ephedrine.

N. JACK "DUSTY" KLEISS

Dusty served in the Scouting Squadron 6 from USS Enterprise, he saw action in The battle of the Marshall islands and took active part at Midway battle achieving directs hits in two Japanese carriers Kaga and Hiryu and in the cruiser Mikuma.

This easy reading book of remembers of Kleiss, NEVER CALL ME A HERO by Timothy and Laura Orr, highly recommended in my opinion. Kleiss history is related with the simplicity sincerity and humility of the great Men.
In spite of its part in Midway battle is the most relevant of his aeronautical life, I like this passage of he Marshalls Islands battle, under the command of lieutenant Best starting the attack to a Taroa Island they saw 3 Japanese fighters patrolling patrolling, without been seen Best decided to cruise under the fighters and reach a point to star the attack,


"...we lined our planes up for a dive attack. However, just as we completed our maneuver, the three Japanese planes spotted us. Lt Best had to make a quick decision: continue with the diving attack or abort the mission? Best was brave, bold man, utterly unflappable. His response was predictable. He ordered to us to form into column and begin the attack at once. Best realized that our rear seat gunners would have to sacrifice their mutual protection once we were strung out into a line, but we would have more time to choose our targets on the ground. I flew in the first three-plane section, on Best wing, so I have first choice of what to hit.

As we sped toward the "push over" pointI turned my head, watching the three Japanese fighters swoop down from above my starboard bow. I engaged my split flaps and my plane slowed so rapidly that all os the Japanese fighters dived past me. One Japanese plane came close. I can still remember the sound it made. WHOOSH! When I close my eyes, sometimes, I can visualize the pilot´s goggled face looking up me. Safe for the moment, I followed Best into his dive, careening through a barrage of antiaircraft fire …"

 

 

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