Index of AAFRadio - U.S. Military Aircraft Avionics from 1939 to 1945

A tour of communications gear from U.S. WWII Aircraft

The array of avionics on the ‘flight deck’ is an operational group of equipment that is part of my personal collection. It includes MF, HF, and VHF communications suites, LF/MF navigation receivers, and ECM gear used on US Navy, AAC, and AAF aircraft during World War II. Basic layout of the flight deck is shown here. The cutoff date for inclusion on the flight deck was arbitrarily selected as Service nomenclature “type issuance” prior to September 1945 - actual production in a couple of cases may have been a few years later. The selection criterion has no technological basis - it simply allows everything to be squeezed into one 15'x15' space.

WWII Aircraft Countermeasures equipment

Also located on the flight deck, this is an overview of the common and not so common surveillance, analysis, and jamming equipment used in US aircraft during the war. It represents an explosion in technology, arguably never equaled since that time. Much of it is still useful in AM and DSBRC work on the radio amateur bands, with minor reversible modifications or outboard ‘helping hands’.

Restoration activities and tools

Some of the equipment and tools required to preserve, restore, or replicate components for 60 year old avionics gear are explored here. A few of the latest projects are also shown.

The Pillars of NASM Tremble...

Defying the boundaries of reason, the Smithsonian - clearly in a moment of temporary insanity - permitted me to wander onto their property as a volunteer. This page delves into their misfortunes ever since.

Not so common documentation

Some of the less traveled roads of paper...

Many of the image files are fairly large (200-300kB each) to provide the resolution needed for magnification with browsers that offer such capabilities, like Firefox or Opera. That may affect the loading time, depending on your individual connection speed. The pages are best viewed at a display resolution of 1024x768 and are optimized for Firefox. However, all links should still be viewable at lower settings and with all the common browsers. I would appreciate reporting any problems so that I can fix them.

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I originally had a revision history log beneath this point for major additions. Given the fact that I spend an average of an hour each week inserting minor additions, the web page keeps changing and growing on a regular basis. Rather than listing the major changes below, I will simply post them here as they occur. Be aware that absence of a recent date does not mean that changes have not been made...just that they do not meet the subjective threshold for "major change."

I understand that with a somewhat arcane interest like this one, folks often wonder where I originally managed to obtain the equipment and what more I might actually need to complete various sets, so a number of friends have persuaded me to publish a "wish list". It is difficult to characterize my original sources, and they have changed over time - they run the gamut from hamfests, to friends, to surplus houses, to estate sales, to referrals, to eBay, to you name it... If I had to characterize the greatest contributors, it has to be friends and acquaintances who apparently understand the restoration affliction and are willing to support it. Not quite a twelve step program, but there are similarities...

Thanks for looking,

- Mike