Jump to content


Cabin Pressure Altimeter can anyone ID?

Started by velo-ct , Feb 27 2017 08:11 PM

  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 08:11 PM

Hello I am hoping the experts here will recognize this. I am stumped trying to find out what military aircraft this cabin altimeter came from.   I bought it because I had never seen one go beyond 50,000 feet in a jet from the early years.   Now I can only think of 2 candidates that if they lost cabin pressurization would need to show up 80K but I have not seen this so far in any U2 or SR71 cockpits.   Can anyone tell me what this came out of?  the first is natural light.  The second picture shows the bright orange color under a UV light so I assume it is radium paint.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

Captures.JPG

IMG_7184s.JPG


Edited by velo-ct, 27 February 2017 - 08:13 PM.


#2 northcoastaero

northcoastaero
  • Members
    • Member ID: 43,193
  • 910 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 08:47 PM

Are there any markings such as part numbers, contract numbers, manufacturer, etc. elsewhere on the altimeter?
These may help for a proper ID.

#3 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:15 PM

Excellent question but it is surprisingly very sterile with only the manufacturer and some cryptic temporary markings but no model number anywhere.  Here is a picture of the backside.

 

Attached Images

  • IMG_7188.JPGc.JPG


#4 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 28 February 2017 - 01:19 AM

Is it possible that the real gauges may have been 80,000 ft units in the SR71?

 

One could assume that if you did not want anyone to be sure how high your plane flew then a one-handed 80,000 ft cabin pressure altimeter would have been a dead giveaway.  For pictures and displays then it would have been desirable to swap in the standard unit displaying 50,000 ft.   The main three handed altimeter would not need to be swapped out because the upper limit display is always 99,999.

 

That could explain why all the display cockpits in the museums look like this one.  The manuals are declassified now so we know they pressurized the cabin to 26,000 ft but it would make sense to have a gauge that was capable of displaying a full depressurization situation.  

 

Just a wild theory....

 

 

Attached Images

  • sr71nmusaf.JPG


#5 Bluehawk

Bluehawk
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,976
  • 6,350 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SoCal

Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:53 AM

WAG, because of the 80k reading... might this have been used in some sort of training simulator or chamber, and not in an aircraft?

 

As velo-ct wrote, not a whole lot of airplanes can reach 80k ft.



#6 2BanAviator

2BanAviator
  • Recruits
    • Member ID: 166,519
  • 1 posts

Posted 06 March 2017 - 07:27 PM

Per the 1959 Flight Manual, the U-2 Cabin Pressure System monitored altitude pressure in both the cockpit and the equipment bay.  The pilot would select which area to monitor by flipping a console switch, and the Altitude Pressure Indicator (marked Cabin Pressure) would display for that area.  I haven't seen any illustrations of the indicator installed, but one could speculate that it would need to be able to display up to 70K in the event of a catastrophic pressurization failure in the equipment bay. That doesn't explain the 80K upper limit of the scale, tho. 



#7 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 08 March 2017 - 10:30 PM

Thanks for the U-2 info 2Ban...  Is the manual linked online?  I found the SR-71 manual and it specifically refers to a 50K  cabin altimeter but who knows if it was not edited.  As for the U-2 perhaps they were more concerned about it since it was the first to get up there and the 80k would still make sense, my corvette speedo goes to 200mph but alas,  it won't quite reach it!



#8 Bluehawk

Bluehawk
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,976
  • 6,350 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SoCal

Posted 09 March 2017 - 02:23 AM

U-2 then, most likely... which, does make sense.



#9 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 15 March 2017 - 12:49 AM

Update:   

 

The museum of flight research team was unable to discover the origins of the unit.  They even wrote to Aerosonic and they didn't know what it was for either.  

 

In the meantime I bought a standard 50k unit for comparison and it is the same size.

Attached Images

  • Captures.JPG

Edited by velo-ct, 15 March 2017 - 12:49 AM.


#10 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:08 PM

I decided to look into the X-15 flight manual.   Looks like a match.   At least I found one type of aircraft that used it perhaps it found its way into other high altitude craft as well.  Let me know if you ever see it anywhere else.

 

x-15.JPG

 



#11 Bluehawk

Bluehawk
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,976
  • 6,350 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SoCal

Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

I decided to look into the X-15 flight manual.   Looks like a match.   At least I found one type of aircraft that used it perhaps it found its way into other high altitude craft as well. 

 

 

Yay!



#12 northcoastaero

northcoastaero
  • Members
    • Member ID: 43,193
  • 910 posts

Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:45 PM

Cool! I will have to take a look through the book X-Planes by Jay Miller to see if any other experimental<br />aircraft may have used this altimeter. Maybe the HL-10 also?<br />

#13 northcoastaero

northcoastaero
  • Members
    • Member ID: 43,193
  • 910 posts

Posted 31 March 2017 - 10:20 AM

Just finished doing some research on other possible aircraft/spacecraft types:

X-PLANES: X-1 series; X-2; X-16 mock up; X-20 mock up; X-24A, B.

Other aircraft: X4H-1 Phantom II; A3J Vigilante; F8U Crusader?; NF-104A Starfighter;
HL-10; M2-F3; XB-70 Valkyrie; U-2/TR-1; A-12/YF-12/SR-71; B-58 Hustler;
RB/WB-57 Canberra; F5D Skylancer?; F-106 Delta Dart?; F-15 Streak Eagle.

Spacecraft: Project Mercury capsule; Project Gemini capsule; Project Apollo capsule;
the space shuttles: Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis,
and Endeavour.

Hope this helps.

Edited by northcoastaero, 31 March 2017 - 10:21 AM.


#14 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 04 April 2017 - 11:02 AM

NorthCoast are you saying it was NOT found in any of those instrument panels or it WAS found?  Thanks.



#15 northcoastaero

northcoastaero
  • Members
    • Member ID: 43,193
  • 910 posts

Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:18 PM

It is just a list of aircraft and spacecraft that might have used your cabin pressure altimeter.
At present, I do not have the time to research the cockpit images for all of these aircraft/
spacecraft. Flown spacecraft instruments, etc. do occasionally show up for sale with documentation,
so I would not rule out Project Mercury through space shuttle program. I guess that high altitude
balloon flights could be considered also? Hopefully, some of the information will be of some use to
you.

#16 Bluehawk

Bluehawk
  • Members
    • Member ID: 3,976
  • 6,350 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SoCal

Posted 05 April 2017 - 04:41 AM

Eureka! Balloon flights make some sense (to me) than space craft - maybe simply because I cannot figure out why a space module or craft would possibly want an altimeter to stop at 80k...



#17 velo-ct

velo-ct
  • New Members
    • Member ID: 166,079
  • 16 posts

Posted 05 April 2017 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for the clarification yes it is a good target list.  I have already ruled out some but not all on the list.

 

I always assumed spacecraft just used absolute pressure gauges in psi since expressing cockpit pressure as a height measurement would be rather meaningless but I really don't know..




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)