View Full Version : Tracking the Origin of a Long-Retired Altimeter

15th Oct 2004, 15:51
hi all,

I figured the history & nostalgia forum was a good a place as any to start for my question, so, here goes.

I have acquired an old altimeter/altitude gauge (whichever you want to call it). Approximate age would be 50 to 60 years old.

On the back of it is a partly scratched-off coloured decal/stamp that says "Qantas Empire Airways". A screwed on metal panel reads

"Type No. 2101-5A-B3-950 Pioneer Instrument CO. Inc. Bendix, New Jersey REG. U.S. PAT. OFF. MADE IN U.S.A."

Below that, in raised lettering on the actual casing of the instrument it says "PIONEER REG. U.S. PAT. OFF." again.

There is also a stamp, which is unfortunately faded, though I believe the date is 5 JUN 1945. Two (looks like) hand-painted numbers on the face below the center which read "G106A/2014"

Has only the 'clock face', no subscale or anything, and a knob at the bottom which when turned rotates the actual numbers behind the dial.

What I am wondering - is there any way I can find out where this instrument came from? I am awfully curious as to its history, and what lovely old aircraft it has flown in. Sounds silly I know but I'm dying to find out. It just looks like it has some stories to tell.

If anyone knows of a better place for this post, please let me know.

Thanks for any help.


Ex Oggie
18th Oct 2004, 01:35
Qantas Empire Airways operated Catalinas during the war years, and if this came from a Cat, I would have thought it would have a military ref number. My best bet would be a DC3 or DC4, both operated by Qantas Empire Airways at the end of the war. After that, it was Connie's.

I'm not that familiar with US part numbers, but I am sure there is someone here who just happens to have a Douglas parts book to hand to confirm (or not) which type this was fitted to.