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Thread: What did instrument repairers do? (WWII)

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    Default What did instrument repairers do? (WWII)

    Before I start, sorry if this is in the wrong place! Please redirect me if it is.

    My grandfather was an instrument repairer during WWII and I'm wondering what exactly such a role entailed?
    He enlisted in 1940 with the RAF and was posted to the first Australian ETS squadron - No. 452. He came out to Australia with the squadron in 1941. I know he worked mainly on Spitfires and obviously the role entailed some sort of repair work - but what kind exactly?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Cheers.

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    blue_evertonian,
    No great mystery here. Instrument repairers repaired instruments, and almost exclusively aircraft instruments at that (although they could easily turn their hand to almost any 'normal' instrument if required). The senior trade for instrument repairers was instrument maker. These man (and women in RAF) were responsible for maintaining and repairing all aircraft instruments on unit strength, or which came to their workshop or depot for normal servicing and calibration, and, provided they had the correct test equipment, for calibrating or testing completed instruments, either actually fitted in aircraft or on special test rigs in the worshop. Certain instruments required quite elaborate and exact testing or calibration (such as artificial horiizons or automatic pilots), and if this equipment was not available, the instrument repairer would be responsible for the disconnection and removal of such instruments and then despatch them to another depot that could carry out this work. Special containers were on hand to protect particularly delicate instruments during transit - these were frequently boldly marked with special warnings, including the exhortation:- "Aircraft Instrument - Handle like Eggs".
    David D

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    Thanks David. I had a vague idea, but you've given me exactly what I was after - a nice concise answer. Cheers!

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