The instrument panel
I came into contact with a US seller who had 3 C-47 instrument panels for sale. I picked out one and he sent it to a friend of mine in NY. 2 months later I opened the package and found out it was not the one I wanted. I was not amused I can tell you. Because of the detour and 2 months had passed the seller already sold the one I wanted. I had to make do with this one. I cleaned it up and from underneath the dirt and grime accumulated after years of storage out came a very nice unmodified panel. It turned out it was completely original. No extra holes were cut for modern radio’s or avionics and all the labels were there. I researched where it came from and found out that it was a C-47 B panel from WWII. A rare find to say the least.
Because of it’s usability the C-47’s were sold by the hundreds to civilian and military users the world over and most panels were either heavily modified or ripped out altogether and thrown away. Miraculously this one survived to make me happy.
It cleaned up a lot better than expected. Perfect restorations are not my thing. I prefer that things look used, it keeps the character and tells the story of the item. The panel was used and you can feel that. Istarted to fill the holes with the instruments I found and this is the result so far. It is not exactly to my liking yet. The screws will be blackened and the instruments will probably be inserted from the front as in the original plane. That was easier for quick maintenance work in the war years. There are still a couple of things missing, 2 gear warning lights (red and green) and the pressure selector valve. Also some placard with a light in it but I have not been able to find out what these look like.
       IAS, Indicated Air Speed                                                    Pressure Altitude                                                                Radio Altitude
       VSI, Vertical Speed Indicator                                                RMI, Radio Magnetic Indicator                                        Glide Slope Indicator
        Gyro Compass                                                                                                                          Artificial Horizon
        Turn and Bank                                                                    Radio Compass                                                                Altitude Limit Switch
        Fuel Pressure                                                                            Oil Pressure                                                                Manifold Pressure
        Oil Temperature                                                                Cylinder Head Temperature                                                  Carburetter Air Temperature
        Hydraulic Pressure                                                            De-icing Pressure                                                                Outside Air Temperature
                                                                                                                        Some of the placards
        Gear warning panel
        Auto Pilot Control