L014062 Me 109E DASH BRIGHTNESS DIMMER SWITCH. (Luftfahrzeug Verdunkler)

BACKGROUND: Developed by Willy Messerschmitt of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, (Bavarian Aircraft Works), the Me109, was based on the 1933, Me108 small transport, trainer and aerobatic monoplane. The Me109, was to become one of the most successful and produced fighter aircraft with over 33,000, of various production models, seeing service in the Luftwaffe, (Air-{Weapon}, Force), from 1937 to 1945. The first successful flight occurred in September 1935, with model Me109VI, and the first delivery to the Luftwaffe was in April 1937, of model Me109B-I, which were delivered to JG132 for service in the Spanish Civil war. As with any aircraft the assorted Me109's had numerous dashboard instruments which included a light dimmer switch. Presumably the dimmer switch was used to dim the dashboard instruments lights so as not to interfere with the pilot’s external vision. Beginning in 1938 the "RLM", Reichs Luftfahrt Ministerium, (National Ministry of Aviation), established required specifications for all aircraft instruments and equipment items as well as flight accessory items and assigned a specific, "Fl, "Fliegend/Fliegen Anforderungszeichen", (Flying/Flight, contract/requisition numeral), to each specific item. This particular dimmer switch has the Luftwaffe Flight, requisition number, Fl. 32401-4, which was utilized in the Me 109E but may also have been used in other aircraft. On the dashboard of the Me 109E, this instrument was located on the lower left panel just below the airspeed indicator and above the switching and control box. Of Note: Originally a first model, dimmer switch was used with the Luftwaffe Flight, requisition number, Fl. 32401-2, but it was replaced with a second, slightly modified, larger, model with the Luftwaffe Flight, requisition number, Fl. 32401-4.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 2 1/4", (5.7cm), diameter, 2 3/8", (6cm), deep, cylindrical, black painted, aluminum alloy construction with black bakelite fittings. The front of the instrument has a central, extended, turn-able, black bakelite dial with evenly spaced grooves to the outside edges and an impressed tear-drop shaped indicator with a luminous yellow wash. Encompassing the dial are two, impressed, white directional arrows with the impressed, white, designations, ‘Hell", (Bright), and, "Aus", (Off). The dial still functions and the luminous yellow wash still gives off a strong yellowish/green glow. The front of the instrument also has the embossed, Luftwaffe Flight, requisition number "Fl. 32401-4", and the manufacturer’s name, "Siemens", and logo consisting of a large "S" superimposed with a smaller, "H", indicating, Siemens/Halske. The front casing of the instrument has an extended, screw holed, tab at all four corners to secure it to the cockpit dashboard. The reverse of the instrument has two, extended natural aluminum plug-in prongs and impressed script, "Belastung bei 12 Volt 20 Watt bei 24 Volt 40 Watt Lampenleistung", (Load with 12 Volts 20 Watts with 24 Volts 40 Lamp Performance/Output). The black and white paints and the luminous yellow wash are all retained about 95% with a few small scrapes and scuffs. Nice example.

GRADE ****1/2                                 PRICE $179.00

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