As used on the manned Apollo missionsApollo Block II Command Module Flight Director Attitude Indicator from the North American Aviation Plant in Downey. A very rare, important, and desirable piece of equipment manufactured by Honeywell for the Apollo command module. This is example has never been offered at auction or private sale previously. Overall size is 6.875" diameter (plus the 0.75" mounting tabs around the perimeter) x 9.25" deep (plus the 0.75" mounting screws protruding from the bottom). Attached to the side is a Beta cloth-wrapped electrical cable, approximately 18" long, leading to two different sized multi-pin connectors. There are two original Honeywell metal stickers on the side. The manufacturing tag shows that this "INDICATOR, ATTITUDE, FLIGHT DIRECTOR" was manufactured in the USA by Honeywell and lists the Manufacturer Part No. as "JG264G1", the Manufacture Date as "16 Aug 1966", and the Contract No. as "M5J7XAZ-450012A". Just beneath is a "Modification Identification" plate with a manufacturer part number of "JG264G9", an Acceptance Date of "27 May 68" and North American Aviation ID "ME-432-0168-0502". There are at least three red inspector's marks next to these plates. This particular example was rescued from destruction by a Rockwell employee when the Downey, California, plant closed down in 1999. With it was a group of photocopied technical and procurement documents, now included with this lot. Please view the multiple images of this awesome piece of equipment on our website. Very fine condition with just minor wear.
This FDAI or "8 Ball" was used to define the relative position of the spacecraft in three-dimensional space. Originally designed to be three different panel instruments, the astronauts, many of which were pilots, lobbied for an all-in-one device similar to the "artificial horizon" indicator in airplanes. "The two FDAIs provides displays to the crew the attitude in space, angular velocity (rate), and attitude error of the spacecraft. Made by Honeywell, they display three major categories of information:
"The attitude of the spacecraft in the pitch and yaw axes is indicated by the position of the 8-Ball itself. The attitude is measured with respect to a defined "inertial" reference. The fixed central bar and its upside-down half-circle (termed an "inverted wing"), acts as the measuring point.
"The pitch attitude is represented by the "great" semi-circles (i.e. the ones that are horizontal relative to the numbers on the ball). The semicircle immediately under the "wing" is the current pitch angle.
"The yaw attitude is represented by the "minor" circles (i.e. the ones that are vertical relative to the numbers on the ball).
"The roll attitide is indicated by angle between the "wing" and the nearest pitch attitude circle. It is also represented more accurately by the white triangular "bug" which points to the circular scale around the 8-Ball."
(NASA's Apollo Flight Journal)
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