Film: 1572

Aviation | 1920 | Silent | B/W


A demonstration film on the capabilities and set up of the Sperry Anti aircraft searchlight unit.

Titles. A pickup truck loaded with equipment enters a field and drives away from us across the grass. Another truck enters the field through the same gate carrying a large round object. 'Unloading the Power Plant'. Three men begin to pull things out of the back of the truck. The men put slides from the box of the truck to the ground, they ensure they are secure. Two men hand a third a box out of the back of the truck. One man pulls on the vehicle coming down the two ramps, another winds a winch, lowering the vehicle.
'Operating the Winch Break'. From the box of the truck, the winch wire slowly lets down the vehicle from the box of the truck, one of the men looks on. 'Putting the Power Plant in Operation'. The 'power plant' is now on the ground, two men replace the rails in the truck, another man opens one end of the 'power plant' vehicle and makes some adjustments, he then walks around to the side of the contraption and opens the casing and make a few more adjustments.
'Unloading and setting up the Searchlight'. From the other truck, other ramps have been set up and another strange looking machine is slowly lowered to the ground. The machine, a giant searchlight, reaches the ground. One of the men makes adjustments to the base of the searchlight, on the other side two other men turn cranks and make other adjustments.
'Changing ramp position for unloading power cables'. Two men move one of the ramps closer to the other, the other two men pull put a wheel of wire. Two men move the reel of wire down the ramps. 'Laying the connecting cables'. One man pulls the cable off the reel and runs with one end of it away from us across the field. Another man plugs in the cables into the power station. Hands adjust the plug on the connection. Four electrical connections on the bottom of the searchlight. 'Unloading and setting up the control station'. A man picks up, possibly, a tripod and hands it down to a man on the ground. Two men carry a fixture over to the tripod and fit it on top. One of the men comes back with another fixture and fits it on the front of the tripod mechanism. One of the men, dressed in army uniform, makes some adjustments at the back of the instrument. The covered tripod. Hands twist knobs at the back of the machine and a plug is inserted into a receptor.
'Unloading and setting up the Sound-Locator' Six men unload a large round base from the back of a truck. One of the men in the truck box hands a short pillar to another of the men on the ground. Sideways off the truck, all six men help to unload a large box, four of the men lower it to the ground and carry it over to the other machinery using attached handles and put it down. Two men lift the top casing off the machine, revealing an engine, possibly. Four men lift the engine out of the box together. The four men lift the engine on top of the pillar which is now attached to the large round base, they affix the engine there.
'Levelling'. One man stands on the base and makes adjustments to the engine while another moves around the base and tightens bolts. 'Mounting the Horns'. Three men unstrap two pyramid shaped foam-like things form the back of one of the trucks, they are passed down to two other men waiting on the ground. Two men carrying one of the pyramid bundles follow another of the men over to the large round base contraption, they secure the pyramid thing horizontally to the engine, the leader tightens it. Two men bring over the other pyramid shaped object and the leader attaches it to the engine horizontally , just as the other one is.
'Mounting the Pantograph'. There are now three cone shaped objects attached to the engine, one at each corner of the engine, two men make adjustments to the engine. 'Sighting to establish common azimuth bearings between Sound Locator and Searchlight'. One of the men in military uniform makes readings from the searchlight. The marker on a large dial moves from 110 to 180 (degrees probably). 'Target position deviation sight used in daylight practice.' From behind, the search light is moved up and down to get bearing. 'Training the Searchlight by extending mechanical control'. A man in military uniform walks around the search light pushing a pole attached to the light, and therefore moving the light around as he walks. 'Tracking the Target'. Three men jump on the round base with the engine attached to it, two of them in fighter pilot uniform put cables to their ears, they both turn wheels attached to the sound engine and move around the base. A plane flies in the air. 'The Operator trains the Searchlight from the Control Station in accordance with the data indicated on the comparator'. A hand turns a wheel on a consol where two dials are shown, possibly comparing the sound and search light locations. 'Taking over direct control when the target is flicked'. Two men work the dial machine, a third watches the sky, he jumps in and takes control of the equipment, he has presumably seen the airplane. 'Night Operation: illuminating the target and disclosing its position. An airplane flies through the air. A 'Sperry' logo.

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