Electric Radio Photo taken by  K4KYO Tony Stalls                                                                                                 






                                        Smithsonian photo by K4CHE


                         The "Flak Bait" radio rack project was conceived and suggested by
Mr. Mike Hanz KC4TOS. In a short e-mail Mike suggested that I "Just build a simple radio rack out of aluminum angle and attach a piece of plywood for a desk similar to the "Flak Bait" exhibit at the Air and Space Museum. (See link)
     Consequently I place total blame on Mike for this project - a project that continues to grow and grow and spawn still other projects.


    And if you have not visited Mr. Hanz's web site then treat your self. Its a vast
depository of W.W.II avionics information.



      And I quote Mike concerning his "Flight Deck" construction.

     "I must state for the record that at the beginning of this saga, I never intended to let things get this complicated. Along about 1989, I thought it might be nice to have a single rack in the shack to support an ART-13 and BC-348, similar to the rack in Flak Bait (the National Air & Space Museum's Martin B-26B), that has a BC-348 and an SCR-274N command set installed. The intent was simply to construct something that resembled original installations in W.W.II aircraft, using dimensions and aluminum materials that led to easy assembly. As things developed, I added a 45 degree corner to it simply "to use the space a little better". Then of course I needed "just one more" wide bay - to hold a few more acquisitions and provide visual symmetry. By now you should see where all this is going .  .  . "

       A lot of us have piles of this stuff lurking on shelves and in secret cardboard boxes. A lot of the smaller parts to the sets can be obtained when attending hamfests and "Hanzing" through those musty boxes under the tables.
            Smithsonian photo copied from the Air and Space Museum web page.


                             "Flak Bait" nose section was a great display on the 2nd floor of the museum. It has since been moved to the Mary Baker Restoration Hanger and will be united with the rest of the aircraft for restoration of the "entire" aircraft.

                                        Photo by Mr. Joe May

          2nd floor display photo. The display had a lexan cover and is hard
to photograph the interior due to reflections

                                              Click to enlarge.
            K4CHE photo taken during one of my visits.

                     Click to make this photo disappear.

    Many famous visitors to my "Operations Center" have commented: "That I needed to do something with the Command Sets other than pile them on a shelf".

             Click to enlarge.           Photo taken during my initial visit to view "Flak Bait"

      This is my photograph taken through the lexan plastic window covering the rear of the display and retouched to try and eliminate some of the glare. Can you spot the differences between my photo of the display and the later display photo below which is an official Smithsonian photo.



               Smithsonian Photo
        Click to enlarge.

     There are some subtle differences between the display in this photo and the display when I photographed it on my initial visit. Can you spot the differences? One of my questions is why is there an E6B flight computer on the radio operators desk?

       Two different views of the Smithsonian "Flak Bait" radio installation. Continue staring at the rack pictures and soon you will be building one. Its a unique and authentic way to display some of your "Command" sets along with a BC-348 - - - and the rack is small enough for transport to hamfests, airshows and military rallies. Later on these pages I will have photos of other "Flak Bait" rack built by others.
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