Reference numberPB/4/3
Previous numbersD.38-D.58
TitleThe Mark XIV Bombsight
Date1940-1945, 1973
DescriptionThis refers to the Mark XIV continuously set vector bombsight, sometimes referred to as the 'Blackett sight. It was developed at RAE Farnborough, from an idea by Blackett, during his connection with the Establishment for the work on fuses, and subsequently further developed and tested there and at other Establishments. Folders D.17, D.18 contain the early drafts, working papers and graphs of test performances of the sight, which Blackett himself referred to as a 'Stabilised sight' but which is called 'Blackett sight' on the RAE documents in those folders.

Folders D.38-50 below consist mainly of official reports and papers, typescript or stencilled, on the testing, development and use of the mark XIV sight in British and US aircraft, and on German devices. The material is presented chronologically and is itemised in some detail in view of the statement by Lovell, 'P.M.S. Blackett: A Biographical Memoir', Royal Society: 1976, p55, that 'the relevant RAE files have been destroyed'.

Folders D.51-57 contain miscellaneous committee papers and reports, many annotated by Blackett, on various aspects of bombing tatctics and the U-boat campaign, as well as of bombsight design. They run from December 1939-Febraury 1941.

Blackett himself clearly felt that the work had had some importance, since he wished to include some account of it in a proposed autobiography in 1973 (see D.58)
Access statusOpen
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