While cataloguing a printer's copper plates I came across a control panel image, and I have attached it here in the hope someone can identify what plane it's from. The Lorenz blind-landing instrument gives an indication of the period.

Image showing four lever engine controls, dials, etc.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ copper plates! wonderful! $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


This is almost definitely the cockpit of a Short Stirling of unknown mark, a 4-engine British heavy bomber from World War II.

The RAF Museum's website has an (admittedly low-resolution) photo that matches quite closely, as does this history website. Here's my thought process:

  1. the placards (not just the photo's labels) are in english, so it's likely either Commonwealth or American-built
  2. the Stirling power quadrant is a match (2 levels of 4 levers each; it's a 4-engine bomber)
  3. engine instruments directly above throttles
  4. the engines have boost gauges; the Bristol Hercules engine of the Stirling was supercharged
  5. odd-shaped cutout on the right side (just above the marked Air Speed Indicator in your photo)
  6. my second link has a photo with a matching CAUTION JETTISON CONTAINERS BEFORE BOMBS placard on the right side
  7. the Lorenz system was used in British (and German) aircraft during WW2, but I can't seem to find any US bombers that used it.
  8. it has a retractable undercarriage; Short's Sunderland flying boat has a lot of the panel in common, but it was wider and didn't have the goofy notch on the right side, and it obviously had no landing gear.

In short, I'm pretty confident this is a Stirling.

Other aircraft I looked up and discarded as not a match:

  • Avro Lancaster
  • Avro Shackleton
  • Boeing B-17
  • Consolidated B-24
  • Handley-Page Halifax
  • Short Sunderland
  • Avro Vulcan (similar throttle quadrant, otherwise way off)
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ jettison containers before bombs. Containers of what? $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 23:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mazura yeah, good question. I'm guessing incendiaries — the British used "Small Bomb Containers" (SBCs) to load and drop 4lb or 30lb incendiary devices. Also possible: Wikipedia has a cited statement that "Up to six ferry tanks could also be installed within the wing bomb cells in order to increase fuel capacity by a further 220 gallons" but I'm not sure they'd label that this way. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 23:29
  • $\begingroup$ See also the wikipedia article on the Avro Lancaster which talks about the incendiary loads / SBCs. $\endgroup$
    – egid
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for that $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 5, 2018 at 18:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .