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    £ 1,975
    Thornton Pickard, Altrincham Mark III Hythe Fighter Aircraft Lewis Machine Gun Camera With Accessories None Instructional/Factory Cutaway
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    JC Militaria Ltd
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    ad ref. GS046C134
    £ 1,975

    Thornton Pickard, Altrincham Mark III Hythe Fighter Aircraft Lewis Machine Gun Camera With Accessories None Instructional/Factory Cutaway

    Other GunsInstructional/Factory CutawayUsed£ 1,975

    Transit Cased, WW1 Era British WD Thornton Pickard Altrincham Mark III Hythe Fighter Aircraft Lewis Machine Gun Camera With Accessories. Sn 17864 - 17864

    In 1915, one year into WWI, bullets were too expensive to use in air-to-air combat pilot training. Camera manufacturer Thornton-Pickard of Altrincham, Cheshire had a great idea. Make a machine gun that used film. The Mark III Hythe Machine Gun Camera's design followed the Lewis Gun blueprint, a light automatic machine gun created by US Army Colonel Isaac Newton Lewis in 1911. It was first used mounted on a plane in 1912, when the US Army Captain Charles Chandler fired it from a Wright Model B Flyer. The British military liked it so much that they adopted it for the Royal Flying Corps & Royal Air Force combat planes. However, at that time there was a shortage of ammunition and pilots. The latter could easily be solved by training new pilots, but this training needed a lot of the former. Thornton-Pickard's idea was to use a roll of film to record the trainees' manoeuvring and firing effectiveness. The idea was so good that it's still used today for training. The Hythe worked like the Lewis Gun. The charging handle advanced the film and cocked the shutter, while the trigger fired the shutter. The focus, aperture and shutter speed were fixed. The magazine was empty and didn't serve any function except training the pilot in changing it during the training missions, it punched a hole in the film every time it was changed and proved it had been changed. This machine gun camera operates as it should, the cocking lever advances the film one frame at a time and this is indicated by the counter on top of the frame near the wood handle (the film used would have been 120mm roll film). It is fitted with a genuine period Lewis Gun Magazine which has WD inspection marks and model designation designation. The identification plate on the side has paint "Thornton-Pickard Altrincham MK III H" & “265”. The body is also stamped with number ‘157’. The camera is complete with its original wood transit case with hinged lid, clasp fasteners and steel carry handle. The interior of the case has compartments for the camera and for accessories which include a roll of Kodak film (we don’t know if the film roll is useable), a steel tool, what looks like an old camera spring, a glass plate inscribed with a target sight & a packet labelled ‘Cog Wheels’ which contains a quantity of screws and cog wheels. The interior of the lid has its original ‘Thornton Altrincham’ identification plate (illustrated). The exterior of the case has reinforced riveted steel corner protectors and it retains most of its original green paint. The exterior lid of the case is stencilled with original markings 'MK IIIH 265’, it also has old paper labels with indistinct writing. We have not tested the camera but it is undamaged and appears fully functional. The price for this very rare piece of British WW1 aviation history includes UK delivery. Sn 17864
    £1,975.00...Read full description
    CategoryOther Guns
    ConditionUsed
    Price£ 1,975
    Sale typeTrade
    MakeThornton Pickard, Altrincham
    CalibreNone
    ModelMark III Hythe Fighter Aircraft Lewis Machine Gun Camera With Accessories
    Manufactured YearWW1 Era
    MechanismNone
    Your reference17864

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