This style of Ministry of Defence (MOD) lamp was used in several different types of British aircraft during the WW2 and post-WW2 era. Its primary use was as a Navigator’s workstation lamp. The voltage rating varied according to the aircraft, but a typical value was 24v DC.
Diverse names for these lamps include Air Ministry, Herbert Terry, Anglepoise and Chart Board. The official identification of this aircraft lamp was 5C/1079 - with 5C being an Air Ministry code for electrical equipment.
The range of applications was wide and encompassed aircraft like the Wellington bomber and Varsity trainer. But the most widespread use was in the Lancaster.
The portfolio of Midlands-based engineering company Herbert Terry & Sons included the established Anglepoise brand. The domestic and commercial use of Anglepoise lamps was widespread – and indeed it still is today.
The basic design was adapted to make it suitable for use in aircraft. Important considerations included robustness, compactness, adjustability and light weight. There was also a need to avoid any adverse magnetic effects on other sensitive equipment and the lamp was required to accommodate the forces and vibration that an aircraft would encounter. So the lamp is made from aluminium and other non-magnetic materials and the pivot points are fitted with friction discs which can be adjusted to prevent unwanted movement.
These lamps turn up from time to time, oft battered and with bits missing but wherever can you find spares for such a prized, ergonomic and useful historical artefact, well, you could do worse than go to my friend Pete Adam's website. Pete has spent considerable time and effort reproducing a range of 5C/1079 spares and his signature product is the lamp shade, pictured below:-
Although you may not be able to tell from the photo, let me assure you that these reproductions are a toolroom faithful copy that are indistinguishable from the originals.
Go see what Pete can offer in the way of 5C spares here