RAF / USAAF M-357-A Dinghy Radio Kite. Gibson Girl
Manufactured by the Bendix Aviation Co. from 1941 and issued to both RAF and USAAF aircrew in WWII. Often referred to as 'Aerial Box Kites' as they were made to lift 260 feet of steel wire from the coil drum on the 'Gibson Girl' emergency transmitter. This was effectively copied from a 1941 captured Luftwaffe issue example which used a winged as opposed to the standard box kite design adopted by the British. The system went into mass production in the USA with an initial order placed for 11,600 sets which became standard issue for multi person dinghies for aircrew operating over sea. The full kit also included a balloon and hydrogen generator, as an alternate to the kite, when wind conditions prevented its use. This example comes complete with its cotton issue bag which is close to mint, with just very light storage marks. This example appears to be an un used mint example as the factory biding cord is still un broken. The cloth is neatly bound with cord ties as shown in the pictures and it is clear it has never been assembled. These kites featured a fold up aluminum frame that was designed to be 'idiot proof' and featured a 'pop-out spider' to facilitate assembly in a pitching dinghy. The kite had two different bridle attachment points, one for winds 7–20 miles per hour, the other for 15–40 miles per hour. In the folded state you can still read the reference to the 40 MPH attachment ring. We have not assembled the kite as we wish to keep it in its mint condition as a lot of kits on the market are used examples.
Please note the item for sale is the kite and its cloth bag and no other items. The instructions shown in the last photo are ones found on the internet in order to indicate the kites final appearance when constructed
Postage rates are for UK postage only. International buyers will need to contact me for postage quotes