A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Cam Brien
Date: 2021 Jan 14, 14:41 -0800
First post here. Does anyone else ever use a USAF-surplus periscopic bubble sextant for backyard practice where there's no horizon? I believe the instrument's official name is a "Kollsman MA2". I have had one for over a decade, it still works, but I think it could do with a bit of maintenance. I am having a hard time finding anyone willing or able to work on the instrument. I have reached out to Ridge White but he said he was not familiar with this type of sextant. The Smithsonian has one on exhibit so I got ahold of the curator of that particular collection and he wrote back to say that he knew some people who worked on WWII-era bomb sights, but was not aware of anyone who worked on old periscopic sextants.
In my research I found that the Kollsman Company, who I believe must have made the thing originally, still exists today as a defense contractor called Elbit Systems of America. I have sent them an email but this thing's such an antique I doubt if they'll know much about it. In all likelihood there is probably no one anywhere who knows how to work on these things, but if there is I'm hoping I might find them here!
Many thanks for any help you might be able to provide,
- Cam Brien