Technical film focusing on aspects of the operation of C-1 Autopilot and Formation Stick.
Reel 1: USAAF Captain meets with Colonel (TJ Smith) to discuss the correlation between bombing target results and the C-1 autopilot. Lead crew board B-17G 48790 Square "D" (44-8790?) on dispersal to fly with autopilot instructor. Description of autopilot components (directional stabiliser, autopilot control panel (ACP), aileron servo motors etc.) and pilot pre flight checks of control surfaces and autopilot system. A/C takes off (marked LD-V). Pilot turns on ACP master switch and brief explanation of autopilot operation is explained. Trimming A/C. Shots of A/C in flight and internal shots of dials and pilot/bombardier. "Centering" process explained.
Reel 2: "Sensitivity" is now adjusted – this is the amount the A/C is allowed to deviate before correction is applied. "Co-ordination of Turns and Ratio Adjustment" carried out in flight by maintenance man.
Reel 3: "Never Trim Manually With Autopilot Engaged" , "Use of Turn Control". "Formation Stick" - 11 B-17s in formation. Use of Formation Stick and effects of use on A/C flight during bombing run.
Reel 4: Continuation of Formation Stick control operation. "Emergency Use Of The Autopilot" - footage of B-17 formations on mission with flak defences operating. (Triangle G, 305th BG, JJ-Z) shown air to air and also LD-V showing effect of turning locking switches on . "Release Switches" - regaining manual control by pressing release switch. Return to post mission briefing and successful bombing results and some film of targets being bombed.
The 'Blitz' – from the German term Blitzkrieg ('lightning war') – was the sustained campaign of aerial bombing attacks on British towns and cities carried out by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) from September 1940 until May 1941.