German Kurskoppler: Model 3040-B, Model 3040-G
BIOS Intelligence Report. Final No. 21. HMSO [and] British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee (BIOS). July 1945.
** The BIOS report on the Kurskoppler, an automatic dead reckoning navigational aid designed by the Germans for use in aircraft, 2-man submarines and small boats - a very early development in navigational computing.
Duplicated typewritten report in English, 10 x 7.5 inches, 25 x 19 cms. 7 pages text, 2 diagrams and 7 photographs of the Kurskoppler.
Very good in original stapled card wrappers.
The American Air Force were aware by March 1945 of the development of the innovative Kurskoppler, (USAFE Air Intelligence Summary: Notes on Enemy Aircraft and Units, March 1945) although they had few technical details of how the equipment operated.
By July 1945, prototypes had been found at Bleichrode near Nordhausen. The subsequent examination of the instrument by US intelligence officers resulted in the provision of this, the first authoritative report in English on the Kurskoppler.
This report states the Kurskoppler to be "much less complicated and more compact than its counterpart, the integrating mechanism of the American airborne odograph".
By the end of 1945, the higher speeds, longer ranges and greater altitudes flown by the then new crop of fighter aircraft made the provision of automatic DR equipment a high priority. The British Air Ministry on the 26th April 1946 therefore decided that a series of trials should be carried out on certain DR navigational aids "... the first to be the Kurskoppler ...".
Accordingly, the Central Fighter Establishment of the British Royal Air Force ran extensive tests throughout 1946 on the Kurskoppler housed in a Mosquito Mk. 6. At the end of those trials, a restricted report (CFE No. 94, Navigation Report No. 11) was issued containing the findings and recommendations of the investigating team.
This Central Fighter Establishment report was classified as Closed (i.e. Secret) for 32 years. Only in 1978 was it downgraded to the Open Series.
Such was the importance of the Kurskoppler and similar equipment in the climate of the forthcoming Cold War that Flight magazine in 1950 commented that "For the navigation of jet bombers (and, for that matter, fighters likewise) automatic instruments are being developed. Among the first ... was the German Kurskoppler, which gave continuous indication of ground position relative to a fixed starting point." (Flight, 26 January 1950, page 121).