I like little sets of equipment in their original boxes, I’m not really sure why but there is something very satisfying about having a complete set of something in its orignal box. This does lead me to pick up some rather odd items of militaria and tonight is no exception as I picked up this RAF Torque Testing kit for 99p on eBay, despite having no need for one and only the vaguest idea of what it might be used for!
Happily the lid of the box is nicely marked telling us what the contents of the box are used for:
The grey colour of the paint and the style of the markings makes me think that this dates from the 1950s or 1960s. Undoing the front catch and opening the lid reveals a nicely made insert for the torque testing device, which sits securely within:
The main part of the testing device is a black plastic cylinder and pulley with a string attached and a metal plumb weight:
The pulley is marked with a War Department arrow and a stores code:
Three aditional 1oz weights are also supplied in the box:
These have a slot cut in the rear that allows them to be slotted over the string and dropped down to increase the weight on the plumb line:
My guess as to how this works (please feel free to correct me), is that the black plastic part is attached to the air position indicator of an airframe and then weights are added to the spindle until it begins to turn, this then telling the ground crew how much torque is needed to make it move. This is pure speculation on my part as I have been unable to find anything definitive, if any ex-RAF ground crew are reading and can enlighten me further, please comment below.