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Thread: altimeter question

  1. #1

    altimeter question

    Hi Folks

    I have had a request from a pilot in the USA which is explained below. If you can help with this please contact John directly at

    I have in my possession an altimeter with the markings "XIVB (P)
    6A/1213" on the face. There is also what appears to be a small seven
    digit serial number on the face and a "45000 feet" marking which I take
    to be the upper limit of its operational accuracy. The knob for
    adjusting the altimeter setting is at the 6 o'clock position. It was
    given to me after it was dropped and is no longer functional. The former
    owner who was also not the original owner believes it came from a British
    Spitfire. It might be a tall tale although the altimeter readings are in
    feet while the Kollsman window indicating the altimeter setting is in
    millibars so perhaps it is possible.

    Regardless of its source, my thought was it would be nice to restore
    it to a somewhat working condition even though it will never be in an
    aircraft again. The first thing I noted was that something was loose
    inside that rattled against the case when it was rocked. This indicated
    to me that it might be an easy fix and at least worth further
    investigation. So far I have removed the glass, the altimeter setting
    knob, and the nut that was up against the case on the static tube
    connection. Once the glass was off I also noted the hands spun freely.
    Unfortunately that is as far as I have been able to proceed. The case
    itself is one piece and there are no screws or anything else on the
    surface. Based on that you would think the works would just slide out
    once the glass and nut were removed but that is not the case. It seems to
    be held firmly in place. I could try to remove the hands and face but
    that would probably leave marks on the hands, the screws holding the face
    in place, and perhaps even the face itself if the screw driver slipped.
    In addition it it is not clear to me from looking at it if that would
    even help. I think it is a real possibility that I will have damaged the
    face and hands taking the face off and still not be able to remove the

    My question is, is anyone familiar with this altimeter and if so could
    they indicate to me how the works are held in the case and the best way
    to go about removing them for inspection?


  2. #2

    altimeter question

    A diagram can be found here:


  3. #3
    Senior Member 500 Club
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Dorset or Mayenne

    altimeter question

    job for a watchmaker. A watchmaker would use a special tool to pull the hands and a thin plastic sheet beneath it in order to protect the dial. I repair chronometric speedometers for my vintage biker mates using this technique. Once the hands are off, the dial screws are removed and the movement is usually bolted to the back of the casing. A long and thin screwdriver is then used to extract the movement. Just like mending watches but on a bigger scale!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    altimeter question

    Give this chap a call. He may be able to save it! Not too expensive either

    M G Hutchinson
    01568 708368


  5. #5

    altimeter question

    Just a suggestion (I'm not familiar with the model), have a look at the back and see if there's anything fixing the movement to it.
    Sometimes there's screws (which you've undoubtedly already looked for), but also a static port or electrical socket might have a gland nut.


  6. #6

    altimeter question

    Hi All

    John has asked me to thank you all for your help and replies. He is now off to order the part he thinks will sort the job.

    Thanks & Best regards

    Bob on behalf of John :-)

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