WWII Battle of Britain Period RAF Bubble Sextant


A nice condition example of a rare early WWII Air Ministry Mark IX Bubble Sextant, made by Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd, of London.

The instrument is intended for use on aircraft for the purpose of navigation, by obtaining the altitude of the sun or other celestial body. It was typically used in night time flights by Blenheim and Wellington Bombers. The sextant is made of black japanned metal and is marked in white letters A.M – BUBBLE SEXTANT – MARK IX – H. HUGHES & SON LTD – LONDON – REF No. 4071/40 – BRIT. PATS. – 480112 490621 – AND PENDING. It has a light, unpainted aluminium storage case, dated 1941.

The H. Hughes factory was bombed during the Blitz (between Sept 1940 and May 1941). Fortunately, the Ministry of Supply for Britain had already diversified production with two other firms experienced in the production of delicate equipment. Samuel Smith and Son. Later Smiths Industries for some time, H. Hughes and Son’s parent company, and Verner. The sextant was altered in 1940 to become the MK IXA, AM REF 6B/218, with a bakelite case.

Size sextant: 23 x 15.5 x 19.5 cm ( 9 x 6 1/8 x 7 ¾ inches)
Size case: 25 x 18 x 25 cm (9 7/8 x 7 1/8 x 9 7/8 inches)
Weight: 4105 g