HomeVisitMuseum ExhibitsFact SheetsDisplay

Honeywell C-1 Autopilot

The HoneywellC-1 Autopilot was an electronic-mechanical system used to lessen pilot fatigue by automatically flying an airplane in straight and level flight. It could also be used to fly the aircraft through gentle maneuvers. When combined with the Norden bombsight, it created the stability necessary to bomb targets accurately from high altitude.

This autopilot essentially consisted of two spinning gyroscopes located in cases attached to the airplane. One gyroscope, called the Flight Gyro, was located near the aircraft's center of gravity and detected changes in roll and pitch. The Directional Gyro, located in the bombsight stabilizer, detected changes in yaw. Using a series of electrical signals, the C-1 Autopilot controlled the aircraft with servos connected to the control surfaces. Either the pilot or the bombardier could control the aircraft.

Click here to return to the Strategic Bombing Overview.


Find Out More
Related Fact Sheets
Norden M-9 Bombsight
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

Featured Links

Plan Your Visit button
E-newsletter Sign-up button
Explore Museum Exhibits button
Browse Photos button
Visit Press Room button
Become a Volunteer button
Air Force Museum Foundation button
Donate an item button