by Tommy H. Thomason

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Things Under Wings: AN/APS-4

Many Navy carrier-based dive and torpedo bombers in late World War II and for a few years after carried a white pod, the AN/APS-4 radar, on a bomb rack under the wing. (For a summary of underwing radars of this type, see It is sometimes mistaken for a drop tank.

Larry Webster of The Quonset Air Museum (see recently provided me an excellent drawing of the AN/APS-4:

In case you can't read the dimensions, the diameter is 17 1/8 inches and the length, 60 13/32 inches.

Larry also hosted me on a visit to the Museum, where I took these pictures of an AN/APS-4 on the wing of a Grumman TBM.

Note that it a more streamlined fairing aft of the strongback than the earlier pod.

Most of the exterior of the pod was a removable forward and aft shell for access to the electronics and radar antenna. An adapter was therefore required to attach the pod to a standard two-hook bomb rack, in this case a Mk 51 Mod 12. (Note that the adapter pictured is somewhat different from the one in the three-view.) A large wire bundle also had to incorporated that resembled a fuel line.


  1. Both PIMA (Tucson,AZ) and MAPS (Akron,OH) museums have APS-4 units on display

    1. Thanks very much - those are some of the best pictures that I've seen of the innards. There's more to be found on the internet as well.