The Wild-A5 (pronounced 'Vildt') is a stereoplotter intended for air survey and is the only working example of it’s type in the UK. It was designed and built by a Swiss firm. For the first few months of World War Two, it was the only instrument which could be used to extract the maximum information from the small scale photography obtained from high flying Spitfires.
High quality optics and transparent imagery allowed the operator to see landscape and objects in three dimensions and greatly magnified. Detailed measurements could be obtained, and by use of complex mechanical linages to a plotting table, highly accurate plans could be drawn. The Wilds were vital aids to the location and identification of German warships and the production of detailed plans of ports and military installations.
With improvements in reconnaissance aircraft and the development of longer focal length cameras the ‘Wilds’ became less essential as tools for identification. However, their use in making maps and plans and in a wide variety of other fields made them indispensable aids for the rest of the war and beyond, until computer based equipment replaced them.
This Wild-A5, Serial No 95, is on long-term loan from The Eden Camp Museum in Yorkshire.