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Pilot P3

A development by the Pilot Business Machine Company of Tokyo, Japan, as their final model in the range of Pilot calculators. Its predecessor, the Pilot P1, also sold under the "Keybar" brand, and immediately brings back memories of the Brunsviga 10 - the layout is quite similar. However, that is where the similarity ends - the Pilot machines are pinwheel machines, whereas the Brunsviga 10 is a stepped drum machine with "biquinary" stepped drums. I am not sure whether any Pilot P2's exist, or what they would even look like, but the P3 is quite common in Japan.

This one came in its flight case (...) which unfortunately always loses red hair onto the housing of the machine, which then sticks because of static electricity.

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1

The machine itself is small, and once you take the plastic shell off, it is even smaller. In fact, you need a large screwdriver to take the bottom of the shell off ...

Pilot P3 picture 1

...then a much smaller screwdriver to take out the screws that connect the machine itself to the top of the housing ...

Pilot P3 picture 1

...and then suddenly you find yourself in Japanese camera territory, with tiny screws and black painted brass plate. The mechanical part of the machine can easily be held within in one hand, and I would almost classify it as a miniature machine.

Pilot P3 picture 1

Inside, we can observe the tiny pinwheel cylinder, the cool spiral gears that connect the crank to the pinwheel cylinder, and generally the small size and precision in the gear trains and tens' carry for the revolution register -as well as the large spiral spring that puts the tension on the carriage.

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1

Operation is totally uneventful. The carriage is spring loaded, and when extended to the right, it can be tabbed back one step at a time by the large green button at the bottom left.

These are some pictures of the machine:

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1

Pilot P3 picture 1