Antique M48A3 U.S. Army Radio Controlled Tank Training Aid, Fort Knox Armor School circa. 1963 through Vietnam War Era
This drivable, battery powered, model M48A3 main battle tank measures 12”x 6.25” x 5” and weighs about 3.5 pounds. It is my understanding from the retired Armor School officer whose estate this comes from, that it was one of several made for the U.S. Army Armor School by the master model makers at the Fort Knox training aids division to help instruct tankers on the tactical use of terrain. Each model was directed by its “commander” on a huge sand table type terrain model. There is a removable flashlight bulb illuminated lens at the tip of the gun barrel (the lens is light vacuum formed plastic) that would flash at the target when the commander “fired” at a target. The model’s turret and upper hull are a fairly thin vacuum formed plastic while the road wheels and other driving components look like they are cast plastic. Each track link is a separate piece joined to the next by a brass pin. I have not tried to run this model, and I couldn’t tell you what type of battery or controller it used, but it appears to be in pretty fine shape as you can see from the photos. The turret rotates fully and you can turn the track by rotating the read drive sprocket. When I did this, I could feel the resistance of the motor or gears turning inside. I wish I knew more about this stuff. If I did, I’d keep this piece. These vintage training aids are extremely rare, and this is the first M48A3 I have ever seen. The colonel retired during the Vietnam War which suggests it is at least 50 years old.