True Bearing

Tyger

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Desert navigation has a lot in common with marine navigation. Known landmarks are few and far between, and each one looks much like another.
 

All_In

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
If you don't have an artificial horizon I once read that you can pour "Zuckerrübensyrup" ,which is a dark brown syrup from the sugar beet, a bit like molasse, on to a plate. Since the stuff is a very dark brown the sun will be visible as a bright spot on the surface, if you look at the right angle. The surface will be perfectly perpendicular to gravity and will be dead flat, even with some wind, because the stuff has the viscosity of honey. You then measure the angle between the sun and the image on the surface of the molasse and divide the angle by two, to get the height above the horizon.

As for navigation on land the British Long Range Desert Group, a commando force in WWII, and later on the SAS (Special Air Service) used a theodolite. You can see the tripod of the instrument on the near side mudguard (or fender) of the model below.

img_7050-copy.jpg
You can make one with almost any container that holds water.
The 1st Artificial Horizon I purchased. I was disappointed you just fill the box with water and place two pieces of glass on it. Not sure what I expected as a kid?

https://www.amazon.com/Davis-Instruments-144-Artificial-Horizon/dp/B002MJGSVM/ref=sr_1_1?crid=ITRB8L63ZZNZ&dchild=1&keywords=artificial+horizon+sextant&qid=1631896647&sprefix=sextant+art,aps,206&sr=8-1
 

Tyger

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You can measure the height of a tree that way, too (can be good to know at some airfields). You look at a mirrored surface placed on the ground, moving till you see the top of the tree in it.
The height of the tree will be the same proportion of its distance from the mirrored surface as your eye height is to your distance from the mirror.
 
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Sv.grainne

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I teach a couple times a year at the Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship in eastern-shore Maryland. The owner is a very experienced bluewater sailor who's a strong advocate of celestial navigation. He leads an open-ocean sailing cruise every year from Virginia to Bermuda, with celestial shots taken and analyzed all along the way (his boat also has all the latest-greatest electronic gadgetry). There were toasts around the dinner table there when the U.S. Naval Academy put celestial navigation back into its curriculum.
Tell Tom, Bobby and Lesley said hi. We took all of the ASA Classes from the Md School, including Celestial Nav! We did the offshore class to/from Bermuda....
 

kolibri282

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Just in case you'd like to see a few more pictures of the Britannia. I really love the aircraft dispatch center, where they chalk up each plane on a black board on the wall and represent its position by a tiny wooden model, moved over a map of the globe by hand....;-)
We've come a long way since then and not all is so much better today than it was in the old days, yet developing very effective vaccines against a disease that would have been one more horseman of the Apocalypse back then in just one year truly is a huge step forward and something I marvel at.
 
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WaspAir

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stopped caring at 1000
Nothing much to add, but I just noticed I'm at 4,999 posts, so I might as well round it up!

This has been a fun thread.
 

kolibri282

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Here's to Jon and his 5k .... everybody join in... Oh he's a jolly good fellow, oh he's a jolly good fellow, oh he's a jolly good fellooooowwwww....
which nobody can deny ......;-)


PS: apart from the opportunity to discuss advanced gyro stuff with knowledgeable folks this is, what the forum was about for me since I joined, having fun!


PPS: compare the meals served to what you get today....;-(
 
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Resasi

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When I ended up in the same airline and flying the same DC3's as my father had, one had a drift sight. On my first ride along as a kid I was invited to have a look through it and was duly intrigued.

When I made my way back to my mother unbeknownst to me I was sporting a large Panda eye of some black powder, charcoal I think which had been pre-applied to its eyepiece by the F/O. Of course I never did this to anyone years later.

His studies of celestial navigation during his war years left him with an enduring fascination with astronomy. Our early VC10 crews include navigators, and were equipped with sextants.

Hmm my 8,000+ would seem to indicate I talk far too much.
 
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