View Full Version : German direction indicator

01-13-2006, 09:26 AM
I understand that the instrument, present in most German cockpits, that automagically indicates the heading to next waypoint, is not historically correct. But what was it actually, how did it work historically?


01-13-2006, 09:49 AM
AFAIK it is a radio directional indicator. The luftwaffe used a radio receiver that can tune to a ground transmitter generating a signal and identify the direction of the signal or use the bearing indicated by the radio compass to aid navigation. thats why they had round antennas

Encyclop√¬¶dia Britannica Article

Page 1 of 1

also called Radio Compass, radio receiver and directional antenna system used to determine the direction of the source of a signal. It most often refers to a device used to check the position of a ship or aircraft, although it may also direct a craft's course or be used for military or investigative purposes.

The antenna, usually a loop antenna, rotates and pinpoints the direction from which a radio signal is strongest. This is the direction of the broadcasting station, the position of which is already known. Using the directions and positions of several radio stations, a navigator can use triangulation to determine the position of his craft. Corrections must, however, be made in the readings from the radio direction finder to account, for example, for the effect on radio transmissions of the craft's magnetic field.

Note that in the Me109 the small arrow is showing heading and the larger plane shape shows direction to next way point.