View Full Version : Navigation over sea?

02-11-2008, 06:25 AM
I understand that in ww2, most navigation was done using dead reckoning. But what about over sea? They surely had some navigational aids to help them?

Been trying to do this in FB but its seriously impossible once u lose sight of land.

Anyone knows?

TgD Thunderbolt56
02-11-2008, 06:55 AM
They also had charts with distance travelled at XXX speed and would often use bombers as pathfinders when at all possible because of their better radios and dedicated navigators.

In-game, dead reckoning is the best you can do unless there is any sort of landmark you can vector and use your watch while keeping your airspeed constant. Tough, but at least the maps we have are only a fraction of what was actually flown in real life.

02-11-2008, 08:54 AM
I've found an offical Crash Moses Compass Rose invaluable in traversing the stormy seas of war. This and your radio beacon indicator should get you just about anywhere you want to go.

Hmmm...really should replace that PBJ with an SBD...


I have a gi-normous version more suitable for printing. Just yoller.

02-11-2008, 09:31 AM
In the game blue water navigation by dead rekoning is perfectly possible. If you click on my badge and look on the GIAP website under training you will find a pack of navigation missions which culminate in blue water navigation including a box search.

Now in the maps each square at full scale is normaly 10Km. You must be able to hold a heading at a constant speed at a constant altitude - so you use a compass and a watch.

After that you need to convert your indicated airspeed (which varies with altitude) to true airspeed. For this you can either use a table (search on the forums or google) or use the bomb sight utility which gives you a quick calculator onscreen.

Of couse you prepare all this before taking off - so you will have a printed out map with the cap, altitude and time for each of the legs.

This is not that complicated. In RL navigation you will also have to adjust for the difference between magnetic and true north + compensate for your geographic position + the curvature of the earth plus compensate for effective head/tail/side winds which may vary at different altitudes.

Now as the weather and winds often vary between what was forcast and what is real, navigation in WW2 over sea or at night when visual references were diminished was quite haphasard. For that reason various forms of radio beacons were used.

For example the Germans used a linear target beacon for their night bombers in 1940. As long as you were traveling down the beam the navigator could hear a constant tone, when they deviated to one side they heared dots and when they deviated to the other side they got dashes. This was used with devestating effect on the coventry raid. After which electronic countermeasures where used by the british - transmitting dashes on the same channel - which meant the bombers flew in circles.

The british used several systems over time, including multiple beacons from which you could triangulate your position.

There were also specialist signals like for example carriers would give a homing beacon to recover their aircraft. This was first used by the Royal Navy on the Tarento raid.

Now use of such systems is modelled in the game for example in a PE2 or a MIG9 there is an instrument that will show you if you are deviating left or right of you course to the next waypoint. Also you can ask ground control for a vector to home so you can get back to your carrier or base.

02-11-2008, 10:56 AM
Even the night sky can be used to navigate:
>Astro navigation in IL2< (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/3541074705?r=3541074705#3541074705)