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XyZspineZyX
09-22-2003, 04:22 PM
Does anyone know, how the pilots were navigating in reality? At clear wether I guess it was not a problem, but when the visibility is poor, having just a compass does not make you feel comfortable. Some planes of course have heading indicators, but I wonder how these were actually used to get you into the target location. After all, you can't have a VOR station at the bombing site.

XyZspineZyX
09-22-2003, 04:22 PM
Does anyone know, how the pilots were navigating in reality? At clear wether I guess it was not a problem, but when the visibility is poor, having just a compass does not make you feel comfortable. Some planes of course have heading indicators, but I wonder how these were actually used to get you into the target location. After all, you can't have a VOR station at the bombing site.

XyZspineZyX
09-22-2003, 04:27 PM
They had some kind of radars, at diffrent locations, that where pointed at the target.

Where the beamse intersected, that's where the target was supposed to be.

Furthermore, alot was depended on good 'ol dead reckoning.

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye
shall be judged: and with what
measure ye mete, it shall be
measured to you again.

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XyZspineZyX
09-22-2003, 05:08 PM
~S!

The basic skill of pilotage, simple matter of speed, time and distance, and read the chart.

The radio compass was new then and worked quite well, its was the grandfather of the modern ADF.

In poor viz all the pilots had was needle, ball and airspeed, plus many birds had an artifical horizon in addition.

You still must develope and prove these basic skills on the way to your instrument ticket now, but that's probably , if you are lucky, is the last time you'll need to use 'em.

Al the best.



BPO5_Jinx
C.O. Replacement Air Group
Birds of Prey. 16th GvIAP
http://www.birdsofprey16thgviap.com
http://www.soaridaho.com/Schreder/RS-15/N50GL.html

XyZspineZyX
09-22-2003, 09:30 PM
RAF pilots could get a radio fix - they would broadcast from their transmitter, and listening stations would triangulate on the source of the broadcast, and then give the pilot an accurate location. This was very useful after a disorientating dogfight.

There were tragic cases in the Battle of Britain of pilots desparately calling for a fix, but of course everyone would be wanting one after a raid, and the locating service could only cope with a limited number. If you didn't get your fix in time, juice would run out, you'd be in the channel and things would be looking very dicey.

XyZspineZyX
09-22-2003, 11:25 PM
Platypus_1.JaVA wrote:
- They had some kind of radars, at diffrent locations,
- that where pointed at the target.
-
- Where the beamse intersected, that's where the
- target was supposed to be.

Radio nav was in its infancy. That was a technique very far from universally used. The Germans had it in bombers, no idea if it was a few/some/most... first only two beams, one for guidance, one for drop. Later an additional beam to alert the crew that they were coming up to the drop point.

The British eventually figured out a way to mess up the guidance beams, causing German bombs to wreak havoc on a lot of strategically important corn fields...

There were simple radio nav aids, ADFs, A-N beacons and the like. I'm willing to be proven wrong, but I do no believe they were commonly fitted to any fighters.

VFR and ded (originally deductive) reckoning was the name of the game for most. I'm still waiting for winds aloft, realistic weather or at least cloud cover and weather briefings to allow us to fly these aircraft they way they were flown back then.

Oh yeah, visible compasses would help too...

It is doable though, with a bit of creative mission design. I've had great fun flying coops in abysmal weather. Forming up under the low overcast, breaking through the clouds, reassembling. Ded reckoning to target, letting down, finding landmarks to guide you on to target. Attack, disappear into the clouds. Curse the AAA in the sim which can see through clouds... find the way back home and land in a stiff crosswind. Much more immersive than any furball will ever be.

Cheers,
Fred

"If we are an arrogant nation, they will resent us. If we are a humble nation, but strong, they will welcome us."
- George W. Bush, during his campaign. No comment.

(Quote brought back by popular demand - RBJ missed it so much he mailed me about it)

XyZspineZyX
09-23-2003, 12:13 AM
Short flights were obviously VFR .. vector and airspeed plus time flown equals location.


Radio NAV aids in the war (and immediate post war period) usually worked by tuning in Broadcast stations with a known location (such as the BBC) and getting a vector to them.


For longer flights a sextant was used together with a aviation ephemeris of star positions. Many larger bombers actually had a sextant built into the roof of the navigators position.




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XyZspineZyX
09-23-2003, 12:02 PM
WTE_Galway wrote:

- For longer flights a sextant was used together with
- a aviation ephemeris of star positions. Many larger
- bombers actually had a sextant built into the roof
- of the navigators position.
-

Some military transport ac still used astro navigation (as a back-up) until the mid-90s. Some might still do so, although I think GPS/IN combinations have finally taken over in most cases.

The FB 109 cockpit seems to have a radio-compass ('ADF') but otherwise I don't know of any evidence for electronic aids in single-seat fighters. It was all map reading and MDR (Mentally Deduced Reckoning). The only help was the above mentioned triangulation service or vectors from GCI.

Even larger ac with navigators used little more in the early years, although electronic fixing aids and ground mapping radars developed considerable sophistication by the end of the war.

I agree that the best missions are co-ops in sh--e weather. My favourite is a low level one, with quite a long over sea transit, where you then - with luck /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif - make the planned landfall, hit the target on time and then get home. Not getting lost is as much of a problem as the enemy!

Good luck with the navigating /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif



Kernow
249 IAP

Message Edited on 09/23/0311:07AM by Kernow

XyZspineZyX
09-23-2003, 12:22 PM
Well,

we have some US AAF Manuals on these topics on our Website - part of the flight training manuals

if you are in hurry:

US Air Corps Field Manual 1-30 "Air Navagation", prepared under direction of the Chief of the Air Corps, War Department, August 30, 1940 is here:
http://www.icaghq.com/icaghq/Flight%20School/basics/lessons/nav_prim/tm1-30.html

VFR Methods only:
Technical Manual No. 1-205, Air Navigation, Prepared under direction of the Chief of the Air Corps, War Department, Washington, November 25, 1940. it is here:

http://www.icaghq.com/icaghq/Flight%20School/advanced/Navigation/navigation.html

Blind Flying Training Manual:

echnical Manual No. 1-445, Instrument Flying Training, Prepared under direction of the Chief of the Air Corps, War Department, Washington, June 18, 1942. is here:
http://www.icaghq.com/icaghq/Flight%20School/advanced/InstrumentFlight/tm-1-445/tm1-445.html

The British had IFF systems by the Battle of Britain in operation.
The Germans around 1943 if I am not mistaken.

Cheers
Snip

Remember that the first law of motion is to look where you're going. A man with a stiff neck has no place in an airplane.
TM 1-210, Elementary Flying, US AAC, 1942