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    Re: Amelia Earhart navigation- basic information & PICTURES
    From: Ronald P Barrett
    Date: 2009 Dec 1, 05:32 -0800
    That I know of, I am not the only USAF Nav that shot Venus-Day observations. I think the USN P-2Vs were doing this too. Any USN navs out here? The Venus-Day observation was not real common but not too hard to do with a D-1 Kollsman periscopic sextant. Venus on a day shot appeared as a "diamond dot" in the bright sky:was there and depending on the filter you introduced:worked well as far as I remember. I used celestial almost exclusively in my south Pacific flights.

    Last week in a discussion with the only Lockheed Electra, L-12A N18137, fliers I know of, Captain Curtis Walter and Ruth Richter Holden (who's dad was a founder of TWA and greatly responsible for MATS) I was told, "Looking out of the cockpit of the Electra was like looking out a mail (box) slot." Not quite a ringing endorcement of the being able to see out well. On top of that I was told the T.O. and Approach angles were terrible as far as seeing forward. Having flown tail draggers I know there is a work around:however in either case I was not trying to shoot a on-the-horizon celestial shot. Too fun. We might ask these two Electra fliers to record their testimony about the Electra here.

    Looking at you model picture:it is like the one I posted. I can only guess what drawings the makers used to get them right so to speak. Nice models though.

    Has anyone got a set of Lockheed technical drawings of L-10AE NR 16020? As an aeroengineer I'd like to get a set to research. With specs and station numbers. Is the forward section on the Electra's alike? Anyone know a Lockheed production engineering historian? We need technical data here.

    Ron Barrett, President Air Force Navigators Observers Association (AFNOA)

    --- On Tue, 12/1/09, Gary LaPook <glapook---.net> wrote:

    From: Gary LaPook <glapook---.net>
    Subject: Re: [NavList 10872] Re: Amelia Earhart navigation- basic information & PICTURES
    To: navlist@fer3.com
    Date: Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 4:17 AM

    The "cut" of the LOPs derived at Howland Island on July 2, 1937 for the sun and
    moon lines varied between 59 degrees at 1830 Z to 125 degrees  at 2100 Z and
    back down to 69 degrees at 2400 Z which would provide acceptable "cuts" for
    accurate celestial fixes at anytime during that period. These cuts were not all
    the prefect 90 degrees but all are well above the minimum 15 degree cut stated
    in "Weems" 1938 edition on page 281.

    There has previously been a concern stated that the moon was too high in the
    sky to be measured with the sextant as it was above 75 degrees when they
    arrived in the vicinity of Howland. However, by 1945 Z its altitude was below
    70 degrees and got progressively lower as the day progressed while the altitude
    of the sun got higher. Both of their altitudes stayed below 70 degrees between
    1945 Z and 2400 Z (presumably the tanks dry point); both were below 65 degrees
    2015 Z through 2300 Z; below 60 Degrees 2030-2230 Z; and below 55 degrees
    2100-2200 Z. We also know that Noonan was able to measure the altitude of the sun
    while crossing the Atlantic when it's altitude was 75 degrees so he should have
    been able to shoot the moon at a similar altitude.

    Some have suggested that the 157-337 LOP was not a sun line at all but was based
    on an observation of the moon. The only time of the day on July 2, 1937 in the
    vicinity of Howland that a moon shot would have produced a 157-337 LOP was between
    1620 and 1626 Zulu or 0450 and 0456 Itasca time, well before the arrival of
    NR16020 in that vicinity. This makes it very unlikely that AE was referring to
    a moon LOP.

    I doubt that any flight navigator has ever shot Venus during the day, it's
    difficult enough for a surface navigator. And since Venus is right next to the sun
    an LOP from Venus crossing the sun line would not provide a reasonable cut for a fix,
    your example gives a one degree cut.

    But the moon should have been able to provide a fix.


    Greg Rudzinski wrote:
    > Ron,
    > At 1745Z sunrise at Howland Island on July 2, 1937 the celestial
    > bodies available in addition to the Sun would have been Venus Hc 44°
    > 42' Az 068° for a LOP of 158°/338° and the Moon Hc 72° 01' Az 043° for
    > a LOP of 133°/313°. Venus would have been visible through the entire
    > day with a clear sky. I believe FN purposely selected July 1 & 2 to
    > maximize celestial opportunities for his morning arrival at Howland
    > Island. The aircraft could have easily adjusted course to provide the
    > best view for an observation. FN would have surely thought of these
    > things ahead of time. There was no need for a very low altitude Sun
    > observation.
    > Greg
    > On Nov 30, 3:38 pm, Ronal

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