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    Re: Amelia Earhart's aerial navigation
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Oct 28, 20:09 -0700

    Googling around I found an inventory of equipment aboard Earhart's Electra at the "tighar.org" site here:
    http://www.tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Documents/Luke_Field.html.
    The instrument listed that sounds closest to the one portrayed in the film is 
    a "Pelorus Drift Sight, Mk IIB".
    
    More googling: "Aero Bearing Plate or Pelorus. The aero bearing plate for
    the use of observers is simply a compass card fitted with sights
    and a radius bar, in order that the amount of drift and the ground
    speed can be estimated.
    
    It consists of three relatively rotatable rings, the inner one of
    which is graduated in the same manner as the compass card into
    degrees; the outer ring bears the fore and back sights and a
    radius bar. The middle ring serves to carry these two rings, and
    constitutes a base plate furnished with a securing bracket, which
    slips over a shoe fixed to the side of the fuselage of the machine.
    This ring is marked with two arrow-heads on a diameter forming
    the lubber mark, and this diameter is placed parallel to the
    fore and aft axis of the machine. The radius bar consists of two
    parallel strips between the two sights. The sight-bearing ring
    can then be rotated until objects on the ground appear to move
    parallel to the radius bar. After this adjustment is made the
    drift can be read of! the graduated ring, when this has been set
    so that the lubber mark is opposite the same reading which is
    opposite the lubber line on the compass card. "
    
    That sounds something like the device in the film, as I remember it.
    
    -FER
    
    
    
    
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