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    Re: Amelia Earhart's aerial navigation
    From: Ken Gebhart
    Date: 2009 Nov 19, 15:23 +0100
    Gary,  the drift sight I used in P2s looked directly below the airplane, not toward the rear.  It had a capability to look rearward, but that was to align it with the airplane.  Looking down, a rotatable grid was aligned with white caps or waves, and the drift angle read.  Looking rearward to any extent would introduce an error.

    Ken Gebhart
    On Nov 19, 2009, at 12:44 AM, Gary LaPook wrote:


    I wrote:
    I don't know how it would have been used for drift sights mounted in the 
    window since you must look directly behind the aircraft to measure the 
    drift. I had heard (I don't remember where) that a provision was made to 
    prop the door out slightly and to mount the sight in the gap so that an 
    observation towards the tail could be made.
    The inventory done after the take off accident lends support for Noonan being able to mount the MK IIB drift sight in the opened door to be able to take drift sights on objects directly behind the airplane.

    http://www.tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Documents/Luke_Field.html
     

    Item
    122 *1 " Pelorus drift sight, MK II B with extra base


    But in addition to these standard mounts for the the MK II B,


    Item
    60 *1 Ea. Base Plate for speed and drift meter




    item
    48 1 " Drift meter stand


    seems to be a description of a mount for it that might be placed to hold it in the opened door.

    The inventory also answers some of the other questions.


    Item
    96 2   Navigation tables for Mariners and Aviators

    which is the title for Dreisenstok, H.O. 208.

    Noonan's letter to Weems states that he always uses Dreisenstok.

    and item
    92 2 " American Nautical Almanac 1937


    gl



    Gary LaPook wrote:
    I have attached three photos from Morissey's book showing the MK II 
    drift sight/pelorus in the window of NR16020. I have also attached 
    another picture I found on line showing the same thing. I have included 
    an excerpt from H.O. 216 explaining how the MK II was used for taking 
    drift sights. I have attached four photos of my MK II C which differs 
    from the MK II used by Noonan only in the sighting head, the MK IIC uses 
    an illuminated reflector sight while the earlier model had a plain 
    sighting tube. It consists of a base plate with a rotatable scale (used 
    for taking bearings) that can be locked in place and the sighting head 
    on an extendable shaft with an indicator arm mounted at the bottom. The 
    head is placed into the base and extended to the proper height and 
    locked into place. For taking drift readings the rotatable scale is not 
    used, just the fixed drift scale.
    
    I don't know how it would have been used for drift sights mounted in the 
    window since you must look directly behind the aircraft to measure the 
    drift. I had heard (I don't remember where) that a provision was made to 
    prop the door out slightly and to mount the sight in the gap so that an 
    observation towards the tail could be made.
    
    gl
    frankreed{at}HistoricalAtlas.com wrote:
      
    Jackie, you wrote:
    "One of the few things we know for sure is there was a pelorus fitted on a bracket at the starboard window which I understood him to have used to take bearings. This is shown in several photographs."
    
    Can anyone point me to one of these photos somewhere online? I tried to find one. Based on the text descriptions I've found of the gear in the navigator's station on the Electra, I would now guess that the current film got the details exactly correct visually.
    
    And you wrote:
    "I havent seen the film yet, but I have heard it pays scant attention to Noonan. But at least this time round they get the resemblance right. Apparently he is portayed as unintelligent and boisterous. Quite the opposite. He was highly intelligent and quiet spoken."
    
    I wouldn't say that he's portrayed as 'unintelligent' --it's just that his character is barely fleshed out --"scant attention" just as you say. As for being 'boisterous', the rumors of drinking come up early and there's a speculative scene where he very mildly hits on Earhart while drinking the night before the last flight. He (the character) apologizes the next morning and all is forgiven and forgotten. Though that's all pure speculation, it wouldn't surprise me if the issue had arisen at some point during the circum-navigation given Earhart's well-known extra-marital activities and given the amount of time they spent together. Like I say, it's not played in the film as salacious gossip. It simply calls attention to something that every viewer has to be thinking.
    
    I think the square door I thought I saw, and mentioned previously, was a perspective trick. I checked the trailers online, hoping for a shot of Noonan's navigation station with the pelorus, and saw a different angle on the door --not square.  
    
    -FER
    
    
    
        
      
        
    
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