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    Re: An aircraft with a sextant
    From: Derrick Young
    Date: 2009 Sep 8, 14:40 -0400

    Frank,
    
    Just got around to reading your note on the KC-135.
    
    I used to work for Boeing Aircraft Company. I was there when we sold the
    first B-737 to Quantus Airlines.  Remember that this was a twin engine
    jet that (basically) had two crew.  To get the range to allow the plane
    to fly from Seattle to Hawaii and then on to OZ, they would place fuel
    bladders in the lower compartments and off load to the wing tanks during
    flight.
    
    What made it interesting is that all of the navigation equipment that
    came with the aircraft was designed to be used within 200 NM of land.
    To get across the pacific, a section of the roof in the cockpit was
    removed and replaced with Lexan.  A navigator was assigned to the craft
    and they would take sun shots, star shots, etc. to get them from Seattle
    to OZ.  Then the bladders and Lexan would be removed, the interior of
    the aircraft finished and the crew would deadhead back to Seattle. 
    
    No need to use the sextant now, but history shows that we continue to
    have valid uses for equipment and procedures that are otherwise
    considered obsolete.
    
    Derrick
    
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