Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Balloon Sextants
    From: John D. Howard
    Date: 2016 Mar 28, 10:28 -0700


    I do have the book and a whole chapter is on balloon navigation.  As I said in an earlier post the balloon pilots used a marine sextand with a bubble artifical horizon.  Other ways were used:  plumb bob, gyro stablized,and even bowls of mercury but the bubble was most common.

    The sight was the same as at sea.  Reducing the triangle with sin-log tables and map plotting.  A pain to do but dooable.In 1905 one person used the sextant and fixed his position and another looked down at a landmark.  They were about 10 mi. diference.  This was considered good enough. ( in 1977, flying the Pacific 10 mi. was OK also )

    Cel nav was not too important to balloons because they rarely went ofshore.  The biggest problem was a lack of maps.  Maps were not printed for a balloon point of view so getting landmarks - railroad tracks, water towers, dams, etc. onto a map was more important.   When the Zepplins started bombing England in WW1 they did so above an overcast sky so cel nav again became important.  They used marine-type sextants with bubble AH and did the reduction and plotting as a ship would.

    John H.

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site