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