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    Re: Benefits of Stigmatizing
    From: Douglas Denny
    Date: 2010 Oct 8, 15:01 -0700

    Gary,
    You wrote:

    ".. I consider the periscopic Kollsmans as the perfection of (or at least the
    highest development of) the bubble sextant since they were continued in
    use in great numbers by the U.S. Air Force into the 21st century , more
    than 50 years after other bubble sextants were abandoned.."
    -----------

    The Hughes periscopic sextants were continued to be developed from the MkIX variants after WW2 and used as far as I know by the RAF into the 1970's too (I think) in the Vulcan bombers when the latter were still in service in 1986 when the Falklands war was in progress.

    Aircraft sextants would only be on board for backup I guess as electronic navigation aids had superceded celestial navigation for military work by the end of WW2. Interestingly, the long-haul aircraft passenger flights post war were done with persicopic sextant however, but I am not sure when these would have been phased out for use of radio aids such as Loran and later Omega. Consol was still available in Western European areas up to the 1980's.

    Hughes produced bubble sextants in later variants with pendulous references, but the bubble chamber type was used until quite late.
    The main improvement was not in the bubble or pendulous reference as this had already been perfected to be as good as possible; but was in the averaging device. Improvements could only be made with better averaging-out of the side accelerations inherent in an aircraft. The optics and bubble (or pendulous) reference was as good as possible for the job.

    Previously 'averaging' started with the 'median Octant' type of approach as in the A10 and A12; or other mechanical single-shot summations before the clockwork type which integrated readings every second with a rotating 'catch' method on a divided (toothed) wheel in the MkIX; then later with a motor driven continuous reading ball-integrating mechanism.

    I doubt if there is anything to choose between the later (say 1970) Kollsman or Hughes periscopic sextants in ultimate accuracy obtained. The problems had all been solved by the 1960's except how to stop the side accelerations - which you cannot of course!

    Douglas Denny.
    Chichester. England.
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