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    Bubble Sextants
    From: Maurice Millard
    Date: 1997 Jul 17, 6:10 AM

    Gordon Talge wrote:
    I have been looking over the Celestaire Catalog's discription of surplus
    aircraft sextants.
    I was wondering if anyone has had any experience in using an aircraft sextant
    for land navigation......
    I have used a Bendix Type Bubble Sextant. However, I used for Power Squadron
    courses for which the use of "bubbles" is not allowed. Therefore I used it in
    a "direct" mode in which they operate just like a regular sextant. I did try
    the bubble mode just to see how it worked and my recollection is that it was
    fairly easy to use, but I didnt record and reduce any sights with it in the
    bubble mode.
    These units are quite heavy. In aircraft it was intended that they be
    suspended from a hook in the center of the sighting dome so it wasnt a
    problem. The weight can be reduced by removing the averaging motors and some
    people offer them with the motor removed.
    My friend who owned the instrument, told me alleviated the weight problem by
    using a pully system suspended between two trees to hold the sextant and made
    it easier for  him to take sights from his yard.
    My father was a master in the Britsh merchant marine and bought a RAF Bubble
    Sextant very similar to the Bendix and used it for many years. Eventually the
    averaging motor spring gave out and he discarded it. I could have cried. I
    dont think I would like to use the Bendix type from a smaller boat however.
    Maurice Millard
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