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    Re: Bygrave and Chichester
    From: Christian Scheele
    Date: 2009 Aug 5, 20:59 +0200

    Gary,
    
    in the interest of the much invoked respect for threading I am starting a 
    new thread in which I respond to your message below. I'm calling this thread 
    "Single-body fix", though I fear that a few of the experts who have written 
    profusely on precisely this subject (yourself not included) may not be 
    amused by my dabbling in this area...
    
    By "single body fix method", I was referring to the method whereby the rate 
    of change of a celestial body's altitude is used to fix one's position, but 
    your message was most relevant and I would appreciate it if I could get back 
    to you on the Polaris latitude shot in another message.
    
    Thanks for attaching "Seaplane Solo" to one of your posts, my Chichester 
    collection is nearing completion. A few of the aerial photos of
    Lord Howe appear to have been made from a fixed-wing aircraft. Were you the 
    pilot on this flight?
    
    Christian Scheele
    
    
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Gary LaPook" 
    To: 
    Sent: Monday, August 03, 2009 7:14 PM
    Subject: [NavList 9313] Re: Bygrave and Chichester
    
    
    
    By "single body fix method" I take it you are talking about the recent
    thread about taking many sights of the sun around noon and finding both
    latitude and longitude from these sights. I have never seen anything
    about using this method in flight by anybody. Although it is
    theoretically possible to do a conventional noon sight for latitude in
    flight it is extremely difficult due to the speed of the plane which
    masks the point of actual noon. But, more importantly, there is no
    particular advantage in attempting to do so. The traditional noon sight
    only made sense in the olden days when it was onerous to do the trig for
    a Sumner line  LOP and the noon sun sight had much simpler computation,
    just addition and subtraction. By the time of in fight celnav there was
    a plethora of tables (Dreisenstock, Ageton, Weems, Hughes) and, of
    course, the Bygrave slide rule that made the trig trivial so there was
    no reason to go through the contortions of trying to use the special
    case of a noon sun sight.
    
    I did notice, however, while analyzing Fred Noonan's chart work on the
    Earhart flight in 1937 that he continued to utilize the special case of
    the Polaris shot. This also continued to be used by  Air Force
    navigators since it is extremely simple and doesn't suffer the problems
    inherent with the noon sight. You use the "Q" correction table from the
    Air Almanac or from H.O 249,  not to determine latitude but to do a
    simplified calculation of computed altitude for Polaris and then treat
    the Polaris line as any other LOP advancing it as with any other LOP to
    determine a fix. The "Q" table is a simplified table that accomplishes
    the same thing as the Polaris tables in the Nautical Almanac to a lower
    level of precision. Using the "Q" table you enter the table with the
    local angle of Aires and then apply the correction with sign reversed to
    calculate computed altitude, compare it with observed altitude to
    determine intercept. The azimuth is also found from these tables and can
    vary from 358 �  to 002�.
    
    An example should help. If Polaris was actually at declination 90 �
    north then the altitude measured with the sextant would equal your
    latitude. So using the simple case when Polaris is directly east or west
    of the pole the altitude measured is also equal to your latitude and the
    "Q" correction is also zero. So using the mariner's method you measure
    an altitude of 35 � 30' so you determine that your latitude is also 35 �
    30' north. But the way a flight navigator would do it is he would assume
    a position for finding a fix using Polaris and other stars, say 35 � 00'
    north and compute an altitude for that AP of 35 � 00'. Then he compares
    his Ho of 35 � 30' and determines his intercept of 30 nm toward Polaris.
    This line would also plot at 35 �30' north, assuming that it had not
    been advanced to cross the other LOPs to find the fix. Since the actual
    azimuth of Polaris is used this line may be slightly more accurate than
    when using the mariner's method.
    
    gl
    
    Christian Scheele wrote: to determine
    >  I recommend this
    >
    >> book, Seaplane Solo, to everybody and I can email a copy to anyone who
    >> is interested.
    >>
    >
    > I would much appreciate a copy, Gary.
    >
    > I am not starting a new thread because the subject is related to your
    > commentary on the difficulties of making celestial observations. Could you
    > give me a reference to anything on the attempts by Byrd and Weems to use 
    > the
    > single-body fix  method by taking sun shots through the open hatch of 
    > their
    > seaplane?
    >
    > Christian Scheele
    >
    >
    > ----- Original Message ----- 
    > From: "Gary LaPook" 
    > To: 
    > Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 3:59 AM
    > Subject: [NavList 9281] Bygrave and Chichester
    >
    >
    >
    >> My interest in the Bygrave was triggered by my reading Sir Francis
    >> Chichester's account of flying a Moth, open cockpit single engine
    >> airplane across the Tasman Sea in 1931 doing celnav on the way to find
    >> two tiny islands where he could refuel, each leg about 500 nautical
    >> miles. Today, at Headcorn Aerodrome in England, I had the opportunity to
    >> fly the same type of aircraft and my admiration for Chichester increased
    >> ten fold. It is a very light aircraft so it is bounced around a lot my
    >> even the lightest turbulence. The controls are very sensitive,
    >> especially in pitch, so it takes a lot of concentration to keep the
    >> plane flying straight and level. It is also very noisy and the wind
    >> blows vigorously through the cockpit. I don't know how Chichester
    >> managed to do it, flying the plane, shooting sun lines with  a marine
    >> sextant, doing the computations with the Bygrave (holding it
    >> horizontally so it didn't get blown out of the cockpit), estimating
    >> drift angle, and plotting the LOPs and the drift lines. I recommend this
    >> book, Seaplane Solo, to everybody and I can email a copy to anyone who
    >> is interested.
    >>
    >> gl
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    > >
    >
    >
    
    
    
    
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