A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2019 Apr 20, 14:45 -0700
"Does anyone know what the first commercial (not military) aircraft equipped with GPS?
It must be around the time of the Boeing 747."
No doubt 747s were among the first aircraft with GPS, but "around the time of"? ...not in the sense of the time of introduction of that aircraft. The Boeing 747 first flew just fifty years ago, in February 1969, and entered commercial service about a year later. The first GPS satellite was not launched until 1978. Military and some scientific users had regular, reliable access to GPS positioning starting around 1986. The constellation was not operational in a wider sense until about 1993. That's when the revolution really got going. Assuming some new 747s were equipped with GPS systems as early as 1991, the aircraft type would have been over twenty years old by then...
INS (inertial navigation systems) were apparently first introduced on commercial aircraft around the time of the 747 launch. Maybe that's what you were thinking?