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    Re: History of astro compass?
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2002 Oct 8, 18:22 -0400

    You have asked a fundamental question and to my great surprise, I have never
    even considered this before.
    It appears no one has answered the question yet so I will make it my mission
    to find out. Give me some time and I will start sifting through my books and
    my old copies of the Navigator's Newsletter. I vaguely remember that they
    did have something about it a long time ago. I will also consult with a few
    of my old timer friends.
    As to what aircraft they were used in: most of the big WWII bombers used
    them as did the transport aircraft- such as the C-130 Hercules - of the
    1950's . To the best of my knowledge, the astro compass was specifically
    devised for the purpose of maintaining a heading in the arctic regions where
    the horizontal component of the magnetic field is weak. In case you did not
    see some of the earlier postings on this topic, it is still a Transport
    Canada regulation that small aircraft travelling in the Arctic must carry an
    astro-compass. I assume that there is a requirement for the pilots to be
    proficient in its use, however, from what I have seen, I seriously doubt
    that this is the case; at least for the young pups who were weaned on GPS.
    I have a book in my collection called "Arctic Air Navigation" by Keith R.
    Greenaway dated 1951. It was published by the Royal Canadian Air Force
    through the Arctic Research section of the Defence Research Board. That was
    back in the good old days when the Canadian government actually cared about
    our armed forces and Arctic sovereignty. I best stop at that point or I will
    start to rant and rave about the cross-eyed twits that run our country.
    Anyway, the book covers all aspects of astro-navigation including the use of
    the astro-compass, sextant and grid navigation over the poles. A fellow
    explained grid navigation to me some years ago and I understood it for the
    first few hours, after which it was (and still is) rendered as black magic
    to me once again.
    Standby for the history of the astro-compass....
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: IRVINE Richard 
    Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 3:56 AM
    Subject: History of astro compass?
    > Does anyone know anymore about the history of the astro compass?
    > e.g. when did production begin, end?
    > Or when did they enter service? Where?
    > Which aircraft were they used in?
    > Was Sperti the only manufacturer? Does anyone know anything about Sperti?
    > > -----Original Message-----
    > > From: Brian Whatcott [mailto:betwys@DIRECTVINTERNET.COM]
    > > Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 1:54 AM
    > > To: NAVIGATION-L@listserv.webkahuna.com
    > > Subject: Re: WWII astrocompass still on Offer
    > >
    > >
    > > I did surrender to the call of the ..er.. astrocompass.
    > > Of the three mentioned on eBay, I topped the bidding on the third
    > > and highest priced one - at $67 plus S&H  None with bases though.
    > > One of them had a noticably wrinkled sight screen (ivory
    > > plastic sheet)
    > > which I suppose was heat damage.
    > >
    > > And I am glad: do you hear? Glad!
    > >
    > > :-)
    > >
    > > Brian
    > >
    > > At 07:15 AM 9/25/02, you wrote:
    > > >Well worth the price my friend. I paid $350.00 Canadian for
    > > mine (astro
    > > >compass only)in 1983 so Celestaire's price is quite reasonable.
    > > >
    > > >Once you have it in your hot little hands, you will not
    > > regret it! Now
    > > >slowly come to the light...yes, that's it...closer...
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > >Hmmmm.... $295 + $30 for the base.  Still on offer at their URL.
    > > > >Just how lustful am I, anyway?  :-)
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >
    > > > >Thanks again,
    > > > >Brian W
    > >
    > > Brian Whatcott
    > >    Altus OK                      Eureka!
    > >

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