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    Jet fighter celestial nav
    From: Paul Hirose
    Date: 2006 Apr 13, 14:38 -0700

    U.S. Air Force Manual 51-40, "Air Navigation" (1955 edition), which I
    got on eBay, has a chapter on fighter plane celestial navigation.
    "The space limitations of fighter cockpits preclude the making of the
    detailed computations required for conventional celestial nevigation.
    With this technique, there is no plotting and very little computation
    required in the air. All that need be done is to make an observation and
    compare the sextant readings with precomputed values for the time of the
    The celestial body must be either within 15° of the course line or
    within 5° of a perpendicular to the course line. At pre-planned times
    you shoot one body and compare observed vs. predicted altitude. There is
    no attempt to take fixes; you check the progress of the flight with
    speed lines and course lines.
    "During the celestial observation the aircraft must be stable. In a
    single place aircraft a dependable auto-pilot is an absolute necessity."
    I wonder how they corrected for refraction through the canopy. The
    manual doesn't say.

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